I've been asked on several occasions (possibly by folk trying to make time pass more quickly until the moment they can escape) about background research for the Otto Fischer series. The following isn't by any means exhaustive, but these works provided a great deal of the information I needed:



‘The Peenemunde Deceptions’


'V2', Walter Dornberger (Panther ed., 1958) - the top man at Peenemunde's personal account of weapon development and the political and technical problems his team faced. Self-serving but an unmatched authority


'The Rocket and the Reich', Michael J. Neufeld (Smithsonian Inst., 1995) – good on the competing claims of various Reich agencies re: V2 production


‘Inside the Third Reich’, Albert Speer (Sphere, 1971) – invaluable on Speer’s struggles as Armaments Minister and the tensions within the Nazi hierarchy


‘The Peenemunde Raid’, Martin Middlebrook (Cassell, 1982) - background to and events during the British air-raid of 17/18 August 1943


Website: – good overview of the Peenemunde work, with useful links



‘The Deaths of Berlin’


‘Hitler’s Spies’, David Kahn (Hodder & Staunton, 1978) – Detailed examination of the ludicrously numerous and overlapping German Intelligence services before and during WW2 (though hampered by the lack of an index)


‘A Child of Hitler’, Alfons Heck (Bantam, 1986) – account of the author’s membership of the Hitler Youth


‘Berlin at War’, Roger Moorhouse (Vintage, 2011) – good, recent examination of life in Berlin between 1939 and 1945


‘Berlin: the Downfall, 1945’, Anthony Beevor (Viking, 2002) – good and readable account of Berlin’s final days


‘The Road to Berlin’, John Erickson (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983) – hugely detailed account of military operations on the Eastern Front from Stalingrad to Berlin


Website: - wonderful collection of old maps of the city; the very detailed 1926 item was of particular use to me



‘A German Winter’


‘Stettin/Szczecin 1945 – 1946’, Ostsee-Akademie Lübeck-Travemünde/Instytut Historii Uniwersiteiu-Szczecinńskiego (Hinstorff Verlag, 1995) – original documents and eye-witness accounts relating to the expulsion of Germans from the city. German/Polish texts


‘Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War’, R. M. Douglas (Yale UP, 2012) – good account of the political manoeuvrings and human cost of Allied policy following the Potsdam Conference


‘Refugees and Expellees in post-war Germany’, Ian Connor (Manchester UP, 2007) – good account of displaced persons (German and non-German) in Germany


‘Germany 1945: From War to Peace’, Richard Bessel (Simon & Scuster, 2009) – very good on the initial months after the end of the war: the expulsions and occupied Germany


‘After the Reich’, Giles MacDonagh (John Murray, 2008) – good survey of the expulsions of Germans from Eastern Europe and life in occupied Germany from the end of the war until the Berlin air-lift


Website: – comprehensive site, many old photographs, engravings and maps. 



'The Lie Division'


As for 'A German Winter, plus


'The History of the Stasi', Jens Gieseke (Berghahn, ed. 2014) - probably the definitive history; brief but good on the pre-1950 organization


'The Gehlen Memoirs', Reinhard Gehlen (Collins, 1972) - the horse's mouth on the early years of West German intelligence activities


'The General was a Spy', Heinz Hohne & Hermann Zolling (Hoffmann and Campe Verlag, 1972) - one-sidedly critical overview of the Gehlen organization, but useful on detail


Website: - invaluable documentation re: the US - German Intelligence relationship in the years after WW2 


Contact me

If you have any queries, please contact me:



Or use the contact form.

Get social

Print Print | Sitemap