(Review) The Spy in Hitler's Inner Circle: Hans-Thilo Schmidt and the Intelligence Network that Decoded Enigma by Paul Paillole
Publication Date: May 2016 (originally published under the name, Notre espion chez Hitler in 1985)
Genre: Nonfiction, history, World War II, Hitler, espionage
Source: Free copy from Casemate. I received this book free of charge from the author or publisher.
Rating: 3 stars for good
Link for more information at Casemate.
Paul Paillole was born in Rennes, France, 1905. He died in Paris, France, 2002. He joined the French army in 1925, and began working for the French Secret Services in counter-espionage branch, 5th Bureau in 1935.
I read a small biography on Paul Paillole on Wikipedia. Controversy surrounds whether he helped Allied forces or engaged in counter activity against the Allies. There are other sites available to read but they are in French.
The time period for the book is 1931-1946.
Paul Paillole held an eye-witness account to the Hans-Thilo Schmidt spy work during World War II. Hans-Thilo through most of the book is known as H.E. He had a family member who was in high command in the Nazi army. H.E. became privileged to information that he was willing to pass on to Allied forces. He gave the information to France. The main thrust of the information was help for the Enigma Code machine.
The Spy in Hitler's Inner Circle is a chronological account of the activities of H.E., the information he passed on, the history of the Enigma machine, and the events that unfolded in Europe during World War II.
The Spy in Hitler's Inner Circle is heavy in military and espionage history during the years before World War II and just afterwards.
The dialogue between characters is strictly facts and information. This is not a book where I felt apart of the story because of background scene descriptions or any other type of description. The book reminds me of a documentary that has a brief amount of time to tell its information. Therefore, because of these reasons the book came across as dry. Towards the end of the book I became interested in the story; it is possible human characteristics were shown and I felt more intrigued.
A strong point in the book is I was shown the bravery and cost of passing along information during the war. The people involved understood the cost, but hoped for the best outcome. Their motivations became clearer as the book ended. Not all had the same motivations. Some were motivated to end the war. Some were motivated because they loved their country. Some were motivated because they hated Hitler. Some were motivated because they believed in a different ideology.