May 20, 2018

Seventy-seven years ago today, May 20, 1941, British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming checked into the Palacio Hotel in Estoril, a sea-side resort just west of Lisbon.  Fleming was on a stopover on his way to Washington with his boss, Admiral John Godfrey, to ass...

May 12, 2018

One in four. 

That's how many SOE agents in France were either executed, killed in action, or died during captivity.  Had not many agents escaped their prisons or concentration camps, the number would be closer to one in three.  But that's for all agents.  For wome...

May 4, 2018

TODAY 1945, a contingent of international hostages held by Nazi SS guards was liberated at the most breathtaking of sites—the Hotel Pragser-Wildsee—in northern Italy near the Austrian border. 

It was a scenario even the most creative of Hollywood scribes could not...

April 29, 2018

TODAY 1944, MI6 London received an unusual delivery—a diplomatic bag originating from Lisbon  containing cash.  A lot of cash.  Fifty thousand dollars (about $700,000 today), to be precise.

From a German spy.

The money was for Britain's greatest operative, double ag...

April 21, 2018

ON THIS DAY 1942, HMS Unbroken (P42) commander Alastair Mars delivered SOE agent and SPINDLE circuit organizer Peter Churchill (code named RAOUL) to the shores of Antibes, France. 

It was a dangerous route that Churchill had opened with his first visit on January 1, sli...

April 4, 2018

ON THIS DAY, April 4, 1949, one of Germany's most elusive war criminals was finally captured.  Sturmbannführer Fritz Sühren, Commandant of the notorious Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, was arrested by Major Rees, Public Safety Officer of the 115th Detachment, Military...

March 15, 2018

Guy Liddell, head of MI5's B Section (counter-espionage overseeing double agents), was the only British intelligence officer allowed to keep an official war diary.  On this day, March 15, 1941, he made a journal entry which hinted at frustration over a new playboy now...

March 1, 2018

Seventy-five years ago this month, German military intelligence (Abwehr) began Operation Grand Duke in Southern France.  French Resistance and British SOE circuits, the Germans noticed, were popping up in Marseille, Cannes, Lyon, and other cities like a malignant rash....

February 14, 2018

If you have not signed up for my monthly Spies Like Us newsletter, please do so from my website (LarryLoftis.com) on the top right corner.  This month's newsletter notes that Into the Lion's Mouth became an international bestseller, announces my new book deal, provides...

May 26, 2017

ON THIS DAY, 26 May 1944, British Intelligence pulled off one of World War II's most amazing stunts. Using two doubles—double agent Dusko Popov and body double Lieutenant M. E. Clifton James—the British reinforced what Popov had been telling his German supervisor in Li...

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