Beating the Nazi Invader: Hitler’s Spies, Saboteurs and Secrets in Britain 1940

Pen & Sword. Dec. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781526772947. $49.95. HIST
Historian Storey (The King’s Men) writes a compelling examination of an aspect of World War II that always has a rapt audience: espionage. The narrative focuses on the many ways that Germany attempted to infiltrate Great Britain before and during the war, from Hitler Youth excursions near factories and landmarks to planted domestic servants with dubious loyalties, and the myriad ways British intelligence was able to repel or deceive them in response, and counter with their own infiltrations. Some chapters go into deep detail about specific occurrences of supposed assassinations and parachute operations, all rife with Hollywood potential. Storey also drops plenty of additional juicy material in the endnotes, along with brief mentions of other stories and events that beg for further investigation, such as the significance of the Gestapo headquarters in central London.
VERDICT With a cast of colorful characters, some familiar and others not, and a variety of stories that will be new to casual readers, this is a strong recommendation for most libraries with history-loving patrons. For readers of Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre and A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell.
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