Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 by Christopher Andrew

By Christopher Andrew

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An extraordinary publishing occasion: to mark the centenary of its origin, the British defense carrier, MI5, has for the 1st time opened its information to an self reliant historian. The booklet finds the appropriate position of the protection provider in twentieth-century British heritage, from its origin by way of Captain Kell of the British military in October 1909, via global wars, as much as and together with its current roles in counterespionage and counterterrorism. The publication describes how MI5 has been controlled, what its courting has been with executive, the place it has triumphed, and the place it has failed. In all of this no limit has been put on the judgments made through the author.

Defend the world also provides considerably to our wisdom of many celebrated occasions and infamous participants and definitively lays to relaxation a few power myths. Above all, it indicates where of this formerly super secretive association in the uk. Few books can make such a right away and awesome raise to our knowing of British historical past during the last century.

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Having investigated a series of leads which, save for the somewhat farcical Helm case, had so far yielded no solid evidence of German espionage, Kell was by now rightly concerned about the low quality of the intelligence reaching him. ’ Because of his age (Melville was now in his sixties)39 and seniority, he could ‘hardly be expected to perform such work as the shadowing by night and day, a duty which in any case is quite impossible for one man alone’. Hitherto I have had to depend, to a great extent, on such assistance in detective work as the Metropolitan and County Police have been able to afford me, but the County Police in particular have very few plain-clothes men at their disposal, and moreover some of the Chief Constables themselves have acknowledged that however excellent their men’s work may be as regards crime, they have not got all the necessary degree of tact to carry out such delicate enquiries … Mr Melville has on occasions been able to enlist the services of one or two ex-police officers of his acquaintance, but who naturally were not always available when their services were required.

Just as he began sending the reports, Melville’s assistant detective, John Regan, disguised as a sailor, succeeded in befriending Schroeder, who, he reported, talked freely (if inaccurately) about how German money was being used to foment a British revolution. 94 In February 1914, however, an intercept revealed that Sloman was about to leave for Brussels with a gunnery drill book, charts of Bergen and Spithead, and plans of cruisers. 95 Schroeder was arrested on the same day and many more documents were found in his attic.

Unlike his predecessors, however, he was a successful confidence trickster who added both ‘N’ and MO5(g) to his list of victims. Steinhauer later claimed (though there is no corroboration for the claim) that Graves was never ‘his spy’, but had been employed against his recommendations by his superiors at the German Admiralty. In 1911, having returned to Germany after a period in Australia, Graves persuaded the Nachrichten-Abteilung to finance a Scottish intelligence mission. Following his arrival in Scotland in early 1912, he set himself up as a locum doctor in Leith on bogus Australian qualifications.

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