World War II


A - G

Allen, Susan Heuck. Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 56.3 (Sep. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.3 (Winter-Spring 2013), the author "relies heavily on primary sources from the National Archives" to tell this story of OSS's crew of archaeologists who staffed "its Greek Desk in Washington and, later, Cairo." This work "fills a genuine gap in OSS history and is a truly invaluable contribution."

Auty, Phyllis, and Richard Clogg, eds. British Policy Towards Wartime Resistance in Yugoslavia and Greece. London: Macmillan,1975.

Constantinides: This work consists of the proceedings of a 1973 conference in London, with a majority of SOE participants. "Fascinating new material on British intelligence and resistance operations, capabilities, and relationships emerges from the proceedings."

Beavan, Stanley. Aegean Masquerade: A Royal Air Force Odyssey. Studley, Warwickshire: Brewin Books, 1994.

Surveillant 3.6 notes that Aegean Masquerade concerns "RAF wireless operations in the Mediterranean ... and RAF covert operations in Turkey and Greece. It is based on the author's first-hand experiences and RAF service."

Bennett, Ralph

1. Ultra and Mediterranean Strategy. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1989. New York: Morrow, 1989.

Sexton says that this "[c]omprehensive study" of the impact of Ultra on Allied strategy covers the campaigns in Greece, Crete, Iraq, Syria, the Western Desert, North Africa, Sicily and Italy. The work stands "as a model for historians." To Ferris, I&NS 6.2, this "is the best ... book yet written" on Ultra's effect on any aspect of the war. Ultra is presented as "only one of many Allied sources of secret information."

2. "Intelligence and Strategy: Some Observations on the War in the Mediterranean, 1941-1945." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 444-464.

This is a concise presentation of the main findings of Bennett's Ultra and Mediterranean Strategy (see above).

Bristow, Desmond, and Bill Bristow. A Game of Moles: The Deceptions of an MI6 Officer. Boston & London: Little, Brown, 1993.

Surveillant 3.4/5 notes that this book presents the "part Bristow played within Section V -- the counterintelligence arm of MI6." He spent the "wartime years working for MI6 in Gibraltar and Algiers ... [and] retired in 1954.... [He] remains convinced that Roger Hollis of MI5 was a Soviet spy, that Guy Liddell was in the same category, and that David Footman (chief of MI6's political section for Central Europe) was working for the Russians, too."

For West, WIR 13.4, the author's account of his adventures in wartime Spain is "one entertaining anecdote after another." The book "dovetails with Philby's memoirs,... [as] the only detailed recollections in the public domain of Section V's activities.... [It] offers a fascinating insight into a rather obscure corner of the secret war."

Defty, I&NS 10.1, suggests that Bristow's critical stance toward his former employers may be "in no small part the result of his friendship with Peter Wright.... Bristow digresses rather often, apparently unable to contain his anger at 'how badly many worthy people have been treated by the powers that be....' [T]he charges he makes [against Hollis and Liddell] are largely a reiteration of those of his friend Peter Wright, and they are thankfully largely confined to one chapter." Most of the book "offers an engaging, occasionally revealing, and often diverting insight into some of more successful wartime deception operations conducted by SIS in the Mediterranean theatre."

Clive, Nigel. A Greek Experience: 1943-48. Norwich, UK: Michael Russell, 1985.

See Richard Clogg, "Nigel Clive: Intelligence Officer Whose Memoirs Preceded Spycatcher," The Guardian, 17 May 2001, for Clive's obituary. "In December 1943, under the pseudonym Jim Russell,... Captain Clive was parachuted into Epirus in north-westem Greece" by MI6. "After the war, Clive continued to serve in Greece until 1948. Subsequent postings with SIS,... included Jerusalem, Baghdad, Tunis and Algiers. Between 1966 and 1969, he headed the information research department, the Foreign Office's propaganda arm during the cold war. His last posting, between 1970 and 1980, was as adviser to the OECD secretary-general."

Clogg, Richard. "'Negotiations of a Complicated Character": Don Stott’s 'Adventures' in Athens, October-November 1943." In Special Operations Executive: A New Instrument of War, ed. Mark Seaman, 148-156. London: Routledge, 2005.

Cochran, Alexander S., Jr. "The Influence of 'Magic' Intelligence on Allied Strategy in the Mediterranean." In New Aspects of Naval History: Selected Papers Presented at the Fourth Naval History Symposium, United States Naval Academy, 25-26 October 1979, eds. Craig L. Symonds, et. al., 340-350. Annapolis, MD: U.S. Naval Institute Press, 1981.

Sexton notes that Ronald Lewin's commentary (included here) "cast[s] doubt on the soundness of Cochran's thesis" regarding the influence of Magic diplomatic intercepts on the Allied decision to invade Sicily and Italy.

Currer-Briggs, Noel. "Some of Ultra's Poor Relations in Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily and Italy." Intelligence and National Security 2, no. 2 (Apr. 1987): 274-290.

The author worked on breaking "German double-Playfair military, SS and police hand-ciphers" at both Bletchley Park and in the Mediterranean theater of operations from the autumn of 1941 to the summer of 1944. The article is based on personal recollections; there are no footnotes.

[Sexton misspells the author's name as "Currier-Briggs" and misdescribes the article as involving "an American Sigint unit in the Mediterranean in 1942-1943."]

Darling, Donald.

1. Secret Sunday. London: William Kimber, 1975.

According to Constantinides, Darling headed MI9's Gibralter operations 1940-1944. He "is good at describing how an E&E operation was conducted and is quite informative on embassy-intelligence relations."

2. Sunday at Large. London: William Kimber, 1977.

Constantinides finds this to be a "pleasant collection of anecdotes from Darling's days on Gibralter." Darling's stories show "the big and little events in an intelligence officer's life."

Davis, Wes. The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis. New York: Crown, 2013.

According to Hull, Military Review (Jan.-Feb. 2015), Patrick Leah Fermor of SOE "spent several years in Crete aiding the Cretan partisans" after the island fell to the Nazis in mid-1941. This "fast-paced" and "important narrative" on partisam warfare in WWII "is a great read."

Denniston, Robin. Churchill's Secret War: Diplomatic Decrypts, the Foreign Offcie and Turkey 1942-44. London: Sutton, 1997. New York: St. Martin's, 1997. London: Sutton, 1999. [pb]

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 21.3, the author uncovered some previously unknown files of diplomatic intercepts that provide "a broader view of Churchill's role in British foreign policy and war planning." Included is new information on the Cicero spy affair. Wylie, I&NS 15.3, finds that the author "presents a thoughful and well researched analysis of the role Sigint played in Churchill's attitude towards Turkey during the war.... Though at times repetitive and difficult to follow, Denniston provides a powerful and convincing case." For Kahn, Intelligencer 17.1 (Winter-Spring 2009), "[t]he merit of this book is that it utilizes ... the file of intercepts that Churchill himself used."

Dimitrakis, Panagiotis. "The Special Operations Executive and Cyprus in the Second World War." Middle Eastern Studies 45, no. 2 (Mar. 2009): 315-328.

"Poor co-ordination between the SOE and the 25th Army Corps was the main aspect of the SOE story in Cyprus. Regular staff officers did not believe in guerrilla warfare and it seems that the SOE officers did not successfully defend their role within the overall strategy on Cyprus. Besides, distrust of the Cypriots was so profound that the British plan was encapsulated in the phrase 'let the Germans first invade and then we will train our guerrillas.'"

Dovey, H.O. "The Intelligence War in Turkey." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1994): 59-87.

Elliott, W.Murray. Vasili: The Lion of Crete. London: Hutchinson, 1988. London: Gazelle Distribution, 1992. [pb]

From publisher: "The wartime exploits of 'Kapetan Vasili', New Zealander Dudley Churchill Perkins, have become a legend on Crete. He first arrived on Crete following the Allied withdrawal from Greece, and was then captured by the Germans. He escaped within 2 weeks and spent a year avoiding German patrols and roaming western Crete in search of a way to leave the island, before being evacuated to Egypt by a Greek submarine." He then joined the British SOE "and returned to Crete as a special agent, taking command of a guerrilla band which he trained, organised, and led in numerous attacks against the Germans."

Erskine, Ralph. "Eavesdropping on 'Bodden': ISOS v. the Abwehr in the Straits of Gibralter." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 3 (Jul. 1997): 110-129.

"This article describes British efforts during the Second World War to counter an Abwehr ship-reporting organization in the Straits of Gibralter, known as the 'Bodden' line, which employed advanced infra-red equipment for night observation purposes."

Fielding, Xan. Hide and Seek: The Story of a Wartime Agent. London: Secker & Warburg, 1954.

Goulter-Zervoudakis, Christina. "The Politicization of Intelligence: The British Experience in Greece, 1941-1944." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 165-194.

From "Abstract": Because "a large portion of the intelligence effort had to be devoted to gathering political intelligence,... SOE operatives became embroiled in the internecine struggles between communist based and other resistance groups. Intelligence work was made even more difficult by inter- and intra-departmental rivalries, and tensions among the Allies involved in Greece."

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