Ten Thousand Eyes

Title:                      Ten Thousand Eyes

Author:                 Richard Collier

Collier, Richard (1958, 2001). Ten Thousand Eyes. New York: Lyons Press [New York: E. P. Dutton, 1958]

LCCN:    00067843

D802.F8 C58 2001


Date Updated:  January 7, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Collier, a British journalist, here wrote the exciting story of one of the networks in France during the German occupation in World War II. This network, concentrated in Normandy, collected intelligence on the German forces in the Atlantic wall as part of the overall Century network under Passy and the French BCRA in London. Collier had some access to French archives and drew upon both the memoirs and the memories of Passy and Colonel Remy (G. Renault-Roulier). This network acquired and forwarded to London the detailed plans for the German Atlantic wall, the system of fortifications and the defenses against invasion. M.R.D. Foot testifies that these plans were invaluable to the Allies, a testimony based on personal experience at Combined Operations headquarters (see Resistance[2]). When this work was written, Collier was not familiar with the assignments of all personnel to various organizations operating in France, for he mistakenly puts F.F.E. Yeo-Thomas, who was really in the RF section of SOE, in the F section. There is, too, the question of whether he gives Passy too much credit for conceiving a system of having agents on the spot in occupied territories (compared with dispatching agents into and out of areas of intelligence interest). These are minor flaws in a book that is well written and that honors an effective network.

This is a review by the Defense Intelligence School.[3]

An excellent account of the French Resistance agent networks which, under the direction of Free French headquarters in London, secured vital intelligence information on the beach and inland defenses of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

An excellent account of intelligence collection operations against the defenses of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall before D-Day by French resistance personnel.

From p. 61

This is the best account of the use of civilians to gather military intelligence behind enemy lines. This book relates how thousands of men and women in occupied France became amateur spies for two years prior to D-Day to provide bits and pieces of information on the German defenses of their Atlantic Wall between Cherbourg and Le Havre. The operation was run and coordinated by the Free French Intelligence Service in London with the help of British intelligence and was so successful that General Omar Bradley, who led the First U.S. Army ashore on D-Day, called it an “incredible and brilliant feat, so valuable that the landing operation succeeded with a minimum of loss of men and material.” Richard Collier, free-lance writer and editor, used published and unpublished material, and interviewed many participants including the head of Free French Intelligence, Colonel Andre Dewavrin (“Colonel Passy”), to produce this authentic record of the successful use of many low-level spies, in a remarkably coordinated way, for the collection of specific .and valuable tactical military information

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press,, p. 131

[2] Foot, M. R. D. (1977). Resistance : European Resistance to Nazism, 1940-1945. New York : McGraw-Hill

[3] Defense Intelligence School (1981). Bibliography of Intelligence Literature (7th ed Rev.). Washington, DD: Defense Intelligence School, p. 17

[4] 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. 26. See also p. 61


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One Response to Ten Thousand Eyes

  1. Pingback: Blackstock Selected Bibliography of Fifty Titles | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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