The Cicero Spy Affair: German Access to British Secrets in World War II

By Richard Wires | Go to book overview

6
Questions and Doubts in Berlin

Bazna's photographs gave rise to both excitement and doubts when they reached Berlin. Only a tightly restricted circle received the intelligence reports and had some idea of how such information had been obtained. Some officials accepted the material rather quickly and with few reservations, because it represented the kind of dramatic success they wanted; there were those who believed more readily in the authenticity of the content than in the messages' clear implications for their regime and country; others considered the circumstances and papers far more critically and advised proceeding with utmost caution. Too often the reactions reflected little more than the belligerent egos and tangled missions of those who headed the nation's complex array of competing power structures. "An objective analysis of the operational data was out of the question where rival cutthroats were vying for position and prestige."11

Efforts to determine the trustworthiness of the documents they had purchased occupied German officials for an extended period, but their various approaches did not resolve all doubts. Papen and others who examined the photographs concluded that the dispatches conformed in style and content to practices and interests identified with the British. Cipher analysts sought to match the printed items with recordings of enemy radio signals. Because many of the texts dealt with broad policies and planning, information not susceptible to immediate verification, there were few instances in which actual events proved the material's value. One such opportunity arose in mid-January, however, when an air raid on Sofia occurred just as had been indicated. While it removed many surviving misgivings, it happened fairly late. Meanwhile there were concerted attempts to ascertain if the spy himself was truthful and indeed capable of doing everything he claimed. Fears that

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The Cicero Spy Affair: German Access to British Secrets in World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The "Notorious" Case 1
  • 2 - Turkey and the Powers 13
  • 3 - The Volunteer Spy 29
  • 4 - Selling the Secrets 43
  • 5 - Germany's Intelligence Labyrinth 57
  • 6 - Questions and Doubts In Berlin 69
  • 7 - Operation Bernhard 85
  • 8 - Cicero's Outstanding Period 97
  • 9 - The Contest for Turkey 113
  • 10 - Searching for an Agent 129
  • 11 - Cicero's Last Achievements 143
  • 12 - An American Spy 159
  • 13 - Dénouement and Aftermath 173
  • 14 - The Affair in Retrospect 187
  • Notes 205
  • Filmography 243
  • Selected Bibliography 247
  • Index 259
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