Sunday, November 1, 2015
CHURHILL AND THE SECRET SERVICE AND CAMP X
Camp X was the first secret agent training camp ever to be built in North America. Established early in the Second World War by Britain’s Special Operations Executive on the Canadian shore of Lake Ontario, it trained dozens of Americans and Canadians in the arts of secret war including paramilitary skills, close combat, disguise, secret ciphers, propaganda, and undercover operations.
Many of the Camp’s graduates became secret agents in enemy-occupied Europe and Asia. Others were sent to South or Central America to counter Nazi espionage and subversion against the allied war effort. Still others worked at the Camp’s HYDRA radio station responsible for transmitting some of the most sensitive intelligence material to pass between secret services across the Atlantic.
Based on eyewitness accounts and secret files in London, Washington, and Ottawa, the cast of this real life spy adventure also includes Sir William Stephenson (‘Intrepid’), OSS chief ‘Wild Bill’ Donovan, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. This edition includes a new preface by the author bringing the story up to date. A documentary based on the book will be shown on the History Channel in 2014.
“True and fascinating… told in vivid detail… With the excitement of a first-rate thriller Camp X dramatically chronicles a key period in the genesis of the international game.” - Stars and Stripes
“The course of study at Camp X reads like a James Bond training school.” - Indianapolis Star
“Required reading for any potential 007” - Sunday Mirro
Although Winston Churchill was rarely at a loss for words, his richly detailed memoirs are remarkably silent on the subjects of espionage and clandestine affairs. Stafford, a former diplomat who has written extensively on intelligence affairs, has filled in great gaps in our knowledge of events, ranging from the Cuban insurrection in 1895 to the overthrow of the Musaddiq government in Iran in 1953. Churchill, always a man of the nineteenth century in outlook and prejudice, had a lifelong fascination with the "Great Game" as practiced in the borderlands of India and its variations around the world. His sometimes overly romantic view of espionage led to occasionally reckless and costly errors. However, Stafford feels Churchill's utilization of intelligence operations was generally a plus for Britain and the West. Stafford's narrative is concise, easy to follow (even for the general reader), and often exciting. Lovers of spy novels should get particular enjoyment from the fine examination of the genuine article. Jay Freeman
Former diplomat Stafford compellingly tells the fateful story of Winston Churchill's lifelong obsession with intelligence and secret warfare, which had both trivial and large-scale consequences for the British from the Boer War through the 1950s. From the outset of his colorful multiple career as an imperial officer, journalist, man of letters, and statesman, Churchill evinced a romantic fascination with the arcana of secret intelligence work. Stafford, an intelligence historian (The Silent Game, not reviewed), traces this fixation to a brief 1895 stint in Cuba, where Churchill covered the rebellion against Spain for a British newspaper. At once idealizing and fearing the rebels, Churchill saw for the first time the effects of a popular insurrection fought by guerrillas: The rebels, who had perfect intelligence of Spanish locations and operations, often fought with an insurmountable advantage over the unwieldy government forces. Churchill had similar reactions to other guerrilla tactics he observed or experienced, whether in Ireland in the troubles of 191621 or by anticommunist forces against the Bolshevik regime in the early 1920s; guerrillas, cloaked in secrecy and backed by popular support, were able to win wars against numerically superior conventional opponents through superior intelligence and covert activities. During WW I he founded the first signals intelligence organization, and after the collapse of the tsarist regime he became deeply involved in the ultimately disastrous anticommunist activities of master spy Sidney Reilly. It was as a wartime prime minister, however, that Churchill's concern with spying had the most concrete effect: He forged an important intelligence alliance with the US, oversaw Britain's ``Ultra'' operation, which brilliantly intercepted the communications of the Nazi command, and founded the Special Operations Executive, which ran daring operations in Nazi-occupied Europe, gave aid to resistance movements across Europe, and ultimately engendered Britain's modern intelligence apparatus. A first-rate and, what is more remarkable, an original contribution to Churchilliana, of sure interest to students of Churchill, modern history, or military intelligence. (25 b&w photos) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Winston Churchill believed passionately in the value of secret intelligence, in times of war as well as of peace. Historian David Stafford makes the compelling case that one cannot understand Churchill's astounding success as a modern day statesman without reference to his deep involvement in the world of espionage. With absorbing detail about the secret world of agents and double-agents, this groundbreaking work traces Churchill's connections with that world, from his days as a member of the Cabinet that established the Secret Service to the war years, when his extensive intelligence network provided him with superior information. What results is a major contribution to the study of modern and military history and a crucial missing key to understanding Churchill himself.Winston Churchill believed passionately in the value of secret intelligence, in times of war as well as of peace. Historian David Stafford makes the compelling case that one cannot understand Churchill's astounding success as a modern day statesman without reference to his deep involvement in the world of espionage. With absorbing detail about the secret world of agents and double-agents, this groundbreaking work traces Churchill's connections with that world, from his days as a member of the Cabinet that established the Secret Service to the war years, when his extensive intelligence network provided him with superior information. What results is a major contribution to the study of modern and military history and a crucial missing key to understanding Churchill himself.