Thursday, 7 June 2012

Double Cross, Ben Macintyre - 2012

I'm a big fan of the films series 'Back to the Future' where Zemeckis brings us in three episodes what I call a great time epic. For the same reason I love Tom Tykwer's 'Run Lola Run'. Both movies are based on the premise of the chain of little events that may change the facts in the future. Now, this book shares the same feelings since the core and message is the same.

The Double Cross spies were, variously, courageous, treacherous, capricious, greedy and inspired.

After the first few pages of 'Double Cross' I simply feel like witnessing a series of events running in parallel that would have to converge and be a pillar of the history. 'Common' people, just like us with strengths, flaws, quirks, ideals and their own view on life and the world would be those that will constitute the Double Cross team, coordinated by British SIS and run the background of 'Operation Fortitude'.

To deceive the Third Reich and prepare the D-Day required a lot of patience, cold blood, intelligence and sacrifice. Along with the well-known 'Operation Mincemeat' it was necessary to run a massive fake stage based on rumours, lies, half-truths, and nice touch of chaos.

... in fact the OKW [Oberkommando der Wehrmacht] have known for a least a year that Germany has lost the war [...] German intelligence was in disarray, riddled with corruption and beset by internal feuding.

With the approval of Churchill and the Allies, the MI6 and MI5 may run the Operation Fortitude with the Double Agents Popov, Czerniawski, Sergeyev, Pujol and De la Fuente; in order to use the bureaucratic and strict Nazi system against itself.

Ben Macintyre has produce another amazing book full of details, narrated with his addictive style that ties your hands and your eyes to the pages.

Keep an eye on: the descriptions of Macintyre's about the profiles and psyche of the individuals those that were involved in the deception, from the Allies side and the Nazi's one as well. Their fears, their worries and motivations.

Every Double Cross agent is inclined to be vain, moody and introspective...

The perfect hero, with not defects doesn't exist. Ben Macintyre shows us how the self-commitment of 'common' individuals can make the difference in the timeline.

Beyond the comprehensive list of facts and documentation presented by Mr. Macintyre in 'Double Cross', I see this book as a message to us about how we can change the world, the History and our own story when our ideas, ideals and motivations are strong enough.

As I said when I posted the review for 'Operation Mincemeat': if History were taught in the way Macintyre does, I'm sure that we would know a lot better our own roots, culture and countries. And the world would be significantly more open, more tolerant, more creative and better place to live.

1. Cricketers and cricket fans, you will love this book!
2. Along with this ´Double Cross´ I recommend Ben Macintyre´s ´Operation Mincemeat´ and the Ken Follet´s fiction novel ´Eye of the Needle´
3. Take a time to read an excellent article by Antony Beevor: 'The World in Flames´ in this month´s issue of History Magazine with a very interesting and refreshing point of view about the WWII conflict.

If you are a fan of espionage and conspiracies, this book a A-must-read-before-you-die.
ISBN: 9781408819906

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