Michael Digby

Burn, Bomb, Destroy: The German Sabotage Campaign in North America 1914-1917


Many believe that World War I was only fought “over there,” as the popular 1917 song goes, in the trenches and muddy battlefields of Northern France and Belgium—they are wrong.

There was a secret war fought in America; on remote railway bridges and waterways linking the United States and Canada; aboard burning and exploding ships in the Atlantic Ocean; in the smoldering ruins of America’s bombed and burned-out factories, munitions plants, and railway centers; and waged in carefully disguised clandestine workshops where improvised explosive devices and deadly toxins were designed and manufactured. It was irregular warfare on a scale that caught the United States woefully unprepared.

This is the true story of German secret agents engaged in a campaign of subversion and terror on the American homeland before and during World War I.

[Recorded on July 7, 2022.]

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      Michael Digby

      After serving seven years in the United States Army, Michael Digby spent 35 years on the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department – most of it as a detective and FBI-certified bomb technician on the Bomb Squad. He has rendered safe live improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and conducted hundreds of investigations involving bombs, IEDs, and incendiary devices. Now retired, he provides instruction to the next generation of detectives, bomb disposal officers, K-9 officers, and agents. He is an avid reader of history and an amateur battlefield historian. Burn, Bomb, Destroy is his third book.