The word "incident" in this audiobook's title is something of a euphemism. Captain S. Payne Best’s 1939 set-up and arrest by the Nazis in Venlo was catastrophic for MI6, the British intelligence agency that employed Best and which was trying to weaken Hitler’s regime from the inside. This is truly the stuff that spy thrillers are made of, but the contents of Best’s courageous and insightful memoir happen to be true. British narrator Eric Brooks could have stepped out of MI6 himself, as his performance implies a keen intellect and a capable grasp of German words. Best spent years in a Nazi concentration camp, and this memoir is a testimony both to his instincts for espionage and to his survival skills.
An incredible, rare glimpse into the inner world of Nazi espionage.
World War II seems to provide an endless supply of amazing true stories of heroism in the face of mortal danger. This true account of an MI6 agent's kidnapping and survival is a real-life spy thriller, and one worth knowing. On November 9, 1939, Captain Sigismund Payne Best and other members of Britain's ultra-secret Z service sat near a cafe in Venlo, The Netherlands, waiting to meet with whom supposedly-sound intelligence told them would be German resistance leaders. In reality, what they would meet at Venlo was an SS ambush - leading to the murder of Best's Z associate and the Nazis' seizure of a plain text list of British under-cover agents. It was a massive disaster for British intelligence and a crucial turning point of war-time espionage.
Best survived Venlo to tell of the shocking intelligence coups that precipitated the attack. His harrowing account of torture at the hands of the Nazis and five years in the infamous Sachenhausen and Dachau concentration camps offers unparalleled, first-hand details from inside the Third Reich. As a prisoner, he crossed paths with famous Nazi resistance fighters, including Georg Elser and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Best's explication of top-secret spy techniques and his depiction of how the incident played out to justify Nazi aggression is military history at its finest. His memoir of espionage, survival, and captivity is a riveting narrative that listeners will not soon forget.
What would have made The Venlo Incident better?
Payne Best blows his horn so much. I think Hitler, Himmler & Hydrich listen to him!The book is me, me, me Payne Best. Very self serving.
What could S. Payne Best have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
A little bit more about others than his greatness!
What didn’t you like about Eric Brooks’s performance?
Mediocre at best.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Any additional comments?
This guy apparently intimated all and control the detention camp. Just ask him!