This is the first biography of Silver, the war’s only quintuple spy
Based on extensive research into previously classified British, German, Italian, Japanese and Russian documentation
The author interviewed Silver and many of his associates
The book also reveals Nazi intrigues to enlist Muslim tribal leaders in the North West Frontier of British India, now the centre of jihadist activity
A ground-breaking look at how war was fought in a part of the world much in the news, but neglected by Second World War historians
Silver was the codename for the only quintuple spy of the Second World War, spying for the Italians, Germans, Japanese, Soviets and the British. The Germans awarded him the Iron Cross, Germany’s highest military decoration, and paid him £2.5 million in today’s money.
In reality, Silver deceived the Nazis on behalf of the Soviets and the British. In 1942, the Russians decided to share Silver with the British, the only time during the war that the Soviets agreed to such an arrangement. This brought him under the control of Peter Fleming who acted as his spy master.
Germans also gave Silver a transmitter that broadcast misleading military information directly to Abwehr headquarters in Berlin. Silver was one of many codenames for a man whose real name was Bhagat Ram Talwar, a Hindu Pathan from the North West Frontier province of then British India. Between 1941 and 1945, Silver made twelve trips from Peshawar to Kabul to supply false information to the Germans, always making the near-200-mile journey on foot over mountain passes and hostile tribal territory.
Once when an Afghan nearly rumbled him, he invited him to a curry meal in which he had mixed deadly tiger’s whiskers killing the Afghan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mihir Bose, the first BBC sports editor, has written for all the major British papers including the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph. An award-winning author and journalist, he has won Business Columnist of the Year, Sports Reporter of the Year and Sports Story of the Year. His History of Indian cricket was the first Indian cricket book to win the Cricket Society Literary Award. Loughborough University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate for outstanding contribution to journalism and promotion of equality. His twenty-nine books range from biography and history through business and sport and the only narrative history of Bollywood.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 336 pages
Illustrations: 32 black-and-white photographs