UNITED KINGDOM

World War II

Overviews

I - L

Jeffrey, Andrew. This Present Emergency: Edinburgh, the River Forth, and South-East Scotland and the Second World War. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1993.

Watt, I&NS 9.3, finds this book to be a "short survey of the course of the Second World War as it affected south-eastern Scotland.... Chapter 5 recapitulates in convincing detail the fate of the three Abwehr agents landed in 1941." Jeffrey "uses this episode ... to cover the ... deception operations mounted annually ... from northern Scotland."

Johnson, Brian. The Secret War. New York: Methuen, 1978. London: BBC Publications, 1978.

According to Constantinides, this book is based on a BBC television series. This account of "scientific, technical, and cryptologic" aspects of World War II presents a "wider perspective" than R.V. Jones' The Wizard War. Sexton calls The Secret War a "detailed and richly illustrated history of the scientific side of World War II." Similarly, Nautical Brass Bibliography gives this "profusely illustrated" book a "highly recommended" notation.

Johnson, Stowers. Agents Extraordinary. London: Hale, 1975.

Wilcox identifies this book as an "account of British special agents, spies, [and] saboteurs,... during World War II." Peter J Conradi, Iris: The Life of Iris Murdoch (New York: Norton, 2001), 624/fn. 50, avers that Agents Extraordinary "is notoriously ill-documented."

Jones, Kevin. "From the Horse's Mouth: Luftwaffe POWs as Sources for Air Ministry Intelligence During the Battle of Britain." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 60-80.

"For an intelligence art still in its infancy, the Battle of Britain was a godsend to POW-derived intelligence and its ability to contribute significantly to a campaign's outcome. With a steady stream of subjects literally falling from the skies..., A11(k) [the Air Ministry intelligence section responsible for POW interrogation] was able to produce detailed and effective intelligence quickly enough for it to be of immediate operational and tactical use."

Jones, R.V.

British physicist Reginald Victor Jones headed scientific intelligence for the British Air Staff in World War II and served as scientific adviser to the SIS. His accomplishments are many but perhaps best known is his development of methods to defeat the Germans' radar and their use of radio-beam targeting of Britain. Jones is often called "the father of scientific intelligence"; he is the namesake and first recipient of the CIA's R.V. Jones Intelligence Award. Jones died on 17 December 1997. See Ken Cormier, "EW Pioneer R.V. Jones Dies at 86," Journal of Electronic Defense (Jan. 1998), 29-30.

1. "Anglo-American Cooperation in the Wizard War." In In the Name of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Walter Pforzheimer, eds. Hayden B. Peake and Samuel Halpern, 299-312. Washington, DC: NIBC Press, 1994.

2. "Intelligence and Command." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 3 (Jul. 1988): 288-298.

These are interesting but brief musings by Jones on the relationship between intelligence and decisionmakers, drawing on examples from his experience in World War II.

3. The Wizard War: British Scientific Intelligence, 1939-1945. New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1978. Most Secret War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939-1945. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1978. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1990.

Pforzheimer calls The Wizard War "important reading about the development of scientific intelligence in Britain." According to Constantinides, "[t]his is not only one of the great works on scientific intelligence in World War II but one of the great personal memoirs in intelligence literature." To Sexton, Jones "paints a fascinating picture of the intelligence process and the ways in which diverse sources complemented ULTRA."

Kilzer, Louis C. Churchill's Deception: The Dark Secret That Destroyed Nazi Germany. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1994.

According to Cridland, Library Journal (via Amazon.com), the author "argues that Churchill maneuvered Hitler into attacking the USSR by using the Secret Intelligence Service to lure Rudolf Hess to England. A dramatic preface revives the generally discredited claim that the man in Spandau Prison was not Hess; yet Kilzer returns to this point only obliquely in the final chapter.... Not a necessary purchase if one's collection already contains the recent books on the Hess affair."

Langhorne, Richard, ed. Diplomacy and Intelligence During the Second World War: Essays in Honor of F.H. Hinsley. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985. 2003. [pb]

Stern, FA (Winter 1985-1986), calls this "[a] collection of scholarly essays worthy of its recipient.... New interpretations and often new sources on such critical topics as Churchill's determination to carry on the war in May-June 1940, on Roosevelt's announcement of the policy of unconditional surrender, on the British and Tito. Some of these essays should open up new and useful controversies." Clark comment: The Table of Contents and Langhorne's introductory chapter are available at: http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/cam034/84017040.pdf.

Leasor, James.

1. Green Beach. New York: Morrow, 1975. London: Heinemann, 1975.

Constantinides calls Green Beach "a journalist's account of the portion of the Dieppe raid in 1942 concerned with the attempt to dismantle a German radar station.... There are some good anecdotes, but ... there is no specific documentation and too much on personal and human-interest matters." The intelligence side (British and German) of this operation is not as well developed as it might have been.

2. The Unknown Warrior. London: Heinemann, 1980.Looe, UK: House of Stratus, 2008. [pb]

From publisher: This book is the story of one man's "amazing part in the deception plans to persuade the Germans that the invasion would happen near Calais and not in Normandy.... He volunteers for an unknown secret mission which sees him dropped in France, pursued by both the Resistance and the Germans, briefing first Rommel and then Hitler in a role that saved perhaps thousands of lives."

Lewis, Bex. "'Careless Talk Costs Lives': The Government's Information Security Campaign on the Home Front." Everyone's War 15 (Spring-Summer 2007): 44-49.

Longden, Sean. T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets, 1945. London: Constable, 2009.

According to Peake, Studies 54.4 (Dec. 2010), and Intelligencer 18.2 (Winter-Spring 2011), T-Force was a secret team formed by the British near the end of World War II to "capture enemy men and materials associated with the advanced weapons the Germans were known to be developing." The operation ended in June 1947. The book "gives long overdue recognition to a secret technical intelligence unit and its contribution to the history of WW II."

Lynn, Vera. Unsung Heroines: The Women Who Won the War. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1990.

From the publisher: "Women of all ages, abilities and social backgrounds played a vital role in the winning of the Second World War. In this book Dame Vera Lynn amasses the experiences and memories of WRENS, WRACS, ATS officers, ambulance drivers, nurses, land-girls, radio operators and code-breakers, spies and resistance workers, from the mundane to the dramatic and sometimes painful. She also recollects the courage and stoicism of those who just got on with family life."

Return to UK WWII Overviews Table of Contents