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Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies [Kindle Edition]

Ben Macintyre
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (363 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $8.75
You Save: $6.25 (42%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description


   On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. A stunning military accomplishment, it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, tricked the Nazis into believing that the Allied attacks would come in Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring Allied victory at the most pivotal point in the war. This epic event has never before been told from the perspective of the key individuals in the Double Cross system, until now. Together they made up one of the oddest and most brilliant military units ever assembled.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: What do a Polish pilot, a Peruvian party girl, and a Spanish chicken maven have in common? They were all central to the success of Operation Fortitude, the audacious ruse that kept Hitler guessing at the location of the D-Day invasions, saving the lives of countless Allied soldiers and turning the war in their favor. In the same enthralling and entertaining fashion of his previous World War II spy stories (Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat), Ben Macintyre's Double Cross goes behind the standard narratives of armies, generals, and tactics to chronicle the unlikely--and occasionally outlandish--stories of the spooks, spymasters, and double agents who changed the course of the war. --Jon Foro


Utterly gripping Anthony Beevor, Daily Telegraph I have seldom enjoyed a spy story more than this one, and fiction will make dreary reading hereafter Max Hastings, Sunday Times Macintyre is a first-class narrative historian ... as pacy as a thriller and better written than most Sunday Telegraph Addictive and deeply moving Independent Enthralling ... A book so gripping that I even found myself reading it in lifts, frequently emitting snorts of incredulity. A reminder that heroism can be found in the most unlikely places Evening Standard This fascinating book finds a vivid and very human path through one of the greatest moments in our history Daily Mail

Product Details

  • File Size: 9443 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (July 31, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0075WP9MK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,872 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
174 of 178 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Before you begin reading this book, take a look at the map at the very front. It's a map of northern France and southern England. Notice how close the cities of Dover and Calais are; the sea distance is about 21 miles. Meanwhile, continue west to the widest gap between France and England which is about 100 miles. That's the distance between Portsmouth, England and the five Normandy beaches. Those 100 miles were crossed by the American, British, and Canadian forces on June 6, 1944 - D-Day. Why the Allied forces chose to set the invasion on this particular plot of land in France, reachable after an all-night trip from England, is the topic of many other books about WW2. This book, "Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies" by Ben MacIntyre, is the story of how British intelligence worked to make the Germans think the imminent invasion would occur at Calais, rather than Normandy.

By 1942 the smart money in Germany was on an invasion on the European continent in France or Scandinavia by Allied forces. It was thought to be both inevitable and somewhat imminent. The time factor was based on many things, including build-up of invasion forces, the war effort in other European theater sites, and, of course, the geography of France. Just looking at a map shows the shortest distance was from Dover in Kent to Calais - as I wrote before, about 21 miles. Hitler and the German High Command were expecting the invasion in that area, and had mined the beaches and inner area in preparation for repelling an invasion. There were many troops stationed in the area, too. But, the Germans also mined and prepared the Normandy beaches with the same mines and hill top fortifications, though not as many as in Calais and they also had fewer troops stationed in Normandy.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Cross April 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Anyone who has read anything by Ben Macintyre before, including the excellent Operation Mincemeat and Agent Zigzag will know that they are in for a treat. He is a wonderful storyteller and, in this book, he is on territory he seems to understand brilliantly and relish. The Allied military planners were working on the the great assault on Nazi Occupied Europe - the D-Day invasion would decide the outcome of the war. In order to convince the Germans that the invasion was coming where it was not actually coming, and not coming in the place where it was actually coming, a huge amount of effort was expended. There were dummy planes, tanks and even dummy armies in place to fool the Germans. There were even pigeons masquerading as German carrier pigeons (lots more on pigeons in the book - they play a larger part than you might imagine!). There were impersonators to convince the Germans that military leaders were elsewhere. Counterfeit generals led non-existent armies. Radio operators created a barrage of fake signals. Finally, there were spies. The Allies had a harder task than it appears in hindsight, knowing that it succeeded, as the target range for a cross-Channel invasion was small. There were only a handful of suitable spots for a massed landing and it was important that the entire might of the German forces were not waiting when the Allies landed.

Tar Robertson created a bodyguard of liars - the "Double Cross System" coordinated by the Twenty (XX) Committee. They specialised in turning German spies into double agents.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I used to think all those spy novels and movies were wildly exagerrated and that crazy stunts and bizarrely convoluted plotting didn't go on in real life. That was before I started reading Ben Macintyre's histories of espionage performed by the British during World War II, including Agent Zigzag and Operation Mincemeat among others. Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, is Macintyre's latest offering and his best yet. Just imagine the most implausible twists and turns in a spy novel, then rest assured that something much weirder actually did take place during the World War II years.

In the early 1940s Britain's situation looked pretty desperate as she faced a triumphant Third Reich. Fortunately, along with all the pluck and perseverance we know the British people showed in "their finest hour" they also had a team of highly intelligent, extremely imaginative and creative, not to mention downright devious, men and women hard at work in MI5 and MI6. Their job was to identify German spies within Great Britain, turn them if possible into double agents, and then use them to mislead the Germans as to Allied intentions.

The stories Macintyre relates are fascinating. At one point the British actually had the Abwehr (German military intelligence) funding British efforts to undermine Germany's spy networks! Some of Germany's most trusted and apparently reliable spies in Britain were actually feeding disinformation to them! Eventually the British efforts spread to the US, where the FBI's anti-espionage efforts were laughably feeble in comparison.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading!!
This was my first book on the subject and my first from this author. I truly enjoyed it. Bit confused at times with so many names, code names and so on. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Dudu
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting story detailing a side of the war that almost ...
Exciting story detailing a side of the war that almost never gets mentioned, and certainly demands more credit for the Allied victory. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Robert Cimmino
4.0 out of 5 stars Offers wonderful insight into the actual world of WW II espionage
A fascinating adventure with a remarkable cast of characters and yet non fiction! Offers wonderful insight into the actual world of WW II espionage. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Dianne O
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great tease for a great story that is way more ...
This is a well written story about how a dog almost cost the Allies D-Day. It's a great tease for a great story that is way more than the story about the dog. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Christina Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly fascinating account of the double agents in World ...
A thoroughly fascinating account of the double agents in World War II who worked for the Germans and were recruited by the British to also work for them. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Daryn Kent-Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ben McIntyre write with amazing clarity about double cross spies who...
Ben McIntyre write with amazing clarity about double cross spies who live really "foggy" lives. He adds a dimension to our history which we never got in classes.
Published 13 days ago by Marjorie Longwood
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read of the famous spies in World War 2 during the preparations...
A good book and essential reading for those that love spy stories and the incredible courage of these unsung heroes.
Published 13 days ago by RICHARD FROST
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and true story about double agents
It's the summer of 1943 and Germany's forces have taken over much of Europe. Tar Robertson of the British Security Service (aka MI5) is putting the finishing touches on a weapon... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Richard Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Great history leading up to D-Day
What a fabulous story! Writing is superb! Characters came alive and i still miss them. Great history leading up to D-Day. Don't miss this book.
Published 19 days ago by Paul J. Otto
2.0 out of 5 stars Fifty pages would have covered it.
Published 25 days ago by Michael J. Gray
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More About the Author

BEN MACINTYRE is writer-at-large and associate editor of the Times of London. He is the author of Agent Zigzag, The Man Who Would Be King, The Englishman's Daughter, The Napoleon of Crime, and Forgotten Fatherland. He lives in London with his wife, the novelist Kate Muir, and their three children.

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