Top Secret Tales of World War II

William B. Breuer, Author John Wiley & Sons $24.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-471-35382-9
As evidenced time and again by the prolific Breuer (Hoodwinking Hitler, etc.), WWII continues to be a source of absorbing espionage tales. Springboarding off two of his previous works dealing with unexplained mysteries and undercover tales from the war, Breuer now plumbs his personal archives, official sources and the memories of aging veterans to produce these 75 accounts of intrigue--short-shorts all--with tantalizing titles like ""Global Celebrity a Secret Agent"" and ""The Blond Beast's Ruse Backfires."" The narratives offer quick and satisfying glimpses into a netherworld of secret agents, Nazis and duplicitous characters. In one vignette, President Roosevelt meets with the sultan of Morocco in Casablanca, where the American president is unaware that his every word will be transmitted to Adolf Hitler by the sultan, who is a Nazi spy. In another, the military tests a plan conceived by a Pennsylvania dentist to deploy an armada of common bats fitted with napalm bomblets to attack Tokyo. One of the more arresting tales is that of German agent Hermann Goertz, whose ill-fated attempts to set up shop undercover in Ireland earned him the nickname ""War's Dumbest Spy."" More fun than enlightening, this is a book for rainy days and long solitary nights by the fire. If there were a genre for cozy nonfiction, this would be the template. Photos not seen by PW. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/2000
Release date: 02/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-471-07840-1
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-470-31186-8
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 256 pages - 978-0-471-67406-1
Hardcover - 244 pages - 978-0-7858-1951-6
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