Hitler’s Spies and Saboteurs

Title:                      Hitler’s Spies and Saboteurs

Author:                   Charles Wighton

Wighton, Charles (1958) and Günter Peis. Hitler’s Spies and Saboteurs: The Sensational Story of Nazi Espionage in the U.S. & Other Allied Nations. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston

LCCN:    58013626

D810.S8 L26 1958a



  • Published in England, in slightly different form, under the title: They Spied on England.

Date Updated:  November 14, 2016


The literature on German intelligence operations is growing. Out of the diary kept by Major General Ewin von Lahousen-Vivremont, right-hand man of Admiral Canaris—the German secret service chief—comes the account of espionage and sabotage activities in the United States, South Africa and European countries. The secrets of the Abwehr[1] as recorded by Gunter Peis and Charles Wighton include operations which were foiled at their inception and others which were not frustrated until considerable damage had been wreaked. The theft of the American Air Force bombsight by a devoted patriot and the subsequent counterspy parry; Operation Pastorius and the nine men who landed fresh from the training school on the shores of Massachusetts; the South American boxer Robey Liebbrandt, an Afrikaner, who planned sabotage in South Africa; the two Danes in England via parachutes… here are the details of the activities and the men who were tried at Nuremburg. The informal approach coupled with highly interesting subject matter may appeal to readers of World War II records.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

According to Blackstone, the title includes the words “Based on The German Secret Service War Diary of General Lahousen”.

An account of seven German military intelligence operations against the Allies, including an account of the landing of saboteurs on the shores of the United States from a U-boat in June 1942. General Erwin von Lahousen was chief of Abwehr II (sabotage) under Admiral Canaris between 1939 and 1943. During that time he kept a diary that was eventually brought to light by the Austrian, Gunter Peis. In this book Peis, with British journalist Wighton, reconstructs events Fran the diary and from other sources. (See also the citation in section G3a of this chapter.)

Further review by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[3]

Early in the postwar period Gunter Peis obtained a copy of the classified (and missing) war diary of General Erwln Lahousen, chief of Abwehr II under Admiral Canaris. Lahousen was probably a coconspirator with Canaris against Hitler. This elaboration gives case histories of German agents in England, Ireland, and South Africa, and of the saboteurs that were landed by submarine on the U.S. coast. Peis and journalist Wighton, author of other books on intelligence, probably elaborated on the short cryptic notes of the diary with information obtained from other sources.

Also cited in section F.

[1] The Abwehr was the German military intelligence service during World War II, run by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris and disbanded by Hitler as the war’s end neared.

[2] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 161

[3] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 169


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2 Responses to Hitler’s Spies and Saboteurs

  1. Pingback: Conspirator | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: Espionage and Counterespionage, Chapter 14 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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