These are my decisions as to one particular bookcase.

Non Fiction/Spying

Non Fiction / Escape and evasion

Non Fiction / Cold War

Non Fiction / War / First World War

Non Fiction / War / Second World War

Non Fiction / War / Vietnam War

Non Fiction / War / Falklands War

Non Fiction / War / First Gulf War

Non Fiction / War / Second Gulf War

Non Fiction /War / Honourable Artillery Company

see separate blog post on classification issues.

First major group is spying and escape and evasion

Here are the books

My copy of the Double Cross System has this mysterious photo inside. Sadly not a spy issue more of forgotten bookmark

The above three books are all by MRD Foot who was a brave second world war soldier, an acadamic at Oxford and Manchester Universities and excellent author and a world class historian. He died in 2012.   His full name was Michael Richard Daniell Foot.  Apparently he was a both a British Army intelligence officer and special operations operative during the Second World War.

Wikipedia claims that when at New College, Oxford he became involved romantically with Iris Murdoch!

Other books on Escape and Evasion include Ian Dear’s book.

More escape books!



Those of us growing up in the 1970s remember the excitement of a new episode of Colditz on Sunday night.  Every 10 years or so I re-read the various books.  My collection includes all those by Pat Reid, by Reinhold Eggars (Hauptmann Eggars as he was in WW2), Colditz the definitive history by Henry Chancellor,




The above books are not individually photographed. they include a copy of Spy Catcher smuggled into the UK on publication for me when it was still banned in the UK, the official histories of both MI5 and MI6 (heavy going in parts and huge books) and two copies of The Penkovsky Papers by Oleg Penkovsky published by Collins in 1965 both hardback with their dust jackets. Bought the first and noticed that contemporary press cuttings had been stored inside – always love this when I find it. Second one turned up at a charity sale a few years later, even better condition ( and the second impression of the first edition) and again stuffed full of press cuttings.    Sadly as we don’t take a printed newpaper anymore I can’t continue this tradition. Yesterday, for example there was an article in the Times by Ben Macintyre about Oleg Penkovsky and in particular the story about Michael Foot being an agent of influence for the KGB.  Mr Foot sued the Times for libel years ago over this.

Before I get onto Ben Macintyre books I might mention that the MRD Foot some of whose books are listed on this page is apparently distantly related to Michael Foot.


More escape books



My second copy of the Edge of the Sword by Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley. First was ordered from a bookshop in Thame in about 1989 when it was on the reading list for a training course I was doing!.   I remember the scene in the Korean War when he was being tortured and he said that he remembered thinking that he couldn’t believe that he it was the middle of the 20th century and he was being tortured.  My second copy turned up in our village hall sale – a first edition signed copy. Sir Anthony was a captain at the time.   

Two books on Enigma/Alan Turing. There are others in the house including Simon Singh’s book.

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