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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Books

This month’s best historical reads

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

Yale, £18.99, hardback, 320 pages

As covert intelligence techniques go, ‘ply them with expensive food and alcohol and secretly record their conversations’ certainly sounds like it might work. The Allied ‘secret listeners’ campaign, which essentially did just that, ran throughout World War II and led to thousands of German prisoners being persuaded to yield their deepest secrets – including new technology and the latest battle plans. Helen Fry’s latest book tells this extraordinary story with the help of new archive material and interviews with some of the people involved. The fact that the project remained undiscovered for decades after the war ended makes the episode all the more remarkable.

COURTESY OF DR HELEN FRY X4

“That the project remained undiscovered for decades after the war ended makes the episode all the more remarkable”

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The 12th century can be seen as a pivotal moment in Japanese history, an era which saw beginning of the ascendancy of one of history’s most iconic warrior classes: the samurai. This month we explore the dramatic civil war that heralded their rise to power – and the formation of the first shōgunate. Plus: The black market for medieval relics, why the Wall St Crash of 1929 shook the world, how British humanitarian Nicholas Winton saved almost 700 children from the Nazis, the English pirate who inspired Captain Jack Sparrow, and more