Page 41

the one true security organ of the Third Reich, the primary force responsible for “safeguarding the embodiment of the National Socialist ideal.” Recently, in fact, Himmler had begun to keep even more secrets from Canaris. How else, except by maintaining his own cadre of loyal snoopers, could he prove that Canaris was involved with the conspiracy and remove him from his seat at the head of the Abwehr? Hagen leaned back in his chair, keeping his face neutral. “Herr Admiral,” he said blandly, “I do not believe that I have any knowledge of agents in the field which you do not possess yourself.” Canaris smiled thinly. He nodded. Then he reached into his desk drawer, removed a file, and slid it across to Hagen. Hagen leaned forward and lifted the file open just enough to see the heading on the first page. “I believe you trained this woman personally,” Canaris said, “many years ago.” Hagen let the file fall closed again, frowning. The agent, who went by the code number V.1353, represented something of a sore spot for him. She had been one of the best he had ever trained, if not the very best, and he’d had high hopes for her. But then something had gone terribly wrong. It had been back in the halcyon days of the Nazi party, when Hitler’s star was rising faster than anybody would have thought possible and the future was filled with promise—the promise of acquiring unlimited lebensraum for future German generations; the promise of racial purity and the rightful return of Austria and the Sudetenland to Germany; the promise of not only shaking off the shackles of Versailles but of avenging them. Caught up by the optimism, and already conscious of the need to produce greater results than such competing agencies as the Abwehr and the SA, Himmler had sanctioned the training of several special agents. The agents would infiltrate Britain, America, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, and Holland. They were symbolic of how far the Third Reich would eventually reach, and they had been the best young Germans Himmler could find. They would not be dependent on anything except themselves. They would be able to operate with any weapon, to memorize intelligence at a glance, to improvise their way out of any situation. And to train these agents, the best of the best, he had chosen Hagen personally. Agent V.1353 had distinguished herself even among this impressive company. She excelled at the physical side of the game, learning how to kill

Profile for johnaltmanwriter

A Gathering of Spies - Excerpt  

A BEAUTIFUL NAZI SPY AND AN ENIGMATIC BRITISH DOUBLE AGENT MATCH WITS IN THIS GRIPPING WORLD WAR II THRILLER Gorgeous, cunning, and lethal,...

A Gathering of Spies - Excerpt  

A BEAUTIFUL NAZI SPY AND AN ENIGMATIC BRITISH DOUBLE AGENT MATCH WITS IN THIS GRIPPING WORLD WAR II THRILLER Gorgeous, cunning, and lethal,...