Espionage in WWII Karsen

THe secret war of WWII

Many people know of the famous battles against Hitler and the other Axis powers during World War II, but most could not tell you about all of the new type of fighting: an intelligence war. Each country was trying to fool the others and let none of their secrets out, even to their own allies. If you had the most information, you were winning the war. Gadgets and spies became the new main weapons, each country having their own. Amateurs gained the most information a lot of the time, and most countries couldn't be totally sure of their spies' allegiance to them. There was very little trust in this time, and when you see the backstabbing, you'll understand why.

The Gadgets

The Pipe Pistol, Overshoes, Compass Buttons, Biscuit Tin Radio, Counterfeit Documents, and even Washing Lines were all new espionage inventions to try and fool the enemy.

Many new gadgets were made and invented during World War II, in a race for intelligence against the enemy. Examples of the ingenuity are all of the pictures above, rodent bombs, and even washing lines used to send messages based on what was hung.

Famous Covert Operations

Operation Mincemeat. Operation Eiche. Operation Gunnerside. Operation Greif. Maybe the most famous of all, Operation Fortitude South. These were all important and famous covert operations that took place during World War II. Each one was special in their own way.

Operation Mincemeat took a dead British body and dressed it as a fake military leader. It was given fake documents and and everything to make it look legit, then dropped into the river to misinform the Germans. Operation Eiche was when Mussolini was saved from both the Italian and the Allied forces in Italy. Operation Gunnerside blew up Hitler's hard water plant to prevent him from learning how to make the atomic bomb. Operation Greif was performed by German soldiers who caused chaos and panic among the American side, all while never blowing their cover. Operation Fortitude South is the name given to the inflatable decoy army tricking Hitler on D-Day.

Famous and Important Spies

Takeo Yoshikawa- Japanese Spy

Takeo Yoshikawa solely fed the Japanese information on ship movements and stations at Pearl Harbor, and is said to be blamed by his people for causing America to enter the war.

Yoshikawa ended up in Hawaii after being trained for Naval military in Japan, but having to switch to intelligence from a health problem. When he arrived, he used the name "Tadashi Morimura" as a diplomat, which should have raised American intelligence flags. He studied the types of ships docked, what ones left, which came back, how fast they could travel, etc. Each day he would send back more and more information to Japan, proving he was incredibly valuable to their efforts on attacking America.

George John Dasch- German Spy

Leader of the first group of Germans to land in America. Only two groups landed.

George John Dasch was the leader of the first group of Germans to land in America during World War II. They were sent in with explosives and other such devices, with German uniforms and props. The group was to cause explosions in buildings, on bridges, and cause havoc throughout America. They were caught burying their explosives and other devices on the beach by a Coast Guard member, who Dasch threatened and then paid off. The Coast Guard member rushed back to his base and they found all of the buried explosives, and the FBI got involved. Dasch left his three other group members in their hotel and went to Washington D.C. and turned himself in. He gave up the other members of his group in order to serve only 30 years in jail instead of being executed like the others. He was deported to West Germany in 1948.

Richard Sorge- USSR Double Agent

Sorge is a source of inspiration for James Bond.

In Japan as a German journalist, Richard Sorge finds out important information piece after piece. His warnings are ignored until Hitler attacked the USSR after his warning of Moscow becoming a target. He then becomes one of the most influential spies in World War II. People in all the countries he traveled to deemed him charming, attractive, and charismatic. He got the nickname "the Irresistible", by a German officer who kept him as his top advisor in Japan. In this position, he learns of the Japanese and Germans secretly brokering an "anti-Soviet" deal. Keeping Moscow in the loop the whole time, as the tensions grew higher and Hitler grew more serious on attacking the Soviets, he sent warning after warning, each getting higher and more sure than the last.

"Agent Garbo": Juan Pujol- Double Agent for the British

Possibly one of the most important spies in the war.

Agent Garbo was one of the most influential spies in the whole war. Thought to be a spy for the Germans in England, he gained Hitler's trust to where Hitler thought him to be their best spy. In reality, Juan Pujol was secretly a double agent for Britain, feeding Germany many lies throughout the war. One of his most influential moments was convincing Hitler that the invasion would not be at Normandy, which kept many troops that could have made the invasion a failure away. He was part of Operation Fortitude South, "proving" himself right with the inflatable army.

Bletchley Park- Great Britain

Bletchley Park was home to many codebreakers.

Not a single person, but rather a very large group of people worked in Bletchley Park as codebreakers during World War II. This is where the Enigma codes were first broken, and Germany had so much faith that the Allies could never crack the code as to use the machine the whole war, keeping the Allies updated as the messages were cracked over and over. This made a phenomenal impact on the war, helping the Allies tremendously. Having broken the Japanese codes in the 20s, the Allies received information through them as well, about the Germans and the Japanese. Currently, Bletchley Park is a historic tourist site.


Marie Christine Chilver: "Agent Fifi"

Kept a secret for years even after the war, Britain finally released files revealing her identity.

A British secret for years, Marie Christine Chilver was revealed to the public as the true identity of "Agent Fifi". Her main job throughout the war would be to go meet with prospective agents and see if they would let information loose. She kept the intelligence agents who would go out to Germany and the other battlegrounds to be top notch in maintaining secrecy and never giving away their cover or any information.

Virginia Hall

One of the only American women spies, Virginia Hall shot her own foot off accidentally and gained a wooden leg and a limp. She was the first S.O.E. female operative to be sent into France. She helped smuggle out information and prisoners, and smuggle in agents and supplies. She soon became a highly wanted woman, with posters seeking "la dame qui boite"—the lady with a limp. When the situation grew too dangerous, Hall escaped on foot back to Britain, where the O.S.S. sent her back to France disguised as an old woman. There she was a radio operator, monitoring German intelligence and organizing drops of supplies to nearly 1,500 Maquis fighters for sabotage attacks against the rail lines, tunnels, and bridges used by the Germans.

Nancy Wake: "The White Mouse"

Nancy Wake was a member of the French Resistance, nicknamed the White Mouse because of her ability to elude capture. She led an army of 7,000 in guerilla warfare against the Nazis. Wake became deeply involved in helping to spirit a thousand or more escaped prisoners of war and downed Allied fliers out of France through to Spain. She was Gestapo's most-wanted person, and the most decorated servicewoman of WWII. The Gestapo opened her mail, tapped her phone, and put a five million franc price on her head. After six attempts, a capture and an escape, Nancy Wake escaped to Britain. There she was trained and given special assignments, such as night parachuting into France to organize ammunition and arms, fighters, and establish wireless connections to England to prepare for D-Day, and lead the army against the Germans to help weaken them.

The French Resistance

The French Resistance is a broad umbrella term for the groups of anti-German resistance located in France during WWII. These groups were vital in disrupting German communications and supplies. These groups also supplied the Allies with intelligence, safe houses, and disruption of the Germans. The French Resistance was vital in the days before D-Day, gathering intelligence for the Allies. It is estimated that there were 100,000 members of the various resistance movements, with different sections for gathering intelligence, sabotaging, and all of the other acts they were involved in.

Works Cited

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Cooper, Glenda. "Agent 'Fifi', Deadlier than the Male." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 20 Sept. 2014. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

Goldman, Stuart D. "The Spy Who Saved the Soviets." HistoryNet. HistoryNet, 14 Apr. 2016. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

Jarvis, Erika. "Five Badass Female Spies Who Deserve Their Own World War II Movie." HWD. Vanity Fair, 23 Nov. 2016. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.

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"Why It Matters?" Bletchley Park. Bletchley Park, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.


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