Secret Agents, Spies And Saboteurs

Title:                      Secret Agents, Spies And Saboteurs

Author:                 Janusz Piekalkiewicz

Piekalkiewicz, Janusz (1973, 1974). Secret Agents, Spies And Saboteurs: Famous Undercover Missions Of World War II. New York: William Morrow

LCCN:    74182962

D810.S7 P4813 1974



  • Translation of Spione, Agenten, Soldaten.

Date Updated:  November 11, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

A best seller when it appeared in Germany in 1969, this illustrated book was developed from a series of documentary films the author produced for German television. It covers twenty-seven exploits the author and the publisher classify as “undercover,” although one (the bombing of the German dams in 1943 by the RAF) is not. The remainder involves samples of intelligence collection, special operations, deception, resistance, and partisan warfare. Piekalkiewicz put together condensed essays on each exploit combining research material, interviews with participants, and a selection of photographs and documents that prove his talent for and experience in effective visual presentation. It is possibly the best book of its type in English, though the expert will find some things that could have been improved. The expert, however, will also recognize that it contains a very valuable essay on the important German agent of the Czechs, A-54 (Paul Thümmel), years before Moravec’s account of him in Master of Spies[2]; that it has excellent photos and a good essay of the attack on the heavy-water plant Norsk Hydro; that the author was aware in 1969 that all German agents in Britain in 1944 were controlled by the British; and that many photos appear for probably the first time. The essays about which major reservations will be felt are the one dealing with the death of General Sikorski, where the author toys with the conspiracy theory, and that on Operation North Pole, where the view is put forward that the whole thing was a British deception. Other errors are more minor. Gehlen did not command fighting troops in the east; there were not as many Soviet radio transmitters in the Rote Kapelle networks as Piekalkiewicz says; the Rado net in Switzerland did not transmit to Moscow the date of the German invasion of Russia; Von Papen was not assassinated while serving as German ambassador in Turkey; President Roosevelt had no son by the name of Peter.

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

A unique history of intelligence in World War II in pictures. The book contains 850 illustrations.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 371-372

[2] Moravec, František (1975, 1991). Master of Spies: The Memoirs of General Frantisek Moravec. London: Bodley Head

[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. 168


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3 Responses to Secret Agents, Spies And Saboteurs

  1. Pingback: Assault In Norway | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: Master of Spies | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  3. Pingback: Ill Met By Moonlight | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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