France: The Second Bureau, or espionage ignored

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During the Second World War, the military intelligence services have enabled de Gaulle to impose its place among Allies, organize internal resistance and prepare his return to France.

Collective memory tends to forget the efforts of those who were not sent to fight the gun in his hand, who remained in the shadows. The intelligence services of the United States were created, mostly between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century,

France was one of the first countries to have a service professional intelligence and managed by the State. Created in 1871 and is under the authority of the army, the Second Bureau was in charge of intelligence on other nations.

The reports provided by the Second Bureau on German activities during the 30s were accurate and alarmist. However, the General Staff and the government did not take the action recommended by its agents. In 1939, he was led by Colonel Rivet, not to respond to the Minister of War and Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

After the defeat of June 1940, the Vichy government continued to use these services, among others for the Suppression of resistant and communists. However, many agents of the intelligence services were quick to play a double game and in 1941. They helped the Allied cause either by filling or by affecting the operations of the occupant (often a very collaborative little concrete).

For their part, the Free French had created the Central Office of Information and Action in London. During the occupation, Colonel Rivet and Paillole captain respectively in charge of espionage against espionage and were in continuous communication with the Gaullists. Finally, all the intelligence services of the Free French were merged into the Directorate of Special Services, under the authority of Jacques Soustelle.

The beginnings of one of the largest spy networks in the world – USA

The United States lagged behind European nations on many levels , particularly in intelligence . The Signal Intelligence Service was founded in 1929 by Colonel Friedman. For its part, the Navy had the Communication Security Unit.

A response service, comparable to the British SOE , was created June 13, 1942 : Office of Strategic Services , forerunner of the current CIA. He distinguished himself in numerous missions in Europe and the Pacific .

American cryptanalysts however proved formidable in their work and they managed to break the Japanese diplomatic code even before the start of the war. Japanese naval code, JN -25, however, was extremely difficult to understand.

The greatest achievement of OP- 20 -G , codenamed service decrypting the Navy was to foresee the attack on Midway June 3, 1942 . At the same , he allowed the first Allied victory in the Pacific.

The FBI took charge of Hoover J.Edgard espionage against the United States. Enjoying a greater freedom of movement , he was responsible for the internment of thousands of people, mostly of Japanese origin . That said , he managed to net stop any attempt of German or Japanese infiltration in the United States .

Questionable effectiveness – Germany

The establishment of reliable intelligence was one of the priorities of the Third Reich. However, the complexity of the German administration was injurious greatly in this endeavor. The Wehrmacht had many organizations spying and espionage against each working for his own cause. All these services, a distinguished: the Abwehr (defense).

The German intelligence services had no unifying body. In addition, in an order of the Führer in 1940, it was ordered that no one should receive more information than was necessary to him …. As a result, the German information services were often fragmented.

Jerome CLUZEL

Jerome CLUZEL


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