World War I

A - E


Agricola, A. [pseud. Oberleutnant Alexander Bauermeister]

1. "Aus dem Tagebuch eines Nachrichtenoffiziers an der Ostfront" [From the Diary of an Intelligence Officer at the Eastern Front]. In Kämpfer an vergessenen Fronten, ed. Wolfgang Foerster, 503-541. Berlin : Deutsche Buchvertriebsstelle, Abteilung für Veröffentlichungen aus amtlichen Archiven, 1931.

2. Spione durchbrechen die Front [Spies Break Through the Front]. Berlin: Otto Schlegel, 1933. Bauermeister, Alexander [A. Agricola]. Spies Break Through: Memoirs of a German Secret Service Officer. Tr., Hector C. Bywater. London: Constable, 1934.

H.Roewer: "The books and articles of the Russian-born Alexander Bauermeister, who served in WWI as a German intelligence officer on the Eastern front, are very close to reality (as one of his former superiors, the later head of the German Abwehr, Col. Friedrich Gempp, wrote ... in a secret report ... in the German Federal Archive).

Altenhöner, Florian. "Total War -- Total Control? German Military Intelligence on the Home Front, 1914-1918." Journal of Intelligence History 5, no. 2 (Winter 2005). []

From abstract: "Although the German General Staff had intensified its intelligence activities prior to 1914, its preparations for war proved to be insufficient after the beginning of the war. Before the war, Department IIIb of the General Staff had almost exclusively dealt with espionage and counter-espionage. By ... 1918 it also was a political police, a censorship and propaganda authority, [and] it issued identity cards and organized postal censorship."

Armstrong, Richard N. "Tactical Triumph at Tannenberg." Military History 14, no. 3 (Aug. 1997): 58-64, 80.

"The Germans won a resounding victory at Tannenberg in August 1914 -- thanks largely to the intelligence they acquired from their Russian opponents' own radio messages." See also, John M. Denkler and Wilhelm F. Flicke.

Bisher, Jamie. "During World War I, Terrorists Schemed to Use Anthrax in the Cause of Finnish Independence." Military History, Aug. 2003, 17-22, 77.

Author's description: "Biological warfare mission of Swedish Baron Otto von Rosen, an agent of the German General Staff, in the Russian duchy of Finland, 1916-1917."

Bisher, Jamie. "Widow May Palmer and the Spy on Virginia Avenue." Atlanta History 41, no. 2, 22-32.

Author's description: "German Consul Wilhelm Mueller orchestrated sabotage in Charleston, Savannah and Brunswick before becoming the subject of an international manhunt in Latin America, 1917-1918."

Bismarck, Busso von. "Der Militärattaché im Nachrichtendienst" [The Military Attaché in Intelligence Service]. In Weltkriegsspionage [World War Espionage], ed. [Maj. Gen.] Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, 104-110. Munich: Justin Moser, 1931.

H. Roewer: "Lt.Col. Bismarck was the German Military Attaché in Switzerland during WWI."

Boghardt, Thomas. "Chasing Ghosts in Mexico: The Columbus Raid of 1916 and the Politicization of U.S. Intelligence During World War I." Army History (Fall 2013): 6-23.

Abstract by author. "In early 1917, the U.S. government learned of a secret German alliance proposal to Mexico that would come into effect if the United States joined the Allies. American interventionists claimed that the so-called Zimmermann Telegram ... represented the culmination of a series of German plots in Mexico, designed to challenge U.S. hegemony in the western hemisphere. This article shows, however, that from 1915 to 1917 American intelligence had carefully investigated and comprehensively refuted recurring rumors of German plots in Mexico. It argues that American interventionists, led by Secretary of State Robert Lansing, deliberately disregarded these findings and inaccurately portrayed the Zimmermann Telegram as corroboration of earlier rumors of German conspiracies in Mexico. Consequently, the erroneous notion of a German security threat to the western hemisphere became an important rationale for America's entry into World War I. Based on research in British, German, and U.S. archives, the article demonstrates the difficulty for intelligence collectors on the ground of overcoming political bias at the top government level, and the far-reaching consequences of tailoring intelligence to suit a political agenda."

Boghardt, Thomas. "A German Spy? New Evidence on Baron Louis von Horst." Journal of Intelligence History 1, no. 2 (Winter 2001). []

From abstract: In August 1914, Scotland Yard detectives "apprehended a German-American businessman, Baron Louis von Horst. Charged with espionage on behalf of the German government, von Horst was detained in various detention camps..., dispossessed, and expelled from Britain as an 'undesirable alien' in 1919.... [N]ew documentary evidence proves ... that Sir Basil Thomson, director of the Special Branch, cleverly and ruthlessly used the baron as a tool to advance his own career. Von Horst, losing his wealth and health in the course of his almost 5-year detention, was unjustly branded a 'German spy.'"

Boghardt, Thomas. Spies of the Kaiser: German Covert Operations in Great Britain during the First World War. London: Palgrave in conjunction with St. Anthony's College, Oxford, 2004.

Watt, I&NS 20.3 (Sep 2005), calls this work "a perfectly acceptable if limited study of German naval intelligence activities in Britain before and after" World War I. The author has put together "a coherent and credible picture from the surviving archives in both Britain and Germany." However, "there is nothing about the German army intelligence organization." Boghardt, I&NS 21.3 (Jun. 2006), takes exception to some of Watt's comments and, specifically, cites Walter Nicolai as stating that "German prewar espionage in Britain was the exclusive preserve of naval intelligence."

According to Peake, Studies 49.3 (2005), the author is the first to write about the German Admiralty's naval intelligence department (designated “N” and formed in 1901). When war came, "all the important agents were identified and arrested or neutralized." In the end, the unit "never posed a serious threat to British security." This book "provides summaries of the major wartime cases of 'N' espionage operations in Great Britain and discusses several that involved agents operating in the United States." Rielage, NIPQ 22.4 (Sep. 2006), sees Spies of the Kaiser as "a fascinating and exceptionally well-documented work."

Brückner, Hilmar-Detlef. "Germany's First Cryptanalysis on the Western Front: Decrypting British and French Naval Ciphers in World War I." Cryptologia 29, no. 1 (Jan. 2005): 1-22.

As David Kahn points out in an "Editor's Note" to this article, the destruction of the Prussian-German military archives in World War II leaves a substantial void ("missing link") in cryptologic history. The author has exploited the existing files of the Bavarian Sixth Army to fill at least a portion of the void.

Buse, Dieter K. "Domestic Intelligence and German Military Leaders, 1914-18." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 42-59.

The author argues that during World War I, the German military leaders had available "very thorough reports" about the domestic situation, but "drew ... few consequences from the assessments they received.... [T]he German military leaders appear to have not considered in a professional and informed manner the information which was passed along."

Campbell, Kenneth J. "Colonel Walter Nicolai: A Mysterious but Effective Spy." American Intelligence Journal 27, no. 1 (Fall 2009): 83-89.

The focus here is on Nicolai's activities during World War I.

Campbell, Kenneth J. "Erich von Falkenhayn: Superb Strategist Hindered by Intelligence Failures." Defense Intelligence Journal 16, no. 2 (2007): 87-103.

Part of von Falkenhayn's problem at the siege of Verdun "was the lack of necessary intelligence, aggravated by his own euphoria after his strategic victories in 1915, a development which prevented him from properly assessing the intelligence that he did have in 1916."

Campbell, Kenneth J. "Major General Friedrich Gempp: German Intelligence Leader." American Intelligence Journal 25, no. 1 (Summer 2007): 75-81.

"The measure of Gempp's intelligence work is best understood in the context of German military history on the Eastern Front in World War I, where Germany initially faced an extremely dangerous situation in August 1914." Later, Gempp served as the first head of the new Abwehr, established in November 1919.

Carl, Ernst. One against England: The Death of Lord Kitchener and the Plot against the British Fleet. New York: Dutton, 1935. [Probably same as: Carl, Ernst. Einer gegen England: Erlebnisse und Enthüllungen des deutschen "Meisterspions", 1914-1918 [One against England: Experiences and Revelations of a German "Master-Spy", 1914-1918]. Reutlingen: [?], 1934.]

Royal Historical Society Darabase note: "With special reference to the sinking of the 'Hampshire'" -- HMS Hampshire was sunk on 5 June 1916; among the lives lost was that of British Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener who was on a mission to Russia.

Childs, J. Rives. German Military Ciphers from February-November 1918. Washington, DC: War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1935. [Petersen]

Denkler, John M. "Tannenberg." Cryptolog 15, no. 1 (Jan. 1994): 3, 17-18.

'Radio intercept' played a key role in a military engagement whose outcome may have had a ... profound effect on the course of world history." See also, Richard N. Armstrong, "Tactical Triumph at Tannenberg," Military History 14, no. 3 (Aug. 1997): 58-64, 80; and Wilhelm F. Flicke, "The Early Development of Communications Intelligence," Studies in Intelligence 3, no. 1 (Winter 1959): 99-114.

Doerries, Reinhard R. Imperial Challenge: Ambassador Count Bernstorff and German-American Relations, 1908-1917. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.

Boghardt, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), 17/fn.1, refers to this as a "superb study."

Duffy, Christopher. Through German Eyes: The British & the Somme 1916. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006.

Lefebvre, IJI&C 21.4 (Winter 2008-2009), notes that this work "tells how German military intelligence elicited [useful] information from British prisoners of war during the battle of the Somme in 1916."

Errante, Guido. "The German Intelligence Service During the World War." Cavalry Journal 42 (Nov.-Dec. 1933): 16-18. []

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