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The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War Hardcover – May 25, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
This colossal and valuable study is clearly a labor of love for Holt, a lawyer and former deputy secretary of the army. It chronicles in thorough detail and smooth prose various operations that the Allies conducted to mislead the Axis as to the time, place, strength and direction of a host of military operations. The foremost of those was, of course, D-Day, and the origins, conduct and imposing logistics of Operation Fortitude are laid out in unsurpassed detail. So are a host of smaller operations, such as Operation Mincemeat, the subject of the book The Man Who Never Was The men and women behind the planning and execution included the British career soldier Brig. Dudley W. Clarke; Gordon Merrick, later the author of The Lord Won't Mind and its successors, one of the first mainstream successes in gay fiction; and actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr., who was an amateur sailor and leader of a fine decoy effort in southern France. The achievements of the deceivers were invaluable if not always decisive. Few of them have been chronicled this completely or this well, at least for American readers, in a volume that reads with the fluency of a thriller for any reader with a minimal knowledge of and interest in the war.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"As close to definitive as we are soon likely to see. Should serve intelligence and defense communities as a bible." -- The Sewanee Review
"Compelling...fascinating...well-researched. This tour de force is a must read. Make[s] the reader a captive from page one." -- Army Magazine, June 2004
"The Deceivers...creates an authoritative history of wartime deception, rich with details....[Holt's] fascinating account is unlikely to be bettered." -- London Times, Times Literary Supplement, July 23, 2004
"The wars story appears in an entirely different light when overlaid with the various deception plans...Highly recommended." -- Library Journal, March 2004
Absorbing . . . just the thing for military-intelligence buffs and students of WWII history. -- Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2004
Top customer reviews
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This is more of an account of the strategy behind the operations and background on how it was all organized rather than the thrilling "in the trenches" accounts of cloak and dagger spywork. I recommend this to anyone who wants an inclusive study in the "think tanks" behind the deceptions. But if you want the street level excitement, you should start somewhere else. In essence I'd say you should already have some understanding of the organizations like MI5, MI6, OSS and FBI before you try this one.
Now I have to admit, I'm only half way through the 1,000 plus pages. I've read other books on the subject so I have some degree of understanding of these outfits. But it was hard for me to keep track. I think I'll set this one aside for a while and take up a new subject. I'll probably come back to this one later.
This is not to take away anything from what Mr. Holt has done here. It's a great work for the intended audience. I hope this helps you decide,,,,,,, Ted
The book illustrates really brains against brawn. It also tells which deceptions that were swallowed and which that was not even noticed.
It shows that if you serve the enemy what he is inclined to believe the bogus information as real facts. I recommend the book to anybody interested in deception.