They thought their war was over when they were plucked from the sea.

Not quite. Captive German sailors were washed, fed, clothed, and brought to remote country houses where naval intelligence deftly drained vital information from their heads.

We follow the interrogators’ growing confidence and expertise, from their first hesitant steps in World War 1 to their part in dismantling one of the most vicious regimes the world has seen. The system yielded intelligence which preserved countless merchant seamen’s lives, as the once-terrifying U-boats progressively turned into their own crews’ iron coffins.


“As gripping as a spy novel – fast-paced and very interesting.”

Amazon Review

“The text is lively, the characters… are intriguing, and the snippets from the transcripts are both enlightening and even at times amusing.”

Professor Matthew Seligmann, Brunel University

“This book examines the interrogation of German prisoners captured by the British navy in the First and Second World Wars, explaining the process, identifying the objectives and analysing the information garnered. It is a fascinating story hitherto largely shrouded in mists of ignorance and neglect. It deserves detailed scrutiny and Nudd is a wonderful guide. As a trained historian with a second degree in operational research and a lifetime’s experience in engineering, he sets the context, lucidly describes technical developments and evaluates what was achieved with balanced judgments. And he writes absorbingly well.”

Richard Blake