The Eddie Chapman Story

Title:                      The Eddie Chapman Story

Author:                 Frank Owen

Owen, Frank (1954). The Eddie Chapman Story. New York: J. Messner

LCCN:    54010582

D810.S8 C37 1954


Date Posted:      January 30, 2017

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]

Eddie Chapman was “Zigzag”[2] of the British Double-Cross System who, as a German agent, was supposed to conduct sabotage of the war industry in England as well as to collect information on anti-U-boat devices and night fighter radio location devices. After selling his services to Germany he was taken to France for training, in sabotage, and later parachuted into England with instructions to sabotage the De Haviland bomber plant. Turning himself over to the British, this convicted ex-safecracker became a member of the Double-Cross System and returned to Germany for a hero’s reception—and another mission to England. Chapman, with Owen’s help, attempted to publish his story, but ran afoul of the British Official Secrets Act. This version, published in America, is a compilation of Chapman and Owen’s work plus the research of George Voigt, London correspondent of Time magazine, commissioned by the publishers to ferret out and fill in the censored portions of the original work. In the foreword to Masterman’s book[3], ex-OSS operative and Yale University professor of literature Norman Holmes Pearson states: “The same sort of amplification [of the Double-Cross System] can be done, though less confidently, with Eddie Chapman’s own account of himself as ‘Zigzag,’ the saboteur (he was known as ‘Fritzchen’ to his German employers), in The Eddie Chapman Story (1954).”


[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 186-187

[2] See also Macintyre, Ben (2007). Agent Zigzag: The True Wartime Story of Eddie Chapman: Lover, Betrayer, Hero, Spy. New York: Bloomsbury

[3] Masterson, J. C. (2012). The Double-Cross System: The Incredible True Story of How Nazi Spies Were Turned into Double Agents. Guilford, DE: The Lyons Press

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One Response to The Eddie Chapman Story

  1. Pingback: Counterespionage, Chapter 15 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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