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Showing posts from January, 2018

Intelligence Gathering & Jujutsu - Part 4 - Australian Intelligence Summary (Appendix) 1942

I retrieved the following from the Australian War Memorial, under the title  Annexure to intelligence Summary No.9 of 4 April 1942 “History of Espionage in NEI”.   In the previous post, I noted that Japan's war in the Pacific really begins with the establishment of 'The Empire of Japan' with the restoration of Emperor Meiji.    We must now begin to plant the seeds of understanding that along with political and military maneuvers, there were substantial and long-term supporting intelligence operations also taking place.

Intelligence Gathering & Jujutsu - Part 3 - When does the war in the Pacific start for the Japanese?

Before we look at the activities of the Japanese in the first half of the twentieth century on a covert level, we must obtain some context by looking at the overt activities of the Japanese Empire. From the restoration of the Emperor Meiji in 1868, Japan embarked on a rapid process of modernisation and militarisation.  By 1920 it had the third largest Navy in the world. When we consider war in the Pacific we tend to focus on either the invasion of China in 1937 or the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1942, however Japan's military activities in the region stretch back much further in time. Japan's war in the Pacific essentially starts with the restoration of the Emperor Meiji in 1868. Meiji Restoration 1868 Start of the Empire of Japan 1868 Imperial Navy Established (Dominated by Satsuma) 1868 Conscription Introduced 1871 Imperial Army Established (Dominated by Choshu) 1871 First Sino-Japanese War 1894 1895 Japanese Invasion of Taiwan 1895 Boxer Rebellion 1899 1901 Russo-Japanese Wa

Intelligence Gathering & Jujutsu - Part 2 - The Creation of the OSS

In  July 1941, President Roosevelt signed an order naming William J Donovan Coordinator of Information.  Donavan had been acting in an informal (amateurish) intelligence gathering role for FDR for some time. Donovan (the only person to have received all four of the United States' highest awards: The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal) began to construct, with the help of the British, the infrastructure of an organisation that essentially combined the activities of MI6 & SOE - this included the infamous Camp-X, which was set up in Ontario (as the US was yet to join the war) with W E Fairbairn seconded from the British to teach his unsavory methods. The Office of Strategic Services was established by a Presidential military order issued by President Roosevelt on June 13, 1942, to collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assign

Intelligence Gathering & Jujutsu - Part 1 - Stated Japanese Intentions Towards the Dutch East Indies, 1940

In this series I am going to draw a few dots together in a round-a-bout fashion, eventually arriving at a point that is in my opinion fundamental to understanding Japanese martial arts in the 20th Century.  To start with here is a note of the meeting between the US Consul General & the Japanese Consul General in Batavia in February 1940 - such things are always interesting in hindsight.  The East Indies was one of Japan's primary targets because the colony possessed an abundance of rubber plantations and oil fields.  The Japanese only took three months to dominate the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), it was all over by the start of March 1942. FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC PAPERS, 1940, THE FAR EAST, VOLUME IV 756D.94/38 Memorandum by the Consul General at Batavia (Dickover) of a Conversation With the Japanese Consul General (Saito) Batavia, February 2, 1940. Mr. Saito remarked that the Dutch in the Netherlands Indies were unduly suspicious of the Japanese; th

Intelligence Problems in the Zigzag Case - Linking the Success of Controllers and Agents

In my last post I did a quick review of a book looking at the Zigzag (Chapman, above) case during the second world war.  One of the problems of the Abwehr (Geman Military Intelligence), bearing in mind it is sometimes questionable how successful they wanted to be, hearkens back to the post I did on intelligence problems of the East India Company in early modern Afghanistan. Linking the success of controllers, and indeed the agency itself, with the success of an agent was a recipe for poor intelligence. The author described how the 'mutal dependence of spy and spymaster was not peculiar... it was the central defining flaw of the German secret service.' The small branches of the Abwehr, and even individuals within the branches, operated essentially in competition with each other - ones political worth and standing was essentially tied to the success of agents, in the Zigzag case this even included skimming money off the top of funds paid to the agent - there was therefore no ince

Book Review - Agent Zigzag by Ben Macintyre 2007

Agent Zigzag follows the story of Eddie Chapman and his actions as a double agent during the second world war.  The story is truly remarkable. Chapman was an English criminal who along with his 'friends' had become quite successful at opening safes with explosives.  Whilst visiting the island of Jersey, he is arrested (the story of which includes the one factual time I have read of someone deliberately jumping through a glass window successfully).  'Luckily' for him, he broke the law in Jersey as well and is therefore imprisoned in Jersey rather than sent back to England to face in his estimation a fourteen year stretch. The war begins, and the Germans occupy Jersey, into which Chapman is released.  Along with Anthony Faramus he comes up with the idea of offering to spy for the Germans as a way to get back to England.  They are then both transferred to prison in France. Eventually the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence) interview Chapman and he convinces them that he

Book Review - Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton 2016

Churchill's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare follows the main players and big events connected with the SOE and adjoining agencies throughout the second world war.  This book is an absolute page-turner!  Daring raids, weird weapons, ridiculous politics and stone cold killers make up the riveting tale of guerillas and commandos during the second world war. I picked this book up due to my interest in W E Fairbairn.  There are some interesting tidbits on Fairbairn and Sykes, however, they are not the focus here - the book does however give real context to the need for their brand of training. It is probably fair to say the central character in the book is  Sir Colin McVean Gubbins , who was the 'prime mover' of the SOE during the war.  At the outset of the war, Gubbins wrote two manuals on guerilla warfare, and like many believed the invasion of Britain was coming and they would be reduced to fighting this style of war.  One of his first jobs was setting up cells inside Bri