• MI9

  • A History of the Secret Service for Escape and Evasion in World War Two
  • By: Helen Fry
  • Narrated by: Helen Lloyd
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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MI9

By: Helen Fry
Narrated by: Helen Lloyd
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Publisher's Summary

A thrilling history of MI9 - the WWII organization that engineered the escape of Allied forces from behind enemy lines

When Allied fighters were trapped behind enemy lines, one branch of military intelligence helped them escape: MI9. The organization set up clandestine routes that zigzagged across Nazi-occupied Europe, enabling soldiers and airmen to make their way home. Secret agents and resistance fighters risked their lives and those of their families to hide the men.

Drawing on declassified files and eye-witness testimonies from across Europe and the United States, Helen Fry provides a significant reassessment of MI9’s wartime role. Central to its success were figures such as Airey Neave, Jimmy Langley, Sam Derry, and Mary Lindell, who was one of only a few women parachuted into enemy territory for MI9. This astonishing account combines escape and evasion tales with the previously untold stories behind the establishment of MI9 - and reveals how the organization saved thousands of lives.

©2020 Helen Fry (P)2020 Blackstone Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about MI9

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Super informative

This was a very informative book. It is broken down into the interactions with different agencies and people. It was very thorough and clearly well researched. I love books like this where I can imagine what I would have done in such a situation. The reader was British (obviously) and she is easy to understand and has great speed and cadence.

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It puts all the allied players in perspective

I understand why the secrets act in England was extended well pass the end of WW 2. Having separate secret agencies prevent having a complete compromised agency.
A great view of the war not through American eyes.

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Great Information

M19 contains a plethora of information for the history buff. Almost too much. I think the author went into a bit too much detail in this book. It made the book drag and just go on forever. The narrator just droned on also. If you are a history buff, and have lots of patience I recommend this book. It is fill with lots of detail (too much in my opinion) but is worth a listen.

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Not what I thought it would be

I thought this would be a lot of stories about people helping POW'S and downed pilots to get to safety. While there is some stories like that, mostly it's a lot of statistics and names of people in MI9. The book jumps around and repeats a lot of information. It is very long and I just couldn't finish it. It became boring. I wish it would have been better.

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Learn about an unknown history of WW 2

Do you like spies and espionage then take a look about how the escape and evasion routes were set up and what MI9 did. This is an really under looked part of the history of WW2.

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  • Andy
  • 10-14-21

Interesting but frustrating

An up to date book on MI9 is a great idea and Fry has, to her credit, obviously done an immense amount of original research. However the end result is a book which is interesting in parts but overall a frustrating read.

Fry sets out her stall early in contending that MI9 was as important in the intelligence world as SIS/MI6, MI5 and GCCS. However, although there was obviously a huge amount of collection and debriefing work done by MI9, Fry doesn’t explain in specific terms how MI9 added to the huge intelligence product of other agencies and military/air reconnaissance or how its product was analysed and ultimately used.

Fry’s contention that recovery of downed aircrew was vital to the maintenance of Allied air power is also not clearly supported in the book, and the number of crews recovered seems small compared with the large numbers of crews being trained. Although no doubt evasion was a powerful morale booster, Fry’s discussion of the Air Ministry’s initial view of escape and evasion as a low priority seems to support its perceived lack of strategic importance.

The tone of the book is also variable. The decision to discuss ‘Q’ and escape gadget up front captures the attention, but is not representative of the book as a whole. There are also some fantastic escapades mentioned and, while these are covered in detail in other books, the brief mentions leaves you wanting more. The book also lacks context about the wider context in which evasion took place. The differences in approach between authorities in Occupied and Vichy France, for example, are implied but not explained. Equally the composition of the enemy is also a blank canvas with no detailed discussion about the many different German agencies involved and how they operated to counter MI9.

The few factual and date errors in the book are also a little irritating and should have been picked up. As an example, the ‘Japanese invasion of the northern regions of Australia’ (as opposed to Australian overseas territories located to the north) will no doubt have come as a surprise to the people of Darwin.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Boyd
  • 11-21-20

Not what I expected

I had high hopes for this book having read a history magazine article. But basically it describes a club for officers to escape from enemy captivity so much so you would think ordinary ranks didn't. So many lists of names and activities.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Antony G Saunders
  • 06-02-21

A tale that needs to be told

The incredible story of the escape and invasion networks in WW2. Bravery and commitment of the highest order in face of torture and death. Well researched and written. very good.

1 person found this helpful

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  • mcfontaine
  • 04-26-21

Brilliant

Another brilliantly researched and well told look at a part of the Secret War in WW2. Dr Helen Fry does these so well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • DartmoorDiva
  • 10-30-22

Mind numbingly dull

I listen to a lot of espionage and Second World War books mostly by Ben McIntyre. This book, which I hoped would be as interesting, is as dull as dishwater, both the monotonous narration and the writing style had me nodding off after a couple of chapters.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-21-22

A grand cure for insomnia

If you want to know how many sheets of toilet paper were used by MI9 in June 1943, this is just the book for you. If you want to know about the interesting stories of escape and bravery then another book is the thing. The narrator nevertheless does a grand job against the tsunami of tedious text. On the positive side I know to avoid Helen Fry's books. in the future.

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  • FIONA T.
  • 10-19-22

fascinating book

Great book full of information. A lot to take in, probably best read in short chunks!

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  • alan rhodes
  • 09-22-22

Lots of knowledge I had no idea about

Very interesting a great Liston and informative would fully recommend this amazing factual book with some excellent results obtained for our security and-military forces .

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  • SMICS
  • 08-22-22

Fascinating

A great combination of the horrors that escapers went through, the incredible organisation behind the escape lines and some amusing moments too. Well worth a listen.

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  • J. Evans
  • 08-04-22

Fantastic Listen!

A truly phenomenal book about an agency I didn't know existed! A MUST READ !

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  • Jennifer
  • 12-26-21

Fascinating

Unaccountable bravery. Wonderfully researched and recounted. It just goes to show the significance of everyday people. Elegantly narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mack
  • 11-21-22

A fascinating insight into the history of mi9

We written history of the brave men and women of an amazing generation

I certainly recommend listening/ reading this book
For anyone interested in history

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  • Gareth Barrett
  • 05-23-22

my historical eyes have been opened

It astounds me the ingenuity of people and the willingness to help despite the greatest possible risks. This book cleverly intertwines real lift stories that also further our knowledge of MI9 and the outstanding work it did. Helen Fry narrates her own book clearly and with an underlying tone of passion, admiration and amazement for the individuals that helped so many people escape and evade capture during World War 2.

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  • Lauren Wilson
  • 03-11-22

Excellent listen

This is one of the best Audible books I've listened to in the last 12 months. Superbly narrated by Helen Lloyd. Far surpasses most other books on SOE. It is thoroughly recommended.