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Hitler's Spies: Secret Agents and the Intelligence War in South Africa by Evert Kleynhans (Expected Apr 2021)

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Publication Date: Apr 2021 - Pre-order Now!

While the world was at war, in far-flung South Africa the police chased after a German-trained saboteur and the operators of a radio transmitter that was sending coded messages to Germany from Vryburg.


At the start of the Second World War the German government secretly reached out to the leadership of the Ossewabrandwag (OB), an anti-war and anti-British movement. They wanted to spread sedition in the country to undermine the Allied war effort and hoped to gain political and naval intelligence in South Africa.


Soon a network of spies was established by the Ossewabrandwag, who had members in key ports and in the South African railways. German diplomats in exile also ran a spy ring called the Trompke Network from Lourenço Marques.


Starting with a surprise attack near Cape Town, in 1942 and 1943 German submarines sunk in excess of 100 ships off the South African coast. The route around Cape Town had become a prime target after the Suez canal was closed. Were these attacks based on locally sourced naval intelligence?


In this gripping account of the intelligence war in South Africa during the Second World War military historian Evert Kleynhans sets out to answer this question. This little explored part of our history is filled with honey traps, code names, undercover operations and the dramatics of the postwar hunt for witnesses in Europe to bring traitors to book.

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