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Spies of the First World War: Under Cover for King and Kaiser

£9.99

Best-selling author James Morton tells the story of organized espionage in Britain from spy fever early in the 20th century to the end of the First World War and the rise of air intelligence. He introduces us to a world of colorful characters and dark underhand dealing in which spies, male and female, driven by love, money, patriotism or a mix of all of them, struggled to survive. The first English officer spies are featured alongside their frequently flamboyant French, Belgium and German counterparts - from the hunchback dentist Wilhelm Klauer to the 'Grande (and lesser) horizontales' such as Mata Hari. So too are their controllers such as authors John Buchan and Somerset Maugham and men like Richard Tinsley who oversaw a network of some 2000 spies from Holland. As professionalism grew great successes emerged - not least the deciphering of the intercepted Zimmerman telegram - along with notable failures. Morton tackles both in a meticulously researched narrative that balances the history of espionage with the human stories of individuals and tales of heroism with cowardice, incompetence and betrayal.

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