Books About World War II Espionage

William “Wild Bill” Donovan drew on the talents of Americas from many different walks of life as he built the OSS. Little did he know when he accepted President Roosevelt’s call to launch the nation’s first foreign intelligence agency that missionaries and religious activists would be central to his plans.
From Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War by Matthew Avery Sutton. Photo courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland


Is there anything more exciting than a spy story? Spoiler: Nope. And when it’s a real story, it’s ten times as exciting. Today’s world is filled with all kinds of advanced technology used for spy warfare, but the men and women who worked to thwart the enemies during World War II didn’t have such luxuries. They had to do their jobs and survive using their wits, rudimentary equipment, and not a little sheer luck. Their stories of daring feats are some of the most exciting tales ever told.

Here are nine such true stories about the brave souls who put country first and risked everything to bring about the end of World War II. Some of their adventures could be straight out of John le Carré novels, and other seem like the plot of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and the exciting fact is that they’re all true!



Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre

Last, but not least, the bonkers true story of a criminal who ended up being one of the most successful double agents of World War II! British citizen Eddie Chapman was a cad, a womanizer, and a petty criminal. When he was arrested by the Nazis, he agreed to spy for them in return for his freedom. He then went to the British MI6 and told them his story, and agreed to spy for them while still pretending to work for the Nazis. The plans he was able to pull off are almost too ridiculous to be true, but he did it! Macintyre researched declassified files about Chapman’s exploits to write this wild tale.




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