Interwar Period

1918 - 1929

F - Z

Ferguson, Harry. Operation Kronstadt: The Greatest True Tale of Espionage to Come out of the Early Years of MI6. London: Hutchinson, 2008. New York: Overlook, 2009.

Peake, Studies 53.3 (Sep. 2009) and Intelligencer 17.2 (Fall 2009), notes that Paul Dukes was the first MI6 officer to be knighted for his operational duties, while Augustus Agar received the Victoria Cross. The author's "lively narrative reveals how Dukes eventually escaped Russia and how Agar avoided capture. The book is well documented and [a] pleasure to read."

For Judd, Telegraph (London), 13 Jul. 2008, the author's account of both Dukes' and Agar's operations "is exciting and his enthusiasm ... is infectious." However, "the book is warped by two needless, self-imposed disabilities. Firstly,... he often slips into the thriller clichés of an earlier era.... Secondly, he seems to have chips on both shoulders about Cumming in person and MI6 in general. Almost every mention of either is disobliging or bitter, and sometimes plain wrong." See Dukes, The Story of "ST 25" (1938) and Agar, Footprints in the Sea (1959) and Baltic Episode (1963), for firsthand accounts of these events.

Ferris, John. "A British 'Unofficial' Aviation Mission and Japanese Naval Developments, 1919-29." Journal of Strategic Studies 5 (1982): 416-439.

Ferris, John. "'Far Too Close a Gamble'? British Intelligence and Policy During the Chanak Crisis, September-October 1922." Diplomacy and Statecraft 14, no. 2 (Jun. 2003): 139-184.

Ferris, John. "Whitehall's Black Chamber: British Cryptology and the Government Code and Cypher School, 1919-29." Intelligence and National Security 2, no. 1 (Jan. 1987): 54-91.

"[I]n the 1920s the GCCS was at least as able as, and quite possibly superior to, any other cryptological organisation in the world. Despite its flaws of the 1930s it remained efficient, and more than able to take full advantage of the cryptological windfall which it received in 1939."

Fisher, John. Gentleman Spies: Intelligence Agents in the British Empire and Beyond. Stroud: Sutton, 2002.

Foden, Guardian, 9 Aug. 2002, sees this as an "entertaining and well-informed history."

Flory, Harriette. "The Arcos Raid and the Rupture of Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1927." Journal of Contemporary History 12, no. 4 (1977): 707-723.

Freeman, Peter. "MI1(b) and the Origins of British Diplomatic Cryptanalysis." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 2 (Apr. 2007): 206-228.

The author "outlines the relevant parts of the War Office's intelligence staff, describes the development of MI1(b)'s work on diplomatic targets..., and details the merger in 1919" of MI1(b) and Room 40 "into the Government Code & Cypher School (GC&CS) under the Admiralty, and its move in 1921/22 to its current position under the Foreign Secretary." [footnotes omitted]

French, Patrick. "Red Letter Day." Sunday Times (London), 10 Aug. 1997, 12.

Reports the release to the British Library by British intelligence in August 1997 of documents bearing on the Comintern's aspirations and activities in the United Kingdom in the early 1920s.

Hart, Peter, ed. British Intelligence in Ireland, 1920-21: The Final Reports. Irish Narrative Series, ed. David Fitzpatrick. Cork: Cork University Press, 2002.

From publisher: "The Irish revolution of 1920-1921 ended in a military and political stalemate, resolved only through the mutual compromise incorporated in the Anglo-Irish Treaty." Historians have long accepted that the Irish won the intelligence war. "This judgement is challenged by the recent release of two confidential self-assessments prepared for the army and the police in 1922." The police report "indicates a marked improvement in operations superintended by ... Sir Ormonde de l'Épée Winter (1875-1962). His report, though self-serving and flawed, provides a uniquely detailed and personal account of Intelligence from the inside. The editor's introduction assesses the purpose, reliability and significance of these reports. Their publication is a significant contribution to the study of Irish revolutionary history."

Hill, George A. Dreaded Hour. London: Cassell, 1936.

Constantinides: Hill "says virtually nothing about secret service activities ... during his three years in government service after the end of World War I." Most of the book is about his experiences in business.

Kahn, David. "Churchill Pleads for the Intercepts." Cryptologia 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1982): 47-49.

According to Sexton, this article reprints "letters from Winston Churchill to Austen Chamberlain in which the former pressed for access to intercepts in the 1920s."

Macfie, Alexander Lyon.

1. "British Intelligence and the Causes of Unrest in Mesopotamia, 1919-21." Middle Eastern Studies 35, no. 1 (1999): 165-177.

2. "British Intelligence and the Turkish National Movement, 1919-22." Middle Eastern Studies 37, no. 1 (Jan. 2001): 1-16.

3. "British Views of the Turkish National Movement in Anatolia, 1919-22." Middle Eastern Studies 38, no. 4 (2002): 27-46.

Madeira, Victor.

1. "'Because I Don't Trust Him, We Are Friends': Signals Intelligence and the Reluctant Anglo-Soviet Embrace, 1917-24." Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 29-51.

"In late November 1919, the first solutions of encoded Bolshevik communications appeared.... In early 1920, GCCS started solving high-grade Soviet diplomatic messages.... [K]nowing Soviet intentions, strengths, and weaknesses was what permitted successive Britsh administrations from 1917 to 1924 to negotiate a potentially explosive period unscathed."

2. Britannia and the Bear: The Anglo-Russian Intelligence Wars 1917–1929. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell, 2014.

Peake, Studies 58.4 (Dec. 2014), calls this as "the first detailed study of a Soviet espionage network that penetrated the English establishment long before the better-known Cambridge Five.... The principal Soviet agent involved was William Ewer." Howevwe, the book "is not easy reading. It is chronologically muddled, topically confusing, and saturated with awkward syntax."

3. "Moscow's Interwar Infiltration of British Intelligence 1919-29." The Historical Journal 46, no. 4 (2003): 915-933.

4. "'No Wishful Thinking Allowed': Secret Service Committee and Intelligence Reform in Great Britain, 1919-23." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 1-20.

In Post-World War I Britain, "[f]ear that Bolshevism threatened domestic social order and imperial interests prompted a handful of politicians and bureaucrats to press for intelligence reform.... By concentrating excessively on symptoms of popular discontent..., such men may have contributed to blinding government to a far graver danger: the penetration of British bureaucracy by Soviet agents.... [P]olitically motivated inflations of the Bolshevik 'menace' by elements of the security establishment greatly undermined the credibility of subsequent evidence on nascent Soviet espionage efforts."

McInerney, Colm. "Michael Collins and the Organisation of Irish Intelligence, 1917-21." The History Review: Journal of the UCD History Society 14 (2003), 34-45. ThreeMonkeysOnline.com, Apr. 2004. [http://www.threemonkeysonline.com]

"Several things forced the truce of July 1921, of which Collins' intelligence network is only one. But it is arguably the most important one. One of the key reason[s] that the War of Independence of 1919-1921 actually achieved a tangible result (the Anglo-Irish Treaty), unlike scores of previous rebellions, was intelligence."

McKay, C.G. "Our Man in Revel." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 1 (Jan. 1994): 88-111.

The focus here is on the "activities of Ronald Forbes Meiklejohn and his agent BP11 in the Estonian capital Reval (now Tallinn) in 1921."

Metzger, Laurent. "Joseph Ducroux, a French Agent of the Comintern in Singapore." Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 69, no. 1 (1996); 1-20.

Noonan, P.J. "British Spy System in 1920-21, Intelligence Chief's Revelations -- Incident in Co. Wicklow Recounted" Wicklow Historical Society Journal 2, no. 7 (2001): 3-7.

O'Halpin, Eunan. "British Intelligence in Ireland, 1914-1921." In The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century, eds. Christopher Andrew and David Dilks, 55-77. London: Macmillan, 1984.

Popplewell, Richard J. Intelligence and Imperial Defence: British Intelligence and the Defence of the Indian Empire, 1904-1924. London: Frank Cass, 1995.

Surveillant 4.1: The British "were able to defeat the Indian revolutionaries only by developing a complex intelligence network on a global scale."

Tomaselli, Phil. "C's Moscow Station -- The Anglo-Russian Trade Mission as Cover for SIS in the Early 1920s." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 3 (Autumn 2002): 173-180.

"[T]he role of the [Anglo-Russian Trade] Mission in collecting and sending out secret material was of prime importance in the struggle of the [British] Secret Service against communism in the early 1920s."

Westrate, Bruce. The Arab Bureau: British Policy in the Middle East, 1916-1920. College Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1988. 1994.

From publisher: "Founded in 1916, the Arab Bureau was a small collection of British intelligence officers headquartered in Cairo and charged with the task of coordinating imperial intelligence activities in the Middle East. It is most often remembered for its flamboyant cast of characters, particularly T. E. Lawrence, and its role in instigating the Arab Revolt to break Turkish control over the Arab-speaking Middle East.... [H]owever, the Bureau was vilified within imperial circles as a group of amateurish and incompetent pro-Arab dilettantes..... Westrate ... reassesses the role that the Bureau actually played within imperial policy-making circles .... [and] concludes that Bureau members were ... sober-minded strategists who were skillfully working to secure the region for imperial interests."

Winstone, H.V.F. The Illicit Adventure: The Story of Political and Military Intelligence in the Middle East, 1898-1926. London: Cape, 1982. Frederick, MD: UPA, 1982.

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