Around the real preparations for D-Day, MI5 double agents – on the German payroll but secretly working for the British – spun what Churchill called "a bodyguard of lies".
Macintyre's enthralling book about their deceits, which persuaded Hitler that the main invasion force would land near Calais, follows five maverick spies with huge skill and panache.
From the famous Garbo, once a Catalan chicken-farmer, to a bisexual it-girl in Mayfair, and a truly heroic Wodehousian playboy, these oddball tricksters pulled off a mind-boggling success. BT
Macintyre's real coup comes with Johnnie Jebsen, the pleasure-loving playboy of the German Abwehr who hid his true allegiances and, when captured, exhibited a heroism that almost defies belief.