Intelligence and Espionage during the Second World War.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: SOE, WWII Spies, Army Rangers, Nazi Spies in America, Special Forces - Secret Missions, Female Spy, OSS, MI5.
Inside the Allies’ Shadowy Intelligence War Before D-Day
A four-year effort, it involved round-the-clock work by literally thousands of codebreakers, reconnaissance pilots, commandos and even diplomats and envoys. No detail was overlooked. By the time the Allied armada put to sea on the eve of Overlord, it would prove to be the most well-prepared invasion force of all time. Here are some details about the secret war the made the Normandy invasion possible.
Juan Pujol Garcia: The WWII double-agent who invented a fake army
Juan Pujol Garcia was instrumental in ensuring the success of the Allied invasion of Europe on D Day and, by extension, the Allied victory of the Second World War. But his actions during the war aren’t widely known. Despite being a little-known figure in history, Garcia is one of the few, if not the only, individuals in the war to receive both an Iron Cross from Hitler and an MBE (a Member of the Order of the British Empire) from King George VI. His lack of fame might seem unjust, but a famous spy is kind of an oxymoron.
Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)
How Nazi official Reinhard Gehlen erected a state within a state in post-war Germany
Over 100,000 pages of documents relating to the post-WWII former head of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) Reinhard Gehlen (1902-1979) have been leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). In its edition of December 1, SZ reporters Uwe Ritzer and Willi Winkler devote four pages to an overview of the documents. During the war, Gehlen was head of the Foreign Army East Division of the General Staff, in charge of collecting information on the social, economic and political life of Nazi Germany's main target in the war, the Soviet Union. The SZ documents reveal how Gehlen and his closest associates secretly buried the files in the mountains of Upper Bavaria to be used as a bargaining chip for his personal negotiations with the victorious Allied powers.
Maverick Spy: Stalin's Super-Agent in World War II
When James MacGibbon first visited Germany in 1932, he was an enthusiastic, impressionable 20-year-old and, like other young men at the time, 'may have briefly flirted with Nazism,' says his son Hamish. Upon his return in Britain, James instead joined the Communist Party in 1938. Hamish's book Maverick Spy purports that, had James' interest in Nazism taken root, the outcome of the Second World War may have been radically different. Maverick Spy – part memoir, part research work – elaborates on Hamish's father's late-life revelation of his work as a double-agent who passed wartime military secrets that he knew would be instrumental to the Allied victory to the Soviets.
The Secret History of World War II: Spies, Code Breakers, & Covert Operations
The Secret History of World War II: Spies, Code Breakers, & Covert Operations by Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop, is a richly illustrated account of these secret missions of World War II, which transports readers behind the battle lines and deep into the undercover war effort that changed the course of world history. From the authors who created Eyewitness to World War II and numerous other best-selling illustrated reference books, this is the shocking story behind the top-secret activity that shaped the outcome of the world's greatest conflict—and the destiny of millions of people.
World War Two spy's row with wife almost ruined D-Day
Spaniard Juan Pujol helped convince the Nazis the landings would take place in the Pas-de-Calais, not Normandy. But after being confined to their London house to protect his identity, his wife, Araceli, threatened to go to the Spanish embassy in June 1943. She said she would tell all about one of Britain's top double agents unless allowed to visit her mother.
The Inside Story of How a Nazi Plot to Sabotage the U.S. War Effort Was Foiled
The New York Times headline on July 4, 1942, was almost jubilant, an Independence Day gift to a country in the throes of war: 'Nazi Saboteurs Face Stern Army Justice.' The article described a plot thwarted and an FBI that was vigilant against threats to public safety. The reality was even scarier and strikingly different from the story presented by the FBI: a defense system caught unawares, plotters who were merely human, and a confession nearly bungled by the agency. While Hoover and his FBI painted the arrests as a great coup, in fact it was mere chance that brought the Nazi plot to light.
Bill Donovan, America's Titanic Spy Who Helped Destroy The Nazis
'Wild Bill' Donovan earned his nickname leading successful charges against the Germans in WW1. For that he became the most-decorated American soldier, receiving the Medal of Honor, two Distinguished Service Crosses, the Distinguished Service Medal and two Purple Hearts, among his many medals. But that was nothing compared with his WWII service, when he created the Office of Strategic Services and pioneered spying and sabotage techniques that laid the foundation for the CIA and Navy SEALs. His visit to assess Britain's war needs in July 1940 was 'one of the most momentous missions ever undertaken by any agent in the history of Western civilization,' wrote William Stephenson, the British security coordinator, in the foreword to 'Donovan: America's Master Spy' by Richard Dunlop. 'He was one of the most significant men of our century.'
Compromise of US cipher teleprinter in 1944
Was the US cipher teleprinter broken in 1944.
Hitler's Plan to Kill Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill - at the Same Time
The opening of Operation Long Jump takes readers inside a meeting between Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill, held at the British Embassy in Tehran in 1943. The purpose of the summit: how to rid the world of Hitler. But before the trio of leaders and their senior military advisors can come up with an agreeable plan to win the war, Nazi assassins enter the room, draw submachine guns, and at the orders of Hitler and Heinrich Himmler, murder the leaders of the three most powerful armies in the world. The assassinations didn't happen, of course, but after learning when and where the meeting would take place, Hitler set a plan in motion to kill everyone there in one fell swoop. As Bill Yenne write, the decapitation of the Allied Forces was narrowly averted when a Swiss double agent stumbled onto the plot.
The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945 by Max Hastings - review
The main conclusion of Max Hastings's tour d'horizon of Allied and Axis spies in the Second World War is that most of what they gleaned was utterly marginal to the war efforts of the belligerents. Open-source material analysed by smart people was far more useful than supposed secrets riskily acquired from agents in smoky bars. It was also amateur hour. In the democracies, dullard career spies were supplemented by donnish volunteers, leading one expert in this field to remark: 'You wouldn't want to suppose, would you, that in peacetime the best brains of our society wasted their time in intelligence?'
6 of the wildest top secret spy missions of World War II
(1) Polish spy Christine Granville bluffed her way into a Gestapo prison while surrounded by her own wanted posters. (3) Famed jazz singer Josephine Baker smuggled information through sheet music and her underwear. (5) Agent Fifi - Marie Chilver - tested new British agents by being hot and charming. (6) Virginia Hall led a resistance group despite having only one foot.
Britain failed to prosecute a member of the intelligence services who passed WW2 secrets to Russia out of fear of embarrassmen
Britain failed to prosecute a member of the intelligence services who passed secrets to Russia in World War Two out of fear of embarrassment, files in the National Archives have revealed. MI5 also appeared to have failed to grasp the significance of former film critic Cedric Belfrage's activities. The Briton worked for an arm of MI6 in New York after a career in Hollywood. But his colleagues were unaware he had become increasingly left wing, probably after a trip to the Soviet Union. Historians say his espionage could be ranked alongside that conducted by members of the Cambridge spy ring during the Cold War.
Spying for the Fuhrer: Hitler's Espionage Machine
Christer Jorgensen focuses on the story of German espionage during World War 11, as well as providing a quick look at the state of play during the First World War and the run up to the Second. One of the particularly interesting aspects of the book is the story of the rivalry between the different Nazi and German army intelligence services, and the popular myths that surrounded Nazi intelligence. The book includes 150 black-and-white photographs.
The biggest unanswered questions of World War II cryptology
(1) In the late 1930's the US State Department adopted the M-138-A strip cipher as its high level crypto system. In 1937 the Japanese were able to copy the strip set 0-1 and they passed these to the Germans in 1941. How bad was the compromise of the State Department's high level system? (2) In 1941 the NKVD's codebreaking department controlled the single largest concentration of mathematicians in the Soviet Union. What did these people do during the war? They couldn't have spent all their time solving German low level hand ciphers. How many Axis and other foreign cryptosystems did they attack? How many could they solve? (3) In 1942 the Germans organized a group tasked with solving enemy agents codes (department Vauck). During the war they solved enemy codes. How successful were they during the war? We do not know.
British espionage efforts in the US targeted isolationist groups and president Roosevelt's private calls
Britain's WWII spying on U.S. isolationist groups and its propaganda efforts against them were revealed in secret archives published for the first time. The declassified documents at the National Archives in London show how Churchill was sent a report on a 1940 private phone call between President Roosevelt, Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and Joe Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to London, during which they discussed options "if Europe is overrun" by Nazi Germany. The following year, British agents in the U.S. compiled a 4-inch-thick dossier on America First, a group urging the U.S. to stay out of what was then a European war. Meanwhile, British diplomats paid for propaganda on the other side of the argument and considered funding sympathetic groups.
Did Soviet spy Harry Dexter White - a high ranking U.S. Treasury official - provoke Pearl Harbor
The NKVD, predecessor of the KGB, knew that a war with the U.S. would divert Japan from its ambitions in Mongolia and Siberia - threats that tied up 25% of the Red Army - and allow Russia to deploy its full military power against the Nazis. Fortunately for Stalin, his intelligence service had an "agent of influence" in Washington perfectly situated to provoke a U.S.-Japanese war - Harry Dexter White. In May 1941, as the non-aggression pact between Hitler and Stalin began to unravel, NKVD agent Vitalii Pavlov tasked White with an urgent mission - to provoke a war between the U.S. and Japan so that Russia would not have to fight on two fronts.
WWII Ninjas - Documents reveal that secret spy school taught ninjutsu skills to Japanese intelligence operatives
A set of recently discovered WW2 documents has revealed that a secret military spy school taught ninjutsu, martial arts techniques used by ninjas. The Rikugun Nakano Gakko was run by the Japanese Imperial Army, and was used to train military intelligence operatives in secret. Almost all documents related to the school were destroyed before WWII ended, and this is the first real information from official documents that confirms the school's existence. Students weren't just taught how to sneak around in their black footed-pajamas with a katana and throwing stars, they also learned more practical methods of gathering intelligence and sabotage, including bomb-making and photography.
NY FBI agent killed in so secret WWII mission that his home bureau isn't sure what his task was
FBI Special Agent Harold Haberfeld's ill-fated mission to North Africa during WWII was so secret that even now, 69 years after the plane crash that kept him from completing it, his home bureau in Buffalo isn't sure what his role was. As Buffalo agents dedicated a memorial in Haberfeld's honor, they said they're asking FBI HQ in Washington to declassify the information. "Special Agent Haberfeld never reached his final destination. Due to the covert nature of his national security mission, we still do not know what his final objective was." What is known is that the assignment had come from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover at the request of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
FBI's documents reveal J. Edgar Hoover's obsession with hunting Adolf Hitler
Hitler's life have been analyzed extensively from every angle, but the files of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation illuminate them from two different, bizarre perspectives. The first, when Hitler rose to power in 1933, is the response to threats by American Jews to assassinate him. The second, after his death in the bunker in Berlin in 1945, is the investigation of the theory that Hitler had escaped and was living somewhere in the Americas and plotting to revive the Third Reich. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wanted to bring in Hitler's head to impress the people at the top with his intelligence information.
Nazi forgers destroyed confidence in British currency by flooding Europe with forged Bank of England notes
Nazi forgers destroyed confidence in British currency by flooding Europe with forged Bank of England notes, the MI5 files reveal. Thanks to the Operation Bernhard there were so many counterfeits in circulation that officials even considered recalling all British bank notes and starting afresh. At first, few of the fake notes reached Britain, but all that changed after D-Day when they began appearing in large numbers. Soon the British authorities were so alarmed at the impact that they informed the Spanish government, which seized £20,000 in British notes from German agents - all of which turned out to be forged.
Documentary: 3D Spies of WWII - Destroying Hitler's Top Secret Rockets
In World War II, the allied forces employed surveillance airplanes which had to fly over enemy territories just right to snap photos of enemy factories if they wanted to provide usable intel. The quality of the photographs taken were so good that they were able to use two slightly different photographs to make 3D interpretations using stereoscopic imaging. It offered to intelligence analysts made the difference between spotting decoy ships and the real thing nestled close to shore. Similarly, it helped inform the timing of raids by RAF by indicating the optimal time to bomb dams for when the water levels were high enough to do sufficient damage.
German foreign Intelligence Agency destroyed files on 250 former SS, SD and Gestapo members in 2007
Historians conducting an internal study of ties between employees of the German foreign intelligence agency and the Third Reich have made a shocking discovery. In 2007, the BND destroyed personnel files of around 250 employees who had once been members of the SS, SD (Sicherheitsdienst) and the Gestapo.
Double agent Eddie Chapman: The only Englishman to win the Iron Cross
Eddie Chapman was an old-fashioned opportunist who spent much of his time on the run from the law, until the Second World War when he became double agent who ended up earning the Nazis' highest honour - the Iron Cross. Now a new TV show titled "Double Agent: The Story Of Eddie Chapman" tells his amazing story.
MI5 files about SS plans to build Fourth Reich after the defeat of Nazi Germany published online
BACM Research/PaperlessArchives.com has published WWII-era MI5 British Intelligence files related to German SS plans to establish the ground work to build a Fourth Reich after the defeat of Nazi Germany. The files can be downloaded for free at: paperlessarchives.com
CIA wiretap records reveal: Nazi criminal Franz Rademacher spied for West Germany
A wiretap operation conducted by the CIA against the BND, West Germany's foreign intelligence service, in the early 1960s revealed that the BND employed a senior Nazi war criminal, Franz Rademacher, to spy for it in Syria. Rademacher, an official in Joachim von Ribbentrop's foreign ministry during the Second World War, submitted a notorious travel expense claim in 1941: "Liquidation of Jews in Belgrade." He was known for initiating action on the Madagascar Plan: a suggested Nazi policy to relocate the Jewish population of Europe to the island of Madagascar.
Document reveals that the Allies fooled the Nazis into thinking that the main strike would hit Pas de Calais
A complicated British wartime plot convinced Hitler that the Allies were about to aim the bulk of the D-Day landings in Pas de Calais rather than on the Normandy coast - guaranteeing the invasion's success. An intercepted memo, published for the first time, proves that German intelligence had fallen for the British scheme.
During the Second World War, the Allies were both skillful and lucky in their disinformation campaigns, which took place before any major invasion in Europe. Just a year before the D-Day, in 1943, the Allies had used another plot, called Operation Mincemeat, to make sure that the invasion of Sicily met minimum opposition.
Patton's intelligence officer Robert Allen, one of the few people cleared for ULTRA, used to work for KGB
Colonel Robert S. Allen was assistant G-2 (the no. 2 guy in the intelligence section) for Patton's Third Army. During the Second World War Allen was one of the very few people cleared for the extremely secret ULTRA information, which is interesting, considering that he had worked with the KGB in the 1930s.
American intelligence created a safe haven in the U.S. for the Nazis, claims 600-page Justice Department report
600-page report - which the Justice Department has kept secret for years - about the US Nazi-hunting operation looks into some of the Nazi cases: Adolf Eichmann's associate Otto von Bolschwing worked for the CIA, Nazi scientist Arthur Rudolph (the father of the Saturn V rocket) actively exploited slave laborers, "only" up to 10,000 Nazis lived in the US.
History question: Did loose lips actually sink any ships in World War II?
Fears about maritime gossiping arose in First World War Britain when German U-boats started sinking merchant ships and Britain was flooded with German spies. British Authorities found evidence to try 31 alleged spies 1914-1917 and deport 1,700 suspicious characters. Notable cases include Haicke Janssen, Ernst Waldemar Melin, and Ludovico Hurwitz-y-Zender. During WW2 Fritz Joubert Duquesne set up the Duquesne spy ring, which sent reports on US ship movements to the Germans. The "loose lips" slogan was introduced in 1942, but there's no evidence of shipping losses due to talkative civilians.
The Secret History of MI6 by Keith Jeffery - The first official history of SIS
The British Secret Intelligence Service - known as MI6 - is the oldest continuously surviving foreign intelligence-gathering group in the world. Set up in 1909, its existence was not officially admitted until 1994. Unlike Britain's other secret organisations SIS releases none of its records to the National Archives. Keith Jeffery has done the SIS a service by writing the group – and human intelligence – back into the history of British WWII intelligence, and out of the shadow of the codebreakers of Bletchley Park (also under the direction of C, the Chief of MI6). [see also this related article]
Peace talks with Goering, planning to assassinate Mussolini -- Before the CIA, there was the Pond (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Pond was set up during WWII as a strictly American operation - unhindered by the European allies. It used sources from Nazi officials to Stalinists, including a French serial killer. Now the long-hidden roots of U.S. espionage can finally be explored as tens of thousands of secret files found in locked safes in a barn near Culpeper, Va., in 2001 have become public after a CIA security review. The Pond boasted with an attempt to negotiate the surrender of Nazi Germany with Hermann Goering 6 months before the war ended - and an effort to enlist mobster Charles "Lucky" Luciano in a plot to kill Benito Mussolini.
How Nazi spy was duped by failed actor who played Bernard Montgomery
In 1944 a boozy Australian actor Meyrick Clifton James saw one of the most unusual career revivals in history. James, who had lost a finger in the trenches, was not a great actor, but he could do a great impersonation of General Bernard Montgomery. When WWII broke out he volunteered to entertain the troops overseas, but ended up in Leicester in the Army Pay Corps Variety Troupe. On the eve of D-Day the failed actor found himself in the operation "Copperhead" (the basis for the film "I Was Monty's Double") - a plan to use Montgomery lookalike to fool Major Ignacio Molina Pérez, a Spanish spy in German employ.
After World War II SS lieutenant Friedrich Buchardt was hired as a spy by British MI6
Friedrich Buchardt led a death squad (Einsatzgruppen) that followed the Nazi military machine to the Soviet Union to wide out tens of thousands of Jews and communists. He should have shared the fate of SS commanders who were hanged after the war. Instead he was hired as a spy by Britain's MI6. In a British PoW camp, he wrote document called "The Handling of the Russian Problem during the Period of the Nazi Regime in Germany" - a rundown of his espionage operations. For MI6, struggling to make the switch from Adolf Hitler's Third Reich to Josef Stalin's communist regimes, this was gold. MI6 made it the blueprint for its spying activities behind the Iron Curtain.
Portuguese Nazi spy almost changed course of war in 1942
A Nazi spy came within days of revealing one of the Allies' most important WW2 missions. Wireless operator Gastao de Freitas Ferraz was being paid by the Nazis to send coded messages about convoys to U-boats, and he was on the tail of the Allied convoy which included General George S.Patton (in command of Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa). Ferraz, on board fishing vessel Gil Eannes, had it in his power to ruin the Allies' plans. But unknown to the Nazis, their messages were being decoded by the Bletchley Park codebreakers, and the Admiralty sent out a signal: "If the vessel is sighted West of 11 degrees West... de Freitas [Ferraz] should be removed."
UK spymasters planned 'army of aristocrats' to spread misinformation
Aristocrats and socialites were chosen during World War II to spread misinformation at cocktail parties and nightclubs to deceive Nazi spies. The security files released by the National Archives in Kew reveal how the London Controlling Section (LCS), the body set up to supervise deception plans for Winston Churchill's War Cabinet, id'd people from upper class circles to spread lies about the country's military and political plans. The LCS hoped that by encouraging the people to discuss false war plans at social gatherings, the information would be heard by Nazi spies and passed back to Berlin.
Carl Aschan: WWII intelligence officer who helped to hunt down Nazi leaders
Carl Aschan, who has died aged 102, worked for British intelligence in his native Sweden during World War II and in 1945 helped to track down some of the Nazi leaders. He planned operations against German garrisons in Norway and the Channel Islands. At the end of the war he was sent to Germany, where he was attached to an armoured battalion. At Flensburg Aschan and his comrades arrested the head of the German Secret Service in Stockholm. His team also confined armaments minister Albert Speer and the propagandist William Joyce ("Lord Haw-Haw"). At attempt to seize SS chief Heinrich Himmler at Glücksburg Castle was less successful.
Operation Ruthless - Ian Fleming's plan to outwit the Nazis
The plot designed by Ian Fleming in 1940, over a decade before he created James Bond, was so preposterous that it can be seen as the prototype 007 mission. Fleming, a WW2 naval intelligence officer, was the architect of Operation Ruthless, a daring plan to seize a German codebook that may have inspired the plot to From Russia with Love. His plan, calling for a staged plane crash and disguised commandos, is revealed in full at the Imperial War Museum. It was created after codebreakers at Bletchley Park could not efficiently decode the German navy messages without copies of their conversion tables.
George Weidinger helped uncover Nazi secrets at PO Box 1142
In 1942, a highly classified military intelligence unit was formed at Fort Hunt. Known only as PO Box 1142, for the mailing address of its 1,000-plus personnel whose work remained secret until the National Park Service revealed parts of the fort's history. The unit interrogated Nazi Germany's top officers, officials and scientists. The Allies learned about German research in rocketry, the atomic bomb, the jet engine, U-boats, microwaves and infrared technology. Among the prisoners were Wernher von Braun, Reinhard Gehlen and Heinz Schlicke. Though this unit and its intent violated the Geneva conventions, extracting information was done without torture.
The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France
During the German occupation of France, Suzanne Desseigne started contact with the Nazis. She became the mistress of a German soldier who enrolled her to conduct espionage missions against the Vichy regime. Her mother described the Nazi spy as "a young French girl who, from the age of 15... felt the danger of Bolshevism and of the Jewish conspiracy." She remained, even after her captivity, a earnest traitor, attacking other inmates who did not share her loyalty to the Nazi cause. --- Historian Simon Kitson's research of the French counterintelligence service's pursuit of German spies is precise, but maybe not aimed to appeal to a mass market.
Nazi Klaus Barbie boasted of hunting down Che Guevara for CIA
Was Che Guevara's capture in Bolivia directed by the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, as the CIA made use of his anti-guerrilla skills? Barbie was the Gestapo chief in Lyon whose crimes included the murder of 44 children and the capture of French Resistance leader Jean Moulin. Documentary My Enemy's Enemy, by Kevin Macdonald, probes how Barbie's record was brushed off when he was enrolled by CIA as a useful tool against communism. He avoided French justice by fleeing to Bolivia where, under the alias Klaus Altmann, he was welcomed by fascist sympathisers. Alvaro de Castro, a confidant of Barbie, told that Barbie had no respect for "pitiful adventurer" Che Guevara.
Arno Mayer took care of captured Nazi German scientists, generals
The last thing a soldier wants to do is befriend enemy - unless it's his task. Arno Mayer, a history professor, had to do just that during the Second World War, taking care of Nazi prisoners as if they were his sick friends. He was stationed at Fort Hunt, Va., where the U.S. Army brought some Nazi generals and scientists for interrogation. "I was to keep them happy because we were trying to entice them to work for the American army. I was to provide them with newspapers, liquor and, one time, we came close to providing them with women. ... the main purpose was to get information about the order of battle of the red army."
Secret WWII files reveal rocky early years of US-UK Intelligence (Article no longer available from the original source)
British spies during World War II were frustrated by the lack of information-sharing with the FBI and feared Nazi agents could infiltrate Britain through the US. Newly declassified documents reveal that in 1941 MI5 officers were arguing for closer intelligence cooperation with the US agency. They feared German agents could hide themselves among the thousands of American diplomats, military personnel and journalists entering the country in the wake of the Lend-Lease agreement. "The 30,000 Americans who are arriving over here and the many hundreds here already, who at the moment are subject to little control, represent a grave danger to security..."
World War II spies have their cover blown by MI5 - Camp 020
A blunder by MI5 has blown the cover on some of its top WWII agents. The identities of operatives are closely guarded, even after long periods of time. However, an innocuous file released to the National Archives has allowed a number of agents who operated during World War 2 to be identified. The information is contained in a schedule from the body's secret interrogation centre, Camp 020 (run by Lt Col.Robert 'Tin Eye' Stephens) in which captured German agents were "broken". The double-agent system, in which the centre played a key role, culminated when the Germans were fooled into believing Britain would attack in the Pas de Calais rather than Normandy.
Mafia Allies: America's Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II
The U.S. Pacific fleet had been devastated in the Pearl Harbor attack, and Nazi U-boats were sinking Allied ships. The clannish Italians who made up the bulk of the fishing industry were well placed to supply critical information, but their distrust of outsiders prevented them from doing patriotic duty. An American Mafioso, Charlie "Lucky" Luciano was at a prison - to up to 50 years. Naval intelligence pulled some strings behind the scenes, and he was transferred to Albany. With his criminal mastermind Meyer Lansky acting as go-between, the Navy enlisted Luciano and the result was one of the great Allied counter-espionage successes.
How Nazi spycatchers tried to subvert Britain’s bravest flying aces
The shadowy British organisation known as Source Columba operated from behind enemy lines from the earliest days of the 1939-1945 War bringing intelligence of German plans at top speed. The Confidential Pigeon Service was one of the most closely-guarded secrets of wartime espionage because of the value of the information it provided. Hundreds of trained birds were flown from Britain in bombers, the birds contained in small cases attached to parachutes, then dropped behind enemy lines at night. Each pigeon came with a miniature spying kit. However, as D-Day neared, the Germans became "pigeon-conscious" and came up with a fiendish plan to counter the winged spies.
CIA records reveal American hand in birth of Japan's right wing
Colonel Masanobu Tsuji was a Japanese militarist and brutal warrior, hunted after WW2 for massacres and complicity in the Bataan Death March - And then he became a U.S. spy. Newly declassified CIA records, by the U.S. National Archives, document more fully than ever how Japanese war criminals were recruited by U.S. intelligence. The documents also show how ineffective the effort was, in the CIA's view. The records fill in many of the blanks in the spotty documentation of the occupation authority's intelligence arm and its involvement with Japanese ultra-nationalists and war criminals, historians say.
Military Intelligence expert Roberta Wohlstetter dies
Roberta Wohlstetter, a military intelligence expert who said faulty analysis of intelligence signals enabled Japan to attack Pearl Harbor in 1941 and who saw the same danger in a possible Soviet nuclear strike, has died at 94. "Her seminal book on the intelligence failures that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor remains as relevant today as when she published it in 1962." In "Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision" she argued that despite having broken Japanese diplomatic and naval codes, U.S. analysts had been unable to distinguish signals - intelligence data that would reveal the enemy plan - from noise (conflicting and misleading information).
Hidden Nazi Spy Codes -- "Heavy reinforcements for the enemy"
German spies hid messages in drawings of fashion models in an attempt to outwit Allied censors during World War II, according to British security service files. Nazi agents relayed sensitive military information using the dots and dashes of Morse code incorporated in the drawings. But British secret service officials were aware of the ruse and issued censors with a code-breaking guide to intercept them. For example, code "Heavy reinforcements for the enemy expected hourly" was hidden in a drawing of three young models. The files reveal other ingenious ways spies tried to send coded notes through the post.
WWII secret interrogators break their silence (Article no longer available from the original source)
For more than 60 years, they kept their military secrets locked deep inside. The brotherhood of P.O. Box 1142 enjoyed no parades, no reunions and no wartime stories. Almost no one knew the place in history held by the men of Fort Hunt. But the declassification of military documents and the persistence of Brandon Bies, is bringing the men of P.O. Box 1142 out of the shadows. They questioned Third Reich scientists, u-boat submariners and soldiers at one of the US's most secretive camps. As the world war II progressed, P.O. Box 1142 shifted its attention to scientists in Nazi Germany.
U.S. recruited ex-Japanese army officers to form spy ring
The U.S. enlisted former top Japanese army officers after World War II to form a spy ring against communists in Japan and other countries, declassified U.S. intelligence documents show. Headed by former Lt. General Torashiro Kawabe, who served as deputy chief of the Imperial Japanese Army's General Staff, the intelligence organization resembles the Gehlen Org, an anti-communist spy group set up by former Nazi officer Maj. Gen. Reinhard Gehlen, who was also recruited by the U.S. after the WW2. As in the German case, key members of the Japanese group did not face war crimes charges under the postwar U.S. policy.
World War II Military Intelligence Service vets given their due
They did their World War II service in secrecy. For decades after, their work was classified, and they were forbidden to tell anyone. Veterans of the Military Intelligence Service got a bit of long overdue recognition: a plaque honoring the work done by more than 7,000 Japanese Americans who formed the unit. The MIS members were an key part of the U.S. victory in the war in the Pacific. They often ended up walking into caves and bunkers, armed with nothing more than a knowledge of Japanese culture, to convince soldiers to surrender. Gen. Charles Willoughby, intelligence chief for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, once said their work shortened WWII by two years.
The shady world of Western intelligence services: Organisation Gehlen
A little history may be appropriate to understand the shady world of Western intelligence services. The German intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) has an pedigree to the days of the Third Reich. Its own website admits that the “Organisation Gehlen” was its predecessor, but gives no information about them. Reinhard Gehlen was Hitler's senior intelligence officer on the Eastern Front and he transferred his expertise to the US as WWII ended. Gehlen's network of agents - including many with Nazi backgrounds who were bailed out of POW camps by U.S. intelligence officers - received millions of dollars in funding from the US until 1956.
Writer shone light on Goering, participated in espionage efforts (Article no longer available from the original source)
Kurt Singer, an anti-Nazi activist and spy during WWII, has died. His books include works on espionage and biographies (i.e. Hitler henchman Hermann Goering). He grew up in Berlin, where he became worried about the rise of Adolf Hitler. He began publishing an anti-Nazi underground weekly in 1933. The Nazis soon put a price on his head, and he fled to Sweden. With Kurt Grossman, he wrote a biography of Von Ossietzky that helped win the Nobel Peace Prize for the humanitarian. The writer worked as a spy, providing information about Russian and Nazi activities in Scandinavia.
MIS - Secret WWII Army Intelligence Unit
It’s time to revisit the exploits, knowledge, experiences and intelligence of the World War Two veterans of the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Service (MIS). The missions of the MIS were highly classified and still are not widely known. Information about MIS activities was not made public until over 30 years after the war. The MIS consisted of Americans of Japanese ancestry who performed a very wide range of important and often dangerous activities.
Operation Mincemeat - How a Corpse Saved Lives in WWII (Article no longer available from the original source)
In the spring of 1943, after the campaign in North Africa, the Allies began to plan the invasion of Hitler's "Fortress Europe." The best target was Sicily: It would provide a springboard for the invasion, and eliminate the Luftwaffe's presence. Allies faced three obstacles: (1) Sicily is a mountainous island which favored the defenders. (2) The Axis knew that it was logically the next move. (3) The invasion, codenamed Operation Husky, required a build up which would likely be detected. Sir Archibald Cholmondley, of the British Intelligence interservice XX Committee conceived the idea to plant false documents on a dead man and let them fall into the hands of the Germans.