The first complete account of the fiercely guarded secrets of London's clandestine interrogation center, operated by the British Secret Service from 1940 to 1948 Behind the locked doors of three mansions in London's exclusive Kensington Palace Gardens neighborhood, the British Secret Service established a highly secret prison in 1940: the London Cage. Here recalcitrant German prisoners of war were subjected to "special intelligence treatment." The stakes were high: the war's outcome could hinge on obtaining information German prisoners were determined to withhold. After the war, high-ranking Nazi war criminals were housed in the Cage, revamped as an important center for investigating German war crimes. This riveting book reveals the full details of operations at the London Cage and subsequent efforts to hide them. Helen Fry's extraordinary original research uncovers the grim picture of prisoners' daily lives and of systemic Soviet-style mistreatment. The author also provides sensational evidence to counter official denials concerning the use of "truth drugs" and "enhanced interrogation" techniques. Bringing dark secrets to light, this groundbreaking book at last provides an objective and complete history of the London Cage.
The Secret History of Britain's World War II Interrogation Centre
Author: Helen Fry
Publisher: Yale University Press
Capture-- Imprisoned servicemen -- Bonds between men -- Ties with home -- Going "round the bend" -- Liberation -- Resettling -- Conclusion
British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War
Author: Clare Makepeace
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
The official line is clear: the UK does not 'participate in, solicit, encourage or condone' torture. And yet, the evidence is irrefutable: when it comes to dealing with potential threats to our national security, the gloves always come off. As the enquiries into the on-going abuse of terror suspects uncover an ever more sinister and unpalatable chain of complicity - going right to the top of government - it is time to re-examine the assumption that the British don't 'do' torture. Drawing on previously unseen official documents, and the accounts of witnesses, victims and experts, prize-winning investigative journalist Ian Cobain looks beyond the cover-ups and the attempts to dismiss brutality as the work of a few rogue interrogators, to reveal a secret and shocking record of torture. From WWII to the War on Terror, via Kenya and Northern Ireland, Cruel Britannia shows how the British have repeatedly and systematically resorted to torture, turning a blind eye where necessary, bending the law where they can, and issuing categorical denials all the while. What emerges is a picture of Britain that challenges our complacency on human rights and exposes the lie behind our reputation for fair play.
A Secret History of Torture
Author: Ian Cobain
Category: Political prisoners
Between 1942 and 1945, MI-19, a division of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence, created a number of Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centres in and around London. The most important of these centres was at Trent Park, in North London. Sophisticated tapping equipment was installed, and secret gramophone recordings were made of conversations between German general staff officers. In these transcripts, the officers reflect on how they thought the war was progressing, and the direction of German politics and strategy. The officers discussed the July Plot of 1944, the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler, collaboration with the enemy, and their experience of German war crimes. The editor has written biographies of all of the officers who appear in the transcripts, and has meticulously researched the validity of their assertions. Tapping Hitler's Generals also tells the extraordinary background and details of the surveillance operation. One tactic for acquiring information involved mixing up Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe officers in order to elicit more detailed explanations of events and technologies. German stool pigeons were used to stir up debate, and a bogus welfare officer named Lord Aberfeldy acted as an undercover interpreter.
Transcripts of Secret Conversations 1942-45
Author: Sonke Neitzel,Ian Kershaw
Publisher: Frontline Books
This book chronicles the activity of Chicago Tribune war correspondent Stanley Johnston aboard the carrier Lexington and the transport ship Barnett, during and just after the Battle of the Coral Sea. It shows how he ingratiated himself with key officers and used his access to obtain information from a secret radiogram by Admiral Nimitz that revealed the order of battle of Imperial Japanese Navy forces advancing on Midway—information that could only have been obtained by U.S. Navy success breaking the Japanese naval code. Johnston put this info in a Tribune article, thereby potentially exposing the U.S. success and putting at risk this information source. A Grand Jury declined to indict Johnston when the Navy, hoping to avoid the publicity of a public trial, refused to let expert witnesses testify. Johnston went free. The book concludes that Johnston did not intend to reveal U.S. secrets; he just wanted a scoop. The book also concludes that, contrary to views in 1942 and lingering on today, the Japanese did NOT read the Tribune story, or hear of it, and thus never changed their naval code, as U.S. officers feared they would do because of the article.
The Reporter Who Spilled the Secret Behind the U.S. Navy's Victory at Midway
Author: Elliot Carlson
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
From the comfortable distance of seven decades, it is quite easy to view the victory of the Allies over Hitler’s Germany as inevitable. But in 1940 Great Britain’s defeat loomed perilously close, and no other nation stepped up to confront the Nazi threat. In this cogently argued book, Robin Prior delves into the documents of the time—war diaries, combat reports, Home Security’s daily files, and much more—to uncover how Britain endured a year of menacing crises. The book reassesses key events of 1940—crises that were recognized as such at the time and others not fully appreciated. Prior examines Neville Chamberlain’s government, Churchill’s opponents, the collapse of France, the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz. He looks critically at the position of the United States before Pearl Harbor, and at Roosevelt’s response to the crisis. Prior concludes that the nation was saved through a combination of political leadership, British Expeditionary Force determination and skill, Royal Air Force and Navy efforts to return soldiers to the homeland, and the determination of the people to fight on “in spite of all terror.” As eloquent as it is controversial, this book exposes the full import of events in 1940, when Britain fought alone and Western civilization hung in the balance.
The Story of 1940
Author: Robin Prior
Publisher: Yale University Press
An epic narrative of World War II naval action that brings to life the sailors and exploits of the war's most decorated destroyer squadron When Admiral William Halsey selected Destroyer Squadron 21 (Desron 21) to lead his victorious ships into Tokyo Bay to accept the Japanese surrender, it was the most battle-hardened US naval squadron of the war. But it was not the squadron of ships that had accumulated such an inspiring resume; it was the people serving aboard them. Sailors, not metallic superstructures and hulls, had won the battles and become the stuff of legend. Men like Commander Donald MacDonald, skipper of the USS O'Bannon, who became the most decorated naval officer of the Pacific war; Lieutenant Hugh Barr Miller, who survived his ship's sinking and waged a one-man battle against the enemy while stranded on a Japanese-occupied island; and Doctor Dow "Doc" Ransom, the beloved physician of the USS La Vallette, who combined a mixture of humor and medical expertise to treat his patients at sea, epitomize the sacrifices made by all the men and women of World War II. Through diaries, personal interviews with survivors, and letters written to and by the crews during the war, preeminent historian of the Pacific theater John Wukovits brings to life the human story of the squadron and its men who bested the Japanese in the Pacific and helped take the war to Tokyo.
The Heroic Men and Ships of World War II's Most Decorated Navy Destroyer Squadron
Author: John Wukovits
Publisher: Da Capo Press
On Sunday 18 June 1944 the congregation assembled for morning service in the Guards’ Chapel in Wellington Barracks, St James’s Park, central London. The service started at 11 am. Lord Hay had read the first lesson, and the ‘Te Deum’ was about to begin, when the noise of a V1 was heard. The engine cut out. There was a brief silence, ‘an intensive blue flash’ and an explosion – and the roof collapsed, burying the congregation in ten feet of rubble. This was the most deadly V1 attack of the Second World War, and Jan Gore’s painstakingly researched, graphic and moving account of the bombing and the aftermath tells the whole story. In vivid detail she describes the rescue effort which went on, day and night, for two days, and she records the names, circumstances and lives of each of the victims, and explains why they happened to be there. Her minutely detailed reconstruction of this tragic episode in the V1 campaign against London commemorates the dead and wounded, and it gives us today an absorbing insight into the wartime experience of all those whose lives were affected by it.
The V1 Attack on the Guards' Chapel 1944
Author: Jan Gore
"A fascinating story, well told." Military Illustrated "Vital reading to understand the bravery of those who returned to fight against the system which had rejected them." Military Books Review 10,000 Germans and Austrians fought for Britain during World War Two. Having escaped Nazi Germany with their lives, this was their chance to fight back. They served in all theatres of war, including dangerous operations behind enemy lines with SOE, Commandos and Raiding Forces. Others were involved in the battles at sea, top secret intelligence duties, and elite infantry regiments. They fought, and many died, fighting on the front line for the country that had saved them from Hitler's tyranny. Based on eyewitness accounts and interviews with veterans, Helen Fry pieces together their extraordinary story and their sacrifice.
The Germans Who Fought for Britain in Ww2
Author: Helen Fry
St. Ermin's Hotel has been synonymous with British espionage since the 1930s, when the SIS (MI6) was situated nearby at 54 Broadway. Bristling with intelligence officers such as Ian Fleming and Nöel Coward, the hotel was initially revealed by the notorious double agent Arthur Owens, code named SNOW, to be a covert base for the Secret Intelligence Service's Section D, before three gloomy private rooms on the third floor became the birthplace of Winston Churchill's SOE in the early days of World War II. During the late 1940s, the traitorous spies Kim Philby and Guy Burgess would hand over intelligence to their Russian counterparts when they regularly met in the hotel's Caxton Bar, while St. Ermin's proximity to government offices ensured its continued use by both domestic and foreign secret agents. This first book on the history of the hotel reveals the remarkable stories of the spies who met there and the secrets they were sharing.
St Ermin's Hotel, the London Base of British Espionage
Author: Peter Matthews
Publisher: The History Press
A rip-roaring account of the dramatic four-year siege of Britain’s Mediterranean garrison by Spain and France—an overlooked key to the British loss in the American Revolution For more than three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence. Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions, and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians, and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation, and disease. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells, and a barrage from immense floating batteries. This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors, and civilians, with royalty and rank and file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners of war, spies, and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail—a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed, and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.
The Greatest Siege in British History
Author: Roy Adkins,Lesley Adkins
Among the military leaders of the Second World War, Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz remains a deeply enigmatic figure. As chief of the German submarine fleet he earned Allied respect as a formidable enemy. But after he succeeded Hitler – to whom he was unquestioningly loyal – as head of the Third Reich, his name became associated with all that was most hated in the Nazi regime. Yet Doenitz deserves credit for ending the war quickly while trying to save his compatriots in the East – his Dunkirk-style operation across the Baltic rescued up to 2 million troops and civilian refugees. Historian Barry Turner argues that while Doenitz can never be dissociated from the evil done under the Third Reich, his contribution to the war must be acknowledged in its entirety in order to properly understand the conflict. An even-handed portrait of Nazi Germany’s last leader and a compellingly readable account of the culmination of the war in Europe, Karl Doenitz and the Last Days of the Third Reich gives a fascinating new perspective on a complex man at the heart of this crucial period in history.
Author: Barry Turner
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
Presents the story of the 10,000 Germans and Austrians who fled Nazi persecution and joined the British forces in their fight against Hitler during the Second World War. This title documents the stories of those who fought for King and adopted country.
Author: Helen Fry
Publisher: The History Press
By turns fascinating, harrowing, yet ultimately uplifting, this is the story of the Nazis' systematic pillaging of Europe's libraries, and the heroic efforts of the few librarians now working to return the stolen books to their owners.In the wake of one of History's most expansive cultural crimes, Anders Rydell shows just how much a single book can mean to those who own it.
The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance
Author: Anders Rydell
The British system of interrogation has always been distinctly different from other countries. Subtler, quieter and far more devious than its contemporaries, it has been admired by those who have inadvertently succumbed to it. So much so that the Nazis adopted some of the British methods in their own intelligence operations. During the Second World War the system became highly developed and vast numbers of people were employed in the collating and recovery of information. Vital data regarding military advances such as the Enigma machine and the Tiger Tank were wrung from prisoners not by force but by trickery and deceit. The eccentric, quirky, but also very successful, wartime interrogation methods of the British are revealed in this book, including their triumphant discoveries and also their occasional disastrous mistake.
Author: Sophie Jackson
Publisher: History PressLtd
Seventy years ago, the Nuremberg Trials were in full swing in Germany. In the dock were the leaders of the Nazi regime and most eventually received their just desserts. But what happened to the other war criminals? In June 1946, Lord Russell of Liverpool became Deputy Judge Advocate and legal adviser to the Commander in Chief for the British Army of the Rhine in respect of all trials held by British Military Courts of German war criminals. He later wrote; 'At the outbreak of the Second World War, the treatment of prisoners was governed by the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention of 1929, the Preamble of which stated that the aim of the signatories was to alleviate the conditions of prisoners of war. 'During the war, however, the provisions of the Convention were repeatedly disregarded by Germany. Prisoners were subjected to brutality and ill-treatment, employed on prohibited and dangerous work, handed over to the SD for "special treatment" in pursuance of Hitler's Commando Order, lynched in the streets by German civilians, sent to concentration camps, shot on recapture after escaping, and even massacred after they had laid down their arms and surrendered.' Tens of thousands of Allied prisoners of war died at the hands of the Nazis and their Italian allies. This book is for them - lest we forget.
Author: Philip Chinnery
Publisher: Pen and Sword Military