Book Reviews: When Answering the German Call Was Offside; Letting the Side Down - British Traitors of the Second World War by Sean Murphy. Published by Sutton Publishing Ltd. Pounds 18.99

Article excerpt


''GERMANY calling, Germany calling'' was a phrase well-known to those who listened to the radio during the Second World War.

Indeed, at the end of September, 1939, the character known as Lord Haw- Haw was the best-known voice heard on British radio. He received massive newspaper coverage and was even the subject of a London theatre revue. But, far from being the mainstay of the British musical comedy scene, the voice of Lord Haw-Haw belonged to the most famous and committed of all the German collaborators - William Joyce.

Joyce's broadcasts from Berlin had a tremendous impact on morale in war- torn Britain. Haw-Haw's sneering and jeering attack struck at the heart of a British radio audience hungry for news about the war.

Joyce, son of an Irishman, who became a naturalised American citizen, was to pay the ultimate price for his treachery and he remains, along with Guy Fawkes, Britain's most notorious traitor.

Until recently, the internationally-famous British author PG Wodehouse was considered by many to have been at least a German sympathiser and, possibly, a full-blown collaborator.

When war broke out, Wodehouse and his wife Ethel were living semi-permanently at Le Touquet, France. Along with other British residents, Wodehouse was surprised by the rapid German advance across France and left it too late to make an escape.

After Le Touquet was occupied by the German army on May 22, Wodehouse and other British men were imprisoned, first at Loos prison, near Lille, and then at the internment camp at Tost in Upper Silesia.

In June, 1941, Wodehouse was released from custody and taken to Berlin, where he agreed to write and record five humoruous talks for transmission by the German radio service. …