I listened with increasing fascination to the startling story Creighton summarized for me on the phone. I was, of course, well aware of the atmosphere of disbelief that existed in Fleet Street about any purported account of yet untold secrets about the final days of Germany's defeat. There had been a gullible market for such tales in the years immediately after the Armistice, but two intricate stories that turned out to be elaborate hoaxes had converted this area of historical speculation into a mendacious minefield that no editor was likely to put a toe into.


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