Berlin Academic Travel The European CapiTAL OF SPIES

This project recognizes, explains, and analyses 5 changes and continuities over time such as the greatest events of espionage in history, the ways of spying in Germany during World War II and now, the change in deciphering codes, women spies, and the use of animals to spy.

The greatest events of espionage in history

In movies and books spies are always professional, charming and elusive. But in real life, espionage is a difficult and dirty job, where, of course, there are mistakes and sometimes quite impressive. If we look into the history of espionage it can be notified that it began many centuries before our era. Everything started in 1419 B.C. when the pharaohs needed reliable information about the respective enemies. As a military superpower, ancient Egypt depended on scouts. By continually sending out spies pharaohs created the first intelligence network in history. Later in 500 B. C. Sun Tzu (Chinese general, military strategist, writer, and philosopher who lived in the Eastern Zhou period of ancient China) described five types of agents. Most important was the turncoat. When discovered, an enemy spy should be showered with benefits to recruit him for the captor’s side. Then on the one hand he would reveal secret information about the enemy; on the other hand he could deceive them with misinformation. Around 55 B.C. before Julius Caesar set out to war, he was eager to find out everything about the opponent.For this purpose he deployed a very high number of scouts. This was unusual for the wars of that time.

What concerns the WW2, espionage became an integral «weapon» against the enemy. Perhaps one of the most famous spies can be called Richard Sorge. A Soviet spy during the Second world war. Moreover, he is considered one of the outstanding scouts of the century. It is believed that he warned Stalin about the beginning of the great Patriotic war a month before Hitler's attack.One more significant spy was Arthur Owens, who was the first double agent during world war II to change several call signs. For a modest fee, he supplied Germany with information about British weapons, plans for airfields and the location of military bases and warehouses. After the beginning of the war, Arthur contacted MI-6 and willingly made contact with the opponent. With the help of Owens, British intelligence was able to uncover a network of more than 120 German spies and for several years successfully was selling false information to Germany.

The ways of spying in Germany during World War II and now

"The Cambridge five". A group of double agents, consisting of five former students of the University of Cambridge, who worked in the British secret service MI-6 in favor of the USSR during the Second world war and the cold war.

Nowadays, espionage is everywhere. In your phone, in your tv and even in watches. You are recorded 24/7 without implying this fact. Being a spy is a hard work and the participants of these organizations should be one step ahead of the modern progress. That’s why we know less and less about spies of the 21st century. They are invisible. But they are among us…

The change in deciphering codes

During World War II, the Germans used a typewriter-like machine named Enigma to encrypt military messages. The principle behind Enigma is rather old. Mechanical ciphering devices based on rings and cylinders have been described as early as in the 4th century B.C. The initial idea was pretty much based on the well known Caesar cipher, and the German military caught interest. Much of the credit for breaking the code must be given to a group of accomplished Polish mathematicians, and the famous, and in the computer community well known mathematician Alan Turing.

The Turing Bombe

Deciphering codes today: Hacking

Hacking is identifying weakness in computer systems or networks to exploit its weaknesses to gain access. Example of Hacking: Using password cracking algorithm to gain access to a system

Hacking means using computers to commit fraudulent acts such as fraud, privacy invasion, stealing corporate/personal data, etc. Cyber crimes cost many organizations millions of dollars every year. Businesses need to protect themselves against such attacks.

Women spies

A long history of female involvement in warfare reaches all the way back to ancient times. Extensive documentation exists covering the role of women working undercover or otherwise involved in intelligence work in each of the two world wars.

The camera was hidden in a wearable bra

The use of animals to spy

Animals could make the perfect secret agents because they are easy to train, small, quick, and too cute to look dangerous, they’ve got the perfect cover to infiltrate and spy.

Although these stories may seem far-fetched, there have been incidences where intelligence agencies explored the idea of animal espionage. Declassified CIA documents revealed a 1960s effort to wire up a cat as a remote listening device, with its tail used as an antenna. The project, dubbed “Acoustic Kitty,” was abandoned after the unlucky feline was sent into a park to eavesdrop on some men sitting on a bench but was run over by a taxi before it could get into position.
By Maria and Dasha





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