Secret Intelligence in the Twentieth Century

By Heike Bungert; Jan G. Heitmann et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project


The WRINGER Project: German Ex-POWs as Intelligence Sources on the Soviet Union

Horst Boog

The WRINGER project was an intelligence operation of the US Air Force (USAF) in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was designed to gain information of military value on the Soviet Union through systematic interviewing of German prisoners of war repatriated from there.

The following is mainly based on an article by James Erdmann, 1 a lieutenant colonel in the USAF intelligence establishment and later professor of history at the University of Denver. The piece was published in 1982 with permission of the USAF. In addition, I drew from articles by Robert Jackson 2 on post-war strategic Air Intelligence and Squadron Leader John Crampton 3 on RB-45 operations. Last but not least, my interpretation benefited from personal experience. Unfortunately, the volume on US air intelligence covering the WRINGER project is still classified. 4 Nevertheless, it can be established without doubt that the results of the WRINGER project were invaluable at the time both for the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and for an overall assessment of the Soviet Union. They filled an information gap that could not be bridged by existing means of air reconnaissance.

In August 1949, the Soviets detonated their first nuclear device near Semipalatinsk. The Soviet long-range bomber force was slowly building up a nuclear lift capacity based on the Tupolev Tu-4, a copy of the B-29. Although an attack on the USA by these planes would have been a one-way mission because of their lack of range, it was


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Secret Intelligence in the Twentieth Century


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 200

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?