World War II

The British Services

Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)/MI6

A - E


Aldrich, Richard J. "Britain's Secret Intelligence Service in Asia during the Second World War." Modern Asia Studies 32, no. 1 (Feb. 1998): 179-217.

"[T]his essay seeks to shed some preliminary light upon ... the troubled Asiatic branch of SIS from the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 to termination of Britain's post-war administrative duties in Southeast Asia in 1946.... [T]he experience of SIS in Asia after 1941 was distinctly different in character" than SIS in London. "[I]t encountered new problems that became more awkward and intractable as the war progressed.... [O]perational problems, peculiar to Asia, were compounded by serious mistakes committed at a higher level, notably by the regional head of SIS, Colonel Leo Steveni, during the period 1942-44."

Benton, Kenneth. "The ISOS Years: Madrid, 1941-3." Journal of Contemporary History 30 (1995): 366-370.

Best, Sigismund Payne. The Venlo Incident. London: Hutchinson, 1950.

Bristow, Desmond, and Bill Bristow. A Game of Moles: The Deceptions of an MI6 Officer. Boston & London: Little, Brown, 1993.

Surveillant 3.4/5 notes that this book presents the "part Bristow played within Section V -- the counterintelligence arm of MI6." He spent the "wartime years working for MI6 in Gibraltar and Algiers ... [and] retired in 1954.... [He] remains convinced that Roger Hollis of MI5 was a Soviet spy, that Guy Liddell was in the same category, and that David Footman (chief of MI6's political section for Central Europe) was working for the Russians, too."

For West, WIR 13.4, the author's account of his adventures in wartime Spain is "one entertaining anecdote after another." The book "dovetails with Philby's memoirs,... [as] the only detailed recollections in the public domain of Section V's activities.... [It] offers a fascinating insight into a rather obscure corner of the secret war."

Defty, I&NS 10.1, suggests that Bristow's critical stance toward his former employers may be "in no small part the result of his friendship with Peter Wright.... Bristow digresses rather often, apparently unable to contain his anger at 'how badly many worthy people have been treated by the powers that be....' [T]he charges he makes [against Hollis and Liddell] are largely a reiteration of those of his friend Peter Wright, and they are thankfully largely confined to one chapter." Most of the book "offers an engaging, occasionally revealing, and often diverting insight into some of more successful wartime deception operations conducted by SIS in the Mediterranean theatre."

Brown, Anthony Cave. "C": The Secret Life of Sir Stewart Graham Menzies, Spymaster to Winston Churchill. New York: Macmillan, 1987.

Cecil, Robert.

1. "C's War." Intelligence and National Security 1, no. 2 (May 1986): 170-188.

2. "Five of Six at War: Section V of MI6." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 2 (Apr. 1994): 345-353.

Clive, Nigel. A Greek Experience: 1943-48. Norwich, UK: Michael Russell, 1985.

See Richard Clogg, "Nigel Clive: Intelligence Officer Whose Memoirs Preceded Spycatcher," The Guardian, 17 May 2001, for Clive's obituary. "In December 1943, under the pseudonym Jim Russell,... Captain Clive was parachuted into Epirus in north-westem Greece" by MI6. "After the war, Clive continued to serve in Greece until 1948. Subsequent postings with SIS,... included Jerusalem, Baghdad, Tunis and Algiers. Between 1966 and 1969, he headed the information research department, the Foreign Office's propaganda arm during the cold war. His last posting, between 1970 and 1980, was as adviser to the OECD secretary-general."

Davidson, Basil. Special Operations Europe: Scenes from the Anti-Nazi War. London: Victor Gollancz, 1980.

Evans, Michael. "MI6 Ordered to Explain Secrecy over Superspy Files." Times (London), 7 May 2007. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

"MI6 has been ordered by a judge to appear at a special public hearing over the case of one of its wartime superspies, whose file is buried in the archives of the headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service.... A challenge to [MI6's] policy of secrecy has been made by the nephew of Paul Rosbaud, an Austrian physicist and metallurgist who spied for Britain in the Second World War and provided crucial intelligence on German attempts to build a uranium atomic bomb."

Evans, Michael. "Plot Mishaps Gave SS Spy Heart Attack." Times (London), 17 Sept. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

Previously secret MI5 files released by the Public Record Office on 16 September 1999 provide details about the Venlo incident and one of its architects, Walter Schellenberg, who would later take over "responsibility for all counterespionage operations outside Germany" during World War II. Schellenberg "had a heart attack after all the excitement" of the incident.

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