Hitler’s Secret Army: A Hidden History of Spies, Saboteurs, and Traitors in World War II

Tim Tate. Pegasus, $29.95 (496p) ISBN 978-1-643130-77-4
Spies and traitors in the United Kingdom before and during WWII were a reality, not a myth as researchers have often posited, as documentarian Tate reveals in this meticulous analysis of previously secret government files on Britain’s domestic Nazi sympathizers. Beyond piecing together the stories of these saboteurs, whose ranks included lower- and middle-class British citizens as well as aristocrats and parliamentarians, the author discusses the government’s uneven, conflicted handling of their cases and the dangers they posed, especially in the war’s early years. Upper-class conspirators including Lord Tavistock, who called Hitler’s demands for territory in Poland “exceedingly reasonable” and illegally met with German officials in 1940 to negotiate terms to end the war, avoided internment and other punishments meted out to lower-class culprits, allowing them in many cases to continue their subversive activities. Tate draws parallels to the way Western nations handle thorny decisions involving terrorists and immigrants today, asking, “Does the long-term goal—safety and security for the greatest number of people—ever excuse the wholesale trampling of an individual’s human rights?” This will interest history buffs, espionage aficionados, and anyone with an interest in how the mistakes and choices of the past can shed light on the present. Agent: Andrew Lownie, Andrew Lownie Literary Agency. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/09/2019
Release date: 07/02/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
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