Coming in April 2014 from University Press of Kansas:
Hoover’s Secret War Against Axis Spies
FBI Counterespionage During World War II
By Raymond J. Batvinis
312 pages, 24 photographs, 6 x 9
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1952-8, $34.95
The world was at war, America precariously poised on the sidelines. But already a second secret war was well underway.
While he fought on the home front to consolidate the FBI’s intelligence gathering power, J. Edgar Hoover was conducting an all-out campaign to make his agency America’s first foreign espionage service—a campaign that would lead to an uneasy alliance with British intelligence in a brilliantly successful operation to undermine Germany.
Taking up the tale begun in his acclaimed Origins of FBI Counterintelligence, FBI historian and former agent Raymond Batvinis mines a wealth of heretofore untapped resources to expose Hoover’s remarkable connivances and accomplishments in concert—and occasionally contention—with the Allies in outsmarting German intelligence.
Hoover’s Secret War opens up a world of spy rings, secret and double agents, surveillance, codes and ciphers, wire taps, micro dots, mail drops, invisible ink, radio transmissions, and deception and disinformation as it tracks the warring nations spreading their intelligence tentacles throughout Europe and North and South America.
As it documents the rocky evolution of the FBI’s relationship with Britain’s vaunted MI5 and MI6, the book brings to light the feud between Hoover and Williams Stephenson, director of the British Secret Intelligence Service’s U.S. operation.
Batvinis reveals how the agency gained access to ULTRA intelligence.
He uncovers eye-opening details of the FBI’s participation in the famed “Double-Cross System, which effectively “turned” German agents against the Fatherland, among them a flamboyant, larger-than-life playboy, a world famous French flyer, and a lecherous Dutchman.
Batvinis tells for the first time how the Bureau manipulated these agents, and how it transmitted deceptive information critical to the Normandy landings, the Allied invasion of the Marshall Islands, and the atomic bomb program, among other matters.
Rich with secrets and surprises worthy of the finest spy fiction, this true story of espionage and counterintelligence gives us our first clear look at the secret second world war, and a significant moment in history.
“J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI had a busy Second World War. There were vicious battles against Britain’s MI-6, America’s OSS, the War Department and grasping double agents. Then there were the Germans and the Japanese. Raymond Batvinis recounts this history with the insight of someone who has himself been in the game. . . . an important contribution to the literature.”—Mark E. Stout, Director of Global Security Studies, Johns Hopkins University and former Historian, International Spy Museum
“Hoover’s War is a well-researched investigation into a little known aspect of American intelligence in the Second World War. Every chapter breaks new ground. It will be a welcome addition to the book shelves of all intelligence historians.”—David Alvarez, author of Secret Messages: Codebreaking and American Diplomacy, 1930-1945 andSpies in the Vatican: Espionage and Intrigue from Napoleon to the Holocaust
“A welcome addition to the literature on both the FBI and the World War II era, Batvinis’s book provides new information about how FBI counterintelligence and counterespionage operations against Nazi Germany during World War II transformed the FBI’s culture and capabilities.”—Athan Theoharis, author of The FBI and American Democracy: A Brief Critical History
RAYMOND J. BATVINIS, former Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI and Executive Director of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, is the author The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence, also from Kansas. He teaches at The George Washington University, Mercyhurst University, and the Institute of World Politics.