By Richard Wires
The episode of the opportunistic valet of Britain's ambassador to impartial Turkey in the course of international battle II--dubbed "Cicero" for the eloquence of the top-secret fabric he appropriated from his supplier Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen and offered to the Nazis--is a staple of intelligence lore. but this outstanding and infrequently comical tale has usually been acknowledged with little regard for the evidence, such a lot prominently within the well known movie 5 arms. Now, historian and previous intelligence officer Richard Wires offers the 1st complete and aim account of the Cicero secret agent episode, supplying closure to earlier discrepancies and credible recommendations to closing mysteries. Copiously documented, The Cicero secret agent Affair presents readers with the genuine chronology of occasions and locations them in a world context. it's a tale set within the hotbed of intrigue that was once wartime Turkey, replete with a dramatic motor vehicle chase, a chain of colourful mistresses ever dependable to their lover the undercover agent, and an old-school British ambassador whose records are photographed at evening as he performs the piano within the drawing room and/or slips right into a slumbering pill-induced shut eye. regardless of the affair's fun points, it's also a sobering story during which there are not any winners and from which there are severe classes to be discovered. Germany by no means made use of the hugely delicate British files it acquired in this the most important four-month interval of the conflict as the dealing with of the data was once stuck up in a sour and wasteful own contention among Ribbentrop and Schellenberg. It used to be sheer success for the British that their struggle attempt didn't maintain any major harm. For, whereas the ebook states definitively that defense in regards to the Allied invasion of Normandy was once now not breached within the Cicero affair, Germany did achieve a possible virtue relating campaigns within the Aegean and the Balkans. This embarrassed the British significantly, specially given that Cicero walked away a loose guy. notwithstanding, the grasping valet--the so much hugely paid undercover agent in heritage at that time--did now not in achieving his objectives, both; he found a few years later that the British banknotes he insisted on as fee have been counterfeited via the Germans as a part of a bigger counterfeiting undertaking. Cicero died a determined guy, deeply in debt--a becoming anticlimax for an espionage episode leading to neither physically damage nor strategic effect, yet in humiliation on either side.
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Extra info for The Cicero Spy Affair: German Access to British Secrets in World War II (Perspectives on Intelligence History)
Their different outlooks posed few problems. Despite a willingness to hear rival arguments and proposals, the Turks maintained a guarded neutrality, played each side in the war against the other, thought hopefully of a Soviet defeat, and regarded their policy as both prudent and promising. Ankara was still watching and waiting in late 1943. Trade and finance issues had meanwhile remained a special difficulty. German economic interests had predominated in the 1930s, but with the coming of war Ankara had sought closer ties with the Allies.
With the family estate entailed to an older brother, he had chosen a career in the cavalry, starting as a cadet-page at the imperial court, then rising rapidly from regimental duty to important posts: service with the General Staff during 1911–1913 and then as military attache´ in the United States and Mexico for two years. Involved in a major scandal, Papen was declared persona non grata by Washington and was expelled in late 1915. After duty on the western front, in mid-1917 he joined German units helping Turkey fight the British in the Palestine sector, staying there until the war ended.
Most important were the foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, his immediate superior, and the propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, both close adherents to party principles. Of critical importance in the Cicero affair was Ribbentrop’s jealous hatred of the ambassador: he would distrust almost anything the diplomat endorsed. In addition, Ribbentrop’s sister was married to the second-ranking embassy official, Albert Jenke, and the ambassador obviously wondered what stories were reaching Berlin through them.