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

By Richard Wires | Go to book overview

5
Germany's Intelligence Labyrinth

Cicero's contact in the embassy was not affiliated with the primary intelligence service in Germany. That circumstance, which came about accidentally from his unorthodox method of approach, proved significant. Had a connection been established with the usual agency, his activity would probably have soon been reported to the enemy and terminated, for that organization had long been penetrated and compromised. Moyzisch represented a newer and tighter foreign intelligence unit, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), or Security Service, staffed and administered as a component of the expanding SS. Although such control and handling afforded better concealment of the spy's presence and identity, it created serious problems in acceptance and use of information, for the operation developed against a background of both jurisdictional conflicts and personal antagonisms.

There were too many powerful figures not only within the SS but also in the older intelligence service and government ministries who deeply resented the SD's growing role and its clearly ambitious and ruthless young head. Walter Schellenberg intended to gain control of the entire field of foreign intelligence, engaging repeatedly in dangerous intrigues and power struggles to advance his authority and designs, and characterizing the confusing milieu through which he steadily rose as The Labyrinth, the apt title of his memoirs. Schellenberg's aspirations and enemies provide context indispensable to explaining the varied reactions of high-ranking officials to the Cicero documents.

A certain amount of rivalry among the intelligence agents and services of a nation is understandable, and even healthy when it leads to more or better information. Too much competitiveness destroys effectiveness

-57-

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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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