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**Talk**

Coffee with Hitler

Charles Spicer tells the extraordinary story of how three British amateur spies could have prevented World War II. But the Chamberlain Government failed to listen.

Monday 11th September 2023

The Bridge Room (upstairs), The Prince Albert, 85 Albert Bridge Road, London SW11 4PF

Arrive at 7 pm - Drinks at the bar
The talk starts at 7.30 pm
Optional dinner at 8.30 pm

Tickets £33 each.

Before Roosevelt died in 1944, he asked Churchill what we should call World War II. Churchill replied, "The unnecessary war".

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Discovery sheds new light

Cambridge-educated businessman Charles Spicer discovered swathes of unstudied papers by Churchill's first biographer Sir Martin Gilbert, about the 1930s and the lead-up to World War Two.

 

They reveal an extraordinary story about three amateur spies who befriended Ribbentrop, Goering and Hess.

 

Coffee with Hitler, Charles's resultant book, has been favourably reviewed by historians, including David Cannadine, Julie Gottlieb and Richard Overy, for providing an authoritative new perspective on the causes of the Second World War. That is why Charles wrote it while studying for a doctorate. 

 

It is also a fascinating, entertaining read. 

According to Bradley Hart, author of Hitler's American Friends, it takes readers from the salons of stately homes and St James's clubs to the mass rallies and diplomatic backrooms of Nazi Germany.  

 

Coffee with Hitler sheds new light on how the Allied Powers squandered the chance to avoid World War 2. 

How a Welsh pacifist, business magnate and fighter ace could have averted WWII

The three amateur spies were all fluent in German. They shared vast affection for German people and culture and were all appalled by the horror of war. Yet they were so different.
 
One was a Welsh socialist and pacifist. Another was a well-known, successful businessman. The third was an ex-World War I fighter ace.
 
By the war's end, the Establishment and media ridiculed the Anglo-German Fellowship through which they operated. They assumed it was pro-Nazi. Charles Spicer's primary research concludes the opposite.
 
The spies' skilful abilities to befriend and win the trust of the Nazi high command provided intelligence gold. The Chamberlain government ignored it. Then it was too late. 

Charles Spicer reveals...

* How the three amateur spies met. How they won the confidence of the Nazi high command, including Ribbentrop, Goering, Hess - and even Hitler, whom they persuaded Lloyd George to meet.

* Why their mission to "civilise" the Nazis differed entirely from appeasing them. 

* Why senior Nazis were potentially malleable and almost hero-worshipped the British upper classes.

* How Ribbentrop became a member of the Travellers' Club? He's the only member to have died at the end of a noose. 

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The Unknown Parlous State of the Nazi Army

When 30,000 Nazi soldiers occupied the demilitarised Rhineland on the morning 7th March 1936 (a Saturday), the 1m-strong French army looked on. But had British and French governments heeded intelligence from our three amateur spies, they could have taken a far firmer line with the half-hearted Hitler. Would Hitler have continued his subsequent expansion into Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland had the French showed up?

We'll discover...

* Why Hitler always acted on a Saturday Morning. If the reason weren't so tragic, it'd be funny.

* How our three amateur spies gathered such priceless intelligence - and why the British Government ignored it.

Monday 11th September 2023

The Bridge Room (upstairs), The Prince Albert, 85 Albert Bridge Road, London SW11 4PF
Arrive at 7 pm - Drinks at the bar
The talk starts at 7.30 pm
Optional dinner at 8.30 pm

Tickets £33 each.

How feeble British diplomacy saved Hitler from the Oster coup - and the only real chance to avoid WWII. 

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Generalmajor Hans Oster in 1939, Deputy Head of the Abwehr (German Secret Service).

Unbeknownst to many, the Oster Conspiracy in 1938 had a real chance of succeeding. Imagine if it had. World War II would never have happened. Our amateur spies' intelligence showed that the German population was terrified by Hitler's warmongering rhetoric. So too, were senior generals, politicians, diplomats and, crucially, the police.


Whilst Hitler's Army was in Czechoslovakia, soldiers and police would have marched into the Reich Chancellery and arrested (or killed) Hitler. Diplomat Erich Kordt would open the door to let them in. 

But to succeed, the Coup needed urgency: the threat of imminent war and subsequent defeat. Pleas from German army generals, via amateur spy Philip Conwell-Evans, to the British Government to "do something" were ignored. As was Churchill's demand to mobilise the Fleet. 

The appeasing British Ambassador to Berlin, Nevile Henderson, eventually conceded, "By keeping the peace, we have saved Hitler and his regime."

Read the reviews...

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Also in...

Location

The Bridge Room (upstairs), The Prince Albert, 85 Albert Bridge Road, London SW11 4PF

From Chelsea, cross Abert Bridge, and the Prince Albert is on the right opposite the North West entrance to Battersea Park.

Cancellation
If, for whatever reason, we must cancel the talk or you (with at least five days' notice) can't make it, you will receive a complimentary ticket to another Revellers' Club talk. If there is no talk that you wish or can attend, you'll receive a refund.

 

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