A Conversation for Peer Review

A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Entry: Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch - A87893518
Author: Dmitri Gheorgheni - U1590784

First off, my apologies. Here I am, going on at people in the h2g2 Post about the 'Verbosity Alarm', and then writing a Guide Entry that's longer than War and Peace...okay, I exaggerate a bit, it's 2600 words, but still...

My only excuse is that this is a really involved thriller about spies in wartime, and I had to order that book from Interlibrary Loan in Evansville, Indiana, for pity's sake.

Anybody want to read about the spies? It's kind of a weird story.

smiley - dragon


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 2

U168592

I'm semi familiar with the story, having seen the Sanders film amongst a spate of watching other such gems as The Scarlet Pimpernal and the Third Man. Sanders film didn't shine so brightly as those, granted, but I digress.

Like it. However I was a little lost, as there seemed to be somewhat of an assumption that I would go off to the link and watch the newsreel, so mention of money belts and other details later made me go, "uh? Wah?"

Appreciate you're trying to cut down on being overly explanatory, but you may need to expand on the details a bit, or remove them.

And you might want to add a footnote about the term 'fake news'. Sure it's pretty common knowledge now, but as time goes by hopefully newer generations will have to read the footnote, as I'm sure 99.95678% of the world's population also hope Trump will BE in a few years time.

All in all, captured my imagination and I enjoyed the tale. Thank you.


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Boy, you really must be a wartime cinema buff, because even I hadn't seen that foodie before now. smiley - laugh And I've just completed my years-long search for 'Between Two Worlds' (1944). It's for sale on Amazon now.

- I removed the fake news reference. We may decide to use the fake news category - which has nothing to do with Mr Trump - but you're right, we don't need to speak of it here.

- I rewrote the paragraph about the newsreel to a more descriptive one. I think that will take care of anyone who doesn't stop to watch the newsreel itself. Although yes, I rather expected them to.

How I wish we could embed that video...but that's just on our wish list right now. smiley - smiley

Thanks for reading.


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 4

Dmitri Gheorgheni

*foodie=goodie. Gack.


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 5

U168592

Every one likes a tasty morsel now and then.


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 6

Dmitri Gheorgheni

I found a rather wonderful NY Times review of that movie from 1943:

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9E02EFDD103CE03ABC4D52DFB3668388659EDE


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 7

SashaQ - happysad - Editor

"It's partly funny, but ultimately very sad." - this Entry will be a worthy addition to the Edited Guide indeed...

"We might learn something about real-life spying here, which is probably more than we do from Mr Fleming's oeuvre"

I like the word 'probably' there, but wonder if it is still a bit of a strong sentence - I thought Fleming's *books* were pretty good at conveying the unglamorous side of spying (certainly after having watched the film Diamonds are Forever, the torture scene in the book shocked me...)

As I'm at w*rk, I can't click on the YOutube link right now, so the bit "In 1942, US and British cinema audiences could see this exciting announcement in their weekly newsreels. No doubt they were reassured after being shown the map" is still a bit cryptic, but I appreciate the description of the key points in the film smiley - ok

"Ironically, a man who had been sent by the German Abwehr to sabotage the United States seems to have had a stronger belief in the triumph of the rule of law than the officials in Washington."

smiley - sadface


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 8

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Okay, you're going to defend Ian Fleming. smiley - sigh I will change that to snarking about the movies, which are truly ridiculous. smiley - winkeye

Seriously, thanks for reading, Sasha. smiley - smiley


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 9

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Very interesting entry, Dmitri. I like it a lot. smiley - smiley

There are a couple of things that might need clarifying/amending

I wonder if there’s a difference in the type of spying done in wartime, and peacetime spying. Ex-Soviet spy Yuri Besmenov said in a number of videos recorded in the 1970s that, as you state, very little spy-work is of the James Bond variety, and the majority of an agent’s work is subversion, which happens in stages, beginning with demoralisation – see: http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/21PbAr/Hst/BezemenovSubvrsn.html – scroll to ‘Partial Transcript:’ War-time spying is a different matter, of course.


First paragraph under the first heading. J Edgar Hoover’s G-Men. I think these may need an explanation (probably a footnote). I have heard of them but don’t know exactly who they are, and I don’t think I will be the only one.

3. The approximately $170, 000 wasn't all – there’s an extraneous space in the figure.

“We’ll give them the pencils: chief spy George Dasch wasn’t really paying attention during training.” I don’t understand the connection. You could either explain further, or just delete this and the following sentence as I’m not sure it adds to what you said in the previous sentence.

“In 1924, he stowed away on a transatlantic ship, and became what is known as an illegal immigrant, a not uncommon practice. “ You may need to rearrange this sentence, as the uncommon practice relates to stowing away, not “illegal immigrant”. It might better read, “In 1924, he stowed away on a transatlantic ship (a not uncommon practice) and became what is known as an illegal immigrant

“Unfortunately, it was boarded, and the women ended up in internment in Bermuda.” Boarded by who? I assume by either the US or British navy because it was full of German citizens?

“So far the plan.” This sentence doesn’t make sense to me. Do you mean, “That was the plan.”?

“They also buried the navy uniforms they'd been wearing, and forgot to send back to the sub in the landing boats.” What did they fail to send back to the sub? The uniforms? If so, you might say that they had to bury the uniforms because they forgot to send the back to the sub in the landing boats.

You might need to say that pinochle is a card game, maybe as a footnote.

“The saboteurs were turned over to a military tribunal at the behest of President Franklin Roosevelt, who signed Executive Proclamation 2561 on 2 July, 1942.” Question – was the after they turned themselves in and was it done specifically to deny them access to the court system?

“We really don't recommend it as a line of work.” As I understand it, guide entries are meant to be in the third person, but this is first person plural. You could reword this to, “it’s not really recommended as a link of work.”

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 10

Dmitri Gheorgheni

Thanks for the careful proofread! smiley - ok It's always good to have an honest reaction from somebody who hasn't just read a couple dozen articles, a book, and a set of legal decisions on the subject. (TMI in head colours self-editing.)

I've taken most, but not all, of your suggestions on board. Here's the list:

smiley - biro While your speculation on spying is interesting, I don't feel the need to add this information. If you're interest in wartime spying, I'd heartily recommend the OSS video 'Undercover', now released for everybody's edification, and available on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcPE9VyrP8s It's really entertaining. The film points out that most of the wartime spying involved industrial espionage, too, and could be really dull. The examples of fatal mistakes are true, from books I've read. One poor Englishwoman's memoir of years in Gestapo prisons says it all in the title, 'I Looked Right'.

smiley - biro $170,000 - I can't find an extraneous space. Which browser are you using?

smiley - biro G-Men - I added a footnote for those who haven't watched enough Jimmy Cagney films.

smiley - biroillegal immigrant - I left the phrase out. Both stowaways and illegal immigrants were dead common back then, but it isn't important to the story.

smiley - biro Boarded by the British, since Bermuda was their colony. Amended. Ooh, this gives me an opportunity for another footnote, so I will take it.

smiley - biroSo far the plan - Amended.

smiley - birobury uniforms - Tidied that up. (Good catch!)

smiley - biropinochle - Brits really don't know what pinochle is? Good. That gives me an excuse to write a long and unnecessarily elaborate footnote about pinochle, which only Tavaron and TC will completely understand.

smiley - biroExecutive Proclamation - Yes, the Proclamation is directly related to the saboteurs. They were arrested in June, and the proclamation was issued 2 July. I only thought I'd made that clear. I have now underlined it.

smiley - biroNo, guide entries no longer have to be completely in the third person. We're becoming dangerously experimental, now that the anarchists are in charge.

There, I think that's the list. smiley - smiley Again, thanks for reading.

smiley - dragon






A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 11

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

You're welcome, Dmitri. I'd not heard the story before and found it fascinating.

No, I wasn't particularly suggesting you added the Yuri Besmenov information, I just thought it pointed up the difference between peacetime 'secret agent' stuff and wartime spying. His videos are worth a watch on YouTube, e.g.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3qkf3bajd4 - which is quite long - there are shorter excerpts, which are also interesting.

$170,000 - Pliny - I learned from Bluebottle that Pliny sometimes does things to entries written in Ripley - my favourite skin is Brunel, so I thought it was worth looking at Peer Review stuff in Pliny, as that's where the general public will see it.

I did wonder if it was the British.

Pinochle - not widely known in the UK. I only know about it because of some Americans I met.

Ah, useful to know that about guide entry rules being relaxed. In BBC days, I was a Scout and Sub-Editor, but haven't been around for a while.


smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 12

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

Just re-read the entry. I love the footnote on pinochle. smiley - cool

If you can't see the extra space in the $170,000, I expect it's something the Sub-Editors will fix.

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 13

Dmitri Gheorgheni

smiley - ok Thanks! I'll talk to Galaxy Babe and Bluebottle about it.


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 14

Zarquon's Singing Fish!

smiley - oksmiley - smiley

smiley - fishsmiley - musicalnote


A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

Post 15

bobstafford

Pinochle its a card game I think?


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A87893518 - Spying Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be: The Case of George Dasch

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