Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker's War 1941-45

9780752471600: Between Silk and Cyanide: A Code Maker's War 1941-45

NEW, UPDATED EDITION OF ONE OF THE LAST GREAT SECOND WORLD WAR MEMOIRS. In 1942, with a black-market chicken under his arm, Leo Marks left his father's famous bookshop, 84 Charing Cross Road, and went to war. He was twenty-two and a cryptographer of genius. In Between Silk and Cyanide, his critically acclaimed account of his time in SOE, Mark tells how he revolutionised the code-making techniques of the Allies, trained some of the most famous agents dropped into France including Violette Szabo and 'the White Rabbit', and why he wrote haunting verse including his 'The Life that I have' poem. He reveals for the first time the disastrous dimensions of the code war between SOE and the Germans in Holland; how the Germans were fooled into thinking a Secret Army was operating in the Fatherland itself; and how and why he broke General de Gaulle's secret code. Both thrilling and poignant, Mark's book is truly one of the last great Second World War memoirs.

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Martin Scorsese "Between Silk and Cyanide" is a mesmerizing account of World War II as fought on the home front in Great Britain by the ingenious codemakers whose work determined the life and death of the Allied agents in occupied Europe. Leo Marks, a brilliant cryptographer, is a masterful and passionate storyteller. I was immediately swept into his secret world of codes and "undecipherables," trying at times (without success) to unravel the puzzles myself, and found it difficult to put down the book until the drama had come to an end.


'Between Silk and Cyanide' is the witty, engrossing wartime story of Leo Marks, a cryptographer of genius who transformed code-making and code breaking for SOE from 1942 to 1945, and went on to write the script of the cult film, 'Peeping Tom'.

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