During World War IINazi officials were constantly hunting down resistance fighters and the allied spies who aided them. But there was one foreign operative the Third Reich held special contempt for—a woman responsible for more jailbreaks, sabotage missions and leaks of Nazi troop movements than any spy in France.
Despite his cruelest efforts, he never would.
In its place was an ungainly seven-pound wooden prosthetic that she lovingly nicknamed Cuthbert. She began her college studies at Barnard and Radcliffe, but finished them in Paris and Vienna, becoming fluent in French, German and Italian, with a little Russian on the side.
After graduation, Hall applied to the U. Embassy in Warsaw, and then at the U. Consulate in Smyrna, Turkey.
World War II's 'Most Dangerous’ Allied Spy Was a Woman With a Wooden Leg
It was during a bird-hunting excursion with American friends in Turkey in that Hall stumbled climbing over a wire fence and accidentally discharged her shotgun, hopelessly mangling her left foot. Recuperating back home in Maryland, Hall applied to the Foreign Service again, only to be rejected not because she was a woman, but because she was an amputee.
Hall quit the State Department and went back to Paris as a civilian in on the eve of the German invasion. She drove ambulances for the French army and fled to England when France capitulated to the Nazis.
She quickly proved exceptionally skilled at not only radioing back information on German troop movements and military posts, but also at recruiting a network of loyal resistance spies in central France. A painting of Virginia Hall who was part of espionage operations against Nazi Germany. What s spy craft lacked in technological sophistication, it made up in creativity. The BBC would insert coded messages into its nightly news radio broadcasts.
Her Spanish guides first refused to take a woman, let alone an amputee, but she would not be deterred. The November weather was bitter cold and her prosthetic was agonizing. At a safe house in the mountains, Hall radioed her superiors in London to report that she was OK, but that Cuthbert was giving her trouble. Inmonths before the D-Day invasion at Normandy, Hall rode a British torpedo ship to France, and disguised as a year-old peasant woman, criss-crossed the French countryside organizing sabotage missions against the German army.
She was the only woman to receive the award during World War II. Back home, she continued to work for the CIA until her mandatory retirement at age But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!
Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. This Day In History.B etrayal, seduction and subterfuge: these devilish arts are central to the ancient craft of spying.
And, whether in fact or fiction, the literature of espionage continues to fascinate us with the enduring question of whether some kinds of dark, loathsome conduct may be ultimately justified. The New Spymasters, my new book, is the product of nearly 20 years of writing about and meeting spies, ever since they emerged from the shadows of the Berlin Wall. Too much of the spy bookshelf is coloured by ex-insiders with an agenda; or writers either with little knowledge or who negotiate access and as a price submit to fact-bending censorship.
Despite the need to watch out for agendas and omissions, there are of course some fabulous and unmissable books about this world of betrayal, particularly from the cold war era.
And these are some I could not do without. A spy to aspire to. The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers Another classic, about a yacht trip to the north German coast that uncovers plans to invade Britain. It depicts the sort of upper-class, amateurish japes that set the real-life stage for the early modern secret service. Contrary to popular belief and most of what you will read, intelligence remains a craft in which the actual work of spying is largely carried out by co-opted volunteers — albeit not so often wearing tweeds these days.Virginia Hall: The Most Feared Spy of World War II
Revealing the names of more than fellow spymasters across the globe, this is a raw, blistering account of the lengths to which the US went during the cold war. He describes how the CIA made common cause with dictators and their torturers, how they suborned trade union and political movements, and in short did everything they could to fight communism at all levels.
This fascinating exploration of the motives behind treachery is by a former Soviet spy chief in London, the controller of the so-called Cambridge Five ring of spies.
Modin says the Cambridge spies were essentially self-recruited because of their ideology. Once hooked into the spy game, their enthusiasm for Marxism fell away, but it was hard for them to escape. It required extraordinary ingenuity to keep contact with the few secret agents in place — and to keep them alive. Embroiled in the Iran-Contra scandal, Clarridge was and is an unapologetic man of action. But in describing, for instance, how arch-enemy Abu Nidal was defeated, he gives a glimpse into the fusion of covert action, subtle analysis, and classical espionage that counter-terrorist work has become.
In eschewing the action sequence, he brings alive the psychological tension, the absurdities and the sheer greyness that is spy work.
Which of his books to choose? Perhaps some of the recent works such as the The Constant Gardeneror A Delicate Truth are a little too moralising: the secret service seems always in league with some evil corporation. I like particularly The Tailor of Panama for laying bare the uneasy marriage between, on the one hand, spycraft and all its deceptions, and the mission of spying, on the other, which is to establish the truth of things.
And while the bomb exists, and the danger remains of its use or proliferation, it is hard to see how spy agencies, for all their faults, will ever disappear. They also recount its dilemmas, among them that to protect a crucial Swiss spy inside the nuclear proliferation network, the CIA may have let deadly bomb secrets escape. Recruits like Storm are clearly hard to handle, but they may also have the sheer courage needed to operate unsupported deep inside enemy territory.
Agents of Innocence by David Ignatius Beyond stealing secrets, real-life spy work is also about liaison with the enemy and the establishment of secret channels. Sticking close to a true story, this classic — one of the best of all American spy novels — explores the delicate game played between the CIA and the Palestine Liberation Organisation.
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Show 25 25 50 All. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded.Sun Tzu, in his famous book Art of Warwrites of using subversive tactics to gain military intelligence, all the way back in the fifth century BC. These eight books below all cover a different, real-life aspect of espionage history, and recount it in brilliant, gripping detail. Purchase the book to read or get this day free trial to Amazon Kindle Unlimited to download and read the books for free.
Filled with twists, turns and double-crosses, it embodies the creed that truth is stranger than fiction. From the trusted writers of National Geographic comes the little-known true story of the spies that operated behind the scenes during the second world war. Much of the source material for this book was only recently declassified, and contains never-before-seen photographs and coded messages. Covering everything from psychological warfare tactics to Enigma machines, get ready to dive into the world of war-time spies.
Filled with over photographs, this book offers a visual history of the KGB through the years from over ninety different cameras. It contains priceless details and fascinating, previously hidden, angles that both history buffs and novices will enjoy. Read about these fascinating women, from Lise de Baissac, a member of French colonial high society, to Odette Sansom, a suburban housewife turned super spy.
This comprehensive list compiled by Joseph C. We all think of spies as being confined to CIA offices and back alleys, but America has a long history of recruiting everyday people to spy on each other. Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger piece together this intricately researched tale of the men and women involved in this ring, from a tavern keeper to a grumpy Long Island-based bachelor, all of which makes for a gripping read. Image Courtesy of Crown. Image Courtesy of National Geographic.
Image Courtesy of Schiffer Military History. Image Courtesy of Dover Publications. Image Courtesy of Sentinel. Image Courtesy of Cambridge University Press. Post to Cancel.Espionage has always held a certain fascination. Derring-do, cloak-and-dagger, betrayal, violence and death have always made good entertainment.
But, as is often the case, truth can be far more exciting than fiction. With that in mind, here are six truly remarkable female spies from World War II. Warsaw-born Krystyna Skarbek is often overlooked.
Initially, British intelligence refused her services because she was female. Around this time, she adopted the fair more British-sounding name Christine Granville, to allow her to blend in more easily. Returned to her native Poland, Skarbek was arrested while running a network of couriers delivering information. Feigning tuberculosis, Skarbek secured her release in January Inshe was naturalized as a British citizen and officially took the name Christine Granville for good.
In Juneshe was murdered in a London hotel by an obsessed suitor, Dennis Muldowney. Muldowney pled guilty and was hanged that September.
Born to wealthy Indian parents, Noor fled France for England aboard the last ship leaving Bordeaux in The most dangerous job for SOE agents, the average life expectancy for a pianist was six weeks. Soon, Noor was sent to Paris, thanks to her French language skills. Within a week, she was the only pianist left in Paris. Offered emergency evacuation, Noor declined. She would do the work of multiple pianists for nearly four months.
The Nazis offered a million francs to anyone willing to betray her. After being captured and making multiple escape attempts, Noor was murdered at Dachau.To vote on existing books from the list, beside each book there is a link vote for this book clicking it will add that book to your votes.
To vote on books not in the list or books you couldn't find in the list, you can click on the tab add books to this list and then choose from your books, or simply search. Discover new books on Goodreads. Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Best spy fiction espionage thrillers, etc. Ken Follett Goodreads Author. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.
Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Samuel Marquis Goodreads Author. Daniel Silva. Frederick Forsyth. Alan Furst. Greg Iles Goodreads Author. Ben Macintyre.
Books About World War II Espionage
Robert M. William Boyd. Daniel S. Fletcher Goodreads Author. Robert Wilson Goodreads Author. Robert Ludlum. Jack Hayes Goodreads Author. Elizabeth Wein Goodreads Author. Morgan Jameson Goodreads Author.
Clive Lee Goodreads Author. Ben Pastor. Anton Gill Goodreads Author. William Stevenson. Bill Martin Jr. Peter Eisner Goodreads Author. Scott Miller Goodreads Author. Max Hastings.What are the best spy novels of ? Transcription by Kate Atkinson. In hindsight, the victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany seems inevitable.
And there were members of the British elite who wanted to sue for peace, and some who even rooted for a German victory. Her protagonist, Juliet Armstrong, is an inexperienced year old who is recruited by British Intelligence and employed as a typist creating transcripts of bugged conversations between would-be German agents. She quickly graduates to infiltrating a cell of upper-class Nazi sympathizers. Juliet, who has some secrets of her own, finds the covert work alternatively comic and terrifying.
Atkinson is a talented and fluid writer and Transcriptionwhile slow-moving at times, is cleverly constructed and laced with a dry humor. The novel shifts back and forth in time from when Juliet has become a radio producer at the BBC to the early war years, and Atkinson has a flair for capturing the details of the period.
The Other Woman by Daniel Silva. His latest, The Other Womanfocuses instead on the threat to the West presented by the authoritarian regime in Moscow and its leader, a former KGB officer. This time they are in pursuit of a sleeper mole deep in the heart of MI6, a task Allon has taken on at the request of his British counterpart. Inten Russian sleeper agents in the U.
S were arrested. They were living under assumed identities, tasked with political and industrial espionage, and had been in the country for more than a decade in deep cover. This spy ring was the inspiration for the FX series The Americans.
The Other Woman suggests that there were; Silva fashions an intriguing take on how that might have happened. Paris in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler. The talented and prolific author Robert Olen Butler, who won a Pulitzer Prize in fiction for his lyrical Vietnam-themed short stories A Good Scent from a Strange Mountainhas recently turned to writing historical spy thrillers. While Cobb researches a story about American volunteer ambulance drivers, Paris is rocked by a string of bombings.
He is tasked with finding and neutralizing the bombers, while maintaining his cover as a newspaper reporter. As Kit Cobb searches for German agents, the clues lead him in a different direction. Paris in the Dark rewards us with a suspenseful and satisfying ending, one that resonates with more modern concerns about terrorism.
Violence against the ruling class was common. Safe Houses by Dan Fesperman. Dan Fesperman tells two stories in his latest thriller, Safe Houses. The other story commences in after a brutal double murder in a quiet Maryland Eastern Shore town.
100 Must-Read World War II Books
A young woman teams up with a former Congressional investigator to try to understand why her parents died. Instead, it delves into the internal politics of the CIA, and the way its Old Boy network treated female employees three decades ago. Fesperman takes a decidedly feminist slant on that history no doubt influenced by the MeToo movement that began inand the novel reminds us of the struggles women faced and face in male-dominated organizations.From action-packed eyewitness accounts such as Guadalcanal Diary to devastating Holocaust memoirs like The Diary of Anne Frank and Night to the thrilling espionage tale of Operation MincemeatWorld War II is the subject of some of the most fascinating and influential nonfiction books ever written.
Each year, seemingly dozens of new titles emerge to offer fresh perspectives and uncover fascinating details about the deadliest conflict in human history. These twenty-one classics cover the war from the Eastern Front to the South Pacific, and investigate its murky origins and complex legacies.
Make your next great read one of these essential World War II books. In his powerful new account of the Normandy invasion, renowned author, historian, and Royal Historical Society fellow James Holland delivers a fresh look at one of the defining battles of WWII. Drawing on a wealth of archived material and first-hand accounts, Holland moves beyond the established D-Day narrative to illuminate the human drama of Operation Overlord, chronicling in fascinating detail the concentrated planning that went into the campaign and the operational brilliance that led to a victory for the Allied forces.
The result is an engrossing and thoroughly researched new narrative, and a must-read addition to World War II history literature. Revisit America's entrance into the war with this sprawling account of the pivotal year that decided the ultimate direction of World War II.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Forrest Gump comes an exploration of the strategies, battles, and fateful decision-making that defined the turning point of the war. A must read for any WWII history buff.
American icon Studs Terkel relives the personal tolls of World War II through interviews with soldiers, sailors and civilians alike. Providing unfiltered accounts from those directly affected by the war, both at home and on the front lines, Terkel allows the reader to experience what it truly meant to live through every facet of World War II.
Published 40 years after the war, Terkel's retrospective won a Pulitzer Prize. With vivid prose bolstered by survivor interviews and eye-witness reports, Lord recounts the miraculous evacuation of someAllied soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk as Nazi forces closed in.
Originally published in the August 31, issue of The New Yorkerthis compassionate and richly observed portrait of six survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima caused an immediate sensation. It was the first—and only—time the magazine had devoted an entire issue to a single article. Newsstands sold out within hours, and radio stations interrupted their regular programming to broadcast readings of the complete text.
More than a year after the Japanese city was destroyed, Americans were getting the first full account of the horrors of nuclear warfare. Hersey described stone facades permanently etched with the silhouettes of vaporized people and soldiers whose eyes were melted by the atomic flash. Widely recognized as one of the earliest examples of New Journalism the style of reporting made most famous by Joan DidionHiroshima profoundly impacted the debate over nuclear weapons and played a key role in the healing process between America and Japan.
Using notes he secretly kept in a pocket-sized New Testament, Sledge describes the terror of life on the front lines and documents acts of savagery committed by both sides. But he also admires the courage of his fellow soldiers and pauses, when he can, to observe his natural surroundings—an interest that would lead to a later career as a biology professor. After the war, he drew on his own experiences and a wealth of newly available documents, including the diaries of propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and General Franz Halder and testimony from the Nuremberg trials, to write this 1,page volume.
The book was a huge commercial success, selling one million hardcover copies and going through twenty printings in its first year. Beginning with the outbreak of war in and ending on the eve of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union inthe author weaves together long-lost memoirs and freshly-released official records with his own research to produce an intimate, multi-layered history of the early years of WWII.
On August 7,Allied forces, primarily US Marines, landed on the islands of Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the southwestern Pacific to fight back the encroaching Japanese army. Volunteer combat correspondent Richard Tregaskis was one of just two journalists who witnessed the invasion.
In this landmark work of war journalism, Tregaskis chronicles the harrowing experiences of the young marines who made the operation a success. Originally serialized in the alternative comics magazine Rawthe story moves back and forth between present-day Rego Park, New York and Nazi-occupied Poland. In Poland, Vladek and his wife, Anja, endure forced relocation to the Sosnowiec Ghetto; the death of their first son, Richieu; and imprisonment in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Officially, the campaign was known as Operation Argument. In this expertly written account, Holland traces the biggest air battle of World War II, chronicling the clash from both sides of the conflict and revealing the vital role it played as the Allies prepared for the Battle of Normandy.
On October 14,six hundred Jewish prisoners at a secret Nazi concentration camp in eastern Poland revolted against their captors. They killed some twelve SS officers, overpowered camp guards, broke through perimeter fencing, and fled across an open mine field toward the surrounding woods. Incredibly, approximately resistance fighters made it into the forest—fifty of whom survived the war.
Based on interviews with eighteen of those survivors, Escape from Sobibor is a tribute to courage and determination in the face of abject cruelty. One of the bloodiest battles of the Sino-Japanese War, the Battle of Shanghai set the stage for the global conflict to come.
Based on interviews with more than 1, D-Day survivors, The Longest Day is the definitive account of the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, Ryan experienced the battle firsthand as a year-old reporter for the Daily Telegraph. When the bomber he was flying in was hit and had to return to England, he jumped into a patrol boat and returned to cover the fighting on the French beaches.