Camp Z - How British Intelligence Broke Hitler's Deputy, Stephen McGinty

Camp Z - How British Intelligence Broke Hitler's Deputy, Stephen McGinty

One of the most peculiar incidents of the Second World War took place on 10 May 1941 when Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Fuhrer of Germany, parachuted into Scotland on a personal peace mission, probably motivated by a desire to regain influence with Hitler. Once his identity had been confirmed he was taken into custody, and great efforts were made to try and get some useful information out of him.

This book covers the period Hess spent in Mytchett Place near Aldershot, when he was considered to potentially be a valuable source of intelligence. It ends with his removal to a hospital one year later, by which time any value he may have had was gone,

The title is a bit misleading - Hess can't be said to have been 'broken' as a source as he never really provided any important information, and as far as his mental state is concerned he appears to have arrived 'pre-broken'. His expectations of what would happen after he reached Britain were utter unrealistic - he seems to have believed that he would have been left at liberty and allowed to return to Germany after his mission was over!

This is a fascinating account of what must have been a claustrophobic and rather frustrating year for everyone involved. Hess's mental state was variable throughout the year, and most of the British effort went onto trying to produce some sort of sanity and stability. Eventually Hess turned out to be a disappointing source, but that doesn’t stop this from being an interesting story well told.

1 - Arrival
2 - Genesis
3 - Flight
4 - Hitler
5 - House of Secrets
6 - A Psychiatrist in the Rain
7 - A Lord Comes Calling
8 - Whistling in the Dark
9 - Into the Darkness
10 - Jagged Thoughts and Treacherous Suspicions
11 - The Man in the Homburg Hat
12 - The Black Art
13 - The King and I
14 - Departure

Author: Stephen McGinty
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 336
Publisher: Quercus
Year: 2012

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