John Eppler thought himself to be the perfect spy. Fluent in German, English and Arabic, he made the Hadj to Mecca but was more at home home in high society or travelling the desert on camelback with his adopted Bedouin tribe. After joining the German Secret Service, in 1942 he was sent across the desert to Cairo by Field Marshal Rommel. His guide was the explorer and Hungarian aristocrat Laszlo Almasy, a man made famous by the book and film The English Patient. Eppler’s mission was to infiltrate British Army Headquarters and discover the Eighth Army’s movements and battle plans.
In The Rebecca Code the story of Operation Kondor is revealed and how it was countered by Major A.W. ‘Sammy’ Sansom of the British Field Security Service. It is a tale of the desert and the hotbed of intrigue that was 1940s Cairo. The cast of characters include a belly dancer with ‘sensational green eyes’ and the future president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat. The spy was to send his reports using a code based on Daphne du Maurier’s 1938 novel, Rebecca.
Mark Simmons The Rebecca Code: Rommel’s Spy in North Africa and Operation Kondor. Publisher Spellmount 2012 softback 192 pages new