Friday, August 17, 2012

by Ben Macintyre

June 6, 1944 was a huge victory for the allies. Known as D-Day (a military term), soldiers landed on the coast of Normandy completely surprising the Germans. They believed that Pas de Calais and Norway would be attacked so that is where they sent their troops. Hitler and his cohorts were completely deceived. There were five secret weapons used and they were three men and two women. These spies were double agents. They gave false information to their German handlers while actually working for Britain. None of them ever met one another and they were a quirky bunch with issues galore. They consisted of: a bisexual Peruvian socialite, a diminutive Polish fighter pilot, a Serbian womanizer, an eccentric Spanish chicken farmer, and a high-strung Frenchwoman who wouldn't go anywhere without her dog. Using drama, wit, words, and pure inventiveness, Agents Bronx, Brutus, Treasure, Tricycle, and Garbo completely duped the enemy. It's mostly because of them that the casualties were much lower. The German army waited for an invasion that never arrived.
Ben Macintyre is quite a master storyteller. Having read his previous books Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat (both of these have been reviewed in this blog), Double Cross is even better. Talk about being glued to my seat. The deceptions were truly amazing and they're all explained.
There's pictures of the spies, the dummy tanks and aircraft, the Normandy landings, and other neat stuff. The writing is superb, natch. Macintyre is so skillful at weaving everything together that it all blends seamlessly. A tremendous read.
Very highly recommended.