World War II combat veteran and longtime CIA officer James Critchfield tells the incredible story of how a handful of former members of the German Army General Staff, under the watchful eye of American intelligence, planned a postwar national security system. At the heart of the activities he describes, Critchfield recounts details of the twin developments of a German intelligence service headed by Hitler's former chief of intelligence on the Eastern Front Reinhard Gehlen, and a German defense force headed by Hitler's former chief of operations Adolf Heusinger. These behind-the-scenes revelations will attract readers who enjoy good spy stories as well as historians of the period, for it has not been fully known until now the role played by the CIA or by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who secretly sponsored the men and their work. Known only as "Mr. Marshall," Critchfield was the CIA officer in charge of the secret compound in Bavaria where Gehlen and Heusinger worked with their staffs to put the new intelligence and defense systems in place. The stars and stripes flying from the flagpole at the center of the compound provided cover and implied American political support. The author gives full credit to the men's success, which he says helped Germany emerge in 1955 as a sovereign nation and a member of NATO. Critchfield's gripping eight-year chronicle of creating these organizations, as Germany moved from enemy to ally, exposes readers to a new perspective of postwar development. 19 photographs. Appendix. Glossary. Bibliography. Index. 6 x 9 inches.
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James H. Critchfield served in Europe in World War II, retiring as a colonel in the U.S. Army, and as a CIA officer from 1946 to 1974, ending his career as an energy policy planner at the White House. He later headed two private sector companies in the energy field. He lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.Review:
"...a fascinating book." -- History Today, August 2004
"A good intelligence story [that] gives insight into how 'diplomacy' functioned during the Cold War." -- Washington Times, February 29, 2004
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