The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War

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Scribner, 2004 - History - 1148 pages
5 Reviews

In World War II, the Allies employed unprecedented methods and practiced the most successful military deception ever seen, meticulously feeding misinformation to Axis intelligence to lead Axis commanders into erroneous action. Thaddeus Holt's elegantly written and comprehensive book is the first to tell the full story behind these operations. Exactly how the Allies engaged in strategic deception has remained secret for decades. Now, with the help of newly declassified material, Holt reveals this secret to the world in a riveting work of historical scholarship.

Once the Americans joined the war in 1941, they had much to learn from their British counterparts, who had been honing their deception skills for years. As the war progressed, the British took charge of misinformation efforts in the European theater, while the Americans focused on the Pacific. The Deceivers takes readers from the early British achievements in the Middle East and Europe at the beginning of the war to the massive Allied success of D-Day, American victory in the Pacific theater, and the war's culmination on the brink of an invasion of Japan.

Colonel John Bevan, who managed British deception operations from London, described the three essentials to strategic deception as good plans, double agents, and codebreaking, and The Deceivers covers each of these aspects in minute detail. Holt brings to life the little-known men, British and American, who ran Allied deception, such as Bevan, Dudley Clarke, Peter Fleming, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Newman Smith. He tracks the development of deception techniques and tells the hitherto unknown story of double agent management and other deception through the American FBI and Joint Security Council.

Full of fascinating sources and astounding revelations, The Deceivers is an indispensable volume and an unparalleled contribution to World War II literature.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Sturgeon - LibraryThing

Okay, perhaps I was expecting more - a bit of action or more gritty details. The book goes into more personal than operation detail and as such, the title is accurate, but the subtitle is as deceiving as the deceivers themselves. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcaister - LibraryThing

Fascinating account of how the Allies deceived the Axis during the Second World War, including policies, inter-service and national rivalries. It was a little long winded in places. Read full review

Contents

Prologue 18621940
1
The Master of the Game
9
The Art of Deception
52
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Thaddeus Holt is a lawyer, focusing primarily on litigation and administrative law. He served as Deputy Under Secretary of the Army from 1965 to 1967. His articles and book reviews have appeared in "MHQ, The New York Times, The Journal of Military History, Virginia Quarterly Review, " and various anthologies. He lives in Alabama.

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