Handbook for Spies
Seeking adventure, British citizen Alexander Foote fought the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War. Returning home after it ended, discouraged by the result, Foote was recruited into a Soviet network of spies against Nazi Germany. Based in Switzerland, Foote eventually became responsible for maintaining the network and forwarding information to the Centre in Russia. Foote describes for us how the network operated, including codes and secret transmissions, hiding from Swiss and German authorities, recruiting and funding, and eluding double agents. All the while, Foote watches Soviet Russia, presumably an ally to the free nations, become more and more like the Fascists Foote opposes. Eventually captured by Swiss police, Foote is debriefed in Russia, but manages to escape home to Britain after persuading the Soviets to send him on another mission. This is a fascinating story that illuminates a key part of the secret espionage networks undertaken during World War II.