All's Fair: The Story of the British Secret Service Behind the German Lines
Price: 45.00 USD
New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1934. 329, illus., map, index, slight darkening to text, DJ worn & soiled: several tears/chips, small pieces missing. Excerpt from Kirkus review: " The book opens with Landau's own early life, his training and background for the position he later held. The last part picks up the threads of his personal career, his post-war experiences, two years' romantic interlude with Yvonne, a famous dancer, his trip to Russia and the adventure of the emeralds, his fleeting contracts with post-war secret service activities. The balance of the book -- and the more important part -- is an analysis of the British secret service operations in Belgium and Holland." The author was Chief in the Field, overseeing members of the British Secret Service who worked in the occupied territories of Belgium and France, and in Germany during World War I. Henry Landau OBE was a South African World War I volunteer who served with the British Army's Royal Field Artillery when he was recruited into what is now known as the SIS (MI6). He was notable for handling one of the most effective espionage networks of the First World War, La Dame Blanche, and later wrote a number of bestselling books about his experiences during the war. In August 1914 he went to France with a volunteer hospital unit, later gaining a commission with the Royal Field Artillery. After sick leave in London and a dinner date with one of the secretaries of the head of MI6, Royal Navy Captain Mansfield Smith-Cumming (the original "C"), Landau was recruited and sent to the MI6 station in Rotterdam. From there all the British spy networks in Belgium, France and Germany itself were handled under command of Richard B. Tinsley. Landau became head of military intelligence at the Rotterdam branch, and his main task was to connect with Belgian resistance groups. His biggest success would be the handling of La Dame Blanche, a group of more than a thousand Belgian and French agents who monitored the movement of German troop trains to and from the Western Front. Named after a mythical White Lady whose appearance was supposed to presage the downfall of the German Imperial House of Hohenzollern, it was arguably the most effective intelligence operation of the First World War and, according to Cumming, produced 70 per cent of all Allied intelligence on the German forces worldwide. After the war Landau was sent to lead the passport control office in Berlin, in theory a very prestigious post within MI6. Not able to deal with bureaucracy and boredom, he resigned the military in 1920 and took employment procuring patents and inventions for a British shipbuilding company. He later returned to South Africa, before emigrating to the United States in 1923 where he worked as a teacher. After obtaining U.S. citizenship in 1933, Landau worked as an investigator for the Federal Works Agency and the U.S. Maritime Commission. In 1934 Landau published his memoirs as a World War I spy master. In the book, All's Fair, he revealed the existence of Karl Krüger, a former officer in the German Imperial Navy, who was one of MI6's most important World War I spies. Although Landau did not reveal Krüger's name, as Krüger was still active, MI6 considered Landau persona non grata. His book was published in the U.K. in 1938 as Spreading The Spy Net. The Story of a British Spy Director. After All's Fair became a bestseller, Landau wrote two more books: Secrets of the White Lady (1935) and The Enemy Within. The Inside Story of German Sabotage in America (1937). Second Printing. Good.