UNITED KINGDOM

World War II

Overviews

A - C

Aldrich, Richard J. "British Intelligence and the 'Barbarian' Enemy, 1941-1944." Everyone's War 15 (Spring-Summer 2007): 56-60.

Allen, Martin A.

1. The Hitler/Hess Deception: British Intelligence's Best-kept Secret of the Second World War. London: HarperCollins, 2003.

According to a reviewer in Contemporary Review, Jun. 2003, "the author claims ... that [Rudolf] Hess was not deranged and that his flight [to Britain] was part of a secret offer" made to the British. "Nazi leaders were, the author claims, purposefully misled by British secret intelligence officers into believing" that Churchill could be replaced by a more pliant" person. "This 'British trickery' led to the German invasion of Russia.... Russian losses are, therefore, Britain's fault.... This is not the full story however earnest the writer is in telling it."

2. Himmler's Secret War: The Covert Peace Negotiations of Heinrich Himmler. New York: Carroll & Graf. 2006.

According to Peake, IJI&C 20.2 (Summer 2007), the author "alleges that the British government ordered and implemented the assassination of Himmler" in order to prevent his testimony at Nuremburg that "Britain had entered into peace negotiations with [him] without telling its allies." However, as the reviewer points out, the documents on which this conclusion is based have been determined to be forgeries. How these forgeries were placed in the British National Archives has not been determined.

Andrew, Christopher.

1. "The Mobilization of British Intelligence in the Two World Wars." In Mobilization for Total War: The Canadian, American and British Experience 1914-1918, 1939-1945, ed. N.F. Dreiszinger, 87-101. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfried Laurier University Press, 1981.

Sexton notes that this article "[e]mphasizes the recruitment of talented amateurs for wartime intelligence duties."

2. And Richard J. Aldrich, eds. "The Intelligence Services in the Second World War." Contemporary British History 13, no. 4 (1999): 130-169.

Annan, Noël. Changing Enemies: The Defeat and Regeneration of Germany. London: HarperCollins, 1995. New York: Norton, 1995.

For Surveillant 4.4/5, this is an "intimate portrait of British military, intelligence, and diplomatic operations from one who was closely involved in the work." Similarly, Powers, NYRB, 9 Jan. 1997, sees a "finely written memoir of [Annan's] own wartime intelligence work mainly concerned with the Germans."

Frazier, I&NS 11.3, comments that for the war years, the book represents "a valuable record of the inner workings of the system of control and use of intelligence by means of the Joint Intelligence Staff (JIS)." The work is more limited with regard to the regeneration of postwar Germany. To Whaley, Bibliography of Counterdeception (2006), Changing Enemies is the "[p]erceptive memoirs of a British junior military intelligence analyst in WW II London." There is some suspicion, however, that the author "adjusted some of his memories to fit hindsight."

Barnes, James J., and Patience P.Barnes. Nazi Refugee Turned Gestapo Spy: The Life of Hans Wesemann, 1895-1971. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2001.

From publisher: "Why would a journalist who was an ardent socialist and an anti-Nazi during the waning years of the Weimer Republic decide to go to work for the Gestapo abroad? Hans Wesemann, a veteran of World War I and a successful journalist, fled his native Germany in 1933 after writing a number of anti-Nazi articles. Once in Britain, he found life difficult and dull, and thus, for a number of reasons, agreed to furnish the German Embassy in London with information about other refugees. Inevitably, Wesemann became ensnared in his own treachery and suffered the consequences."

Bennett, Ralph. "The 'Vienna Alternative', 1944: Reality or Illusion." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 2 (Apr. 1988): 251-271.

Bond, Brian. "Calm Before the Storm: Britain and the Phoney War, 1939-1940." Journal of the Royal United Services Institute 135 (Spring 1990): 61-67.

Sexton identifies this article as an "excellent review of British intelligence on the eve of the German offensive in the West in 1940."

Bowen, Elizabeth. "Notes on Eire": Espionage Reports to Winston Churchill, 1940-2. Aubane, Ireland: Aubane Historical Society, 1999.

Bowman, Martin W. The Bedford Triangle: U.S. Undercover Operations from England in World War 2. Chatham, Kent, UK: Patrick Stevens, 1988.

To Knouse, http://home.att.net, this book "has a number of glaring faults. For one thing, the chapters on Glenn Miller are entirely superfluous and speculative, not good history at all but more a bit of rumor-mongering than anything else."

Brewer, Susan A. To Win the Peace: British Propaganda in the United States during World War II. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998.

Watt, I&NS 14.2, finds this a "clear, competent, workmanlike" book that is "based on thorough research used critically." He compares this work very favorably to Thomas E. Mahl, Desperate Deceptions (1998).

Brown, Kathryn. "Intelligence and the Decision to Collect It: Churchill's Wartime American Diplomatic Signals Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 3 (Jul. 1995): 449-467.

Churchill was receiving intercepts of U.S. diplomatic traffic in the second half of 1941. Britain had read State Department codes during World War I and continued to do so in the interwar period. The author concludes, using circumstantial evidence and logic, that it is probable that Churchill no longer received this material after Pearl Harbor. For the author, the question remains of why the British continued their intercept activity in the period immediately before Pearl Harbor. Ultimately, Brown concludes, the decision to do so should not come as a surprise.

Brooks, Tim. British Propaganda to France, 1940-1944: Machinery, Method and Message. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007.

Bell, I&NS 25.1 (Feb. 2010), sees the author working "systematically through the various aspects of his subject" to produce a "solid and invaluable book.... The final chapter, on black propaganda, is thin..., reflecting the slender nature of the evidence."

Cabell, Craig. Dennis Wheatley: Churchill's Storyteller. Staplehurst, UK: Spellmount, 2006.

Concerns the novelist's work in World War II.

Campbell, John P.

1. Dieppe Revisited: A Documentary Investigation. Cass Studies in Intelligence Series. London: Frank Cass, 1994.

Clark comment: The ill-fated Dieppe raid was codenamed Operation Jubilee. Greenhous, I&NS 9.4, says that Campbell "conclusively puts to rest the old canard[] that the Germans were ready for the raid as a result of information supplied by an agent.... [He] unpicks nearly all the legends of Dieppe and lays bare the underlying fabric."

2. "The 'Ultra' Revelations: The Dieppe Raid in a New Light as an Example of Now Inevitable Revisions in Second World War Historiography." Canadian Defence Quarterly 6 (Summer 1976): 36-42.

According to Sexton, the author contends that RAF claims of victory over the Luftwaffe during the Dieppe raid "should be reevaluated in light of ULTRA intercepts."

Claasen, Adam. "The German Invasion of Norway, 1940: The Operational Intelligence Dimension." Journal of Strategic Studies 27, no. 1 (2004): 114-135 .

From abstract: "This article ... investigates the pivotal role intelligence played in the planning, preparation, and carrying out of Weserübung.... Although primarily concerned with German intelligence gathering and utilisation, British efforts, including the potential impact of Ultra, are also considered."

Costello, John. Ten Days to Destiny: The Secret Story of the Hess Peace Initiative and British Efforts to Strike a Deal with Hitler. New York: Morrow, 1991.

Surveillant 1.6: This book "shows just how close England came to making a peace deal with Hitler." Costello "exposes the cunning of Churchill's exploitation of American Embassy spy Tyler Kent both to silence his enemies and to blackmail President Roosevelt into helping England."

Cull, Nicholas John. Selling War: The British Campaign against American "Neutrality" in World War II. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Rawnsley, I&NS 12.2, comments that the author reminds readers that "the sustained British propaganda" using "every conceivable method -- overt and covert --" had, by Pearl Harbor, "created a climate where the idea of involvement might flourish.... This is a populist history, a readable story elegantly written." For Kearney, Air & Space Power, this is an "enlightening, informative, and important" work. The author "skillfully ... documents the information campaign that our ally waged from 1937 through 1941."

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