Other Countries


Included here:

1. Austria-Hungary

2. Belgium

3. Italy

4. Netherlands

5. Sweden

6. Vatican


1. Austria-Hungary

Aan de Wiel, Jérôme. "Austria-Hungary, France, Germany and the Irish Crisis from 1899 to the Outbreak of the First World War." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 2 (Apr. 2006): 237-257.

From abstract: This "article argues that there was a definite 'Irish factor' in the events leading to the outbreak of the First World War, notably in Germany and Austria-Hungary's decision-making process."

Campbell, Kenneth J.

1. "Andreas Figl: World War I Austrian Codebreaker." American Intelligence Journal 28, no. 2 (2010): 94-99.

The author places Figl and the Chiffregruppe on both the Russian and Italian fronts during the war. He credits the Chiffregruppe with being "the Austro-Hungarian Army's most important element."

2. "Maximilian Ronge: Master Spy." American Intelligence Journal 28, no. 2 (2010): 100-108.

The author views Ronge as "as one of the most unusually gifted spies of the 20th century, a man of enormous experience in intelligence."

Figl, Andreas: Systeme des Chiffrierens [Systems of Codemaking]. Graz: Moser, 1926.

H. Roewer: "Col. Figl was head of Austrian Radio Intelligence during WWI and very successful breaking Russian ciphers."

Moll, Martin. "Austro-Hungarian Counter-intelligence Activities Prior to World War I: Unknown and Astonishing Insights at the Local Level." Journal of Intelligence History 5, no. 1 (Summer 2005). []

From Abstract: Focusing mainly on local-level administrative documents of the Duchy of Styria, the author "argues that the Austro-Hungarian General Staff intensified its intelligence activities at least [after] the Annexation Crisis of 1908.... [T]he General Staff not only targeted alleged Serb efforts to undermine the Monarchy from within but also kept a[] close eye on Italian citizens on its territory."

Moritz, Verena, Hannes Leidinger, and Gerhard Jagschitz. Im Zentrum Der Macht: Die Vielen Gesichter des Geheimdienstchefs Maximilain Ronge. [In the Center of Power: The Many Faces of Secret Service Chief Maximilain Ronge] St. Pölten: Residenz Verlag, 2007.

Kahn, I&NS 23.2 (Apr. 2008), finds this work somewhat "disappointing" with regard to Ronge's work as intelligence chief during World War I.

Pethö, Albert. Agenten fur den Doppeladler: Österreich-Ungarns Geheimer Dienst im Weltkrieg. [Agents for the Double Eagle: Austria-Hungary's Secret Service in the World War] Graz: Leopold Stocker Verlag, 1998.

Kahn, I&NS 23.2 (Apr. 2008), notes that the author begins his story in 1850. The work is heavily footnoted and "especially well illustrated."

Schindler, John R. "A Hopeless Struggle: Austro-Hungarian Cryptology during World War I." Cryptologia 24, no. 4 (Oct. 2000): 339-350.

"Austria-Hungary's cryptologic effort was the most successful of WWI.... Habsburg cryptology played a major role in staving off defeat, keeping Austria-Hungary in the war to the end, and its leader, Max Ronge, was a noteworthy intelligence pioneer."

2. Belgium

de Croÿ, Princess Marie. War Memories. London: Macmillan, 1932.

These are the memoirs of a Belgian aristocrat who aided Allied soldiers in escaping from the Germans in World War I.

Maclaren, John, and Nicholas Hiley. "Nearer the Truth: The Search for Alexander Szek." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 813-826.

The authors take on the long-running legend of the activities and fate of Alexander Szek, thought to have stolen German codes from Belgium which later helped in breaking the Zimmermann telegram. Their research and analysis essentially shoot down most elements of the previous story. Definitive? Probably not, but in most of its elements better based than its predecessor myths.


3. Italy

Alvarez, David.

1. "Italian Diplomatic Cryptanalysis in World War I." Cryptologia 20, no. 1 (Jan. 1996): 1-10. And in Selections from Cryptologia: History, People, and Technology, eds. Cipher A. Deavours, David Kahn, Louis Kruh, Greg Mellen, and Brian J. Winkel, 181-190. Boston, MA: Artech House, 1998.

From abstract: After its entry into World War I in May 1915, "Italy established a cryptanalytic unit to attack the military and diplomatic cryptosystems of other governments. This unit retrospectively solved an Austrian diplomatic system and currently read an American system, but it succeeded mainly against the codes and ciphers of minor powers."

2. "Left in the Dust: Italian Signals Intelligence, 1915-1943." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 14, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 388-408.

The Italians began their cryptanalytic efforts in the fall of 1915, and by the last year of the war (1918) were enjoying some successes. In the interwar period, signals intelligence "contributed significantly to Rome's diplomacy and military operations" in the Ethiopian crisis. But "Rome's services failed to adapt to the new cryptologic world created" by World War II and "were left in the dust" of the services that participated in the "organizational and technological revolution" that began in the 1930s and was accelerated by the war.

Massignani, Alessandro. "The Regi Carabinieri: Counterintelligence in the Great War." Journal of Intelligence History 1, no. 2 (Winter 2001). [ html]

From abstract: "The Royal Carabinieri ... were mobilized as Italy entered the Great War, deploying three battalions and two cavalry squadrons.... [T]he Carabinieri duties in wartime were counterintelligence and security (military police), as well as that of the defense of the State.... The Carabinieri branch had to cooperate with the counterintelligence section of the secret services, reporting espionage suspects and performing operations the services needed. The 'Italian secret war' during the First Wor1d War does not offer great moments of glory. However,... [t]he historical judgement is, that the out of the twelve operating intelligence services in Italy the Carabinieri 'was one of most serious and effective.'"

4. Netherlands

van Tuyll, Hubert P. "The Dutch Mobilization of 1914: Reading the 'Enemy's' Intentions." Journal of Military History 64, no. 3 (Jul. 2000): 711-738.

Pre-1914 Netherlands lacked a formal intelligence apparatus and had only a small diplomatic corps. Nevertheless, the country "did fairly well in gathering information and making military use of it. The Netherlands was the first country in Western Europe to mobilize ... and did this on the basis of closely held information received from inside Germany."


5. Sweden

McKay, Craig G., and Bengt Beckman. Swedish Signal Intelligence 1900-1945. London: Frank Cass, 2002.

Hess, JIH 3.1, calls this "an important account about ... Sigint as it developed in a medium-sized, neutral country of Europe.... This definitive, exhaustive and illuminating account draws on the official archives notably from Sweden and provides new and surprising results.... The centrepiece of the study ... is the Sigint contribution to Sweden's neutrality in two world wars, particularly in the second.... [T]he book is well presented and thoroughly edited."

For Van Nederveen, Air & Space Power Journal 17.3 (Fall 2003), this "first authoritative account of Sweden’s SIGINT [is] both valuable and unique.... The authors are to be commended for their detailed, up-front explanation of SIGINT: how radio and telegraph coding was used between various countries and their diplomatic missions, what kinds of transmissions third parties could intercept, and the numerous tasks involved in decoding that data.... SIGINT books are rare, and this one is a must-read for intelligence professionals.... Historians interested in World War II may even have to reconsider some events of that war after reading this book."

Kruh, Cryptologia 27.2, calls this work "a definitive account of the evolution of Swedish signal intelligence between 1900 and 1945.... It is an interesting and surprisingly revealing source of European cryptology in the first half of the twentieth century." To Erskine, I&NS 18.3, the authors "have researched their subject thoroughly and know it well." The work "deals mainly with the collection and breaking of messages and the establishment and organisation of the various bodies which were responsible for Sigint. It contains comparatively little on analysing the resulting intelligence, or how it was used by policy makers."


6. Vatican

Alvarez, David.

1. "A German Agent at the Vatican: The Gerlach Affair." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1996): 345-356.

Monsignor Rudolf Gerlach was a Bavarian priest and "private chamberlain and confidant of Pope Benedict XV." He was also "a conduit for covert German subsidies" to anti-interventionist newspapers during the period before Italy entered World War I. It is also likely that he engaged in espionage activities while at the Vatican.

2. "Vatican Communications Security, 1914-18." Intelligence and National Security 7, no. 4 (Oct. 1992): 443-453.

During World War I, the Vatican "depended upon the ordinary mails or, where possible, the diplomatic messengers of other states.... [P]apal cryptography during the war ... was a modest effort.... [T]here can be little doubt that throughout the war the Holy See was plagued by poor communications security."

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