Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: What do a Polish pilot, a Peruvian party girl, and a Spanish chicken maven have in common? They were all central to the success of Operation Fortitude, the audacious ruse that kept Hitler guessing over the location of the D-Day invasions, saving the lives of countless Allied soldiers and turning the war in their favor. In the same enthralling and entertaining fashion of his previous World War II spy stories (Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat), Ben Macintyre’s Double Cross goes behind the standard narratives of armies, generals, and tactics to chronicle the unlikely–and occasionally outlandish–stories of the spooks, spymasters, and double agents that changed the course of the war.
On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. A stunning military accomplishment, it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, tricked the Nazis into believing that the Allied attacks would come in Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring Allied victory at the most pivotal point in the war. This epic event has never before been told from the perspective of the key individuals in the Double Cross system, until now. Together they made up one of the oddest and most brilliant military units ever assembled.