The Secret of D-Day
Contributor: David Stubblebine
Review Date: 31 Jul 2013
When I began reading this book, I knew nothing about it beyond the title. I quickly came to regard it as a treasure among World War II titles. The book tells the behind-the-scenes intelligence story surrounding the secret of D Day; the German efforts to learn the time and place of the Allied invasion they knew was coming and the Allied efforts to protect that secret. To put the narrative into proper context, the book necessarily also touches on parts of the larger intelligence story from all over Europe. Also for context, and something I found particularly interesting, the book examines many of the people who had principal intelligence roles, like Wilhelm Canaris and Walther Schellenberg.
Gilles Perrault is a French lawyer-turned-journalist who completed this book in the early 1960s (first published in 1965). This was important because he had the advantage that many of the involved people were still alive and willing to be interviewed. Perrault also extensively studied the paper archives from all over Europe, to the extent the security cloud of the day would allow.
Perrault's writing style took some getting used to with the opening chapters being a little disjointed, but from the middle to the end it was an enjoyable, easy read. Finding a copy of this long out-of-print book may prove difficult, but once discovered, the book is definitely worth a look.
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