Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bodyguard of Lies

DQ reader Steven Davis, knowing that I enjoyed reading about espionage, suggested that I read Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day. I ordered it, then put it at the bottom of the stack, because it was about four inches thick.

Months later, I finally picked it up again, and I'm glad I did, because the book tells, in extreme detail, the history of espionage in WWII, and it's fascinating. The degree to which the Allies succeeded in deception is astounding, and every operation is discussed in detail.

Also astounding is the detailed recounting of high-ranking German officers who actively tried to betray Hitler. There were multiple plots, multiple assassination attempts, and it seems like several thousand people must have been walking around Germany wearing shirts saying "I TRIED TO KILL HITLER AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT."

If you think you know about WWII, this book will stun you with the story of what was going on behind the scenes. It's huge, but it's a huge subject, and it's filled with an extraordinary amount of interesting detail.

In short, our skill with intelligence (and the number of Germans trying to actively betray the Third Reich) quite possibly was the single most important element in winning the war. And if you like espionage, this book has so many cloak and dagger moments that it's just impossible to put down. This book makes a Tom Clancy novel seem downright pedestrian in comparison.

It's a brilliant, extraordinary piece of work, and here's an Amazon link:
Bodyguard of Lies: The Extraordinary True Story Behind D-Day.

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