MASTER OF SPIES by Frantisek Moravec

MASTER OF SPIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

As a neophyte intelligence officer in the Czech First Army, Moravec lays hands on his first German document. He is pleased by its large, elaborate seal. Having checked out its sources, he finds the paper a forgery and the seal to be made of a potato. Thereafter Moravec is 100 percent professional, and indeed solders together one of the world's top intelligence forces. As hard espionage goes, he takes pardonable pride in having discovered virtually every Nazi plan for rearmament and invasion; he busted up Sudeten subversion by the Third Reich, he wrecked a Hungarian spy ring, and he did his best to protect the vulnerable Czechoslovak nation from other Nazi sympathizers. He relied on an excellent anti-Nazi operative, an Abwehr officer named ""Karl,"" who delivered the plans for Hitler's expansion of the Luftwaffe, for the invasion of Czechoslovakia and then Poland and then the USSR. (Strangely Moravec doesn't try to save ""Karl"" from the Gestapo in the closing days of the war.) Moravec is bitter about Britain's Munich sellout--even Hitler knew that the Czechs could repel the invasion force, and the French divisions could then grind up the opposing Germans. But Moravec blames the French and absolves the British, with whom he worked during World War II, and about whom he says very little. Having run from the 1948 Communist coup--Moravec is highly anti-Communist--he worked for the Pentagon until his death in 1966. A valuable addition by one of the world's top spy-masters: no trench-coat stuff. Of course, many things are left out, but the reader can inject the question marks.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday