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Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 11, 2014
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Pub Date: 2014-02-11 Pages: 496 Language: English Publisher: HarperCollins Combining the pulsating drive of Showtime s Homeland with the fascinating historical detail of such of narrative nonfiction bestsellers as Double Cross and In the Garden of Beasts. Dark Invasion is Howard Blum's gritty. high-energy true-life tale of German espionage and terror on American soil during World War I. and the NYPD Inspector who helped uncover the plot-the basis for the film to be produced by and starring Bradley Cooper.When a neutral United States becomes a trading partner for the Allies early in World War I. the Germans implement a secret plan to strike back. A team of saboteurs-including an expert on germ warfare. a Harvard professor. and a brilliant. debonair spymaster- devise a series of mysterious accidents using explosives and biological weapons. to bring down vital targets such as s...
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There was a strong movement in the United States to join the Allies against Germany but President Woodrow Wilson was holding fast to a policy of neutrality.
Nevertheless, the Germans felt the sting of not being able to buy goods from America while bullets, canned food, horses and other weapons were being sold to the Allies in great numbers. They decided to do something about that but it was important that the German government not be seen as a belligerent to the United States for fear of pushing them into the war on the Allied side. So they established a secret terrorist/spy cell in American to wreak havoc and disrupt the flow of supplies to the Allies.
President Wilson was deaf to the transgressions of these German agents for fear of being pushed into declaring war. Therefore, he was not aggressively trying to expose the German terror cell or spy network for fear of what he might find.
It fell to the police department of New York City to determine the root cause of a number of suspicious tragedies that had befallen the city.
Howard Blum does a remarkable job of documenting the activities of the German terrorist cell in America which was sanctioned by Abteilung IIIB, the highest intelligence agency of the German government. Among its efforts was the attempted assassination of J.P. Morgan, a financier of the material being sent to the Allies. Some of the more strident acts of sabotage was the planting of fire bombs on ships heading to England and France. They also planted rudder bombs to disable ships at sea.
At the height of their terrorist activities were the bombing of the Capital Building, the attempt to infect horses with glanders disease and the plan to start a plague in New York City using the anthrax virus.
After blowing up the Black Tom dock ammunition depot in Jersey City, the newly formed NYC Bomb Squad took the lead in tracking down the terrorists.
Many believe the sinking of the Lusitania brought America into WWI. Others credit the Zimmerman Letter in which Germany promised Mexico aid and support if it attacked America. But it’s clear in Wilson’s declaration of war speech that the subversive activities that he ignored so long played a pivotal role in his decision to ask for a declaration of war.
John E. Nevola - Author of The Last Jump
U.S. Army Veteran
Military Writer's Society of America