Appearing on the scene in Mexico from obscurity, Felix A. Sommerfeld became the personal confidante of Mexican President Francisco Madero in 1911. Unbeknownst to his peers, Sommerfeld had worked for the German secret service since 1908. German agents had maneuvered him close to the future president of Mexico. From that position, Sommerfeld managed to climb to become the highest placed German asset in the Mexican government. While working for President Madero, and most likely with his tacit approval, Sommerfeld acted as the intelligence liaison for the German ambassador in Mexico, Rear Admiral Paul von Hintze, and provided him with valuable intelligence on Mexico, Europe, and the United States. His clout helped focus German foreign policy towards Madero and his successor Victoriano Huerta.
Sommerfeld’s organizational skills and the help of his contacts at the highest levels of the American Government produced a notorious network of agents along the Mexican-American border. When Mexican army general Victoriano Huerta usurped the presidency in February of 1913 and killed Madero in a bloody coup d’état Sommerfeld re-activated his secret service organization along the U.S. - Mexican border to join the battle against the usurper president Huerta. With the help of his connections in Germany and the United States, Sommerfeld became the linchpin in the revolutionary supply chain. His organization along the border smuggled arms and ammunition to the troops in amounts never before thought possible, while his contacts in the highest echelons of the American and German governments shut off credit and supplies for Huerta. Surprising to most but not illogical, the U.S. government fully cooperated with Sommerfeld and turned a blind eye to the blatant violations of U.S. laws.
“For years I have hoped that someone would disentangle Sommerfeld’s role in the Mexican Revolution. You have done that and much more – utilizing a most impressive range of archival sources. In Plain Sight is a splendid work.” — Charles H. Harris III Professor Emeritus, New Mexico State University
“You have a winner!” — Louis R. Sadler Professor Emeritus, New Mexico State University
“This current work is not only a must-read for people interested in history but also highly recommended for those who like to get a glimpse into the causes and motives of human activity and historical events. Rarely has it been possible to document the motivation of secret agents in such detail and so accurately. This fact alone pays tribute to the author and makes this work so significant.” — Günter Köhler Professor Emeritus, Humboldt Universität Berlin