William B. Breuer

Breuer, William B. Hitler's Underground War: The Nazi Espionage Invasion of the U.S. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. Nazi Spies in America: Hitler's Undercover War. New York: St. Martin's, 1990. [pb]

Breuer, William B. Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood, 1993.

Ambrose, FA 72.3 (1993), provides a strongly negative review: "Operation Fortitude deserves a good book, but this is not it: the research is inadequate, the errors far too many, the breathless writing inappropriate to the subject."

According to Rich, WIR 13.4, "Breuer does not provide the detail of Anthony Cave Brown's classic Bodyguard of Lies..., but he has the advantage of nearly twenty more years of disclosures and provides a most useful bibliography." Kane, http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/bookrev/breuer.html, praises Hoodwinking Hitler as a well-written piece of nonfiction that reads like an adventure novel. The reviewer recommends the book as "both informative and entertaining."


Breuer, William B. J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1995.

Breuer, William B. MacArthur's Undercover War: Spies, Saboteurs, Guerrillas, and Secret Missions. New York: Wiley, 1995. Edison, NJ: Castle, 2005.

Clark comment: This work is more a paean to the genius of MacArthur than a complete telling of the covert war in the Southwest Pacufuc Theater. However, there are good (and exciting) stories here of the role of AIB personnel in the war. A number of the guerrilla groups get shortchanged, as in many ways do the U.S. soldiers, sailors, and Marines who carried the bulk of the fighting and sustained the majority of the losses. Of course, telling the whole story of the war in the SWPA was not what Breuer set out to do. This book is an easy read, even though the language at times may be over dramatic.

McGinnis, Cryptolog 16.6, says that this "book is about the individuals who supplied the human intelligence (HUMINT) that made" MacArthur's return to the Philippines easier, "and with less loss of life of Allied service men." MacArthur used his Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB) to control, coordinate, and resupply American service men, Philippine nationals, and the nationals of other Allied nations who remained behind or were reinfiltrated into the Philippines after the islands fell to the Japanese. These included both individuals who were in guerrilla units and those who became "coastwatchers." The reviewer notes that the movie "An American Guerrilla in the Philippines" chronicles the adventures of one such Navy ensign.

According to Campbell, WIR 15.1, the "whole tale has popular appeal ... but is based entirely on secondary sources." The book lacks the "original sources and sufficient footnotes to appraise the reader of the author's documentation." In addition, Breuer "does not attempt to cover SIGINT or the Alamo Scouts, both major sources of intelligence for General MacArthur.... This is an entertaining book ... but not one for the intelligence officer or researcher."

Warren, Surveillant 4.2, finds Breuer's account "somewhat over dramatic," but concludes that the "excessive drama of the narrative and the almost hagiographic approach to MacArthur detract[] only a little from the interest of the book."


Breuer, William B. Operation Dragoon: The Allied Invasion of the South of France. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1987. 1996. [pb]

Showalter, Library Journal (via Amazon.com), finds that this work "focuses on the first day of the Allied invasion of southern France, and on the airborne and commando troops who spearheaded the attack. Breuer integrates the stories of veterans of these forces into a fast-paced narrative that reestablishes war as the province of confusion, particularly in the context of a nighttime air assault."


Breuer, William B. The Secret War With Germany: Deception, Espionage and Dirty Tricks, 1939-1945. Novato, CA: Presidio, 1989.

According to Sexton, this is a "[p]opular history of covert and special operations" in World War II. It is "based on secondary sources" and is "of limited value."


Breuer, William B. Shadow Warriors: The Covert War in Korea. New York: Wiley, 1996.

Cutler, Proceedings 122.7 (Jul. 1996), notes that "[s]ecret missions, guerrilla operations, and heavy propaganda all were components of the Korean War that have been overshadowed by the more conventional aspects.... Breuer paints a colorful picture of these behind-the-scenes war efforts." Wandres, NIPQ 12.3, is less impressed with the "colorful" aspects of Breuer's account, expressing considerable discontent with some of the author's "stylistic quirks." He concludes that Shadow Warriors "is cobbled together from bits and snippets of secondary information held together with all the sensationalism of supermarket tabloid journalism."

For Stoces, WIR 15.4, this book is "chock-full of amazing schemes and hair-raising anecdotes." It provides "much behind-the-scenes information and documentation about events that altered the course of the war and helped shape its inconclusive outcome." The Surveillant 4.4/5 reviewer says that the book is "[f]ast-paced and vivid" and "provides new information about the covert maneuvers conducted by the U.S., North Korea, South Korea, and Communist China."


Breuer, William B. Undercover Tales of World War II. New York: John Wiley, 1999.

Wannall, AFIO WIN 28-99 (5 Jul. 1999), describes this as a "compendium of vignettes" about intelligence and espionage in World War II. "[V]ital undercover operations" are "skilfully portrayed in this attention-capturing book." For Kruh, Cryptologia 24.1, this is "a fascinating collection of more than 70 ... stranger-than-fiction stories of clandestine activities."


Breuer, William B. Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Years. New York: Wiley, 1998.

From advertisement: "Details the clandestine warfare that took place between Cuba and the Uited States in the early 1960s.... The work exposes the covert and sometimes illegal efforts of the Kennedys to oust Castro."


Breuer, William B. War and American Women: Heroism, Deeds, and Controversy. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

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