World War II

North Africa and Middle East

A - D

Aboul-Enein, Youssef, and Basil Aboul-Enein. The Secret War for the Middle East: The Influence of Axis and Allied Intelligence Operations during World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2013.

Peake, Studies 58.2 (Jun. 2014), finds that the authors emphasize "competing Axis and Allied intelligence operations during WW II, which sought to influence, if not control, the military and economic forces in the region." They "examine the effects on operations of anticolonialism and Arab nationalism, which were expediently pro-Nazi, even as wartime conditions required nominal cooperation with the Allies.... Unfortunately, the book is chronologically choppy and semantically awkward -- badly in need of a good editor."

Aldrich, Richard J. "Soviet Intelligence, British Security and the End of the Red Orchestra: The Fate of Alexander Rado." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 196-218.

From January to July 1945, Alexander Rado -- the GRU chief in Switzerland from 1940 to 1943 -- was in the hands of British Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME) in Cairo. Aldrich mines the available material for the conclusion that, contrary to popular legend, Rado neither tried to defect to the British nor did the British repatriation of Rado to the Soviets represent anything other than the routine treatment of him as a Displaced Person. The author suggests that the failure of the British to recognize who and what they had in their hands argues against the kind of relationship between British intelligence and Rado's network that some writers have put forward.

Arbogast, E.R. Contribution of Intelligence to the Battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein: August-November 1942, Final Report. Newport, RI: Naval War College, 1993.

Surveillant 3.4/5 comments that the "British victories ... were in large part due to the effective use of intelligence at the strategic and operational levels of war."

Atherton, Louise. SOE Operations in Africa and the Middle East: A Guide to Newly Released Records in the Public Record Office. London: PRO Publications, 1994.

Aldrich, I&NS 10.4: "This well-organized booklet is essential reading for anyone preparing to do extensive work on this subject."

Barkas, Geoffrey.

1. with Natalie Barkas. The Camouflage Story: From Aintree to Alamein. London: Cassell, 1952.

According to Constantinides, Barkas headed Britain's camouflage organization in the Middle East from January 1941. The work covers both defensive and offensive measures, but "the section of the book dealing with offensive deception ... is the most fascinating."

2. and John Hutton. "Camouflage of Airfields in the Middle East, 1941-42." R.A.F. Quarterly 5, no.2 (Apr. 1953), 112-120. "Camouflage of Middle East Airfields." Military Review 33, no.10 (Jan. 1954), 99-107.

According to Whaley, Bibliography of Counterdeception (2006), Hutton served as a camouflage officer under Barkas in World War II.

Baxter, Colin F. The War in North Africa, 1940-1943: A Selected Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1996.

Tate, Air & Space Power Journal (2008), enthuses that this is a "magnificent treasure of information for the would-be historian.... A well-written, thought-provoking historical synopsis of the desert war precedes the selected bibliography.... The presentation of this book is ideal. Its information is accessible and easy to extract. The author's methodology is clear and concise."

Bendeck, Whitney T. A Force: The Origins of British Deception during the Second World War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Preess, 2013.

Peake, Studies 58.3 (Sep. 2014), concludes that Bendeck "covers the same topics as other authors have and adds little to their record." Nevertheless, this is "a concise but thorough treatment of an important topic."

Bose, Mihir. "Everyone's Man in Kabul." History Today 60, no. 4 (April 2010): 26-29.

The author tells the story of Bhagat Ram Talwer (codenamed "Silver" by the British) who "started working for the Italians, switched to the Germans, the Russians and finally the British." The Nazis awarded him an Iron Cross. From late 1942 his case officer in Delhi was Peter Fleming.

Chappell, F. R. Wellington Wings: An RAF Intelligence Officer in the Western Desert. Somerton, Somerset: Crecy Books, 1992.

Orange, I&NS 9.3: Did a Wellington night-bomber squadron in Egypt in 1942 "need a comparatively elderly [32] schoolteacher, entirely ignorant of aviation, as an 'intelligence' expert?... The answer emerges ... in this absorbing book as Chappell progresses ... to ... respected authority." The book was "first published by William Kimber in 1980 and re-appears in a slightly corrected edition.... [The] tone throughout is sensible and sensitive."

Clarke, Dudley. Seven Assignments. London: Jonathan Cape, 1948.

Constantinides comments that Clarke has been seen by some as a "pioneer and genius in deception in World War II.... For those expecting to learn more of Clarke's deception work, this book will be a disappointment. It ends at the moment he assumes staff duties in the Middle East." According to H.O. Dovey, I&NS 11.4/672-695, Clarke continued his story in the form of a diary that is now available in the Public Record Office. Dovey reviews Clarke's presentation of "A" Force's work from Cairo for 1941-1942. Since the "A" Force Narrative War Diary continues until 18 June 1945, additional uses of Clarke's story can be expected.

Cox, Sebastian. "'The Difference between Black and White': Churchill, Imperial Politics, and Intelligence before the 1941 Crusader Offensive." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 3 (Jul. 1994): 405-447.

The author argues that Churchill orchestrated a "cooked" -- although in the end not inaccurate -- report on the relationship between German and allied air forces in the Middle East prior to the Crusader offensive. The reason for doing so was Commonwealth politics or, more specifically, concerns expressed by the Australian and New Zealand governments about a potential lack of allied air superiority in the theater, as had been the case in Greece and Crete.

Dovey, H.O. "Cheese." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 3 (Jul. 1990): 176-185.

Dovey writes about "the Cairo-based trio of [British-controlled] double agents whose combined operations were known as 'Cheese.'" The author raises some questions about the story of Cheese as told by David Mure in his Practise to Deceive and Master of Deception.

Dovey, H.O. "The False Going Map at Alam Halfa." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 1 (Jan. 1989): 165-168.

Dovey, H.O.

1. "The Eighth Assignment, 1941-42." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1996): 672-695.

2. "The Eighth Assignment, 1943-1945." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 2 (Apr. 1997): 69-90.

Clark comment: The titles here refer to Dudley Clarke's Seven Assignments (London: Jonathan Cape, 1948).

Constantinides notes that Clarke ended his story "at the moment he assumes staff duties in the Middle East." According to Dovey, Clarke continued his story in the form of a diary that is now available in the Public Record Office (the "'A' Force Narrative War Diary"). Dovey reviews, in the first article, Clarke's presentation of "A" Force's work from Cairo for 1941-1942. He continues the story, including the February 1943 establishment of an "Advanced HQ" in Algiers in association with the Americans, in the second article.

Dovey, H.O. "Maunsell and Mure." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 1 (Jan. 1993): 60-77.

Raymond Maunsell headed British Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME) in World War II. David Mure was an "A" Force officer in Baghdad and Beirut.

Dovey, H.O. "The Middle East Intelligence Centre." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 800-812.

Dovey traces the genesis of the Middle East Intelligence Centre (MEIC), which began operation in Cairo in August 1939; looks at some of the criticism the activity endured; and notes its virtual disbandment or melding into the newly established Political Intelligence Centre, Middle East (PICME) in the period May-July 1943.

Dovey, H.O. "Security in Syria, 1941-45." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 2 (Apr. 1991): 418-446.

The Allies invaded Syria in June 1941 to forestall a potential Vichy acquiescence in a German and Italian move into the area. After Beirut's capture on 15 July 1941, control of Syria passed into the hands of General de Gaulle's Free French. Between then and the end of the war, enemy espionage and sabotage in Syria was "contained, if never eliminated," and internal disturbances were kept to a minimum.

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