FRANCE

General Post-World War II

 

Aussaresses, Paul [Gen.] The Battle of the Casbah: Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in Algeria, 1955-1957. New York: Enigma, 2002.

Chapman, IJI&C 16.2, says that the author's memoir "provides a shocking look into this almost forgotten part of history. [Aussaresses] tells of the horrible torture methods he personally used on suspected FLN militants. But he does not give a clue as to the Algerian side of the story." For Clayton, I&NS 18.1, the author's apologia for his actions is "unconvincing." In addition, "[c]onversations of over 45 years ago are reported verbatim"; and "trivia is mixed with matters of the utmost seriousness." See also, Michael Ignatieff, "The Torture Wars," The New Republic, 22 Apr. 2002, 40-43.

Bocca, Geoffrey. The Secret Army. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1968.

Bonnet, Yves, and Pascal Krop. Le Grandes Oreilles du Président. [The President's Big Ears] Paris: Presses de la Cité, 2004.

Kahn, I&NS 23.2 (Apr. 2008), notes that this work "describes the extensive eavesdropping activities of French President François Mitterrand."

Faligot, Roger. "France, Sigint and the Cold War." Intelligence and National Security 16, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 177-208.

Under Alexandre de Marenches in the 1970s, the SDECE absorbed the previously independent Sigint organization, the Radioelectronic Communication Group (GCR). The French also moved closer to the UK-USA pact while avoiding actually joining. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the French have been active in developing new national Sigint capabilities.

Kemp, Percy. "The Fall and Rise of France's Spymasters." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1994): 12-21.

Kostin, Sergei, and Eric Raynaud. Tr., Catherine Cauvin-Higgins. FAREWELL: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century. Las Vegas, NV: AmazonCrossing, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), this is the story of Vladimir Vetrov, a KGB officer who offered his services to the French DST in February 1981. He was arrested for murder a year later, and executed for espionage in 1985. It "is an incredible tale of espionage with many unexpected twists, turns, and unusual tradecraft elements. Whether it is 'the greatest spy story of the century' is open to question. But it is a very interesting case and well worth reading."

Lazar, Marc. "The Cold War Culture of the French and Italian Communist Parties." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 2 (Summer 2003): 213-224.

"[T]he Cold War had a considerable impact in France and Italy, being relayed domestically by two powerful communist parties and amplifying already-existing conflicts in each of these societies. In France, as in Italy, the confrontation was violent, and developed into a kind of 'war culture'.... It permitted polemical and political passions to be unleased against ... 'the enemy'.... Yet, despite its intensity and continual stoking, this confrontation was always mastered and controlled by communists and non-communists alike."

LePage, Jean-Marc, and Elle Tenenbaum. "French and American Intelligence Relations During the First Indochina War, 1950-54." Studies in Intelligence 55, no. 3 (Sep. 2011): 19-27.

"[T]he relationship of French and US intelligence during the first Indochina war was anything but placid, but it could neither be characterized as perpetually antagonistic nor as consistently harmonious. They were often both at the same time, whether the subject was foreign intelligence collection or covert action."

Nordell, John R., Jr. The Undetected Enemy: French and American Miscalculations at Dien Bien Phu. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1995.

According to Currey, Journal of Third World Studies, Fall 1999, Nordell "tells of French strategic, logistic, tactical and intelligence decisions that culminated in Navarre's determination to fight" at Dien Bien Phu. The author also "clearly shows the extent to which the U.S. government aided and abetted French planning."

Pennetier, Jean-Marc. "Review Article: The Springtime of French Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1996): 780-798.

Scott-Smith, Giles. "Confronting Peaceful Co-existence: Psychological Warfare and the Role of Interdoc, 1963-72." Cold War History 7, no. 1 (Feb. 2007): 19-43.

From abstract: The International Information and Documentation Center was founded in 1963 in The Hague, and "was the result of discussions between French, German, and Dutch intelligence services, along with individuals from industry and academia…. Interdoc's central focus was to increase the level of understanding of communist doctrine and practice by stimulating and making available well-researched information on the policies and realities of the Soviet bloc…. Chancellor Brandt's pursuit of Ostpolitik caused a catastrophic withdrawal of German financial support."

Villatoux, Marie-Catherine, and Paul Villatoux. "Aerial Intelligence during the Algerian War." Journal of Strategic Studies 25, no. 2 (Jun. 2002): 65-78

From abstract: Aerial reconnaissance and intelligence gathering "had a highly significant role in supporting French military operations in Algeria.... Initially, however, the Air Force effort was handicapped" by a number of problems, including a lack of "sufficient suitable aircraft types. Gradually, improved aircraft and photographic techniques permitted systematic and detailed aerial mapping and intelligence work.... Better integration of air and ground forces, along with more coordinated command and control, arrived from 1959 onwards when an air general, Maurice Challe, became inter-service commander-in-chief in Algeria. This permitted an authentic and mostly effective combined-arms and joint service approach to the locating, tracking, engagement and destruction of Algerian nationalist bands."

Von Bülow, Mathilde. "Myth or Reality? The Red Hand and French Covert Action in Federal Germany during the Algerian War, 1956-61." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 6 (Dec. 2007): 787 – 820.

From abstract: "This article argues that the attacks on West German territory were executed neither by vigilantes nor by renegade agents. Instead, they were carried out by the French foreign intelligence service SDECE with the full approval of the highest political authorities in Paris.... The article will show that the Red Hand served merely as a cover to detract from the state's resort to such violent and criminal means."

Zervoudakis, Alexander. "'Nihil mirare, nihil contemptare, omnia intelligere': Franco-Vietnamese Intelligence in Indochina, 1950-1954." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 195-229.

Abstract: "This article analyses French intelligence in Indochina at the height of the war (1950-54), and the contribution made by the [V]ietnamese in the intelligence effort. The effectiveness of this effort is demonstrated by the use of operational examples."

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