Listen free for 30 days

The Walls Have Ears

The Greatest Intelligence Operation of World War II
By: Helen Fry
Narrated by: Jean Gilpin
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: History, European
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

A history of the elaborate and brilliantly sustained World War II intelligence operation by which Hitler's generals were tricked into giving away vital Nazi secrets... 

At the outbreak of World War II, MI6 spymaster Thomas Kendrick arrived at the Tower of London to set up a top secret operation: German prisoners' cells were to be bugged and listeners installed behind the walls to record and transcribe their private conversations. This mission proved so effective that it would go on to be set up at three further sites - and provide the Allies with crucial insight into new technology being developed by the Nazis. 

In this astonishing history, Helen Fry uncovers the inner workings of the bugging operation. On arrival at stately-homes-turned-prisons like Trent Park, high-ranking German generals and commanders were given a "phony" interrogation, then treated as "guests," wined and dined at exclusive clubs, and encouraged to talk. And so it was that the Allies got access to some of Hitler's most closely guarded secrets - and from those most entrusted to protect them.

©2019 Helen Fry (P)2019 Random House Audio

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Returned after a 5 minute listen.

I really wanted to find out more about this subject but after 5 mins had to return it. The narration is truly awful and is very robitic. Most annoying is the attempt at German accents. The other is giving dates as 1 October instead of the 1st of October. Audible, please record it using a different reader and I'll give it another go. I'll avoid other books by the narrator.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Comprehensive, but...

A triumph of research into one of the more arcane details of the war in Europe 1939-45. The work of Kendrick et al at Trent Park was clearly instrumental in planning the Allied response to German innovations and military strategy.

However as a narrative the account meanders into long lists of people, and undeveloped pieces of detail. Which makes for a difficult listen. I suspect this book is better to read than to listen to, as the account cries out for illustration and period photographs to help the non expert follow the detail.

The narrator is fine, with exemplary German pronunciation of names, and an engaging tone.

Overall if you have an interest in military intelligence, and British treatment and exploitation of POWs in WWII, this may be of interest, especially the accounts of taking Nazi POWs on nights out in Central London!