In January 1941, the twenty-four-year-old Noel Annan was assigned to Military Intelligence in Whitehall, where for the next four years he was to be involved in the crucial work of interpreting information supplied by a network of agents throughout occupied Europe and by the Ultra code-breakers at Bletchley Park. From Winston Churchill and Bomber Harris to the great minds at Bletchley, he describes in superbly characterised detail the people and the problems involved in this curious and difficult work, which was to play such a vital role in the Allied victory. Immediately the war in Europe ended, Annan was seconded to the British Zone in the defeated Germany to help rebuild the country which he and his colleagues had so recently been working to destroy. Germany's cities were in ruins, its people starving and demoralised, its industry smashed. Britain was changing enemies: from being the ally of the Western Powers, Soviet Russia now became a foe, and Annan got to know the new generation of German politicians who were to bring about the economic miracle that led to the country's renaissance. His account of this pivotal period of European history is both fascinating in itself and of considerable importance to our understanding of Europe as it is today. 'A quite splendid example of how personal reminiscence can enrich historical understanding in the hands of a gifted writer.' RAYMOND CARR, 'Spectator' Books of the Year 'A superb book.stylish, witty and intensely interesting.' CHARLES CHENEVIX TRENCH, 'Irish Independent' 'Nothing he has written is more fascinating.As history written by a participant, the book succeeds triumphantly.' JOHN GRIGG, 'Evening Standard'