Journalism

The man with the golden tongue: India’s master of Second World War espionage: Independent review of Silver the Spy Who Fooled the Nazis

By Kim Sengupta

Under the codename of Silver, Bhagat Ram Talwar spied for Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan and Italy in the space of five years during the Second World War, but author Mihir Bose uncovers how his true loyalties lay with Indian independence

The part played in Britain’s wars by forces from the Empire, the sacrifices made, the countless honours won for gallantry, were airbrushed out for a long time from most accounts of history written in this country. It is only recently that there has been a degree of restitution with some recognition of the contributions made by these men and women.

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Can the Euros decide how the Brits vote in the referendum?

Inside World Football

On the face of it this is an absurd question. How can what happens to England, Wales and Northern Ireland make any difference to how they vote in the EU referendum?

The first is a football tournament that at the end of the day only affects one continent, albeit the most important one in footballing terms – it controls the game economically, the best players in the world play on the continent and, after Germany’s victory in Brazil, south America can no longer claim that at least on the field of play it is superior. Nevertheless kicking a ball, or worrying about Ronaldo’s moods, has surely nothing to do with how we decide what is described as a decision that will affect not merely us but our children and their children.






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Just published – Silver: The Spy Who Fooled The Nazis

Mihir Bose’s new book is about the only quintuple spy of the Second World War who spied for the Italians, Germans, Japanese, Soviets and the British. Silver was one of many codenames for a man whose real name was Bhagat Ram Talwar, a Hindu Pathan from the North West Frontier province of then British India. The Germans awarded him the Iron Cross, Germany’s highest military decoration, and paid him £2.5 million in today’s money.  

Full of wonderful tales of Silver’s deceptions including the twelve trips from Peshawar to Kabul to supply false information to the Germans, always making the near-200-mile journey on foot over mountain passes and hostile tribal territory.  And when an Afghan nearly rumbled him, he invited him to a curry meal in which he had mixed deadly tiger’s whiskers killing the Afghan. 

 

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