The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II
Helen Fry

The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II

A few days before the start of World War Two, Secret Intelligence Service spymaster Thomas Kendrick arrived at the Tower of London to trial a top secret operation: German prisoners’ cells were to be bugged and listeners installed behind the walls to record and transcribe their private conversations. This intelligence gathering mission proved so effective that it would go on to be set up at a further three sites – and provide the Allies with crucial insight into new technology and deadly V-weapons being developed by the Nazis.

In this astonishing history, Helen Fry uncovers the inner workings of the bugging operation.  On arrival at stately-homes-turned-prisons like Trent Park, high ranking German Generals and commanders were given a ‘phoney’ interrogation, then treated as ‘guests’, wined and dined at exclusive clubs, given cigars and whiskey, and encouraged to talk. And so it was that the Allies got access to some of Hitler’s most closely guarded secrets – and from those most entrusted to protect them.

Book Details:

  • Author: Helen Fry
  • Published Year: 2019
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: Yale University Press
    • Romania: Meteor Press
Helen Fry

Helen Fry

Helen Fry was raised in North Devon and went on to graduate from the University of Exeter with a degree and Ph.D. She has written over 25 books on the Second World War with particular reference to the 10,000 Germans and Austrians who fought for Britain, and intelligence, espionage and prisoners of war. Her highly acclaimed book The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of WWII was in the top 8 Daily Mail’s Books of the Year in War, and has been optioned for film. It has been the subject of numerous documentaries and continues to receive media attention.&n...
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Book Reviews

  • "A treasure-trove of revelations…"
  • "The book breaks new ground in drawing attention to the role of Jewish personnel."
    Professor David Cesarani
  • "Highlights the involvement of rank and file German troops in war atrocities."
    Stephen Smith, executive director of the USC Shoah Foundation.
  • "There are tens of thousands of pages of paper in these records and Fry is to be congratulated on creating a coherent and digestible narrative from them for the lay public."
    ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)
  • "An interesting account of a little-known aspect of the War."
    Association of Jewish Refugees Journal
  • "A fantastically original and readable account of the various ‘listening’ - or bugging – operations undertaken by British intelligence on captured German prisoners of war…Intermingled with stories of those being listened in on are equally compelling stories of those doing the listening…a great book and a valuable contribution to scholarship on the Second World War."
    BBC History Magazine
  • "Helen Fry’s remarkable book…Helen Fry’s richly researched book, brimful of surprising and fascinating detail, will bring the secret listeners some of the attention they deserve."
    Daily Mail