Crit - Criz


Critchfield, James H. Partners at the Creation: The Men Behind Postwar Germany's Defense and Intelligence Establishments. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003.

Fitzpatrick, CIRA Newsletter 28.4, designates Partners at the Creation as "an easily read and important work of history." It is "important because it delineates the thinking and the actions taken by U.S. officials." The author's memoir refutes allegations that the CIA used Nazi war criminals after the war, and "shows both the benefits and drawbacks of working with the Gehlen Group to create a modern new Germany capable of becoming a strong ally of the United States." This "is not a cloak and dagger spy book. Rather, it is filled with the intellectual and diplomatic minutiae which is the real life of intelligence officers."

For Bath, NIPQ 20.1, the author "adds significantly to our knowledge" in the areas of the formation of the postwar German intelligence service and the rebirth of the German army. "These are interesting stories, well told." Goulden, Washington Times, 29 Feb. 2004, and Intelligencer 14.1, notes that "Critchfield carried out another mission perhaps even more important than caring for Gehlen -- the shaping of the intelligence and military structure of a democratic Federal Republic that took its place in NATO." The author "tells a good intelligence story and gives insight into how 'diplomacy' functioned during the Cold War."

Peake, Studies 48.3 (2004), says that this book "is an important contribution from a member of the 'Greatest Generation.'" Critchfield emphasizes "the political, operational, and organizational problems he encountered [in Germany] and in Washington." To Hutchinson, IJI&C 17.4 (Winter 2004-2005), the author "adds significantly to the public knowledge of postwar Germany." He tells his story "without excessive detail" and "provides valuable details about the general development of a democratic Germany, along with more specific insights to the defense and intelligence establishments."

In a Review Essay, Naftali, FA 83.4 (Jul.-Aug. 2004), asserts that the cost of working with Gehlen and similar individuals is too high. In FA 83.6 (Nov.-Dec. 2004), former BND President (1985-1990) Hans-Georg Wieck (pp. 138-139) and Critchfield deputy (see below) Clarence W. Schmitz (pp. 139-140) take issue with that argument; Naftali replies at pp. 140-141.

See Clarence W. Schmitz, "Comments on the Book, Partners at the Creation by James H Critchfield and on Other Related Subjects," CIRA Newsletter 29, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 35-38. Schmitz was on Critchfield's staff at Pullach from 1949 to 1954 and was his deputy for operations from 1952 to 1954. From 1954 to 1957, he was in charge of the Headquarters component that supported the Gehlen operation. And from 1957 to 1964, Schmitz was in Bonn in charge of liaison with the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (BfV). He believes that "[a] book dealing with this particular subject could have been written only by Critchfield."

Paehler, H-German, H-Net Reviews, Nov. 2005 [], finds that this work "derives much of its originality from the author's prominent place in the development and inside information and knowledge available to him.... [It] is a worthwhile read for historians and those interested in intelligence history alike." However, "Critchfield's memoirs suffer from a few problems, some of which afflict the genre in general and some of which are rather unique to this particular defense of CIA policies some fifty-five years ago and, to some extent, the defining years of Critchfield's own life. Thus, the account has to be approached with some caution."

[CIA/40s/Gen; CIA/Memoirs; GenPostwar/40s/Germany]

Critchley, Julian. Warning and Response: A Study of Surprise Attack in the 20th Century and an Analysis of Its Lessons for the Future. London: Cooper, 1978.

Clark comment: Given its focus on the increased danger of Soviet surprise attack, this book is extremely dated today. Its presentation was incomplete even when it was written. Constantinides comments that Critchley's "analysis ... emphasizes self-deception and human failure to deal properly with intelligence warnings because of preconceptions.... This fixed gaze on self-deception ... misses investigation" of the potentiality of active deception measures to mislead.


Critchley, W. Harriet, and Terry Terriff. "Environment and Security." In Security Studies for the 1990s, eds. Richard Shultz, Roy Godson, and Ted Greenwood, 327-352. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 1993.


Critchlow, James. Radio Hole-in-the-Head/Radio Liberty. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1995.

Clark comment: Critchlow was one of founders of Radio Liberty (RL). He has produced a book that is simultaneously temperate and revealing about RL's role in the Cold War. This is certainly not the last word on the use of radio broadcasting as a Cold War weapon, but the author has told his story well and with great honesty. Those who want to carp will disagree with his presentation of CIA editorial control of RL as virtually nonexistent. There is no argument that the CIA provided the money that kept RL and its counterpart Radio Free Europe (RFE) alive. That the CIA did not direct the day-to-day content of the broadcasts probably will not be believed by some, despite the fact that such was the actual situation for both practical and operational reasons.

According to Surveillant 4.4/5, the author "shows us the surprising acrimony and open warfare which existed for 20 years between RL and RFE.... CIA's role is shown here to have been far less important than one would have expected." Rawnsley, I&NS 11.4, calls Critchlow's book an "intimate, compelling, and frequently moving account of life on the front of Cold War Europe." The author handles the difficult subject of RL's contribution to the end of the Cold War "with maturity and an awareness of propaganda's limitations."


Critchlow, Robert D.  "Whom the Gods Would Destroy: An Information Warfare Alternative for Deterrence and Compellence."  Naval War College Review 53 (Summer 2000): 21-38.


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