18 April 2014
Secrets in a Dead Fish pulls together first-hand accounts of the inventive, often ingenious, and sometimes improbable methods of espionage used during the First World War.
Arranged thematically, these lively stories present a gripping insight into the techniques used for concealing secrets and spying on the enemy. Accounts include the memoirs of a former officer from the Metropolitan Police who once hunted Jack the Ripper and the tales of secret agents from Germany, Russia, America and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The spiesí tricks of the trade range from trading messages in clothing and the use of dead fish to transport hidden secrets, to one agentís self-poisoning via shampoo in order to feign illness and rescue German war prisoners from a hospital in Russia. Read how the use of a toothpick could allow two spies to communicate and why Native Americans were the US Armyís secret weapon for concealing information on trench telephones. Did a Polish baker really use pastry to allow communication between spies? And how did an advertisement in The Times for a dog let a spy know that a battle had taken place?
Secrets in a Dead Fish brings to light a collection of forgotten tricks used by spies during the First World War and delivers them to readers in a fascinating and amusing compendium of extant narratives. This book provides a view of an oft-neglected aspect of the Great War and makes for an engaging read as we approach the Warís centenary.