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The Secret War de Max Hastings
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The Secret War (2015 original; edició 2015)

de Max Hastings (Autor)

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4491243,151 (3.87)7
Packed with insight and terrific spy stories, this masterly book looks at the secret war on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. In 'The Secret War', Max Hastings examines the espionage and intelligence machines of all sides in World War II, and the impact of spies, code-breakers and partisan operations on events. Written on a global scale, the book brings together accounts from British, American, German, Russian and Japanese sources to tell the story of a secret war waged unceasingly by men and women often far from the battlefields but whose actions profoundly influenced the outcome. Returning to the Second World War for the first time since his best-selling 'All Hell Let Loose', Hastings weaves into a 'big picture' framework, the human stories of spies and intelligence officers who served their respective masters. Told through a series of snapshots of key moments, the book looks closely at Soviet espionage operations which dwarfed those of every other belligerent in scale, as well as the code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park - the greatest intelligence achievement of the conflict - with many more surprising and unfamiliar tales of treachery, deception, betrayal and incompetence by spies of Axis, Allied or indeterminate loyalty.… (més)
Membre:basumner
Títol:The Secret War
Autors:Max Hastings (Autor)
Informació:William Collins (2015), Edition: First Edition, 640 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:history

Detalls de l'obra

The Secret War: Spies, Ciphers, and Guerrillas, 1939-1945 de Max Hastings (2015)

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Os espiões, os códigos e as guerrilhas tiveram um papel central na Segunda Guerra Mundial. Foram usados por todas as nações para obter informação secreta sobre os seus inimigos e antecipar movimentações, tendo influenciado decisivamente o conflito.

Em "A Guerra Secreta", Max Hastings, historiador especialista neste período e autor dos aclamados Catástrofe e Inferno, apresenta as mais extraordinárias sagas de informação e resistência, avaliando os verdadeiros triunfos dos espiões e dos decifradores de códigos e corrigindo mitos e falsas histórias, naquela que é uma nova perspetiva acerca do maior conflito de sempre.

Hastings explora não só Alan Turing e os génios da encriptação de Bletchley Park, mas também os seus homólogos alemães, que obtiveram os seus próprios triunfos contra os Aliados. O livro mapeia as extraordinárias redes de espionagem da União Soviética, dos Estados Unidos, do Japão e da Grã-Bretanha e tenta compreender porque Stalin rejeitava tão frequentemente a informação recolhida pelos seus agentes desde o coração da máquina de guerra do Eixo.

Relacionando momentos fulcrais de batalhas no ar, em terra e no mar com o trabalho dos que, a partir dos seus países, combatiam a tecnologia do inimigo, Hastings desvenda os documentos mais preciosos e os momentos-chave nesta guerra secreta, que garantiram que nenhuma nação desse por mal empregues as vidas e recursos gastos em busca de informação privilegiada.
  LuisFragaSilva | Nov 8, 2020 |
Highly detailed account of unconventional warfare 1939-45. The author does not shy away from questioning the military value of many of the actions, by all sides during WWII, while paying full tribute to the individual stories of bravery and sacrifice. ( )
  DramMan | Jul 13, 2020 |
A thorough history of secret operations during WWII, this book, as the title conveys, examines secret and covert activities of the belligerents. It describes the successes and failures in human intelligence, code-breaking and guerrillas of the British, Germans, American, Russians and Japanese. A key analytical point relating to all intelligence and subversive approaches undertaken by the warring countries is that the impact of such activities, while often important, was by no means decisive to the final outcome of the struggle; that without the strength of force to act on intelligence militarily intelligence would not be determinative of victory or defeat. Intelligence was very often too late or unreliable or ignored by operational and strategic decision makers. In some instances, though relatively few, intelligence did enable major campaign or battle successes, notably at D-Day, the Battle of Midway and the submarine attacks on Japanese merchant fleet, but these successes were offset by the stupendous failures experienced by ignoring the clear signs of the Nazi's intention to invade of Russia (which was widely forecast but dismissed by Stalin), by Operation Market Garden's misread of German strength in Holland and the Battle of the Bulge.

Signals intelligence and code-breaking was the most impactful of the three variants of secret activities. The British and Americans were most adept at this highly technical mode of intelligence work. The author concludes that the "Ultra" code-breaking system developed by the British and copied by the Americans was of the highest utility to strategic and operational efforts. The Germans had limited success as did the Russians (mostly low level signals) and the Japanese almost none.

The Russians made most use of human intelligence (spying) with its international networks of spies and informants in Europe and America; there is, for instance, a close review of the passing of information related to the Manhattan project. The Germans had almost no success in this dimension, their few spies "turned" by the British into false reporters.

Guerrilla activities were of least effect. The support of resistance campaigns in occupied countries, while perhaps morale-building, played an insignificant part in the war effort. Quite often behind the lines operations only resulted in the death of operatives or, through coercion, using the spies as double agents. There was an aura of "romanticism" about guerrilla efforts that resulted in activities that could be considered farcical if not for the loss of the lives of the players. The author is most critical of the American OSS for its wild and ill-conceived subversion.

The author's conclusion is sound that the value secret activities should not be overestimated in terms of the magnitude on strategic or tactical aspects of the war. ( )
  stevesmits | Apr 13, 2018 |
A very, very good, wide ranging and comprehensive review of intelligence services and the role of the secret services in World War Two. Very easy to read in large part, the only complexity involves the fact that Hastings refers to so many individuals there is an unfortunate tendency to lose track of who they are all and what they did. Interesting asides and intelligent analysis of particularly, the great intelligence failures, of the era, abound. This is an interesting, fascinating and insightful book with very little to complain about. Interesting especially for the dedicated reader, this too would have value for the general reader of he period, or of espionage. ( )
  aadyer | Dec 26, 2017 |
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Packed with insight and terrific spy stories, this masterly book looks at the secret war on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. In 'The Secret War', Max Hastings examines the espionage and intelligence machines of all sides in World War II, and the impact of spies, code-breakers and partisan operations on events. Written on a global scale, the book brings together accounts from British, American, German, Russian and Japanese sources to tell the story of a secret war waged unceasingly by men and women often far from the battlefields but whose actions profoundly influenced the outcome. Returning to the Second World War for the first time since his best-selling 'All Hell Let Loose', Hastings weaves into a 'big picture' framework, the human stories of spies and intelligence officers who served their respective masters. Told through a series of snapshots of key moments, the book looks closely at Soviet espionage operations which dwarfed those of every other belligerent in scale, as well as the code-breaking operation at Bletchley Park - the greatest intelligence achievement of the conflict - with many more surprising and unfamiliar tales of treachery, deception, betrayal and incompetence by spies of Axis, Allied or indeterminate loyalty.

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