As gripping as any spy thriller, Max Hastings's account of the critical role of intelligence in the Second World War is the best yet.' Sunday Times Packed with insight and terrific spy stories, this masterly book looks at the secret war on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories.
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'As gripping as any spy thriller, Hastings's achievement is especially impressive, for he has produced the best single volume yet written on the subject' Sunday Times 'Authoritative, exciting and notably well written' Daily Telegraph 'A serious work of rigourous and comprehensive history ...royally entertaining and readable' Mail on Sunday In 'The Secret War', Max Hastings examines the espionage and intelligence machines of all sides in World War II, and the impact of spies, code-breakers and partisan operations on events. Written on a global scale, the book brings together accounts from British, American, German, Russian and Japanese sources to tell the story of a secret war waged unceasingly by men and women often far from the battlefields but whose actions profoundly influenced the outcome. Returning to the Second World War for the first time since his best-selling 'All Hell Let Loose', Hastings weaves into a 'big picture' framework, the human stories of spies and intelligence officers who served their respective masters.
Told through a series of snapshots of key moments, the book looks closely at Soviet espionage operations which dwarfed those of every other belligerent in scale, as well as the code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park - the greatest intelligence achievement of the conflict - with many more surprising and unfamiliar tales of treachery, deception, betrayal and incompetence by spies of Axis, Allied or indeterminate loyalty.
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has drawn fascinating fresh material ... A book that pulses along, yet is filled with acute insight into human ingenuity, frailty, and the ironies of evil' Spectator 'Magisterial ... an author at the top of his game' Country Life 'Hastings deploys a formidable arsenal to tell his human stories, plus a refreshing degree of scepticism' Daily Telegraph