By Keith Jeffery
"Jeffery's publication could be the main actual account one will ever examine how intelligence rather works." --The Washington Times
Britain 's exact Intelligence carrier, more often than not known as MI6, isn't really simply the oldest and such a lot storied overseas intelligence unit within the world-it can be the single one to open its data to an out of doors researcher. the outcome, during this licensed historical past, is an unparalleled and revelatory examine a firm that basically created, over the process global wars, the trendy craft of spying. reading strategies from invisible ink and industrial-scale cryptography to dramatic setbacks just like the Nazi sting operations to bag British operatives, this groundbreaking historical past is as engrossing as any thriller-and even more revealing.
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Extra resources for The Secret History of MI6: 1909-1949
1’ (‘Good’) to ‘Z. four’ (‘Bad’). however the evaluate of news used to be itself not easy on safeguard grounds. Somerville properly saw that it used to be ‘often most unlikely, with no gifting away intelligence which may be saved totally mystery, even from S. S. brokers, to claim greater than is contained in a single of those short, and typically harmful “criticisms”’. on the subject of operational stories, additionally, it used to be ‘obviously bad to provide any criticisms whatever’. however, ‘when a reasoned feedback could be given, its worth to the officer out of the country . . . is especially great’. not just would it not ‘indicate to him the long run traces on which you must paintings, however it additionally informs him as to the worth, and peculiarly, as to the reliability of the sub-agent who procured the Intelligence in question’. yet there have been casual channels for feedback to boot. On sixteen January 1918 the newly appointed Director of Air Intelligence, Colonel Davidson, got here to determine Cumming. ‘He stated that our experiences to G. H. Q. frequently pointed out monoplanes,’ wrote Cumming in his diary, ‘but the enemy had none of those and so on. I steered that feedback was once very important to us & he promised to aid during this & different concerns. ’ whilst Sir Samuel Hoare was once taken on on the finish of 1915 he was once given ‘an in depth direction within the quite a few warfare Intelligence departments’ over a number of weeks. ‘One day, it might be espionage or contre-espionage, one other coding and cyphering, one other struggle alternate and contraband, a fourth, postal and telegraphic censorship. ’15 The expanding specialist and technical competence of the provider is usually illustrated via a 135-page rfile, ‘Notes on guideline and Recruiting of Agents’, compiled on the finish of 1918. This integrated such issues because the use of codes, mystery inks, letter containers (locations the place mystery messages might be left), sabotage, disguise and brokers provocateurs. one of the ‘few issues which can't be drilled into an agent too quickly nor too forcibly’ (and evincing a lot logic) have been ‘Don’t get chilly toes, but when you do get stuck hold your mouth close and don’t provide anyone away’; ‘In writing or wiring to sub-agents don’t use your personal handwriting or identify. continually type’; ‘Destroy carbons after typing incriminating subject. An officer [who used to be operating for the Germans] lately blew his brains out to prevent arrest, having been traced by way of a carbon present in the rooms of a German leader agent who were arrested’; ‘Think as a lot of the protection of your colleagues as of your individual. ’ It was once remarked within the notes that ‘no challenging and quickly rule’ will be laid down as to the simplest hide for an agent, yet that ‘in the long term’ there has been ‘nothing to overcome sound advertisement cover’. whereas between ‘the top schemes for reliable conceal’ was once that of ‘commercial traveller’, this was once ‘a hopeless company except the agent particularly understands & is familiar with the item he's imagined to promote and in addition fairly transacts company in such article’. brokers have been urged to have handy ‘an effective hugely technical specialist burglar’. With commendable understatement it was once conceded that ‘the trouble is to recruit the mandatory guy for the task.