THE ORGANIZATION OF INTELLIGENCE
THE CASE OF THE ALLIES AGAINST THE AXIS IN WORLD WAR II
THE SOCIOLOGY CENTER
220 North Willow, Suite 222
North Little Rock, AR 72114
Telephone: (501) 374-1788
Revised January 7, 2000
Copyright 1978, 2000 by James Roger Brown
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to post, print or reproduce this publication unaltered with proper credit to the author and with information necessary and sufficient to contact the author.
Preface to 2000 Release
By current standards this may seem brief for a Masters Thesis, but it was written when word processing for most graduate students consisted of using a Webster's Collegiate Dictionary and a rebuilt IBM Selectric II typewriter. Specialized information databases were not available world-wide through the Internet, which, to the extent it existed at the time, was restricted to military use. Few libraries had computers connected to resources outside the library. Few libraries had computerized card catalogues.
Current events have motivated me to release this material on the Internet. Patterns of intelligence
behavior, misbehavior and alliances surfacing in international projects, such as ECHELON (monitoring all
communications world-wide), have roots in events which occurred prior to the beginning of World War II. It is not common knowledge that British Intelligence conducted operations in the United States with a free hand, possibly as far back as 1920, or earlier. United States authorities, including the FBI, benefited from such illegal British operations because services the British provided were not available from any United States agency.
The switch in loyalty of social elites from the nation of their birth to international corporations and world government has its roots in World War II-era attitudes of corporate executives and other leaders, who used international subsidiaries to trade with the Nazis. National interest now has little or no representation in corporate board rooms. In fact, national interest is considered an inconvenience and intrusion. You will not hear the pre-World War II cliche, "What is good for General Bull Moose (or General Motors) is good for the USA." Many Chief Executive Officers actively distance their corporations from identification with any nation.
The increasing divergence of rich and poor now involves interests more vital and fundamental than the division of wealth. Americans at or below the middle class level are citizens of a nation, while their employers are now citizens of the world. Citizens of a nation are subject to its laws, citizens of the world are either subject to no laws or choose whatever nation's law benefit them most at any given time or circumstance. Americans who identify themselves as citizens, quite literally, have been sold out and no longer have anyone looking out for their interests but themselves. For an example, we have the First Example, President William Jefferson Clinton, who received campaign contributions from various Chinese front organizations and corporations, then authorized the transfer of weapons related technology to China without regard to the consequences for American citizens after he leaves office.
Members of competing intelligence services have more in common with each other than the governments they serve. The fall of the Soviet Union occurred because elements of the KGB and Western Intelligence developed a shared interest in that outcome. What happened to the Soviet Union is a lesson the American public needs to understand and not forget. We can have the same experience, including intelligence groups maintaining their financial viability by generating revenue from organized crime. People who believe themselves the true guardians of all order can justify about any action to themselves.
After removal of the focal point of a Cold War enemy, the Soviet Union succumbed to previously restrained internal divisions and conflicts among member states, ethnic and religious populations. Americans should be aware the same destructive processes which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Central Government are occurring in the United States. These destructive processes are not as noticeable to the ordinary American citizen because social stability is maintained by strong, independent administrative bureaucracies (states, corporations, media, banks, etc.). The Soviet Union had one central administrative bureaucracy, the Communist Party; when it collapsed, there was nothing in place to take over its administrative functions. It is not as noticeable in daily life that the processes in Washington, D. C., no longer constitute an effective central government.
The last national problem solved in Washington, D. C. was ending the Vietnam War, and that solution proved less than desirable. The post-Cold War partisan corruption-to-incompetence of the Federal government occurred when the transition was made from problem-solving to creating and maintaining problems for domestic political exploitation. We have the spectacle of Republicans and Democrats, representing the interests of their respective parties, who avoid and block problem-solving so issues will be available for exploitation in the next election.
As with all governments which sustain their existence by having an enemy for citizens to fear or hate, the President, Congress and allied members of the Judiciary did the only thing they could to continue a fear- and hate-based government. They serially turned selected American citizens into the enemy. The Nation's enemies now include (1) gun owners; (2) militias; (3) religious believers; (4) parents, who are all assumed by state and national policy to be child abusers and molesters; (5) children who, because they are perceived to be a threat to their peers and society, must be drugged, counseled, and watched constantly; (6) any citizen who carries an amount of cash sufficient to qualify for drug forfeiture seizure; (7) any citizen who might be using "illegal" drugs; and (8) deadbeat dads. New categories are created and added almost daily. What nation can long survive that devours its own citizens?
I think the observations, conclusions and speculations originally stated in this thesis may help provide an understanding that old roots exist for what appear to be new problems. I can attest from my own experience that spooky World War II recruitment offers reported by basic trainees were still being made to soldiers in basic training as late as 1971. In basic training that year at Fort Polk, Louisiana, I was offered the opportunity to join a special army unit personally loyal to President Richard Nixon because I had a college degree and no criminal record. I declined the allegedly secret offer and, upon returning to my training company, was greeted by a drill sergeant with "So, you decided not to go to Washington, huh?" delivered in a sinister, hackle-raising tone of voice. I soon learned that this was not an idle implied threat. Not many people can point to the exact day, hour and minute their life crossed over into the "Twilight Zone". This experience was directly responsible for me writing my Master's Thesis on the organization of intelligence.
Another important understanding and certainty I gained from the people and situations I encountered since writing this thesis, is that the war between forces of good and evil is real. It is where I first encountered something that was completely and undeniably evil.
The most important bits of wisdom passed along to me during preparatory interviews and discussions that have proven true to date are:
1. Nothing every really changes, it just gets more sophisticated.
2. Be careful what you learn, God will find a way to use it. (This is how it was stated to me. Those uncomfortable with the idea that God might be real, may find it easier to contemplate politically correct alternatives, such as, "Be careful what you learn, the consequence will be an increase in the number of problems entering your life whose solutions require that knowledge to obtain positive outcomes.")
In the twenty-two years since I analyzed the organization of World War II intelligence and wrote this thesis, two insights have demonstrated value and utility in problem-solving applications. These insights are that intelligence operations succeed under one of two conditions: (1) competing intelligence services develop a common interest in a specific outcome; or (2) a means of achieving a goal is created that is inconceivable to the competition.
Perhaps the most successful government and intelligence community deception is the myth that the government can not keep secrets. The United States Government can and does keep secrets. Keeping secrets is accomplished by the use of cover stories. Any serious secret is protected by at least seven levels of cover stories, “a bodyguard of lies”, in the words of Winston Churchill.
Those who may wish to confirm that this thesis was originally published in 1978 should contact the Thesis and Dissertation Custodian at the University of Memphis Library (formerly Memphis State University), Memphis, Tennessee. As required at the time, bound copies of my Masters Thesis were lodged with the University Library and forwarded to the Library of Congress. One or both of these institutions should have a copy in their holdings.
To date, I have never located another qualitative analysis of the organization of intelligence. If anyone is aware of other scholarly work similar to this thesis, I would appreciate being informed.
January 7, 2000
THE SOCIOLOGY CENTER
220 North Willow, Suite 222
North Little Rock, AR 72114
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Methodology and Research Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Decision Makers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Great Britain (2); Germany (3); Russia (4); United States (4); Summary (5)
Operations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Britain and the United States. (6); Germany (8); Russia (10); Summary (10)
Conclusions and Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .10
Implications and Speculation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
APPENDIX 1: SOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
The Organization of Intelligence
Criticism of American intelligence agencies is not hard to find. Abuses of civil rights, violations of American and International law and failures to predict important events are all charges which have been documented in the popular media. Yet, no one has provided any comprehensive understanding of how the United States intelligence system came to this state of affairs.
While examining current problems of the United States intelligence services, only one researcher has hinted that historical roots for the problem may exist. Regarding some of the now public abuses, Wise (1975) concluded that, "the pattern was established under OSS [Office of Strategic Services] of an intelligence agency that both collected information and engaged in covert operations." Nevertheless, the Charter of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) strictly prohibits domestic operations, yet mechanisms have been developed to circumvent such restrictions (Ransome, 1975). Congressional oversight committees seem to have been manipulated by successive heads of the CIA. These deceptions have not only misled Congress but have distorted the functioning of the CIA itself to the degree that its intelligence evaluations have become protective of covert operations rather than providing objective information for the President (Halprin, 1975). Self-serving intelligence evaluations and covert operations have hidden violations of international law (Falk, 1975), domestic law (Ross, 1975), and stated foreign policy of the United States (Morris, 1975). Despite awareness of this process and its historical roots, there is no clear picture of how this pattern came to exist. It is the purpose of this study to examine these historical roots, and their implications for the current conduct of intelligence.
Methodology and Research Procedures
Since most original sources remain classified or were for financial reasons not available to this researcher, published accounts of historians and participants in intelligence activities during the World War II period (1930-1948) were examined, even though the results may be more a reflection of the material selected rather than an accurate reflection of history. Nevertheless, these data were available and were categorized by the country upon which it contained information. The four divisions were: Great Britain and its area of control, Germany and its area of control, Russia and its area of control, and the United States and its area of control. Sources used in each of the categories are appended to this paper.
A modified ethnographic technique was used. Printed material was treated as data protocols. Referential notational summaries were made on note cards by page and line number. The data then were organized within two categories and hypothesis inductively derived. Decision makers in the intelligence services and their background (education, profession, acquisition of positions, etc.) constituted one category. The other broad category was the routine and special operations conducted by the services. Divisions within this category were: initiation of the action, perceived purpose, type of action taken, perceived effect, actual effect, and explanatory information given to personnel.
Great Britain. In Britain's 500 years of experience with intelligence operations, two factors had become dominant: it was a game reserved for the elite and no activity was to be ruled out if it was necessary to preserve the Empire. World War II was not a break in this pattern.
"The men who had been charged with this seemingly impossible task [Plan Jael] were, of course of several minds; but they appeared united by a single factor--class. Deception, like intelligence, was the pursuit of gentlemen. Colonel Bevan, the chief of the LCS [London Controlling Section], was a son-in-law of the Earl of Lucan and a grandson of the founder of Barclay's Bank. Bevan's deputy and the author of Plan Jael, Colonel Sir Ronald Evelyn Leslie Wingate, was the son of Wingate Pasha of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and a cousin of both Lawrence of Arabia and Wingate of Burma. The other members of the LCS and of the secret agencies associated with it included financiers, politicians, diplomats, scientists, writers, artists--men in London, Washington, the Mediterranean, India and Southeast Asia with connections and a talent for special means. Above them all was Churchill himself. As Wingate would later write: 'It was Churchill who had all the ideas. It was his drive, his brilliant imagination, and his technical knowledge that initiated all these ideas and plans.'" (Brown, 1975, p. 8)
In short, the men chosen for these key positions not only were from the upper class but frequently had been associated previously.
Churchill's views regarding intelligence operations grew out of his personal experience during World War I and the Gallipoli disaster (a 1915 amphibious landing that failed). His views, which determined in part the type of men he chose for staff positions, were:
"Battles are won by slaughter and manoeuvre. The greater the general, the more he contributes in manoeuvre, the less he demands in slaughter....Nearly all the battles which are regarded as the masterpieces of the military art...have been battles of manoeuvre in which very often the enemy has found himself defeated by some novel expedient or devise, some queer, swift, unexpected thrust or stratagem. In such battles the losses of the victors have been small. There is required for composition of a great commander not only massive common sense and reasoning power, not only imagination, but also an element of legerdemain, an original and sinister touch, which leaves the enemy puzzled as well as beaten....There are many kinds of manoeuvre in war, some only of which take place upon the battlefield. There are manoeuvres far to the flank or rear. There are manoeuvres in time, in diplomacy, in mechanics, in psychology; all of which are removed from the battlefield, but react often decisively upon it, and the object of all is to find easier ways, other than sheer slaughter, of achieving the main purpose." (Brown, 1975, p. 5)
Another of his stated views had a profound influence upon British strategy. "In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies." (Brown, 1975, p. 10).
Germany. Decision makers in Nazi Germany's intelligence system were from one of two backgrounds. When Adolf Hitler came to power he gave the highest offices of government to cohorts who had fought beside him in the streets. Replacements for the top elements of the military command were not available from the same source. Hitler found that he had to have the allegiance of the military. He tricked the officer corps into giving him an oath of personal allegiance which he could expect to be honored:
"For the General Staff, absolute and unquestioning obedience was a rite carried to lengths that were incomprehensible elsewhere in the world. It was the secret of German military power. As Major Milton Shulman, an intelligence officer with the Canadian army would put the situation:
'Orders of a superior were to be obeyed without question, and any break from tradition was seriously frowned upon. Not only was their military life strictly supervised, but their personal life was also subject to an unrelenting social code...these automatic and impersonal creatures of the officers corps were so obsessed with the omnipotence of authority that they were hypnotized by its very presence. To live was to obey. There was no other end in life.'"
(Brown, 1975, p. 149)
Typical of these officers was Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr, the German military intelligence organization. In staffing Abwehr positions, "Canaris favored executives in his own mold--quiet, orderly, orthodox Wilhelminians of good birth and private incomes." (Brown, 1975, p. 143)
Hitler's personal associates were of a different background. Reinhard Heydrich had a good education and a career in the German Navy until he was asked to resign after a love affair with the daughter of a superior officer. After a lengthy period of unemployment, he joined the Nazi Party to have an income. Heydrich rose quickly in the Party and, after designing the security system, he became head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). (Delarue, 1964, p. 115-120)
Heinrich Himmler, Chief of the Schutzstaffel (SS) was not well educated. He made unsuccessful attempts at chicken farming and selling medicinal herbs. Himmler was a scrupulously honest romantic, refusing to profit from the power he held. Financial problems plagued him throughout his career due partly to maintaining two homes, one for himself and one for his wife and daughter whom he was separated from but refused to divorce. Himmler's relationship to Hitler was that of a disciple. Hitler's racial views coincided with those Himmler held as a result of his experience with animal husbandry:
"Anyone who sees in National Socialism merely a political movement has understood nothing. It is more than a religion, it is the will of a new human creation. Without biological bases and without biological goals, politics today are completely blind." (Delarue, 1964, p. 91)
Himmler had the right combination of aspiration and reserve to make a good second-in-command. (Delarue, 1964, p. 88-92)
Heinrich Meuller was of peasant ancestry, of little intelligence, but stubborn and self-opinionated. He worked hard in school with the goal of becoming a bureaucrat. Until 1933 he worked against the Nazis as a member to the Munich State Police. Thereafter he worked very hard for the Nazis trying to overcome his record of opposition. For six years he struggled to become a member of the Nazi Party, but was denied membership because his superiors thought it would make him work harder as head of the Gestapo. Mueller was anti-intellectual, remarking at one point, "that the intellectuals should be sent down a coal mine and blown up." (Delarue, 1964, p. 173) These particular pressures and attitudes made him an excellent choice for "spying on his own colleagues and helping in the liquidation of those who had offended." (Delarue, 1964. p. 173)
Lower echelon positions were filled with people chosen for their expertise in specific fields or skills. An example was Alfred Naujocks, a welder who joined the Nazi Party in 1930 at the age of fifteen and was given a position in the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) as a "fanatic and specialist in violence". (Brissaud, 1974, p. 31)
Russia. Joseph Stalin controlled Russia during the 1930-1948 period. His criteria for choosing intelligence chiefs (all functions were under one office except military intelligence) were loyalty to the Party and proven ability to do what they were told. Mehjhinsky was the first chief until his heart attack death in 1934. Genrikh Yagoda succeeded him. Yagoda "had won favor by zealously directing the slaughter of the peasants, terrorizing the intelligentsia, and suppressing political minorities." (Barron, 1974, p. 459) He was tried and executed for murder and being a foreign spy, both charges being a convenient expedient.
Nikolia Yeshov replaced and followed the path of the latter. "Stalin fired him in December 1938 and thereby removed one of the witnesses who knew most about the worst of the purges." (Barron, 1974, p. 460). Yeshov was also executed.
United States. President Roosevelt, perceiving a need for a unified national intelligence service, nominated General William J. Donovan to organize it:
"Donovan, an Irish-American born in Buffalo in 1883, had returned from the First World War as the most decorated man in American military history. Between the wars he became deeply involved in international politics as a lawyer, and was a confidant of both Churchill and Roosevelt. Ordered in 1941 to set up a central agency for gathering and evaluating secret intelligence, he began to recruit his men from the world of what he described as 'a blend of Wall Street orthodoxy and sophisticated American nationalism.' Colonel David Bruce was a characteristic choice. Married to the daughter of Andrew Mellon, he was a lawyer, a politician and a diplomat before he became OSS chief in Europe. After the war, he would become the American ambassador to Britain, France, Germany and China. A second--and important--Donovan recruit was Allen Welsh Dulles, a prominent lawyer who would serve as OSS chief in Berne. Later he would become chief of the Central Intelligence Agency, the postwar successor to the OSS." (Brown, 1975, p. 63)
Donovan was also acquainted with Sir William Stephenson, head of the British Security Coordination (BSC). "At our first meeting in 1916, we discovered a shared background." (Stevenson, 1976, p. 5) "Stephenson's wartime career complemented that of the American lawyer with whom he was to establish a close working relation and a warm friendship." (Hymoff, 1972, p. 29)
After the top positions were filled, special requirements for specific positions took greater precedence as the lower organizational positions were filled. "The Foreign Information Service was created in August 1944, directed by prominent playwright and White House speechwriter Robert Sherwood." (Hymoff, 1972, p. 46)
"Meantime, the COI [Coordinator of Information] pattern of growth exceeded all bounds. Donovan managed to recruit Dr. James Phinney Baxter, president of Williams College, to head up R&A [Research and Analysis], the heart of COI. Among other prominent academics who accepted the call to the nation's first intelligence agency was Professor William L. Langer, distinguished Harvard historian who would later become chief of R&A and direct its huge staff through the end of the war. Others who left their campuses were Dr. Edward Mason, economist; Dean Calvin Hooper of Duke University; Dr. Edward Meade of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies; Dr. Henry Field, curator of physical anthropology at Chicago's Field Museum; Carl Kaysen, John Sawyer, Fred Burkhard, John K. Fairbank, Ralph Bunch, Franklin Ford, Henry L. Roberts, and Charles Kindleberger. Also among the early recruits to COI and later to OSS were Lyman B. Kirkpatric, Jr., Sherman Kent, Ray Cline, Allen Dulles, and Richard Helms, all of whom would remain in the intelligence community." (Hymoff, 1972, p. 46-47)
Field personnel were recruited at various times and locations, such as military installations, prisons, or civilian occupations. An account of one typical recruitment reflects most of the basic elements involved:
"One day the commanding officer of the school summoned Pvt. Edward Hymoff...to his office and introduced me [Hymoff] to a major, who was thin and as nervous as I was. I didn't know it at the time, but he was probably nervous because he was trying to meet his quota of recruits for OSS and if he didn't, well, perhaps he'd be fired. Of course, I had never heard of OSS in June 1943, so I stood there at attention and wondered why the CO of the Demolition Section of the Combat Engineers School had summoned me. I had a reputation for infractions against established order--hijinks, more than serious delinquency--and I wondered what I had done to warrant a summons to the major's inner sanctum....My attitude toward the military even then could be measured as something between scorn and respect for the majority of my superiors; for I had quickly learned after entering the service that not only is there a better way to do things, including the ones I was ordered to do, but that there always was a better way and why didn't these clowns who gave the orders know it?
"Why do you want to volunteer for dangerous and hazardous duty" [asked the major].
Never slow to respond, I replied that I'd go anywhere to get out of Camp Claiborne and its mud and heat and rain and damned mosquitos. I didn't tell him that the newly formed Engineer Depot Company...was a collection of castoffs, including the officers." (Hymoff, 1972, p. 4-5)
Summary. Britain's government and empire were in the hands of the decedents of their upper-class founders. The criteria for managing affairs grew from the past experiences of the leadership in acting to preserve the Empire in previous crises. Germany's government consisted of a mixture of traditional, wealthy elite and those who had achieved power through violence. The differences in background were a source of conflict, not only in the decision making process, but also in differing activities with regard to what was perceived to be in Germany's long term interest. Russia was controlled by individuals who had achieved power through violence and eliminated opposition groups. As with the Nazis, positions were assigned on the basis of party loyalty as measured by the head of the party. Unlike Germany, keeping such positions was conditional on not learning enough to become a threat to Stalin. The United States staffed its positions with representatives of the upper-class, who had ties to the British elite in several cases. In all nations the more distant a position was from the decision making, the more it depended upon possessing specific skills.
Britain and the United States. Great Britain and the United States had an unprecedented relationship in all areas of intelligence operations:
"Following negotiations in London in the winter of 1942-1943 between OSS and the British security services, a Counter-Intelligence Division...was established within SI [Secret Intelligence] on 1 March 1943. Included in the agreements made with the British in London were arrangements for the transfer to America of duplicates of the large body of counterespionage records which the British had accumulated. The United States thus gained in a very short time the fruits of years of counterespionage activity." (Brown, 1976, p. 49)
The agreement included training Americans in British techniques.
"Ah, those first OSS arrivals in London! How well I remember them, arriving like jeunes filles en fleur straight from a finishing school, all fresh and innocent, to start work in our frowsty old intelligence brothel....All too soon they were ravished and corrupted, becoming indistinguishable from seasoned pros who had been in the game for a quarter of a century or more." (Brown, 1976, p. 8)
This event marked the official, but not the first dependence of the United States on British intelligence. In fact, Britain had been conducting operations in the Western Hemisphere from headquarters in New York since before 1930. They had been operating with a free hand in the United States, since they provided a service to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other offices not available from any United States organization:
"With headquarters at Rockefeller Center, thousands of our agents [British] and experts passed under the Statue of Atlas on Fifth Avenue, yet their identities and activities remained effectively masked. But as an increasing number of Americans also passed Atlas and entered the crammed BSC offices, the probability of exposure increased substantially. To our astonishment, the secret endured....Then in the 1960's, the outer wrapping of protection, designed back in 1940, was suddenly stripped away." (Stevenson, 1976, p. xxii).
"BSC became dignified as British Security Coordination only when it was obliged later  to register with the U.S. State Department." (Stevenson, 1976, p. 109)
Included in British activity on American territory were police functions not sanctioned by law or agreement, such as arresting alleged British deserters and placing them on British ships. At times this situation led to strong action upon the part of American authorities to avoid letting the British deal with situations that came to their attention first:
"It gave the FBI shudders and had to be kept from the President...a British seaman was selling information on convoys. Little Bill [William Donovan] tracked down the traitor after seeing decoded recoveries from a Nazi transmitter in New York....Bill went out that afternoon and was back in his office by nightfall. The FBI man on the case said to him: 'Someone ought to give the treacherous son of a bitch the chop.'
Bill glanced down at his right hand. He lifted it and chopped at an angle against the hardwood surface of his desk.
'I already have,' he said.
The FBI thought he was joking, until the man was found dead in the basement of an apartment building.
The Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, later wrote that the zeal of British Intelligence sometimes seemed excessive; and [Sir William] Stephenson tried to save the U.S. authorities any embarrassment from such incidents." (Stevenson, 1976, p. 138-139)
Such incidents were not restricted to American soil. In many cases British field agents worked against American agents. After it became clear that the Germans would lose the war, British agents in the Middle East cooperated with Nazi agents working against Americans and Russians. Britain wanted to retain its influence in the area after the war ended.
Churchill's philosophy was the epitome of British tradition and was transmitted to Americans trained by the British. Day to day operations of the OSS dealt with the problems any bureaucracy would face, but with the added restriction of secrecy. Massive amounts of paperwork and specialized research had to be dealt with. Procedures for determining who should have what information and how they should get it were reviewed almost daily. Conflicts arose with existent agencies in Washington who saw the OSS taking work and power away from their offices. The State Department and Military Branches were the most difficult.
Some apparent intelligence coups on the part of the British also played a great part in determining the direction of intelligence activities. Shortly before Germany attacked Poland, Polish intelligence authorities decided it was in their interest to work with Britain against Germany.
"It was a week before Germany attacked Poland, and Dinniston's prize was the greatest gift any nation could give another. The Polish Secret Service had helped capture it [Enigma] and work out some of the Nazi methods of using it." (Stevenson, 1976, p. 53)
Enigma was a mechanical coding device used by the Nazis throughout the war because they believed that its coding functions could not be broken by any technology in existence. In fact, the British, with the help of Polish and French intelligence, did break the code early in the war. During most of the war, German strategy, battle orders, and Hitler's personal communications were known within a matter of hours. This allowed the British and American intelligence services to divert a great deal of manpower, which normally would have been used to obtain such information, into offensive covert operations and deceptions.
Another important development was that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German Military Intelligence, was a member of the Schwarze Kapelle, a group which actively attempted to overthrow Hitler. He, too, provided the British with information at key points in the war. He tried to negotiate an end to the war, stipulating only that Germany would not be invaded if Hitler was removed from Power:
"If Canaris was not actually working for the British, it is clear that he was working against Hitler. And ironically, just as Ultra [Enigma decoding] proved to be Menzies's trump card, so it was Canaris's undoing. Political considerations aside, it was unnecessary for the Allies to treat [negotiate] with Canaris and the other conspirators of the Schwarze Kapelle, offering certain concessions in return for useful intelligence. In almost every case, the Schwarze Kapelle could not provide any information that was not already known through Ultra.
'Canaris was never a British agent in the accepted sense of that term. The fact that I [Sir Stewart Menzies] had contact with him is liable to misinterpretation, but the fact is that all sophisticated intelligence services maintain contact with their enemies. Canaris never betrayed his country's secrets to me or to anyone else on the British side, although his men did. On the other hand, he did give me assistance. For example, I wanted to get the wife of a colleague of mine out of occupied Europe; I made the fact known to Canaris through channels, and in due course she came out.
'Canaris was a German patriot, a religious man, a monarchist, a conservative and a traditionalist. He was a man in a powerful position who wanted to do something about the situation--to save Germany and Europe from ruins. He thought I might be able to help, and he did contact me and ask me to meet him on neutral territory with a view to putting an end to the war....The result was that I never saw Canaris. But I did like and admire him. He was damned brave and damned unlucky.'" (Brown, 1976, p. 816)
Manpower released by such fortuitous opportunities were diverted to deception operations aimed at giving the Germans false concepts of Allied military strategy and troop movements and to staff guerrilla operations behind German lines. Teams usually consisted of three persons: one American, one British, and one national from the country where the operation would take place. Each team would parachute into German occupied territory and organize local groups into coordinated fighting forces. Activities of all such groups were controlled by Britain to support Allied operations. Part of the overall strategy was to keep the Germans confused about when and where the Allied invasion of Europe would occur. Periodically, selected resistance groups would be ordered to revolt to confuse the Germans about the time and location of Allied activity. (Brown, 1975, p. 568) Such groups were almost always destroyed by the Germans. (Brown, 1975, p. 553) This outcome would be known to the British before orders were issued. (Brown, 1975, p. 552; p. 691) Since no formal policy was ever established for determining what groups would be sacrificed, the choice reflected the biases of the British Staff. (Brown, 1975, p. 565-582). Anti-monarchists, communists, or historically anti-British groups were selected for these operations. (Brown, 1975, p. 565-582) In addition, individual agents were given false information and missions and dropped into areas where it was known that they would be captured and the false information extracted. (Brown, 1975, p. 552-553)
Germany. From the time Hitler came to power, Germany's intelligence apparatus conducted operations against all the countries it later occupied and also against Britain and the United States. Most of this work was done under Hitler's expressed orders, but sometimes against them. Before war was actually declared, the services of Britain and Germany were actively engaged in hostilities. Just before Hitler ordered his armies to march, British networks were eliminated, leaving them temporarily blinded. German agents were filtered into England, but, with one or possibly two exceptions, all were captured. Some were persuaded to work for the British. These turned agents were used to mislead the Germans during the Normandy Invasion.
Germany did achieve several major successes. Unknown to the Allies, German scientists were able to break the security devices used to protect the Roosevelt-Churchill transatlantic telephone link. Operations in the United States were very successful. Plans for the Norden Bombsight were stolen before security measures were taken to protect them. Information was obtained from Vice President Henry A. Wallace in a continuous flow until January 1944. (Farago, 1971, p. 436-443) John L. Lewis, noted labor leader, was listed in Abwehr files as an agent:
"In 1939, Lewis helped materially and perhaps decisively to obtain seized Mexican oil for Germany.
In 1939, Lewis aided a clandestine effort to ensnare Roosevelt into the promotion of peace in Europe strictly on Hitler's terms.
In 1940, Lewis worked vigorously for what Herbert von Stempel, one of Germany's diplomatic agents in Washington, called the Nezis [sic] "biggest single scheme involving the United States"--an elaborate and costly conspiracy to prevent the reelection of President Roosevelt for a third term." (Farago, 1971, p. 445)
Further, several major corporations were persuaded to sell supplies to the Nazis through dummy companies in South America and neutral European countries. (Farago, 1971, p. 444-475; Stevenson, 1976, p. 307-326).
Most successful of all operations was against Russia. Marshall Mikhail Tukhachevsky was a roadblock in Joseph Stalin's desire to gain complete control of Russia. He was the only man the Russian Army would follow to oppose Stalin and his status as a hero of the Revolution and military genius made him untouchable. Stalin devised a plan to use an exiled Czarist officer, Nicolai Skoblin, to produce false information proving that Tukhachevsky was an enemy of Russia so he could be removed from the Red Army. Skoblin, also a German agent, planned to lead an emigre army into Russia to overthrow Stalin, and saw this as an opportunity to do more damage than just removing one officer. Reinhard Heydrich, head of the RSHA, was impressed with Skoblin's plan, adding some embellishments of his own. Heydrich's master forgers produced a file implicating Tukhachevsky and others in a plot with Germany to replace Stalin himself. This fake file was sold to Russian agents through another German agent to make it look more authentic. Stalin accepted it as genuine. He did not stop at removing Tukhachevsky:
"The purge did more harm to the high command of the Red Army than any war could have done, and by moderate estimates affected thirty per cent of the army as a whole. The higher echelons came off proportionally much the worst. According to various authorities some of the effects were:
The arrest of 60-70 per cent of the officers. The disappearance of eleven adjutant commissars for war, and 71 out of 80 members of the High Council for War. The elimination of 90 per cent of the generals and 80 per cent of the colonels; in all 30-35,000, including half the specialist officer corps.
The first victims of the next phase were Marshals Blucher and Yegorov, also Chief of the Air Force, Alksnis, and Komandarm Belov. Then followed the naval Commander-in-chief, Orlov; members of the aviation inspectorate; of the Ossoviakhim, armored divisions, airborn forces and artillery. Also among those who vanished were 13 out of 15 army commanders, 57 out of 85 corps commanders; 110 out of 195 divisional commanders and 220 out of 406 brigade commanders. Only two out of the five Marshals of the Soviet Union remained: Voroshilov and Budenny." (Alexandrov, 1963, p. 177-178)
Without loosing a single German soldier, Hitler insured that the Russian Army would be without effective leadership when the invasion began.
Russia. Routine operations of both Russian and German intelligence were all part of a unified control system designed to support the policies of the political party in control.
Due to the Communist perception of the world as being a capitalist camp to be overcome, all operations were aimed at just that. Operations of other nations were joined when it was perceived to be in the interest of Communist Russia, while long term intelligence operations were being conducted against all nations. An example was Great Britain. While cooperating in operations against Germany, Russian agent Kim Philby was also acting against Britain. Philby managed his activities so well that at the time of his discovery he was next in line to head British counterintelligence. (Stevenson, 1976, p. xxiii).
Operations were, under similar conditions as an Ally, being conducted against the United States to obtain information on everything from weapons technology to how simulated fur was attached to Arctic weather coats.
Summary. Britain exerted a great influence upon the direction of United States policy and operations through a variety of means. Some American officials were aware of a few of these means and were motivated through friendship with British officials and/or expediency to hide these from superiors. Most, if not all, American domestic and foreign activity were controlled by the British to the extent they reflected their own interests. Where direct control was not possible, British agents actively worked against American agents. Several unusual opportunities occurred which did lead to a heavy joint investment of manpower in covert operations.
Germany began intelligence preparations for war well in advance of the actual start of hostilities. This allowed them to achieve several major successes, primarily in the United States. Some secret information was collected before security measures were even instituted. Economic activity also played an important part in operations to acquire war materials.
Russia engaged in operations against all nations, including allies. This was done in pursuit of long term communist goals.
Technology played a decisive role in wartime operations. All parties intercepted radio communications, tapped telephones, and used electronic devices in coding, decoding, and code breaking. Forgery and propaganda were also refined.
Conclusions and Discussion
Intelligence activities for four nations were examined for the years 1930 through 1948. Categories examined were characteristics of staff decision makers and how they were chosen. Also examined were routine and special operations during a period of world wide conflict.
In all four nations the decision makers were selected from the elite, who had reached that status through achievement or ascription. While staffing these positions, official and unofficial activities reflected the values of the respective elite groups.
As exemplified by the capture of the Enigma coding machine and the Tukhachevsky affair, successful operations appeared to occur when the interests of competing groups coincided.
In the case of Britain and the United States, due to information on enemy activity being obtained by technological means, most manpower was invested in covert operations against the Germans rather than in intelligence gathering. At the end of the war, leaders of the CIA came from this background. Additionally the role of upper-class values in determining operational policies led to unpopular political groups being sacrificed in deception operations where such sacrifices were deemed necessary in German occupied territory.
The United States became dependent upon the British for useful intelligence to formulate policy and strategy. This dependency allowed British agents to engage in extra-legal activity in America under the protection of some officials. By controlling the intelligence given to the United States, British officials were seemingly successful in guiding American policy to coincide with their own of maintaining the Empire. One mechanism, novel to American negotiators at the time, used by the British was the staff of advisers and consultants which produced feasibility studies at Anglo-American strategy conferences. These tactics simply overwhelmed American negotiating teams, which usually consisted of a small number of high ranking officers. The American military later adopted the same technique.
American and British personnel frequently became involved in commercial or diplomatic operations in the areas where they operated during the war. Clearly the classified knowledge they possessed would be of great value, in a variety of ways, in operating against competitors lacking such knowledge. Intelligence was collected regarding German industrial techniques, formulas, and processes as part of monitoring the flow of war material and from captured documents. At the end of hostilities this information was transferred to American corporations, in violation of patent laws and agreements.
Descriptions of intelligence activities seemed to agree on what appeared to be the major details. Some variations and discrepancies did exist. Such variations occurred most frequently in books written by individuals associated with specific operations or who directly participated in them. These variations usually reflected more positively upon the author or nation of the author than did other accounts.
Great Britain, which has laws prohibiting any publications regarding national secrets without official approval, had the greatest discrepancies. Perhaps those authors who participated directly or on a policy level in the operations described had more accurate knowledge of what transpired or that reporting of these incidents were biased by a sense of loyalty or continuing official deceptions. It appears that deceptions have continued, both as official and individual policy. Churchill's statement, "In war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies" (Brown, 1975, p. 10) indicates the possible source of such a policy. This is also reflected in a response made by Colonel John Bevan, head of LCS, when asked to describe his actions during the war:
"I do not think I should say what I did. I do not think Governments should admit to such matters, even if they were done in wartime." (Brown, 1975, p. 270)
Due to Britain's great influence in the formation of American intelligence, this attitude may also have been transmitted, appearing in the Cold War attitude of CIA personnel as expressed by E. Howard Hunt, "No one is entitled to the truth." (Hunt, 1977, p. 10)
The Schwarze Kapelle was the only resistance movement in Europe not actively supported by the Allies, yet it was the one with the greatest chance of removing Hitler. If it had succeeded, a negotiated end to the war could have occurred and the Normandy invasion may not have been necessary.
Implications and Speculation
It is obvious the data sources for this study have some unique sociology of knowledge implications. Of course, the research required triangulation of available accounts to develop an analysis that seemed reasonably objective. Nevertheless, the accounts do seem to represent attempts by some of the various authors to construct a social reality that reflects favorably upon their nation and its role in intelligence operations during World War II. Let us look at this a bit more closely.
Great Britain seemingly has released information only when political considerations outweighed its view that power was best maintained by being mysterious and protecting methods of operations. When Britain was seeking admission to the European Common Market, France was blocking it because of residual hostility about the sacrifice of resistance groups in deception operations. To neutralize this, Britain released information which appeared to exonerate its operations of such activity, even though it probably had sacrificed resistance groups.
America appears to have been more open, in part because of less restrictive laws regarding secret operations. Nevertheless, released information seems chosen to reflect positively upon the United States.
Accounts appeared to be more objective in books written by historians, such as Anthony Cave Brown, who used his reputation to gain interviews and information others could not. Ladislas Farago based his book upon microfilm copies of Abwehr files which he discovered. This source had information from the German perspective which varied sharply from events described by both Britain and the United States. Accounts of those who were involved in or had knowledge of intelligence operations during World War II also facilitated an analysis of realities that were being constructed by the various nations.
Indications that even competing intelligence services have regular channels of communication imply these services may be more closely tied to each other by shared experiences and values than they are to the governments for whom they function.
Close ties also seem to exist with commercial enterprises, since most American and British staff personnel came from and returned to such endeavors. In the recent review of CIA goals, one of the decisions was to cooperate more closely with multinational corporations.
The scope of propaganda operations is another interesting area. At one point in World War II, a British intelligence official, portrayed in America as a psychic, was making dire predictions for Hitler and Germany which were based in part on actual intelligence reports.
The realities constructed by individual services are probably based on several factors. Each agency would need to justify its continued existence by providing information that threats exist which only it can handle. Evidence must be provided that it is succeeding in dealing with these threats, therefore, information is produced on "enemy" activity. By proving that "enemy" activity is constantly expanding, budget increases could be justified on an agency and national level. Information collected about the "enemy" could portray their negative nature to allow individual justification for members of the service to engage in behavior that would be inappropriate under other conditions. Acceptance and use of intelligence evaluations by national decision makers might be based upon the degree to which it supported the goals and purposes as determined by the value system of the elite.
Those in such positions of authority appear to share a common value system. Once in a position of access to this special "intelligence" and the accorded status, they perceive themselves to be more important than others by virtue of their special role. They come to see themselves, and the agency which separates them from other men, as the guardians of order itself, an order which only those who "really know" have the capability and right to determine. Therefore any threat to them or the special agency which produces and protects the sacred "intelligence" becomes a threat to order itself. Although the intelligence agencies of different nations may appear to be in competition, any threat to the existence of one becomes a threat to the existence of all. The elimination of the "enemy' would remove the major justification for the existence of each intelligence agency. To justify the special status of the members of each agency, each agency would have a vested interest in ensuring that the "enemy" is not destroyed, but expanding. To protect the special status of the members of each agency, "outsiders" must never be entrusted with the "truth."
Alexandra, V. The Tukhachevsky Affair. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall,
Barron, J. KGB. New York, New York: Mantam Books, 1974.
Brissaud, A. The Nazi Secret Service. New York, New York: W. W. Norton &
Company Inc., 1974.
Brown, A. Bodyguard of Lies. New York, New York: Bantam Books, 1975.
Brown, A. The Secret War Report of the OSS. New York, New York: Berkley
Medallion Books, 1976.
Delarue, J. The Gestapo: A History of Horror. New York, New York: Dell Publishing
Co., Inc., 1964.
Falk, R. CIA Covert Action and International Law. Society, 1975, 12(3, Whole No.
Farago, L. The Game of the Foxes. New York, New York: Bantam Books, 1971.
Halprin, M. Decision-Making for covert Operations. Society, 1975, 12(3, Whole No.
Hunt, E. Loose Talk. Rolling Stone. May 19, 1977.
Hymoff, E. The OSS in World War II. New York, New York: Ballantine Books, 1972.
Morris, R. The Aftermath of CIA Intervention. Society, 1975, 12(3, Whole No. 95), 76-
Ransome, H. Secret Intelligence Agencies and Congress. Society, 1975, 12(3,
Whole No. 95), 33-38.
Ross, T. Spying in the United States. Society, 1975, 12(3, Whole No. 95), 64-70.
Stevenson, W. A Man Called Intrepid. New York, New York: Ballantine Books, 1976.
Wise, D. Cloak and Dagger Operations: An Overview. Society, 1975, 12(3, Whole
No. 95), 26-32.
APPENDIX 1: SOURCES
Sources are listed alphabetically by author, followed by letters to indicate the area for which it served as data protocol.
B - Great Britain
G - Germany
R - Russia
U - United States
Alexander, V. The Tukhachevsky Affair. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall,
Inc., 1963. (GR)
Brissaud, A. The Nazi Secret Service. New York, New York: W. W. Norton &
Company Inc., 1974. (G)
Brown, A. Bodyguard of Lies. New York, New York: Bantam Books, 1975. (BGRU)
Brown, A. The Secret War Report of the OSS. New York, New York: Berkley
Medallion Books, 1976. (BGRU)
Delarue, J. The Gestapo: A History of Horror. New York, New York: Dell Publishing
Co., Inc., 1964. (G)
Farago, L. The Game of the Foxes. New York, New York: Bantam Books, 1971.
Gehlin, R. The Service. New York, New York: World Publishing Co., 1972. (G)
Gisevius, H. To the Bitter End. Boston, Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1947.
Schellenberg, W. The Labyrinth. New York, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1956. (G)
Steiner, J. Power Politics and Social Change in Nazi Germany. Atlantic Heights, New
Jersey: Humanities Press, 1976. (G)
Stevenson, W. A Man Called Intrepid. New York, New York: Ballantine Books, 1976.