World War II

North Africa and Middle East

M - Z

Magan, William. Middle Eastern Approaches: Experiences and Travels of an Intelligence Officer, 1939-1948. Wilby, Norwich: Michael Russell, 2001.

McKee, Alexander. El Alamein: ULTRA and the Three Battles. London: Souvenir Press, 1991.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 18.1, "this exciting account ... highlights the importance of Ultra, which provided advance information about ... Rommel's supply ships and troop movements."

Morgan, Mike. Sting of the Scorpion: The Inside Story of the Long Range Desert Group. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2003. [pb] London: Sutton, 2004.

From publisher: The LRDG "was Britain's original Special Force in the Western Desert." This book "is the exclusive, authorised, inside story of the tough LRDG raiders of the Second World War, drawn from the unpublished records of the famous force. The unit won unrivalled mastery of the North African desert in their wide-ranging and heavily armed trucks, earning grudging praise even from Rommel ... for their skilful reconnaissance, punishing raids and powers of evasion."

Mure, David.

Mure served in Dudley Clarke's A Force in the Middle East during World War II.

1. Master of Deception: Tangled Webs in London and the Middle East. London: Kimber, 1980.

Clark comment: This is chronologically the second of Mure's two books listed here on the deception work of Dudley Clarke's A Force in the Middle East during World War II. The first book, Practise to Deceive, is the better of the two books to read. Constantinides notes that this account is more pointed to "polemics against the Londoners and civilians in deception work." Additionally, there are "questionable facts and opinions" in this account.

2. Practise to Deceive. London: Kimber, 1977.

Constantinides comments that Mure has sought to balance the scales by giving Clarke and his deception work in the Mediterranean and the Middle East a level of recognition usually accorded only to London-run activities.

Patch, John [CDR/USN (Ret.)]. "Fortuitous Endeavor: Intelligence and Deception in Operation TORCH." Naval War College Review 61, no. 4 (Autumn 2008): 73-97.

"[T]he Anglo-American TORCH effort was a hallmark of effective combined operational planning and execution -- facilitated by military deception informed by proven intelligence.... [A] combination of detailed planning, aggressive signals intelligence efforts, a viable deception scheme, a high degree of operational security, and fortuitous events produced operational surprise that in turn facilitated an Allied bridgehead into northwest Africa. This combination not only demonstrated the resolve of the Allies to fight to the finish but hoodwinked the previously undefeated military machine of Hitler's Third Reich."

Piekalkiewicz, Janusz. Tr., Fred Clemens. Rommel and the Secret War in North Africa 1941-1943: Secret Intelligence in the North African Campaign. West Chester, PA: Schiffer, 1992.

According to Sexton, Piekalkiewicz "[t]races the impact of intercepts of German and Italian signals on the North African campaign."

Sansom, A. W. I Spied Spies. London: Harrap, 1965.

Constantinides: The author headed British Field Security in Cairo in World War II and stayed in Cairo after the war as security officer at the British embassy in the period when Donald Maclean served there. He gives a good description of the Kondor case, but does not mention that the British knew the Kondor mission was coming. For the later period, "Maclean's activities outside the embassy are vividly described."

Slowikowski, Rygor [MAJGEN]. In the Secret Service: The Lighting of the Torch. London: Windrush, 1988.

Bennett, I&NS 4.1, comments that "[t]here seems to be no doubt that Slowikowski's Polish 'Agency Africa' was the single largest source of information about conditions in the Torch area..., but the decision to invade depended only marginally upon information from inside the territory ... and chiefly upon political and strategic considerations of far wider range." The work draws a "vivid picture ... of the daily life and work of an espionage organization."

Smith, Kevin D. "Coming into Its Own: The Contribution of Intelligence at the Battle of Alma Halfa." Military Review 82, no. 4 (Jul.-Aug. 2002): 74-77.

The article covers both the impact of Ultra material and the use of deception operations.

Smyth, Denis. "Screening 'Torch': Allied Counter-Intelligence and the Spanish Threat to the Secrecy of the Allied Invasion of French North Africa in November 1942." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 2 (Apr. 1989): 335-356.

"The Anglo-American counter-intelligence and security services ... managed to keep the Spaniards in the dark about Torch for as long as secrecy ... matter[ed]."

Thomas, Martin. "The Massingham Mission: SOE in French North Africa, 1941-1944." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1996): 696-721.

SOE's Massingham mission, the organization's advanced operational base near Algiers, was established in November 1942; it was dissolved as an independent station in May 1944. The tensions in the area between SOE's pro-Gaullist sympathies and OSS' cultivation of Darlan and Giraud are given an in-depth presentation. OSS North Africa and the Massingham mission were combined in the Special Project Operation Center (SPOC) in May 1944.

Timpson, Alastair, and Andrew Gibson-Watt. In Rommel's Backyard: A Memoir of the Long Range Desert Group. Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword, 2000.

From publisher: "Instrumental in the British commando effort [against Rommel's Afrika Korps] was the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG). Equipped with modified trucks and jeeps, the LRDG carried out its own raids and reconnaissance missions, and moved Special Air Service and Commando units into position for their own attacks. Alaistair Timpson, a captain in the Scots Guards, was commander of 6 (Guards) Patrol of the LRDG.... Timpson's original narrative has been ... edited by Andrew Gibson-Watt, who places each LRDG mission in the broader context of the Desert War and gives some insight into the character of the author."

Vaughan, Hal. FDR's 12 Apostles: The Spies Who Paved the Way for the Invasion of North Africa. Guilford, CT: Lyons, 2006.

Peake, Studies 51.3 (2007), says that this work "provides a detailed, stimulating account of the complex military, diplomatic, and intelligence relations among the allied government, the cantankerous Charles de Gaulle, the Vichy French, and numerous underground groups of various political persuasions ... in preparation for Operation TORCH, the invasion of North Africa."

Wharton-Tigar, Edward, with A.J. Wilson. Burning Bright: The Autobiography of Edward Wharton-Tigar. Worcester Park: Metal Bulletin Books, 1987.

Wharton-Tigar served with SOE in North Africa in World War II. Among other exploits, he organized a covert mission, Operation Falaise, against a German-operated observation station near Tangier. See Smith, "The Bodden Line," I&NS 6.2/448-449 and fn. 4.

Williams, Manuela. "Mussolini's Secret War in the Mediterranean and the Middle East: Italian Intelligence and the British Response." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 6 (Dec. 2007): 881-904.

From abstract: Despite the fragmentation of the Italian Fascist intelligence services, "[t]heir ability to establish relations ... with Arab nationalist leaders and their intense activities in British colonies, protectorates and mandates generated concern within the British Foreign and Colonial Offices. Meanwhile, poor intelligence coordination and assessment coupled with misguided assumptions about the nature of Arab nationalism hindered Britain's response to the challenge mounted by Mussolini's regime."

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