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In the 1940s, the brightest minds of the United States and Nazi Germany raced to West Africa with a single mission: to secure the essential ingredient of the atomic bomb -- and to make sure nobody saw them doing it Albert Einstein told President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939 that the world's only supply of uniquely high-quality uranium ore -- the key ingredient for bomb -- could be found in the Katanga province of the Belgian Congo at the Shinkolobwe Mine. Once the US Manhattan Project was committed to developing atomic weapons for the war against Germany and Japan, the rush to procure this uranium became a top priority -- one deemed "vital to the welfare of the United States." But covertly exporting it from Africa posed a major risk: the ore had to travel via a spy-infested Angolan port or 1,500 miles by rail through the Congo, and then be shipped by boats or Pan Am Clippers to safety in the United States. It could be poached or smuggled at any point on the orders of Nazi Germany. To combat that threat, the US Office of Strategic Services sent in a team of intrepid spies, led by Wilbur Owings "Dock" Hogue, to be America's eyes and ears and to protect its most precious and destructive cargo. Packed with newly discovered details from American and British archives, this is the gripping, true story of the unsung heroism of a handful of good men -- and one woman -- in colonial Africa who risked their lives in the fight against fascism and helped deny Hitler his atomic bomb.
Spies in the Congo is the untold story of one of the most tightly-guarded secrets of the Second World War: America’s desperate struggle to secure enough uranium to build its atomic bomb. The Shinkolobwe mine in the Belgian Congo was the most important deposit of uranium yet discovered anywhere on earth, vital to the success of the Manhattan Project. Given that Germany was also working on an atomic bomb, it was an urgent priority for the US to prevent uranium from the Congo being diverted to the enemy — a task entrusted to Washington’s elite secret intelligence agents. Sent undercover to colonial Africa to track the ore and to hunt Nazi collaborators, their assignment was made even tougher by the complex political reality and by tensions with Belgian and British officials. A gripping spy-thriller, Spies in the Congo is the true story of unsung heroism, of the handful of good men — and one woman — in Africa who were determined to deny Hitler his bomb.
In his twentieth novel, John le Carré returns to Africa with a new tale of mystery and corruption that bears the hallmarks of classic le Carré storytelling. By turns thriller, romance, and exposé of post-colonial politics, The Mission Song chronicles interpreter Bruno Salvador’s journey into the darkness of Western hypocrisy and deceit. Born to a Congolese mother and an Irish–French father and educated in Britain, “Salvo” is the faithful servant eager to play his minor part in brokering a deal that would ostensibly bring peace and prosperity to the resource-rich but ravaged Congo. But Salvo finds himself both hunter and prey when he stumbles into a carefully plotted swindle that will only further devastate his birthplace.
One of the outstanding mysteries of the twentieth century, and one with huge political resonance, is the death of Dag Hammarskjold and his UN team in a plane crash in central Africa in 1961. Just minutes after midnight, his aircraft plunged into thick forest in the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), abruptly ending his mission to bring peace to the Congo. Across the world, many suspected sabotage, accusing the multi-nationals and the governments of Britain, Belgium, the USA and South Africa of involvement in the disaster. These suspicions have never gone away. British High Commissioner Lord Alport was waiting at the airport when the aircraft crashed nearby. He bizarrely insisted to the airport management that Hammarskjold had flown elsewhere - even though his aircraft was reported overhead. This postponed a search for so long that the wreckage of the plane was not found for fifteen hours. White mercenaries were at the airport that night too, including the South African pilot Jerry Puren, whose bombing of Congolese villages led, in his own words, to 'flaming huts ...destruction and death'. These soldiers of fortune were backed by Sir Roy Welensky, Prime Minister of the Rhodesian Federation, who was ready to stop at nothing to maintain white rule and thought the United Nations was synonymous with the Nazis. The Rhodesian government conducted an official inquiry, which blamed pilot error. But as this book will show, it was a massive cover-up that suppressed and dismissed a mass of crucial evidence, especially that of African eye-witnesses. A subsequent UN inquiry was unable to rule out foul play - but had no access to the evidence to show how and why. Now, for the first time, this story can be told. Who Killed Hammarskjold follows the author on her intriguing and often frightening journey of research to Zambia, South Africa, the USA, Sweden, Norway, Britain, France and Belgium, where she unearthed a mass of new and hitherto secret documentary and photographic evidence. At the heart of this book is Hammarskjold himself - a courageous and complex idealist, who sought to shield the newly-independent nations of the world from the predatory instincts of the Great Powers. It reveals that the conflict in the Congo was driven not so much by internal divisions, as by the Cold War and by the West's determination to keep real power from the hands of the post-colonial governments of Africa. It shows, too, that the British settlers of Rhodesia would maintain white minority rule at all costs.
Accra, 1958. Africa's liberation leaders have gathered for a conference, full of strength, purpose and vision. Newly independent Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah and Congo's Patrice Lumumba strike up a powerful alliance. Everything seems possible. But, within less than a decade, both men will have been targeted by the CIA, and their dream of true African autonomy destroyed. The US intelligence agency, watching the Europeans withdraw from Africa in the middle of the Cold War, was determined to take control. Pan-Africanism was inspiring African Americans in their fight for civil rights; the threat of Soviet influence loomed over new African governments; and the idea of an atomic reactor in black hands was unacceptable. The conclusion was simple: the US had to 'recapture' Africa from the shadows, by any means necessary. In White Malice, renowned historian Susan Williams dives into the archives, revealing new, shocking details of America's covert programme to undermine African independence. The CIA crawled over the continent, poisoning the hopes of 1958 with secret agents, informants and surveillance; surreptitious lobbying at the UN; cultural infiltration and bribery; assassinations and coups. As the colonisers moved out, the Americans swept in--with bitter consequences that reverberate in Africa to this day.
On the surface, Congo seems to be having the usual rebel conflict. Behind the scenes is a different story. "The Helpers" - a very powerful underground organization whose members include international businessmen and high priests are determined to maintain a stronghold on the natural resources of Congo. When American journalist, Jenny Osborne, and her photojournalist, John Spencer, arrive in Kinshasa to report on the rebel situation, they soon discover that things are not as they seem. Monsieur Lance Lemmand, a veteran French Intelligence Officer in DRC, suspects the hand of "The Helpers" in the current political unrest. He enlists his protégé, the brilliantand handsome Pierre-Jean Philippe, to help him investigate. When Kai, a local school girl, who is hiding a deep dark secret, decides to take action, she seeks out Jenny for help. Kai gives Jenny damaging information that could bring down"The Helpers." When "The Helpers" find out, they go after Jenny with a vengeance. They will stop at nothing to prevent her from exposing them Jenny finds herself on the run, caught in a web of intrigue, espionage and assassinations, spanning from Congo to Europe, and as far reaching as the United States. Her only hope is to find Lance and Pierre who are out of reach. Will Jenny survive long enough to achieve her ultimate goal, fulfill her duty to Kai and sort out her feelings for Pierre? Will Lance and Pierre find her before it is too late? Or will "The Helpers" silence them once and for all.
From living in a tin-roofed shack north of Dar-es-Salaam to becoming Baroness Park of Monmouth, Daphne Park led a most unusual life—one that consisted of a lifelong love affair with the world of Britain's secret services. In the 1970s, she was appointed to Secret Intelligence Service's most senior operational rank as one of its seven Area Controllers—an extraordinary achievement for a woman working within this most male-dominated and secretive of organizations. In Queen of Spies, Paddy Hayes recounts the fascinating story of the evolution of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) from World War II to the Cold War through the eyes of Daphne Park, one of its outstanding and most unusual operatives. He provides the reader with one of the most intimate narratives yet of how the modern SIS actually went about its business whether in Moscow, Hanoi, or the Congo, and shows how Park was able to rise through the ranks of a field that had been comprised almost entirely of men. Queen of Spies captures all the paranoia, isolation, deception of Cold War intelligence work, and combines it with the personal story of one extraordinary woman trying to navigate this secretive world. Hayes unveils all that it may be possible to know about the life of one of Britain's most celebrated spies.
For the first time, a Navy SEAL tells the story of the US's clandestine operations in North Vietnam and the Congo during the Cold War. Sometime in 1965, James Hawes landed in the Congo with cash stuffed in his socks, morphine in his bag, and a basic understanding of his mission: recruit a mercenary navy and suppress the Soviet- and Chinese-backed rebels engaged in guerilla movements against a pro-Western government. He knew the United States must preserve deniability, so he would be abandoned in any life-threatening situation; he did not know that Che Guevara attempting to export his revolution a few miles away. Cold War Navy SEAL gives unprecedented insight into a clandestine chapter in US history through the experiences of Hawes, a distinguished Navy frogman and later a CIA contractor. His journey began as an officer in the newly-formed SEAL Team 2, which then led him to Vietnam in 1964 to train hit-and-run boat teams who ran clandestine raids into North Vietnam. Those raids directly instigated the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The CIA tapped Hawes to deploy to the Congo, where he would be tasked with creating and leading a paramilitary navy on Lake Tanganyika to disrupt guerilla action in the country. According to the US government, he did not, and could not, exist; he was on his own, 1400 miles from his closest allies, with only periodic letters via air-drop as communication. Hawes recalls recruiting and managing some of the most dangerous mercenaries in Africa, battling rebels with a crew of anti-Castro Cuban exiles, and learning what the rest of the intelligence world was dying to know: the location of Che Guevara. In vivid detail that rivals any action movie, Hawes describes how he and his team discovered Guevara leading the communist rebels on the other side and eventually forced him from the country, accomplishing a seemingly impossible mission. Complete with never-before-seen photographs and interviews with fellow operatives in the Congo, Cold War Navy SEAL is an unblinking look at a portion of Cold War history never before told.
In King Leopold II’s infamous Congo ‘Free’ State at the turn of the century, severed hands became a form of currency. But the Belgians didn’t seem to have a sense of historical shame, as they connived for an independent Katanga state in 1960 to protect Belgian mining interests. What happened next was extraordinary.It was an extremely uneven battle. The UN fielded soldiers from twenty nations, America paid the bills, and the Soviets intrigued behind the scenes. Yet to everyone’s surprise the new nation’s rag-tag army of local gendarmes, jungle tribesmen and, controversially, European mercenaries, refused to give in. For two and a half years Katanga, the scrawniest underdog ever to fight a war, held off the world with guerrilla warfare, two-faced diplomacy and some shady financial backing. It even looked as if the Katangese might win.Katanga 1960 tells, for the first time, the full story of the Congolese province that declared independence and found itself at war with the world.