Snow is the codename assigned to a Welshman who was the most remarkable British spy of the Second World War; perhaps, of all time. Much of what we know about Arthur Owens is inaccurate or simply untrue, but he was MI5's first double agent and perpetrated a gigantic deception on the German secret service. It is known that Owens came originally from Wales, and that he later emigrated to Canada before returning to London in the employ of the Abwehr as their chief agent in Britain. Unbeknownst to them, he was simultaneously passing information back to the British security services. A mass of contradictions, Owens was nervous and highly-strung, but able to operate with supreme coolness in an environment where a slip up would lead to him being executed for treason by either side. For its own part, MI5 sought to build a double cross system based on the shifting loyalties of a single duplicitous, philandering Welshman who was boastful and brave, reckless and calculating, ruthless, mercenary but patriotic. It seems astonishing, but Snow was Britain's most successful spy and source of enemy information. Miraculously, he managed to maintain the trust of his German paymasters throughout the war, constantly shuttling back and forth between neutral Antwerp, Brussels and Lisbon to meet his controllers. After the war he used his skills as a spy to simply vanish - the reality of his existence to be replaced by myth. Snow reveals the truth about an extraordinary man who's considerable contribution to winning the war is obscured by history, and takes up his story from when he disappeared, revealing, amongst other things, that his daughter went on to become a Hollywood film star.
Snow – Madoc Roberts – Biography: Historical, Political & Military
May 3, 2012 By