World War I

N - Z

Nikolai, Walter. Geheime Mächte [Secret Powers]. Leipzig: Verlag F.K. Koehler, 1923. Tr., George Renwick. The German Secret Service. London: Stanley Paul, 1924. London: Harrap, 1929.

Pforzheimer notes that in this book the chief of the German Secret Service in World War I "discusses his work in the field of espionage and counterintelligence.... Today, while still of interest, the reader should realize that the author has written largely in generalities, with errors both in facts and judgments." Constantinides finds that the "style is often oblique, making certain passages hard to understand, and errors of fact and questionable judgments fill the book." Nevertheless, the author does convey "a feel for the attitude of the German military toward intelligence" and "for the importance of communications intelligence in the German victories on the eastern front."

Nikolai, Walter. Nachrichtendienst, Presse und Volksstimmung [Intelligence, Press and Public Opinion]. Berlin: Mittler & Sohn, 1920. [H.Roewer]

Pöhlmann, Markus. "German Intelligence at War, 1914-1918." Journal of Intelligence History 5, no. 2 (Winter 2005). []

From abstract: This "article introduces [the] organisation and missions of German military intelligence" during World War I. "It focuses on espionage, battlefield intelligence, signals intelligence, counter-intelligence, and covert operations." It also "provides a biographical sketch of the war-time director of the general staff’s intelligence department IIIb, Colonel Walter Nicolai."

Pöhlmann, Markus. "[Introduction to special issue:] Towards a New History of German Military Intelligence in the Era of the Great War: Approaches and Sources." Journal of Intelligence History 5, no. 2 (Winter 2005). []

"[O]ur knowledge of German military intelligence in the era of the Great War is not only extremely limited, but it is also chronically distorted.... This special issue will try to demonstrate that by a judicious use of sources from different places, and by posing new questions, new light can be thrown on many aspects of the history of German military intelligence."

Rintelen, Franz von Kleist. The Dark Invader: Wartime Reminiscences of a German Naval Intelligence Officer. New York: Macmillan, 1933. London: Lovat, Dickson, 1933. London: Frank Cass, 1998.

Constantinides notes that this account of the author's 1915 sabotage mission to the United States and his contacts with Mexican General Huerta is seen as a mixture of fact and fiction. This same theme dominates the review of the 1998 edition by Friend, IJI&C 12.2, which concludes that "[a]s fiction, [the book] is based on a good deal of fact, and as fact, it is heavily mixed with fiction."

Schmidt, Jürgen W. "Against Russia: Department IIIb of the Deputy General Staff in Berlin – Intelligence, Counter-intelligence and Newspaper Research, 1914-1918." Journal of Intelligence History 5, no. 2 (Winter 2005). []

From abstract: The author "introduces open source intelligence work, particularly newspaper research, in counter-intelligence activities against Russia and sheds light on the history of the 'Stellvertretende Abteilung IIIb' in Berlin during World War I."

Schmidt, Jürgen. "'Political Police' and German Occupational Forces in Romania, Fall 1918." Journal of Intelligence History 1, no. 2 (Winter 2001). []

Schwab, Stephen Irving Max. "Sabotage at Black Tom Island: A Wake-Up Call for America." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 25, no. 2 (Summer 2012): 367-391.

The discussion here covers not just the Black Tom explosion but takes a broad look at pre-World War I sabotage by German agents in the United States.

Sheffy, Yigal. "The Spy Who Never Was: An Intelligence Myth in Palestine, 1914-18." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1999): 123-142.

The author argues that the daring deeds attributed to "German super-spy" Fritz Frank in Sinai and Palestine during World War I "were almost entirely imaginary."

Silber, Jules. The Invisible Weapons. London: Hutchinson, 1932.

According to Constantinides, Silber was a German agent who worked in British censorship in World War I. His books claim many heady accomplishments, but independent confirmation is lacking.

Steinhauer, Gustav. Ed., S.T. Felstead. Steinhauer, the Kaiser's Master Spy: The Story as Told by Himself. New York: Appleton, 1931. [Chambers]

Sykes, Christopher. Wassmuss, "The German Lawrence": His Adventures in Persia During and After the War. New York: Longmans, 1936.

Constantinides: Wassmuss carried out the most successful German operations in the Middle East in World War I. Sykes tells us very little about his sources for this book.

Travers, Timothy. "Liman von Sanders, the Capture of Lieutenant Palmer, and Ottoman Anticipation of the Allied Landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915." Journal of Military History 65, no. 4 (2001): 965-980.

German general Otto Liman von Sanders served as Ottoman Fifth Army commander in World War I. Reference is to Lt. Clarence E.S. Palmer.

Von Bose, Herbert.

1."Der Nachrichtenoffizier an der Front" [Intelligence Officer at the Front]. In Weltkriegsspionage [World War Espionage], ed. [Maj. Gen.] Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, 486-489. Munich: Justin Moser, 1931.

H. Roewer: Bose was a Western Front intelligence officers in WWI. "The text is not very detailed."

2. "Sabotage und Propaganda." In Weltkriegsspionage [World War Espionage], ed. [Maj. Gen.] Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, 301-311. Munich: Justin Moser, 1931.

Williams, John W. "The Legends of Fräulein Doktor in Print and Film." Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 11, no. 1 (1992): 7-9.

David Kahn, "Fräulein Doktor Revisited," Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 11, no. 4 (1992), pp. 8-9, says Fräulein Doktor was clearly Elsbeth Schragmüller. Waagenaar, I&NS 2.4/178, concurs in that conclusion.

Witcover, Jules. Sabotage at Black Tom: Imperial Germany's Secret War in America, 1914-1917. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 1989.

O'Toole, Encyclopedia, pp. 71-72: "At 2:08 a.m. on July 30, 1916 more than two million pounds of munitions stored on Black Tom Island in New York harbor exploded.... The explosion and the resultant fire did some $14 million in damage and killed three men and a child. The munitions ... were awaiting shipment to Russia for use against Germany in the First World War, which the United States had not yet entered. The incident was suspected to be one of sabotage by German agents. Although considerable evidence was later adduced implicating Lothar Witzke and Kurt Jahnke, both German Secret Service agents, German responsibility for the explosion was never proved."

Kitchen, I&NS 6.3, says that Witcover "gets a great deal" of his story wrong and "makes a number of tiresome errors" in his account of some of the major events during this period of time. In general, the author "has great difficulty in distinguishing between fact and fiction, conjecture and substantiated evidence." See Spence,"Sidney Reilly in America, 1914-1917," I&NS 10.1 (Jan. 1995), for a suggestion that Reilly may have been involved in the Black Tom explosion.

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