8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An interesting, but at times superficial, book about the D-Day spies,
This review is from: Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (Hardcover)
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Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies, by Ben Macintyre, is a very interesting book about five double agents recruited by Great Britain during WWII. As part of Operation Bodyguard, these double agents were part of the complex deception that kept the Normandy Landings a secret. The Germans were taken completely by surprise and D-Day became a turning point in the war.
Macintyre certainly tells the story well enough. He was able to draw on declassified documents from British intelligence and numerous primary and secondary sources. He does a good job of putting the Double Cross spy program in context with the overall operational plans of WWII.
Macintyre gets his point across, but the writing was a little telegraphic for me, however. There are certainly details that are shared, but there is little analysis and the character studies are often superficial. This is likely exacerbated by the fact that Macintyre is telling the story of all six spies in a relatively short book. He covers a lot of breadth, but we pay the price in terms of depth. Looking at this now, there are a number of biographies of the individual spies mentioned in Macintyres book. Now that I have been introduced to the subject, I may well look them up.
Still, the material is so compelling and the characters from the spies themselves to the British and German spymasters are so interesting that this matters little. If you know the story already, you might not be so entranced, but for someone who has never heard of Double Cross, this is very captivating stuff.
The book was a quick and easy read about a relatively unknown part of WWII history. Recommended.