The Scarlet Thread: Adventures in Wartime Espionage

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Author: Downes, Donald

Details: These are the espionage memoirs of an American who worked first for British and then for American Intelligence from 1940 until 1945. Mr. Downes’s work took him to every continent except Australasia. He trained agents and sent them through the enemy lines; stole secret military and diplomatic codes from neutral embassies in Washington; made clandestine contacts with Balkan terrorists; and was party to innumerable schemes and plots to discomfort the Axis Powers, ranging from counterfeiting to infiltrating German sabotage and espionage schools. The story of his experiences makes highly exciting reading, and the author has many interesting, and often surprising, things to say on a variety of important topics and events. The subjects covered include Spain’s open cooperation with Axis intelligence; the Darlan-Giraud affair in North Africa and the horror of Vichy concentration camps there; the gamble of the Salerno beachhead (in which he took part); the Italian insurrection in Milan, and many more. Mr Downes is outspoken in his criticism of some aspects of Allied policy and behaviour. He feels particularly strongly about the action of his Government (and ours) in failing to honour promises made to people who risked their lives to bring about our victory. He is also unsparingly critical of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), about which he makes some astonishing and, most readers will feel, deeply shocking revelations. It is perhaps not surprising that this book was first accepted, and then turned down, by no less than three American publishers, and that one admitted to the author that he was afraid of ‘political reprisals’. Donald Downes was born in Baltimore in 1903. Besides his work as a Secret Service agent, he has been history student, insurance agent, schoolmaster, political writer and foreign correspondent.

Languages: English

Item Condition: New

Binding: Paperback