World War II

The British Services

Secret Intelligence Service (SIS)/MI6

F - Q

Fraser-Smith, Charles.

"Charles Fraser-Smith, the gadget-designing genius on whom the character 'Q' in the James Bond novels ... was modeled," died on 9 November 1992. "He was a master of disguising tools in ordinary objects." Barron, "Charles Fraser-Smith, Mr. Gadget For James Bond Tales, Dies at 88," New York Times, 13 Nov. 1992. See also, Porter, The Man Who Was Q (1989).

1. With Kevin Logan. Secret Warriors: Hidden Heroes of MI6, OSS, MI9, SOE & SAS. Exeter, UK: Paternoster, 1984. 1989. [pb]

2. With Gerald McKnight and Sandy Lesberg. The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith: The "Q" Gadget Wizard of World War II. London: Michael Joseph, 1981.

Hembry, Boris. Malayan Spymaster: Memoirs of a Rubber Planter, Bandit Fighter and Spy. Singapore: Monsoon Books, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 56.3 (Sep. 2012), this is the memoir of a person who fought with a stay-behind unit after the Japanese invaded Malaya, joined the British V-Force in India, and then joined MI6 through the end of the war. He again served British and local governments during the Malayan insurgency. "The counterinsurgency methods Hembry describes are instructive.... Malayan Spymaster reveals a different kind of intelligence experience in a little-known part of the Pacific war." King, NIPQ 29.1 (Jan. 2013), sees this as "a real-life spy thriller, simply and elegantly told with a large helping of information and detail gleaned from his experiences."

Herrington, Ian. "The SIS and SOE in Norway 1940-1945: Conflict or Co-operation?" War in History 9, no. 1 (2002): 82-101.

Johns, Philip. Within Two Cloaks: Missions with SIS and SOE. London: Kimber, 1979.

Kessler, Leo [pseud., Charles Whiting]. Betrayal at Venlo: The Secret Story of Appeasement and Treachery, 1935-1945. London: Leo Cooper, 1991.

Kramish, Arnold. The Griffin: The Greatest Untold Espionage Story of World War II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986.

MacDonald, C.A. "The Venlo Affair." European Studies Review 8 (1978): 443-464.

MacIntyre, Ben. "Family at War with MI6 over Secret Files of Britain's Greatest Spy against the Nazis." Times (London), 16 Dec. 2006. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

The family of Paul Rosbaud, one of the most important British agents during World War II, is locked in a legal battle with MI6 for the files that relate to Rosbaud's activities. Codenamed "The Griffin," Rosbaud was an Austrian scientist who "provided Britain with valuable intelligence on jet aircraft, radar, flying bombs and Nazi attempts to develop the atomic bomb.... At the end of the war, Rosbaud was spirited out of Germany in British military uniform and settled in London. He died in 1963."

MacIntyre, Ben. "Uncovered Documents Reveal Spy Who Fed Information on Hitler's Secrets." Times (London), 13 Feb. 2010. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

Documents uncovered in the Churchill Archives in Cambridge and the National Archives by historian Paul Winter show that "Britain obtained accurate and highly valuable intelligence from a network of agents in the upper ranks of the Third Reich." An agent, code-named Knopf, and his sub-agents "alerted British Intelligence to German plans for an invasion of Malta in 1942, relayed Rommel's intentions in North Africa and revealed Hitler's fatal obsession with capturing Stalingrad on the Eastern Front....

"Knopf was initially recruited and run by Polish Intelligence. In 1940, the Polish Government in exile in London agreed to hand over all its intelligence material to the Secret Intelligence Service [MI6],... providing Britain with a steady stream of top-grade intelligence for the rest of the war.... Knopf apparently sent his reports by wireless, since the report on his work by MI14, the War Office's German section, refers to 'errors in transmission' such as misspelt names. MI6 was able to confirm Knopf's information, and ensure he was not a double agent..., by cross-checking his reports against the German messages decrypted by ... at Bletchley Park."

Muggeridge, Malcolm. The Infernal Grove. Chronicles of Wasted Time, No. 2. London: Collins, 1973. New York: Morrow, 1974.

Pidgeon, Geoffrey. The Secret Wireless War. London: UPSO, 2004.

From publisher: This book tells of the formation of MI6 Section VIII -- the communications division, headed by Brigadier Richard Gambier-Parry -- "and includes diary entries by one of the 'founding fathers' recording the secret meetings that took place, and the assembly of its talented staff.... Whilst essential, the technical side of the tale has not been allowed to dominate the book which is profusely illustrated."

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 28.4 (Oct. 2004), most of the stories in this work "are first-hand accounts told by those who were part of this most secret of units.... [T]his book is an important record of people and events that helped win World War II." Kesteloot, Persiscope 26.1 (2004), finds this to be "a remarkable compendium of human stories related to the[] heroic years" of World War II. The author provides a "detailed account of MI-6's wartime radio communications program."

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