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The Cicero Spy Affair

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About the Author

Professor Emeritus of History at Ball State University and Executive Director of the London Centre.


Wartime spying is one of the most intriguing areas in the historiography of World War II, and Wires (emeritus, history, Ball State Univ.) has given us the best account yet of the remarkable espionage career of Elyesa Bazna, a valet who in 1943-44 microfilmed dozens of top-secret papers belonging to the unsuspecting British Ambassador to Turkey, Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen. Bazna, whose code name was Cicero, sold the film to the Germans for an estimated $1.2 million. Unfortunately for Bazna, however, the Germans paid him in counterfeit British notes, and he ended up with very little for his efforts. Wires explains in careful detail how Bazna developed his contacts within the German government and how interdepartmental competition fostered German skepticism of the informationÄwhich, for the most part, they eventually ignored. This is a great tale, all the more so because it is true. Recommended for general collections and those strong in World War II studies.ÄEdward Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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