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About the book
  • Published: 30 June 1995
  • ISBN: 9780712661935
  • Imprint: Pimlico
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $29.99
Categories:

The Double-Cross System 1939 To 1945


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THE DOUBLE-CROSS SYSTEM is an authentic document from within the espionage empire of the Second World War, written as a secret report for the Intelligence Commission and released for publication only in 1972. Quite simply, it tells how Britain used the enemy against themselves.

THE DOUBLE-CROSS SYSTEM is not the only document to describe double agents and deception. It is simply the best. Masterman gives us a world of stratagems, inhabited by characters like SNOW, ZIZAG and TRICYCLE. They were known only by these cover names and in them they lived and operated, Nuance became all. Even the methods of communication between the agent and the enemy, whether by wireless, by secret writing, or by personal contact in neutral countries, required empathy on the part of the case officers and planners. The details of a man's wireless style, for example, the warning signals, the very rhythm of the key in sending messages must be mastered so that if the agent should die or for one reason or another be removed, a substitution could be made but not recognised. 'A game played with dynamite in which those who couldn't play were executed. . . . . Should on no account be missed by anyone who enjoys a good thriller. ' Anthony Price, OXFORD MAIL.

  • Pub date: 30 June 1995
  • ISBN: 9780712661935
  • Imprint: Pimlico
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $29.99
Categories:

About the Author

John Masterman

John Masterman spent the Great War, despite one escape attempt, interned in Berlin. After leaving Christ Church in March 1940 he was commissioned into the Intelligence Corps. Fluent in German, he attended the interrogation course at Swanage before being posted to the War Office as secretary to the committee which investigated the evacuation from Dunkirk. On completing its report Masterman was transferred to the Security Service working in the counter-espionage division. In 1941 he was assigned the taqsk of debriefing Dusko Popov, and it was this remarkable encounter between one of the Abwehr’s star agents and his M.I.5 handler that led to the creation of the Twenty Committee, the body created to supervise the conduct of double agent operations. Masterman chaired weekly meetings of the Double Cross Committee, as it became known, before he was invited to write an account of its activities at the conclusion of the war. Twenty-seven years later he revealed to his former employers that he had retained a copy of this manuscript, and intended to publish it in America, an experience described in his autobiography, On the Chariot Wheel, released two years before his death, in June 1977.

Nigel West was educated in France and at London University. He worked as researcher before joining the BBC where he contributed to numerous television documentaries, including Spy!, on which he based his first book, and Escape!. While still working for the BBC he was commissioned to write the wartime history of the Security Service, M.I.5, followed by M.I.6: British Intelligence Service Operations 1909 – 45 and A Matter of Trust: M.I.5 1945 – 72, the subject of an Attorney-General’s injunction. His other books include Unreliable Witness: Espionage Myths of World War II, Molehunt, GARBO, GCHQ: The Secret Wireless War, The Friends: Britain’s Postwar Secret Intelligence Operations, Games of Intelligence, Secret WarL The Story of SOE, The Illegals and Seven Spies Who Changed the World. Most recently he has compiled two anthologies, The Faber Book of Espionage and The Faber Book of Treachery. He is married with two children and lives in London and Devon and is the European Editor of a monthly journal, the World Intelligence Review.

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