The final book of the trilogy on army supply

The final  book of the trilogy on army supply
The third of my books on army supply

Thursday 20 April 2023

Spymaster by Helen Fry

A carefully researched and multifaceted account of crucial work that enabled the Allies to win WW2.

It starts slowly, painstakingly piecing together fragments that begin to tell the story of Tommy Kendrick. 

It then grips the reader with an equally painstaking, but harrowing, account of just how hard it was to help Austria’s Jews following the Nazi invasion. Reading it, the overwhelming feelings are of shame at the attitude of the British and colonial governments, but also heartfelt admiration for Kendrick and his colleagues who saved thousands of lives. 

Kendrick is arrested by the Nazis but is freed and is given an astonishing job by British intelligence to gather information from POWs. Decency takes the place of violence, but decency combined with secret listening. It is astonishingly effective. Interestingly for me, two of the key sites for the soft interrogation were close to where I lived as a child. One, Latimer, doubled up as an MT depot to hide its true purpose. MT depots were under my father’s command as Controller of Ordnance Services. I can't recall a word being said about these places, a credit to very effective secrecy or admirable discretion on my parents part. 

A passage of particular interest to me was of German weapon development. The V rocket programme seemed to mirror British jet engine development. The atomic programmes in both countries appeared neck and neck. Post war, interests converged to counter the threat from Soviet Russia. I wonder who would have thought then just how important that alliance would become.

A truly fascinating read