World War II

The British Services

MI5 and the XX System

Q - Z

Sergueiev, Lily. Secret Service Rendered. London: Kimber, 1968.

Stephens, Robin W.G.. Intro., Oliver Hoare. Camp 20: MI5 and the Nazi Spies. Kew, UK: National Archives, 2000.

Wilson, I&NS 17.1, notes that Camp 20 was MI5's "interrogation and holding centre for enemy agents" during World War II. This work was written by the camp commander, Col. Robin Stephens, in 1946, and "contains an operational account of the camp and around 200 cases synopses." Stephens' history "reveals a forgotten link in an extremely important chain, namely in the success of the Security Service in countering and deceiving the German Abwehr."

For Peake, Studies 47.4 (2003), Hoare's introduction to the volume is "fascinating" and "gives details about the book's origins with commentary about its quirky author ... and his unusual staff.... [H]istorians looking for documentation will find little.... Nevertheless, Camp 20 will be an immense help as a road map to research." Kleinman, DIJ 14,2 (2005), sees this as "an enlightening and entertaining account of a World War II-era clandestine intelligence operation that proved to be a critical piece of the larger British counterintelligence effort [i,e., the Double-Cross System] that some historians would argue turned the tide of war against Nazi Germany."

Talty, Stephan. Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

Peake, Studies 57.1 (Mar. 2013), notes that the author "has found some new material, based mostly on family letters and US National Archive documents, that does add a bit to Pujol's personal story." This "is a good portrait of Pujol the man, weaknesses and all." For Publishers Weekly, Jul. 2012, (via barnesandnoble.com), "Talty's Pujol is a captivating character with a talent for operatic confabulation, but Garbo is just the alluring lead in massive deceptions that the author likens to Hollywood productions.... The result is a rollicking story of wartime eccentrics and their labyrinthine mind games."

Telegraph (London). "[Obituary:] Eddie Chapman -- Safe-blower Who Became the Wartime Double Agent Zig-Zag and Outfoxed the Germans." 20 Dec. 1997. [http://www. telegraph.co.uk]

Chapman worked under the codename Zig-Zag as one of the Double Cross agents during World War II. He was in jail in St. Helier for "trying to blow open a safe in Glasgow" when the Germans occupied the Channel Islands. The Nazis recruited him for a sabotage operation and sent him back to Britain, where "[h]e was immediately turned by the British." Chapman would later be played in the movie "Triple Cross" (1967) by Christopher Plummer. See also, Richard Goldstein, [Obituary:] "Eddie Chapman, 83, Safecracker and Spy," New York Times, 20 Dec. 1997; Booth, ZIGZAG (2007); and Owen, The Eddie Chapman Story (1954).

West, Nigel [Rupert Allason], ed. The Guy Liddell Diaries -- 1939-1945: MI5's Director of Counter-Espionage in World War II. 2 vols. London: Routledge, 2005.

From the publisher: "WALLFLOWERS is the codename given to one of the Security Service's most treasured possessions, the daily journal dictated from August 1939 to June 1945 by MI5's Director of Counter Espionage, Guy Liddell, to his secretary.... The document was considered so highly classified that it was retained in the safe of successive Directors-General, and special permission was required to read it." Peake, Studies 49.4 (2005), finds that this "is a unique slice of counterintelligence history valuable to historian, student, and espionage aficionado alike."

Writing about his reading of the diaries, Eunan O'Halpin, "The Liddell Diaries and British Intelligence History," Intelligence and National Security 20, no. 4 (Dec. 2005): 670-686, rips West's editing of the first volume: "West does not adequately set out the principles on which he selected material from the very much larger body of text in the original volumes.... [A]nd there is generally no way of distinguishing the editor's interpolations from the original text.... [A] pattern of unmarked interpolation and gratuitous rephrasing ... runs through the published edition."

West, Nigel [Rupert Allason], and Madoc Roberts. SNOW: The Double Life of a World War II Spy. New York: Dialogue, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), Arthur Owens, code named SNOW, was "the first agent in the WW II Double Cross System." The authors "have answered many of the questions that surrounded the career of double agent SNOW. But as to 'which side was Arthur Owens really on' they conclude that only he knew for sure."

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