Coffee with Hitler: The British Amateurs Who Tried to Civilise the Nazis
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I could not recommend this book enough - not least because it reveals just how nuanced the whole subject of appeasement had become by1939. Drawing on newly discovered primary sources, Charles Spencer sheds light on the early career of Kim Philby, Winston Churchill’s approach to appeasement, the US entry into the war and the Rudolf Hess affair, in a groundbreaking reassessment of Britain's relationship with Nazi Germany.
And so, the stage is set for confidences, twists, dramas, alliances, broken promises, miscommunication, and double-bluffs. I understand I can change my preference through my account settings or unsubscribe directly from any marketing communications at any time. The central characters are Philip Conwell-Evans; Ernest Tennant OBE; Grahame Christie; and Sir Robert Vansittart. The cleverly worked friendships with Ribbentrop, Goring and Goebbels, are explained in precise and reliable detail, that form the platform for approach to HItler himself. This unlikely band of mavericks – who included a butterfly-collecting Old Etonian and a left-wing Welsh pacifist – spent five doomed years wining and dining the leading henchmen of Hitler’s diabolical regime.With more than a few spies, rogues, and plot twists along the way, Spicer tells a story that could be ripped from the pages of a novel. The similarities with Russia’s current ambitions to take back territory lost in the break up of the USSR and with Germany’s ambitions to do the same with territories lost in WW1 are stark and chilling.
This unlikely band of mavericks - who included a butterfly-collecting Old Etonian and a left-wing Welsh pacifist - spent five doomed years wining and dining the leading henchmen of Hitler's diabolical regime.Coffee With Hitler offers a rare glimpse into a motley crew who would provide the British government with better intelligence on the horrifying rise of the Nazis than anyone else. Over cosy dinners and cocktail receptions, the likes of Tennant and Hamilton believed that they could act as a moderating influence between the British government and the German high command, but their continued presence at these events gave such figures as Himmler and Ribbentrop, the eventual German ambassador to Britain, a reassuring picture of the potential opposition they faced. and, in some circles, quiet satisfaction that a vigorous reformer had shaken up his country in an apparently effective and forward-looking fashion. The reason why this may be important is that Goering's planned trip to the UK, which was cancelled because the war broke out, was arranged by MI6.
The question is, when did the Service get involved in the whole process and where the private agents whose activities the author has revealed (though in reality just two) working for their own agenda or that of MI6 or someone else. Coffee with Hitler tells the astounding true story of a handful of amateur British intelligence agents who wined, dined and befriended the leading National Socialists between the wars. A truly illuminating, humane and sophisticated book – and, one hopes, the first of many by an exciting new talent on the historical scene. Julie Gottlieb, professor of modern history, University of Sheffield 'A captivating and convincing revisionist history. This was accentuated by the accession of Edward VIII, a man who was described approvingly by Ribbentrop as “a kind of English National Socialist”.
This is the real story of a group of amateurs who went about a mission to appease Adolf Hitler and try to prevent another war in Europe that would surely escalate into a second global conflict. Daily Telegraph 'This engaging book offers a warning from history that remains terrifyingly relevant today. The Oldie 'The extraordinary story of three men, a Welsh historian and political secretary, a butterfly-collecting Old Etonian and a Great War fighter ace. Or that Hitler himself was so adamant that neither Britain nor France would do anything if he invaded Poland, that when Britain's declaration of war finally arrived at his study in the Reich Chancellery he gave Ribbentrop an icy glare and said 'what now? The extraordinary story of three men, a Welsh historian and political secretary, a butterfly-collecting Old Etonian and a Great War fighter ace.