J.C. Masterman was chairman of the Double-Cross Committee at the height of World War Two. This is his account of the double agents, deception and counter-espionage which were key to the victory of D-Day. Written as an official report for MI5 in 1945, originally published with the permission of the British Government over twenty years later, The Double-Cross System details the Allied handling of enemy agents and the British infiltration of Nazi spy-rings. Telling the stories of the agents codenamed Zigzag, Tricycle, Garbo and Snow, Masterman also tells the story of a triumphant operation in the Second World War’s intelligence effort.
The Incredible Story of How Nazi Spies Were Turned into Double Agents
Author: J. C. Masterman
Pubpsher: Rowman & Littlefield
The classic account of how British intelligence penetrated and practically operated Nazi Germany’s spy network within the British Isles With great imagination, care, and precise coordination, the British were able to identify Nazi agents, induce many to defect, and supply completely false information to Germany about bombings, battles, and even the D-Day invasion. Told by the man who masterminded the entire, unbelievable four-and-a-half-year scheme, and filled with extraordinary stories and dazzling tidbits, The Double-Cross System is a testimony to Britain’s skill in the fine art of counterespionage.
D-Day, 6 June 1944, the turning point of the Second World War, was a victory of arms. But it was also a triumph for a different kind of operation: one of deceit, aimed at convincing the Nazis that Calais and Norway, not Normandy, were the targets of the 150,000-strong invasion force. The deception involved every branch of Allied wartime intelligence - the Bletchley Park code-breakers, MI5, MI6, SOE, Scientific Intelligence, the FBI and the French Resistance. But at its heart was the 'Double Cross System', a team of double agents controlled by the secret Twenty Committee, so named because twenty in Roman numerals forms a double cross. The key D-Day spies were just five in number, and one of the oddest military units ever assembled: a bisexual Peruvian playgirl, a tiny Polish fighter pilot, a Serbian seducer, a wildly imaginative Spaniard with a diploma in chicken farming, and a hysterical Frenchwoman whose obsessive love for her pet dog very nearly wrecked the entire deception. Their enterprise was saved from catastrophe by a shadowy sixth spy whose heroic sacrifice is here revealed for the first time. Under the direction of an eccentric but brilliant intelligence officer in tartan trousers, working from a smoky lair in St James's, these spies would weave a web of deception so intricate that it ensnared Hitler's army and helped to carry thousands of troops across the Channel in safety. These double agents were, variously, brave, treacherous, fickle, greedy and inspired. They were not conventional warriors, but their masterpiece of deceit saved countless lives. Their codenames were Bronx, Brutus, Treasure, Tricycle and Garbo. This is their story.
This book describes and analyzes the history of the Mediterranean "Double-Cross System" of the Second World War, an intelligence operation run primarily by British officers which turned captured German spies into double agents. Through a complex system of coordination, they were utilized from 1941 to the end of the war in 1945 to secure Allied territory through security and counter-intelligence operations, and also to deceive the German military by passing false information about Allied military planning and operations. The primary questions addressed by the book are: how did the double-cross-system come into existence; what effects did it have on the intelligence war and the broader military conflict; and why did it have those effects? The book contains chapters assessing how the system came into being and how it was organized, and also chapters which analyze its performance in security and counter-intelligence operations, and in deception.
'Sensationally good ... A riveting story, the real-life spooks and spies far more compelling than anything you will see on the screen ... history doesn't come more fascinating than this' Evening Standard For over 100 years, the agents of MI5 have defended Britain against enemy subversion. Their work has remained shrouded in secrecy - until now. This first-ever authorized account reveals the British Security Service as never before: its inner workings, its clandestine operations, its failures and its triumphs. 'Definitive and fascinating ... whether reporting on Hitler in the 1930s, the Double-Cross System of the second world war, Zionist terrorism, the atom spies, the Cambridge spies, the so-called Wilson plot or the 1988 shooting of the IRA bombers in Gibraltar, this book is essential reading' Alan Judd, Spectator 'The British Secret Service has opened its archives - and even 'insiders' may be in for a surprise ... magisterial ... extremely readable' Oleg Gordievsky, The Times 'Compelling ... a feast' Max Hastings, Sunday Times 'A superb account ... He has captured every important detail of the Service ... unlikely to be surpassed for another 100 years' Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph
Release on 1990-08-31 | by F. H. Hinsley,C. A. G. Simkins
Author: F. H. Hinsley,C. A. G. Simkins
Pubpsher: Cambridge University Press
The first three volumes of the series dealt with the influence of intelligence on strategy and operations. Volume 4 analyzes the contribution made by intelligence to the work of the authorities responsible for countering the threats of subversion, sabotage and intelligence gathering by the enemy in the United Kingdom and British territories overseas, and neutral countries. It describes the evolution of the security intelligence agencies between the wars and the security situation in September 1939. This volume reviews the arguments about security policy regarding enemy aliens, Fascists and Communists in the winter of 1939-1940 and during the Fifth Column panic in the summer of 1940. It describes how the security system, still at that time inadequately organized and poorly informed, was developed into an efficient machine and how, with invaluable help from signals intelligence and other sources and by the skillful use of double agents, the operation of the enemy intelligence services were effectively countered. In conclusion, it notes the consistent subservience of the Communist Party to the interests of the USSR and the likely threat to British security.