"The Secret Life of Sir Stewart Menzies, Spymaster to Winston Churchill" (used book)
The Secret Life of Sir Stewart Menzies, Spymaster to Winston Churchill
by Anthony Cave Brown
About the Book
Used Book. Hardcover. Dust jacket included. Good condition.
-- From the dust jacket
There was one man alone who dictated th3e course of events in the World War II intelligence game – and who would prove to be a more mysterious, more influential, and more devious spymaster than even Allan Dulles, “Wild Bill” Donovan, or Admiral Wilhelm Canaris. He was the man fashioned by Ian Fleming into “M” and by John le Carre into “Control”. His name: Stewart Graham Menzies.
Menzies was born, reared, and trained for greatness. Widely rumoured in Victorian society to be the natural son of Edward VII, young Stewart rose through Eton and the ranks of the army to become an authentic hero of World War I, the miraculous survivor of a regiment that was wiped out in the war’s first great battle. Before the armistice, he was already deeply into the secret services of England, to which he would dedicate his career.
On the eve of World War II, with England facing its darkest hour, Menzies was elevated to the post of “C” – chief of British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) – that would make him perhaps Winston Churchill’s most important foil in the struggle against Hitler. “C” was able to deliver to Churchill the greatest achievement in modern intelligence history – Ultra – that enables SIS to read virtually all crucial wireless signals within the German high command.
Anthony Cave Brown brilliantly portrays the bitter struggle between “C” and “Q” – “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of OSS – for supremacy over all Allied intelligence. It as an often stormy relationship involving players such as J. Edgar Hoover and William “Intrepid” Stevenson that saw American suspicions of British motives eventually hinder the dissemination of important intelligence concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But in the end, when Dwight Eisenhower was planning D-Day he came to “C” for intelligence.
“C” was also at the center of the scandal that rocked all of England in the fifties, when first Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, then Kim Philby were discovered to be Soviet double agents. It was inconceivable that Menzies, the skilled fox hunter and consummate hunter of men, could have been betrayed by Philby, his handpicked successor. And yet the spymaster of World War II retired only to witness the collapse of the service he had devoted his life to creating.
Anthony Cave Brown resurrects the legend of “C” to write the first and definitive biography of Britain’s greatest spymaster. Brown is the only writer ever to interview extensively the mysterious and reclusive Menzies, and drawing from an exhaustive research effort, he has finally captured the epic story of the last great defender of the British Empire