Wednesday, December 4, 2013

George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution

Veteran journalist and author Joseph C. Goulden offers a good review in the Washington Times of Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger's George Washington's Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved the American Revolution. 

One of the more telling — and accurate — statements to emerge from the American Revolution came from a British intelligence officer, Maj. Gen. George Beckwith: “Washington did not really outfight the British, he simply outspied us!”

Such was certainly the case in the grim early months of the war, when Gen. George Washington threw an ill-equipped, ill-trained army of volunteers against one of the more formidable military machines of the 18th century. Superior force enabled the British to drive the Revolutionaries from their strongholds in Boston and other parts of New England.

To Washington, retaining a foothold in the New York area represented a make-or-break point for his beleaguered army. British control of the harbor would enable the Royal Navy to bring in reinforcements and bedevil Revolutionary shipping. He also knew that the war would not be a “clash of armies” in traditional European fashion, but a series of maneuvers in which he must ferret out British battle plans and weaknesses.

So Washington’s spymaster, Maj. Benjamin Tallmadge, busied himself organizing intelligence operatives. One of his first recruits, the untrained Lt. Nathan Hale, soon perished on a British gallows, a victim of poor tradecraft. But his bravery earned him eternal fame, including a statue outside the Old Headquarters Building on the CIA campus in Langley.

The story of Tallmadge’s greatest coup is related in “Washington’s Secret Six,” by Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of the morning cable-TV program “Fox & Friends,” and Don Yaeger, a veteran Florida ghostwriter. Although they walk ground already well-trod by historians, their access to TV likely will command a large audience of younger persons who spend scant time with books and who should know about a group of true American heroes.

You can read the rest of the review via the below link:

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