Interwar Period


A - F

Aubin, Chantal. "French Counterintelligence and British Secret Intelligence in the Netherlands, 1920-40." In Battleground Western Europe: Intelligence Operations in Germany and The Netherlands in the Twentieth Century, eds. Beatrice de Graaf, Ben de Jong, and Wies Platje, 17-47. Amsterdam: Het Spinhuis, 2007.

Ban Kah Choon. Absent History: The Untold Story of Special Operations Branch in Singapore, 1915-1942. Singapore: SNP Media Asia Pte Ltd., 2001.

Unsinger, IJI&C 15.3, views this as "overall a good book," even though the materials from which it is drawn were "limited." This is "a fine report on colonial intelligence in the interwar years."

Bell, Christopher M. "The Royal Navy, War Planning, and Intelligence Assessments of Japan, 1921-1941." In Intelligence and Statecraft: The Use and Limits of Intelligence in International Society, eds. Jennifer L. Siegel and Peter J. Jackson, 139-156. New York: Praeger, 2005.

Best, Antony.

1. British Intelligence and the Japanese Challenge in Asia, 1914-1941. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

Mercado, I&NS 18.1, finds Best's work to be "a fine account of British intelligence and policy in the face of the Japanese challenge in Asia." The author's "argument is well ordered and defined.... [T]hose interested in both the particulars of British intelligence and the general problem of intelligence's place in foreign policy will find this book well worth reading."

2. "Intelligence, Diplomacy and the Japanese Threat to British Interests, 1914-41." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 85-100.

Best seeks to "assess the impact of the new intelligence records ... on the history of Anglo-Japanese diplomatic relations in the inter-war period, using as case studies MI5's surveillance of the spy Frederick Rutland, the origins of the Leith-Ross mission of 1935, and British intelligence on Japanese pan-Asianism."

3. "'Straws in the Wind': Britain and the February 1941 War-Scare in East Asia." Diplomacy & Statecraft 5, no. 3 (1994): 642-665.

Blackstock, Paul W. The Secret Road to World War II: Soviet versus Western Intelligence 1921-1939. Chicago: Quadrangle, 1969.

The reviewer for Studies 14.1 (Spring 1970) finds that "[t]his book has grave faults." The author is "is insufficently grounded in intelligence, or insufficiently critical, to make discriminating judgments about his sources." He also "artificially equates the USSR and the democratic West in comparing their governments and their intelligence services."

Constantinides advises caution in approaching this book. However, readers "interested in Soviet penetration, manipulation, deception, and violence against Russian emigré organizations and their allies, particularly the Trust, may still find some merit in [Blackstock's] treatment of aspects of these operations." Rocca and Dziak note that, with regard to the Trust, "significantly different interpretations exist" between the author's account and that of Geoffrey Bailey; these "are unresolvable on the basis of existing evidence."

Blair, Dorian, and C.H. Dand. Russian Hazard: Adventures of a British Secret Service Agent in Russia. London: Hale, 1937.

Burdett, Anita L. P., ed. Saudi Arabia: Secret Intelligence Records 1926-1939. 8 vols. Slough: Archive Editions, 2003.

Vol. 1 1926-1931; Vol. 2 1931-1932; Vol. 3 1932-1933; Vol. 4 1933-1934; Vol. 5 1934-1935; Vol. 6 1935-1936; Vol. 7 1937-1938; Vol.. 8 1938-1939.

Chapman, John W. M. "Britain, Japan and the 'Higher Realms of Intelligence,' 1918-1945." In The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000. Vol. 3 : The Military Dimension, eds. Ian T.M. Gow, Yoichi Hirama, and John W. M. Chapman, 151-173. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Clarke, William F. "Government Code and Cypher School, Its Foundation and Development with Special Reference to Its Naval Side." Cryptologia 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1987): 219-226.

According to Sexton, the focus here is on the Naval Section of GC&CS during the 1920s-1930s.

Denniston, Alastair G. "The Government Code and Cypher School Between the Wars." Intelligence and National Security 1, no. 1 (Jan. 1986): 48-70.

Denniston was one of the original group in the 1914-1918 Room 40 OB and headed the government cipher team from 1919 to 1942. Filby, I&NS 10.3/421/fn. 17.

Denniston, Robin. "Diplomatic Eavesdropping, 1922-44: A New Source Discovered." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 3 (Jul. 1995): 423-448.

"This study traces recent research into non-service -- that is diplomatic -- traffic, some of which was enciphered by systems which predated machine encipherment.... The new source disclosed is the diplomatic component of the files that came to Churchill from MI6 from late 1941 to VJ Day.... In 1943 up to a third of 'C's' daily delivery to Churchill consisted" of diplomatic intercepts. "A total of 17 countries were targeted."

Dilks, David. "Flashes of Intelligence: The Foreign Office, the SIS and Security before the Second World War." In The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century, eds. Christopher Andrew and David Dilks, 101-125. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1984. London: Macmillan, 1984.

Dorril, Stephen. Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism. London: Viking/Penguin, 2006.

Grant, I&NS 22.3 (Jun. 2007), says this work "is an often frustrating read ... as many of Dorril's assertions about the role of Security Service agents within the Fascist fringe ... are difficult to trace to a particular source." In addition, "much of what Dorril concludes about the role of the Security Service during World War II is based on the work" of other authors. Nevertheless, the author does offer "new insight into questions about the nature of the threat posed by the British Fascists."

Everest-Phillips, Max. "Reassessing Pre-War Japanese Espionage: The Rutland Naval Spy Case and the Japanese Intelligence Threat Before Pearl Harbor." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 2 (Apr. 2006): 258-285.

The author argues that beyond the help that British Squadron Leader Frederick Joseph Rutland gave the Japanese in developing aircraft carriers, the knowldge that British security and intelligence had of his actions helped increase perceptions of a Japanese espionage threat.

Ferris, John. "Double-Edged Estimates: Japan in the Eyes of the British Army and the Royal Air Force, 1900-1939." In The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000. Vol. 3 : The Military Dimension, eds. Ian T. M. Gow, Yoichi Hirama, and John W. M. Chapman, 91-108. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Ferris, John. "Intelligence." In The Origins of World War Two: The Debate Continues, eds. Robert W. D. Boyce and Joseph A. Maiolo, 308-329. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.

Ferris, John. "Intelligence and Diplomatic Signalling during Crises: The British Experience of 1877-78, 1922 and 1938." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006): 675-696.

The author of these "case studies of playing chicken" provides some intriguing thoughts. These include: "The strategic literature assumes crises are there to be managed. In fact, they are something to survive.... Crises cause systems failures on all sides.... Crises are dominated by emotion, factionalization, missed signals and unintended consequences."

Ferris, John. "'Worthy of Some Better Enemy?': The British Estimate of the Imperial Japanese Army, 1919-41, and the Fall of Singapore." Canadian Journal of History 28 (1993): 223-256.

Fisher, John. "On the Baghdad Road: On the Trail of W.J. Childs. A Study in British Near Eastern Intelligence and Historical Analysis, c.1900-1930.". Archives 24, no. 101 (1999): 53-70.

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