- Copertina rigida: 388 pagine
- Editore: Skyhorse Pub (aprile 2009)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1602397104
- ISBN-13: 978-1602397101
- Peso di spedizione: 635 g
The Hornet's Sting: The Amazing Untold Story of Second World War II Spy Thomas Sneum (Inglese) Copertina rigida – apr 2009
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Book by Ryan Mark
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After discovering a German radar installation on Fanoe, Sneum managed to escape to neutral Sweden and visit the British Legation with drawings and a report. Instead of being rewarded with a place in the RAF, he was recruited as a spy and sent back to Denmark. After gathering more vital intelligence including photos and a movie, he, together with a friend, escaped to England in a stolen de Havilland Hornet Moth, a harrowing adventure which required a mid-air refuelling.
After training in England, Sneum was parachuted back into Denmark to continue his work as a spy, and when his cover was finally blown he escaped by walking across the frozen sea to Sweden where he was arrested and then returned to England where he was suspected of being a double agent, and subjected to extensive cross-examination and a long period in jail.
Unfortunately the parts of the story dealing with Sneum's aviation escapades seem to indicate the author's unfamiliarity with the world of pilots. All altitude and distance measurements are given in metres, which would only be understood by pilots from China, Mongolia or the former Soviet Union, as the rest of the world measures altitude in feet and distance in nautical miles. Further, it seems surprising that an experienced pilot like Sneum would not have known about carburettor icing when he encountered it, as it is something which all trainee pilots learn about.
Notwithstanding these minor flaws, the book tells a compelling and apparently true story of one man's heroism, the enormous obstacles that he faced, and the extreme lengths to which he went to overcome them.
The accumulation of knowledge, including many interviews with Mr Sneum, for the book by the author took most of a decade.
I am surprized that it took me three years to find the book, it deserves more wide acclaim and readership as it is one of the best biographies written and with the twists and turns of Mr Stenums life including the interest and suspense of the challenges he made for himself, no one could have written a better account.
Whether you choose the paperback edition or the Kindle version as I did, please find yourself a block of time before you begin as you will not want to stop until you have completed reading the biography. Great work, Mr Ryan. Thank you.
And thanks also to Amazon.
I could not put this book down. As I read on, I found it difficult not to put myself in his position and ask, "would I have the strength to do the same thing?". This is an amazing story of wit and survival that the reader will not soon forget.
He managed to spy on German radar along the Danish coast by disguising himself as a hunter. This proved to be invaluable to the Allies as they gleaned vital information about radar installations that saved countless lives on Allied planes and ships.
Sneum loved flying and wanted to continue fighting the Nazis as a pilot so he decided to do the impossible: fly a single-engine Hornet across the North Sea into England and join the RAF. This required resourcefulness as the plane needed refueling during the flight and he stepped out onto the wing to refuel using a hose attached to gas cans that he and his co-pilot had packed on board. He and his co-pilot even managed to carry pictures of the radar installations into England to convince the Brits that they were legitimate.
After landing in England, he was recruited to join MI6 and asked to return to Denmark and spy. He successfully learned about a secret "super bomb" that he communicated to his handlers in England. This "super bomb" turned out to be the Nazi's atomic bomb that they were developing. He also befriended German army officers while in Denmark and frequently drank with them to gather intelligence. This friendliness eventually caused endless problems for him.
After his cover was blown, he managed to escape Denmark by walking over ice to Sweden. He was picked up by Swedish police, held in prison, then turned over to the English who also incarcerated him.
Sneum spied for Britain during the war yet remained a controversial figure after the war ended do to his personality and inability to navigate a political minefield within British intelligence.
This is an interesting book and I recommend it to pilots or amateur historians who want to know about the resistance movement during WW2.