Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

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steve248
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by steve248 » 17 Nov 2015 10:14

Not only did I read West, I also read Keith Jeffery's history of MI 6. Jeffery takes a less sensational view of Szymanska's role on the one hand, and on the other stresses how difficult it was to get information out of Switzerland. The Swiss enforcing no encrypted radio messages so any information would have to be got out by hand of someone after Nov 1942. Read Jeffery for the detail.
Szymanska got information out in 1941 when it was easier, and exceedingly difficult after the German occupation of Vichy in 1942. According to Jeffrey only nine reports in the years 1940-end 1942 that believed of Abwehr origin that came via Gisevius. Jeffery doesn't mention the content apart from one report about German troops in north Africa said to be non-offensive, and two days later went onto the offensive with Italian troops.
As for the information of the German attack on USSR being given to Szymanska in May 1941 - a month before the attack - is not so sensational as the British already knew it was imminent. I have no wish to denigrate the role of Szymanska, simply showing information was available from other sources.
After 1943 when Szymanska was attempting to get V-weapon information out of Gisevius, who knew nothing of value, that is the last mention of Szymanska's activities by Jeffery.
The vast Abwehr radio traffic decrypted by Bletchley Park - shared between MI 5 and MI 6 - did not entirely replace humint but certainly meant London had almost instant information about Abwehr intentions on a variety of operations in the east and west.
Anything involving Canaris acquired by MI 6 was shared with MI 5 as files at National Archives, Kew, make clear. Trevor-Roper (of MI 6) wrote umpteen reports about the Abwehr traffic and Canaris' role which were shared with MI 5 (see Kew files HW 19 pieces 331-333 and 347-349.
Quite apart from large number of double-agents sent originally to Britain by the Abwehr, run back by MI 5 and MI 6.
As for a thin file on Canaris - 'weeders' at work.

paulrward
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by paulrward » 18 Nov 2015 00:01

Hello Mr. Steve248 ;

Has it not occurred to you that might, in fact, have been no difficulty getting information out of Switzerland due to the connivance of allied sympathizers in the Swiss government? And, since these individuals, and the
people who were chosen to replace them, were, or might still be, in place, providing information to
British Intelligence, that the British might chose to be reticent about admitting to these facts.

After all, if you want to encourage the growth of your most attractive flowers, you might indeed have
to do some aggressive weeding......

Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
Information not shared, is information lost
Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
Discussions that are silenced, are discussions that will occur elsewhere !

steve248
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by steve248 » 18 Nov 2015 11:28

As regards the difficulty of getting information of this sort out of Switzerland I was quoting Jeffery. He has seen the SIS papers, I haven't.
According to Jeffery, SIS in Switzerland resorted to bribing south American diplomats to send material out in their diplomatic bags, which seems to me to have a delayed time factor before reaching London.
They may have considered and dropped taking the material to France and have one of their circuits transmit the material by coded radio messages. Radio operators in France of SIS, SOE, BCRA and Rote Kapelle all had short lives - transmitting for hours from the same place were easy targets for German DF'ing.
Looks like "yesterdays newspapers" eventually arrived in London.

Harry Yeide
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by Harry Yeide » 25 Mar 2017 10:08

Yesterday I looked at the Foreign Office records of communications with MI6 during the war. There is a file on Canaris (FO 1093/287). Those documents indicate that Canaris twice tried to contact the British through subordinates. In both cases, his man requested that the Swedes to arrange a meeting. The first time was 1943, when a staff officer sought to meet the British naval attache. London told the attache not to accept. The second time was after the 20 July attack, when a staff officer sought to meet the MI6 representative in Sweden. The British again refused. The records do indicate that the British viewed Canaris as anti-Nazi.

papasha408
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by papasha408 » 03 Apr 2017 07:25

When you consider that the Enigma Codes were broken in late 39 and early 40, I'm surprised the war actually lasted as long as it did. This war had more to do with crushing Germany into perpetual subservience than just defeating an enemy. When you also consider the fact, Churchill bankrupted the British Empire by insisting on this war you need to ask, what and who were really behind it. The Soviet Union and the United States were the benefactors of World War Two. Stalin enslaved Eastern Europe and America eventually became the world's only superpower. Sometimes I believe Hitler's only real crime to the Globalists was pulling Germany out of the debt stranglehold of international central banking. It must have sent the Rothschilds into a tizzy.

steve248
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by steve248 » 03 Apr 2017 08:01

The post by Harry Yeide misses the point of Germans trying to contact British authorities, of whatever agency. After Churchill came to power there was a British inter-agency agreement not to pursue peace contacts being made by any German officials because they could not offer complete surrender.
A case of once bitten, twice shy after the debacle of Venlo.
Any number of MI 5 name and subject files available at UK National Archives (KV series) will confirm this policy.
Espionage was a different matter, but then "George Wood" was denied access to British intelligence officials in Berne in 1944 (query date) before becoming Allen Dulles' major asset in Germany.

GeoffreyTV
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by GeoffreyTV » 18 May 2020 07:14

(As posted on Amazon)

The flimsy Bassett text won’t do even if you know nothing about Canaris. It contains some seriously misleading statements, if that is a polite enough way to put it.

Michael Mueller’s far more thoroughly researched book...has comments on Richard Bassett which bear repeating here, e.g.

— “Belongs in the realm of secret service legend rather than serious historical research”
— “Bassett’s assertions are to be treated with caution”

AllenM
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by AllenM » 18 May 2020 18:11

When was ULTRA revealed to the world? Much security/intelligence information from World War II is still classified. And the bad guys usually get it wrong, right? An Army Security Agency report from 1946 was not declassified until 2009. Why is that? And who released this report? The NSA. The British are violating the 50 year rule on a number of topics.Why is that?

What was Allen Dulles doing in neutral Switzerland? And who was he? An attorney.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 May 2020 19:39

AllenM wrote:
18 May 2020 18:11
Much security/intelligence information from World War II is still classified.
Excellent news, can you tell us what it is and where it is?
AllenM wrote:
18 May 2020 18:11
The British are violating the 50 year rule on a number of topics.Why is that?
Again, can you tell us what they are? What is the 50 year rule? Personnel records are kept closed for 100 years to avoid distressing surviving members as far as I know.

Regards

Tom

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 18 May 2020 19:46

papasha408 wrote:
03 Apr 2017 07:25
When you consider that the Enigma Codes were broken in late 39 and early 40, I'm surprised the war actually lasted as long as it did.
Although the fact that the Germans were reading Allied convoy codes and gained a considerable amount of tactical and operational intelligence through the decryption of Allied cyphers probably balanced out Allied penetration of Enigma codes - which was never total and often interrupted.
papasha408 wrote:
03 Apr 2017 07:25
When you also consider the fact, Churchill bankrupted the British Empire by insisting on this war you need to ask, what and who were really behind it.
Hmm, Chamberlain was Prime Minister when the UK declared war - Churchill wasn't made PM till May 1940. And, of course, Hitler was "really behind it".
papasha408 wrote:
03 Apr 2017 07:25
Sometimes I believe Hitler's only real crime to the Globalists was pulling Germany out of the debt stranglehold of international central banking.
That's a very disturbing sentence. Do you not consider that the Holocaust should be considered a "real" crime?

Regards

Tom

AllenM
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by AllenM » 18 May 2020 20:06

Hello Tom,

I don't know what you know, but a few things:

TICOM was not mentioned in the intelligence literature until the 1980s.

The report I refer to above is about German Air Force Signal Intelligence. This is volume 5:

https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/document ... ervice.pdf

People are generally unaware of the vast intelligence apparatus operating in Europe during and shortly after the war.

T-Force, operating as 30 Assault Unit, was a commando group that went in to various locations while the shooting was still going on. It was critical so that the destruction of equipment and documents could be avoided.

Intelligence targets were reported on by BIOS, the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-committee, and CIOS, the Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-committee.

Of course the Office of Strategic Services helped to identify locations and personnel of interest.

It is understandable that Axis successes would be downplayed after the war. The public had little need to know, and the Russians had no need to know.

About the 50 year (and 30 year) rule: https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hans ... nts-closed

Speaking of war crimes, the Americans took a pragmatic approach. As long as someone had intelligence value and/or technical skills, they were hidden from potential prosecution. This was considered necessary to counter the 1945 threat from Russia.

Tom from Cornwall
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by Tom from Cornwall » 19 May 2020 17:01

Hi,

So that’s all stuff now in the public domain and kept quiet for perfectly understandable reasons. What about the “much” intelligence information from WWII that you suggest is still kept classified - what’s that and which archives still hold it?

Re 50 years rule in UK - since 2010 this Is now a 20 year rule.

I don’t think people are that unaware of the need for a large intelligence apparatus by the end of the war, but I think that popular history is dominated by tanks and planes, and especially nice big shiny Tiger tanks as that is what publishers finds makes the most profits.

Lots of bespectacled professor-types generating dry reports doesn’t sell unless you can package it up more like an Indiana Jones escapade through the rubble of German cities against beautiful but deadly Smersh agents. 😄

Regards

Tom

mezsat2
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by mezsat2 » 21 May 2020 12:13

It was awful because the Abwehr, for the most part, wanted it to be awful. They knew months in advance that Stalin was moving vast forces from Siberia to meet the German attack on Moscow in 41. They knew the same thing about Stalingrad in 42.

They also knew the regime was evil and would not support it with their full effort.

steevh
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by steevh » 11 Aug 2020 09:30

Of course, both sides had a lot of successes and a lot of failures.

Its interesting to compare D-Day with Barbarossa. D-Day is portrayed in popular history as a massive intelligence victory for the Allies, fooling Hitler into thinking the real invasion was to come later, in the Pas de Calais area. But Barbarossa is not portrayed as an even greater German intelligence victory -- instead, its portrayed as an example of Stalin's idiocy.

Had the Germans won the war the roles would no doubt be reversed in the history books. For the 50 years after the war the Allies had no reason to advertise their mistakes, and the Western public had limited appetite for 'revisionist' history.

steve248
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Re: Why was Axis intelligence less reliable than Allied Intel?

Post by steve248 » 11 Aug 2020 11:06

A number of posts since I last joined in on this topic.

I have seen the Richard Bassett book and not bought it. I see an abebooks.com seller has ten copies for sale at less than one British pound (78 pence), and probably just less than a US dollar + p&p. Probably says all you need to know. I have not seen the Michael Mueller book which is three times that price but I can probably do without.

AllenM asked when was ULTRA revealed to the world. I suppose the first use of came in 1974 when Fred Winterbotham (who had worked at Bletchley Park in the war) published "The Ultra Secret" which used some military ULTRA messages. Not much followed in an official sense. The really biggest breakthrough came in the mid 1990s when US historian Richard Breitman through a FOIA obtained about 250 pages of German Police Decodes from OSI.

When it was discovered those pages came to OSI from GCHQ (the successor of Bletchley Park) in the UK this caused uproar here in Britain with historians clamouring for access here. In 1997 the entire German Police Decode series, 1939 to 1945 were declassifed to UK National Archives. They were accompanied by hundreds of thousands of pages of military, diplomatic and other decoded material.

In the USA, Breitman was invited by the US Congress to join other retired CIA/FBI/OSS and historians in the "Inter-Agency Working Group" (IWG) to help in the declassification of records held in various US intelligence agencies. They have managed to declassify several million pages of WW2 military and intelligence papers to US NARA. I even got a mention in the IWG's final report to US Congress.

Back here in Britain. MI 5 still declassify crappy name files on communist nobodies. They like MI 6 are addicted to secrecy. In June 1944 in cooperation with MI 6, MI 5 opened a new series of "permanent files" on individuals that began at PF600,000 and was to be based on German intelligence officers and German intelligence assets. As far I can establish this series goes up to PF 610,109. Of those 10,019 files produced by MI 5 only about 400 have been declassified. With no FOI in the UK for intelligence agencies they can withhold dead files indefinitely.

The 50 year, then 30 year, and now 20 year rule on declassification of UK government documents, files and papers, does not apply to the intelligence agencies.

Unlike the British Foreign Office who control the files of SOE (Special Operations Executive) and regularly follow the 100 year rule (after their birth) or production of a death certificate and declassify the files of agents of SOE. They can't have many left.

TICOM and BIOS.
There are BIOS files, lots of them if not the full pack, at Imperial War Museum. They also have a card index file (thousands upon thousands of handwritten cards) that cross reference the file content.
TICOM files. Exceedingly few and far between at UK National Archives. I forgot to ask the Imperial War Museum.

If AllenM believes it was only the US that took a pragmatic approach to the employment of former German Ic officers (Sipo. Abwehr, FHO), he needs a re-think. The British and the French and no doubt the Russian were equal opportunity employers. Along with the nascent Gehlen Org.

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