Spying for the Führer: Hitler's Espionage Machine, Christer Jörgensen

Spying for the Führer: Hitler's Espionage Machine, Christer Jörgensen

Germany put a massive amount of effort into her intelligence agencies during the Second World War, creating a surprising amount of different organisations (many in competition with each other). Their efforts are normally seen through the mirror of their opponent's efforts, as the opponents of the British or American agencies, or as individual agencies, so this survey of entire German espionage machine has the potential to be of great value.

We start with a look at the Nachrichtendienst - the main German intelligence agency of the First World War. After that we move onto the pre-war period and the foundation of the main German intelligence agencies of the Second World War. The bulk of the war is organised partly by theme and partly chronologically, so there are chapters on the early victories in Poland and the West, the problems in attempting to spy on Britain and the Soviet Union, alongside chapters on spying in neutral countries, German Special Operations (perhaps on the edge of the topic), operations further afield, the smaller German intelligence agencies and finally the prolonged battles between the rival German agencies.

Some of the stories told here are familiar from books on the Western intelligence services, but for me the most interesting sections were the once that covered less familiar topics - the intelligence war on the Eastern Front, German successes (especially in Turkey), the early period of German successes in Poland and France and the less familiar German intelligence agencies.

This is an excellent study of a key element of the German war effort during the Second World War, providing a good overview of the entire German intelligence effort. As a result we see more of the German successes than is often the case, and get a better idea of the scale of the German effort and how the competing agencies damaged their own side.

1 - The Nachrichtendienst (ND)
2 - Preparations for War
3 - The Spymasters
4 - Easy Victories
5 - The Island Fortress
6 - The Neutral Battleground
7 - War Without Mercy
8 - Special Operations
9 - The Worldwide Web
10 - Other Services
11 - The Secret War Within

Author: Christer Jörgensen
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 224
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2014 edition of 2004 original

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