But, by far, the most engaging and satisfying work I picked up was Bill Casey’s The Secret War Against Hitler, a detailed and fascinating description of the Allied espionage efforts directed against Germany during World War II.
The Secret War Against Hitler made for riveting, inspiring and sometimes maddening reading – maddening because it showed what dire effects upon military strategy can be wreaked by politicians (and sometimes by misled, egoistic and headstrong military leaders themselves).
So, as captivating as Casey’s information is, The Secret War Against Hitler will not always be easy, enjoyable reading. But infuriating as some of the events in the book can make you, be assured that it is throughout an excellent and important read. Within its pages you’ll learn about the critical roles played by code-breakers, double agents, an indispensably powerful "paper army," and many superbly deceptive strategies developed by the Allied intelligence corps.
You’ll also see how close the contest was at several junctures, how FDR’s insistence on Germany’s “unconditional surrender” was such a disaster, how Hitler catastrophically misread Allied intentions, how small party and even individual heroism (as in the sabotage success against the Nazi’s atomic bomb hopes) helped save Europe, and much more.
Bill Casey, as many of you will remember, was the director of the CIA under President Ronald Reagan. But Casey’s introduction to intelligence service was in the OSS back in 1943 when he started as a senior clerk in Washington. He ended the war, however, as one of the key leaders in American military intelligence. His work brought this treasured note from the OSS' famous founder, "Wild Bill" Donovan:
It has been the policy of the OSS never to hesitate to assign major responsibility to young men who have what it takes. This policy has been, in my opinion, one of our primary sources of strength. I have been vindicated by the outstanding performances of many, but by none more than your own. You took up one of the heaviest loads which any of us had to carry at a time when the going was roughest, and you delivered brilliantly, forcefully and in good time.
Signed: William J. Donovan, Major-General
The Secret War Against Hitler is truly an outstanding history written by one of the 20th Century's most interesting and accomplished American patriots. I recommend it without reserve.
(Note also that The Secret War Against Hitler is available in audio form as well. Just take a look right here.)