The Spy War Against Hitler 1939-41 : The International Effort to Watch the Third Reich
R T Howard

The Spy War Against Hitler 1939-41 : The International Effort to Watch the Third Reich

On the outbreak of war in September 1939, spy chiefs across Europe closed ranks and worked together in a desperate bid to answer the vital questions that confronted them. After Poland, where would Hitler would strike next? Would the German economy collapse under the strain of war, and would civilians – in Germany and, later, in the occupied territories - rise up in protest? Would Hitler’s soldiers commit terrible atrocities against civilians?


British Intelligence now worked closely with the spy services of other governments, including the exiled governments that the Poles, Czechs and others ran from Paris and then London. But the SIS and its allies also found sympathy and support from the intelligence services of some neutral countries, such as the United States, Switzerland, Spain, Vichy France, Sweden and Portugal. Indirect links were also established with the Soviet Union prior to the German invasion in June 1941 and, remarkably, with Imperial Japan. This intelligence network helped Britain and her exiled allies to survive the first two years of the War until, in December 1941, the United States entered the conflict while the German Army stumbled badly in the USSR. Drawing on a wide range of previously unpublished British, French and Polish archival sources, The Spy War Against Hitler 1939-41:


  • Covers quite different ground from existing literature (which focuses on the French Resistance, SOE and Enigma). It also looks at ‘intelligence-gathering’ (not ‘action’) in overlooked theatres, such as Scandinavia, Switzerland and Portugal
  • Looks at intriguing female agents such as Amy Pack (US), Rosalinda Powell Fox (GB), Elizabeth Wiskemann (GB) and Halina SzymaƄska (Polish)
  • Looks at the reports of mass killings and atrocities that presaged the Holocaust
  • Draws on deep archival research from original, previously unpublished pan-European sources
  • Has a broad international appeal, with numerous export markets
  • Emphasizes political intelligence about the attitudes, opinions and sentiments of ordinary Germans as well of Hitler and his entourage.


In particular, this 90,000-word book reveals:


  • The role of the Vatican and Catholic Church in providing intelligence about Nazi Germany
  • The covert assistance of the United States and other neutral countries to the Allied War effort- including the pro-British spies inside US legations. This included a high-level spy in the State Department in Washington
  • How the Nazis secretly murdered their own wounded soldiers rather than divert valuable resources to help them recover
  • How the Allies used ‘atrocity propaganda’ to try and split Italy from Germany, provoke rebellions in Bavaria and Austria, and bring the US into the War
  • The secret sources of intelligence at the very top of the Nazi High Command (‘most secret and entirely reliable and responsible source, which must on no account be quoted or compromised…please burn this telegram after perusal’).

Book Details:

  • Author: R T Howard
  • On Submission
  • All rights are available
R T Howard

R T Howard

R T Howard is a journalist and author writing on international relations and is an associate editor of an international magazine on intelligence issues, Eye Spy His previous books include The Oil Hunters: Exploration and Espionage in the Middle East 1880-1939 (2008) and Iran in Crisis? (2004). His articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Independent on Sunday, Wall Street Journal, Spectator, New Statesman, International Herald Tribune, Jane's Intelligence Review and many other newspapers and journals. He has a specialized knowled...
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