The Deceivers by Thaddeus Holt
Allied Military Deception in the Second World War

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Synopsis

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 Control.

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

About Thaddeus Holt

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Thaddeus Holt is an Alabama lawyer and served as a Deputy Under Secretary from 1965 to 1967. He has written for several well known newspapers and journals, such as the New York Times and The Journal of Military History. He lives in Point Clear, Alabama.
 
Published May 8, 2010 by Scribner. 1180 pages
Genres: History, War, Travel. Non-fiction

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Massive history of Allied intelligence in WWII, focusing on the misinformation and disinformation that helped assure the success of Torch, Overlord, and other critical operations.

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The Guardian

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The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War by Thaddeus Holt 1,148pp, Weidenfeld, £30 On April 30 1943 the body of Major Martin, a Royal Marine, washed up on the shore of neutral Spain following an air crash, with a briefcase containing vital documents regarding Allied operat...

Jan 22 2005 | Read Full Review of The Deceivers: Allied Militar...

Publishers Weekly

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It chronicles in thorough detail and smooth prose various operations that the Allies conducted to mislead the Axis as to the time, place, strength and direction of a host of military operations.

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