Spy of the Century: Alfred Redl & the Betrayal of Austro-Hungary

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Pen and Sword, Nov 30, 2016 - History - 184 pages
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The Redl Affair had everything: sex, espionage, betrayal, a fall from greatness and a sensational climax in which Redl went to his death like a figure of high tragedy. The New York TimesA story like that is truer than history. Istvn SzabThe army was shocked to the core. All knew that in case of war this one man might have been the cause of the death of hundreds of thousands, and of the monarchy being brought to the brink of the abyss; it was only then that we Austrians realised how breathtakingly near to the World War we already had been for that past year. Stefan Zweig, The World of YesterdayDuring the night of 24 to 25 May 1913 three high-ranking military officials wait for hours outside a hotel in the centre of Vienna. At around 2am they hear the shot of a Browning. They know that one of their own has just ended his life: Colonel Alfred Redl, the former deputy head of the Evidenzbro, the Austro-Hungarian General Staffs directorate of military intelligence, and confidant of the heir to the throne. His suicide note reads: Levity and passion have destroyed me. What no one had known: for almost a decade he had betrayed significant and damaging secrets to the Italians, the French and the Russians. But what had been his motives? Redl owed everything to the army he deceived. Was he trapped into treason by blackmail? There were no definite answers for almost 100 years. The true story has only recently been reconstructed, after Austrian historians rediscovered long-lost records. A tragic story emerges of a man who was forced to hide his homosexuality and used his wealth to please his young lover. The scandal was huge, and it has never completely died down. Myths and legends have spread, and Redls story still fascinates today.
 

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Prelude
The Boy from Lemberg
The Last Waltz
The Game
The Evidenzbureau Intelligence Bureau
The Ace of Spies
The Betrayal
Dolce Vita
The Fall
Legacy
Notes
Select Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

John Sadler has worked for most of his career in the law and heritage management, and he is a prolific author of medieval and modern military history. His best-known books are Border Fury: The Three Hundred Years War, Flodden 1513, The Battle for Crete 1941 and Bannockburn: Battle for Liberty. Silvie Fisch grew up in Bavaria, where she studied cultural anthropology, European ethnology, German literature and linguistics. She works in arts and heritage management and has published various academic as well as fictional titles in Germany.

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