One particularly interesting of these “volunteer” characters was Hermann Matull, a world-class hustler with a talent for making up the most intricate stories on the fly. There was another reason that made Matull such a perfect candidate. He had already managed to evade the Gestapo as a deserter before ending up in an Allied POW camp thanks to his web of contacts in the black market underground, contacts on which, the OSS hoped, he could rely again. But Matull's mission encountered a complication from the most pedestrian source, proving that the successful covert intelligence operations succeed or fail based on how careful or sloppy the agents and the planners are about the most seemingly insignificant details.
They Dared Return is first-rate reading that captures the action and the drama of war in the shadows. Unlike film and spy novel fantasies, this is the real deal, popular history at its best.