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Can someone list me any German intelligence coup's of WW2?

Discussion in 'Codes, Cyphers & Spies' started by JTF-2, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I always enjoy a cute blond story, but the Germans at Narvik didn't defeat the Allies; indeed they were not even very successful in delaying their advance. The Allied high command decided to evacuate northern Norway on May 24 because of the ongoing debacle in France and Belgium; and their means of evacuating was to carry on the offensive and capture the port, which they did, and embark from there after doing as much damage as they could to the harbor, railroad, and other facilities.
     
  2. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Since i read "Eye of the the Needle" from Ken Follett as a young man i always wondered if there were german spies in Great Britain. I can hardly believe that there was not a single person corrupt enough to do everything for money.
     
  3. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Oh come on, NORDPOL can be a bit hard to turn up these days under that name ;)

    It's the one other biggie to rack up as a German success though - Hermann Giskes' legendary "Englandspiel" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englandspiel

    There is actually quite a number of small, "tactical" level intel successes too - like turning up Mussolini's location and the intel preparation for Skorzeny's Gran Sasso raid.

    The problem with determining German intelligence' success is that it's SO hard to pin down to just one agency - the Abwehr was divided into a number of separate offices in separate locations, all with a greater degree of independence and freedom of action that seems counter-intuitive to good intelligence. THEN you had the early-war Gestapo operations...they had a BIG part in the Venlo snatch though it's often racked up to the Abwehr...and after mid-war the RHSA. The problem with the Gestapo and RHSA's activities of course is that they usually don't get classed as classical "intelligence" ops given that they ALSO covered what we'd call "counter-intelligence", counter insurgency, and all the appapratus of the Jewish roundups in occupied countries. THEN you had classic Special Forces' ops like Peiper's undercover activities during the Bulge....

    And of course then you often had the various organisations COMPETING with each other - like the Abwher's failures in contacting and coordinating with the IRA in the Irish Free State...whereas the Gestapo seem to have run a now very shadowy but successful operation with the IRA north of the border in Northern Ireland.

    And that's before you reckon in "diplomatic" intelligence, and Ribbentrop's information-gathering activities and dalliances in the field into the whole confused mix..

    But it's all "intelligence" ;)
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    One small success for German spies was the delivery of the design plans for the Norden bomb sight to Germany. Also, for the first part of the war they were reading the codes of the British merchant marine.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I've read there were quite a few. The problem for the Germans was that they were essentially all identified and either became double agents or were incarcerated.
     
  6. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Do you know, how spies in the UK did deliver informations? I mean, it wasn't too difficult to see, what was happening at the harbours or how many US-soldiers already crossed the Atlantic. But how to deliver all these informations across the channel?
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    ...and let's not forget hung. The four "Dutchmen" who came ashore in August in Kent with a couple of days radio, officers' uniforms, and short range radios were hung in Dover Castle IIRC.
     
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    IIRC a few were given access to radios so their "fist" would be recognisable by their assigned operator back at the Abwehr. Every Morse Code sender has/had a "fist", a particular way THEY transmitted - fast on some combinations, slow and unsteady on others, or particular ways of boiling down data into the minimum number of words etc. - and the operator who worked with them most in training would get to know it.

    I think a few were allowed to use drop boxes for messages to be collected by Spanish and Portuguese "diplomatic attaches". And occasionally there were personal messages in the classified ads of British newspapers that would eventually find their way to Germany via Spain/Portugal, Switzerland etc..

    Whatever method was used, there was only a minimal timelag between reports in late 1944 and early 1945 regarding the accuracy of V1s and particularly V2s.
     
  9. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    So there were some Nazi-spies in South-England? Maybe they just payed spanish diplomats or from any other country enough money to report them the damages of the V-weapons.
     
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    No, it was the turned agents of the XX Committee that were drafting/sending the reports. This was one of the great BRITISH intelligence coups of the war - they used their turned agents, plus intentionally mis-reported details of V2 impacts on the capital released to the press, to encourage the Germans to slowly move the targeting point for the V2 out of the centre of the city to the south-west!

    Basically - they made sure everything that reached the Germans by whatever means showed that their V2s were impacting further north/north-east than they should be...and in turn the Germans compensated by "correcting" their aim/guidance to the south-west :)
     

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