MI6: British Secret Intelligence Service Operations, 1909–1945 (ePub)
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Written by the renowned expert Nigel West, this book exposes the operations of Britain’s overseas intelligence-gathering organisation, the famed Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and traces its origins back to its inception in 1909. In this meticulously researched account, its activities and structure are described in detail, using original secret service documents.
The main body of the book concerns MI6’s operations during the Second World War, and includes some remarkable successes and failures, including how MI6 financed a glamorous confidant of the German secret service; how a suspected French traitor was murdered by mistake; how Franco’s military advisors were bribed to keep Spain out of the war; how members of the Swedish secret police were blackmailed into helping the British war effort; how a sabotage operation in neutral Tangiers enabled the Allied landings in North Africa to proceed undetected; and how Britain’s generals ignored the first ULTRA decrypts because MI6 said that the information had come from ‘a well-placed source called BONIFACE’.
In this new edition, operations undertaken by almost all of MI6’s overseas stations are recounted in extraordinary detail. They will fascinate both the professional intelligence officer and the general reader.
The book includes organisational charts to illustrate MI6’s internal structure and its wartime network of overseas stations. Backed by numerous interviews with intelligence officers and their agents, this engaging inside story throws light on many wartime incidents that had previously remained unexplained.
The MI6 and other intelligence services have always been a bit of intrigue and so I was looking forward to reading this book by Nigel West. Having read this book I would say that you’re not going to be disappointed with this. It starts back from its early days and is very comprehensive in its knowledge. The author clearly knows his stuff as it’s very thorough and well written if anything you could say it was too comprehensive.UK Historian
The book covers much of the everyday activities along with some of the specialist operations.
Although MI6 did have to contend with other services springing up alongside it, with sometimes toes being trampled upon it has managed to survive through this period. What could be taken from this book and added to is by going into more depth about some of the operations that would make for interesting reads. In conclusion, this is a very thorough book indeed and one that I would wholeheartedly recommend to others to read. A very good 4 out of 5 stars. I look forward to reading his other book on GCHQ published by Frontline Books.
I suppose it's a fact Britain's overseas espionage network came into its own during the second world war, although Britain had been using spies as long ago as during the French Revolution and of course to a greater extent during the first world war. Nigel West's examination of MI6 concentrates to a large extent on second world war missions and activities but then moves forward in time. Some of the cases Nigel describes are worthy of spy fiction, but the entire book is utterly fascnating and informative. Brilliant!Books Monthly
While finding this volume to be well-researched and easy to read... this book may appeal to a variety of readers. Military Historians may find its content informative, as may readers with an interest in military history, espionage and general military operations during World War II. Readers seeking a story of ‘Daring Do’, ‘Cloak and Dagger’ and ‘Spies and Counter Spies’ might also find it worthy of their attention.Keith Rimmer, NZ Crown Mines
A very interesting book that gives an excellent background to the British Secret Intelligence Service's early years. I will certainly be on the lookout for some of Nigel Wests other books on the other intelligence services.Iron Mammoth's Studio
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Although the events in this book happened over a century ago now, this is a page-turning book, much of it following events in different countries, hotting up in the world wars. The tailpiece of the book looks at the moles in the SIS as well as some who were checked for having similar profiles and cleared. It’s also interesting seeing references to the likes of Ian Fleming, Graham Greene and Malcolm Muggeridge prior to their careers as writers. If you’re into spy fiction, the information about the real thing and if any author used its structuring will show which ones did their homework or probably involved themselves.SF Crowsnest
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