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Thread: NS Germany and Espionage

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    NS Germany and Espionage

    Adolf Hitler once said that the Soviet Union only surpassed Germany in one department of military expertise: espionage. Why was espionage so poorly practised by NS Germany? If one looks at postwar history, East German intelligence was very adept at penetrating NATO security and overcoming its counterintelligence measures and, in doing so, served well their Soviet masters and the Warsaw Pact. Yet the intelligence agencies of NS Germany performed poorly in comparison with their enemies: the British proved proficient in espionage; the Soviet Union proved positively expert in its practice of espionage. Why did Germany fall behind in this area?

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    Third Reich police and intelligence organisation

    If you have specific questions to what i and skogkille lay out and debate there you cans ask.

    The general problem the Third Reich had until summer 1943 can be summed up in one sentence:
    Quote Originally Posted by MCP3
    The problem i am referring to is, that the head of German military intelligence "Abwehr" Admiral Canaris was in fact working for the British SIS. You realize that the Third Reich had a tremendous problem until 1943 when it comes to intelligence operations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic View Post
    Adolf Hitler once said that the Soviet Union only surpassed Germany in one department of military expertise: espionage. Why was espionage so poorly practised by NS Germany?
    Nah, come on, so poorly wasn't it. Maybe there were things and events you don't know because they were carefully covered up after the war?

    And then never written about in the English language world?

    Why is it that FM Erhard Milch (of the Luftwaffe) always had the exact production numbers of the British aircraft industry? Every month punctual and with updates.
    Why did the RSHA knew the exact sums of bribe money that went into Turkish pockets, handed out by the British ambassador in Turkey to keep her out of the war and if possible "bribe Turkey in" (which the Turks declined as the sympathies and public opinion were/are traditionally anti-British and pro-Axis) ?

    The answer to the latter: Google "Cicero + WW2 + British embassy"

    Why did it work ? Because "Cicero" was NOT an agent of the Abwehr (Germany's CIA headed by Admiral Canaris who turned out to be a traitor to the British SIS) but an agent of the SD -Amt VI (Thus run by Schellenberg)

    The answer to the first: The informant in HM's Air ministry was run by the Luftwaffe's own Intelligence Service, the FA ("Forschungsamt").

    There is a General Rule you can apply when it comes to Intelligence Operations of the Third Reich.

    If an OP was run by Abwehr, and this includes missions by Regiment Brandenburg (Special Forces of Abwehr), they were bound to fail (the major ones at least) from the above mentioned reason.

    If an OP was run by Schellenberg or Skorzeny they had a good chance of success.

    Here is the guy i am talking about:

    Walther Friedrich Schellenberg (16 January 1910 – 31 March 1952) was a German SS-Brigadeführer who rose through the ranks of the SS to become the head of foreign intelligence following the abolition of the Abwehr in 1944.

    Place of birth Saarbrücken, Germany
    Place of death Turin, Italy
    Allegiance Nazi Germany
    Service/branch
    Years of service 1933-1945
    Rank Brigadeführer und Generalmajor der Polizei
    Unit Sicherheitsdienst
    Commands held Chief of Amt VI, Ausland-SD
    Awards Iron Cross First Class
    Iron Cross Second Class
    War Merit Cross First Class with Swords
    War Merit Cross Second Class with Swords



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Schellenberg

    Brigadeführer Schellenberg is also credited with taking out the "Red Orchestra" Soviet spy and sabotage network.
    By the time he led the hunt for the Soviet spy ring Red Orchestra, Schellenberg had become a general (Brigadeführer) in the Allgemeine-SS (General-SS).
    For exposing Canaris and using him as a "Double Agent" (without his kniowledge of course) for 9 months.
    Quote Originally Posted by MCP
    The old Nazi clip basically implies that the hardest nut in counter-intelligence operations is to find the ("least suspect") highest British mole.

    The WW2 Germans found him too late (1943), because it was the head of the German military intelligence "Abwehr" himself, Admiral Canaris.
    So no wonder that most Abwehr operations until 1943 ended in disaster, while the SS intelligence operations (Skorzeny raids) were successful.

    But like most states the Third Reich had rivaling agencies,they do that primarily to monitor each other, namely the RSHA-SD under Walther Schellenberg who by 1942 became aware that Canaris was working for the British. They left him in office for awhile, to collect more evidence and to feed false information to London, which worked for some time.

    In spring 1944 however the British became aware that the data and info from Canaris was not reliable anymore, and so he became useless.
    Schellenberg then busted Canaris after the July 20, 1944 assasination attempt on Hitler, and the whole network (Goerdeler, Fromm, von Stauffenberg etc) was rolled up.
    Canaris was tried and put to death in early 1945.
    He had supposedly a love affair with Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel (of Chanel perfumes and fashion Paris) who paid for the cost of his funeral when he died penniless after his "Sudden Death" in Turin 1952.

    In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, Chanel closed her shops. She believed that it was not a time for fashion.[9] During the German occupation Chanel resided at the Hotel Ritz, which was also noteworthy for being the preferred place of residence for upper echelon German military staff. She also maintained an apartment above her couture house at 31 rue Cambon. During that time she was criticized for having an affair with Hans Günther von Dincklage, a German military intelligence officer who arranged for her to remain in the hotel.[17] Chanel was herself a Nazi intelligence operative, Abwehr Agent 7124, code name “Westminster.”[18]

    World War II, specifically the Nazi seizure of all Jewish owned property and business enterprises, provided Chanel with the opportunity to gain the full monetary fortune generated by "Parfums Chanel" and its most profitable product, Chanel No. 5...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coco_Chanel
    It appears sometimes necessary in this "scene" to have love affairs to win over a Lady for one own's cause, in this case Chanel for the Reich and the RSHA. Although Chanel got away with this because:

    Chanel was later charged as a collaborator, but avoided trial due to intervention by the British Royal family
    So it is always safer to have friends on both sides...

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    Third Reich police and intelligence organisation

    Photo of organizational chart is following.

    Abwehrpolizei
    Counter-espionage police. Part of the Grenzpolizei controlled by the Gestapo.

    Amt VI
    Foreign intelligence service of the SD.

    Geheime Staatspolizei, Gestapo
    Amt IV of the Reichsicherheitshauptamt.

    Gemeindepolizei
    Municipal police.

    Gendarmerie
    Rural police.

    Grenzpolizei, Grepo
    Frontier control police. Under SD control.

    Kriminalpolizei, Kripo
    Criminal investigation police. Amt V of the Reichsicherheitshauptamt.

    Ordnungspolizei
    Order police. The regular police, comprising the Schutzpolizei and Feuerschutzpolizei.

    Reichsicherheitshauptamt, RSHA
    The central security department of the Reich.

    Schutzpolizei
    The regular police, comprising the municipal and rural police.

    Sicherheitspolizei, SIPO
    Security police.

    Sicherheitsdienst, SD
    Security service. Intelligence and counter-intelligence branches of the SS.



    Abwehr
    Espionage and counter-espionage service of the OKW.

    Bahnschutzpolizei
    Railway protection police. Under SS control.

    Feldgendarmerie
    Military police.

    Geheime Feldpolizei, GFP
    Secret military police. Special MP units attached to armies and military administration of occupied countries.

    Luftschutzpolizei, Luftschutzordnungsdienst, Sicherheits und Hilfsdienste
    Air raid protection service.

    Sonderkommando
    Special detachment of the SS for police and political tasks.


    The organization at its simplest was divided into seven offices (German: Ämter)[10]:

    Amt I, Personnel and Organization, originally headed by SS-Gruppenführer Dr. Werner Best. In 1940, he was succeeded by SS-Brigadeführer Bruno Streckenbach. In April 1944, Erich Ehrlinger took over as department chief.

    Amt II, Administration, Law, and Finance, headed by SS-Standartenführer Dr. Hans Nockemann.

    Amt III, Inland-SD, headed by SS-Gruppenführer Otto Ohlendorf, was the SS information gathering service for inside Germany. It also dealt with ethnic Germans outside of Germany's prewar borders, and matters of culture.

    Amt IV, Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo), headed by SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller. SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, was head of the Amt IV sub-department called Referat IV B4.

    Amt V, Kriminalpolizei (Kripo), under SS-Gruppenführer Arthur Nebe. This was the Criminal Police, which dealt with non-political serious crimes, such as rape, murder, and arson. Amt V was also known as the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt (Reich Criminal Police Department or RKPA).

    Amt VI, Ausland-SD, led by SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Jost, and later by SS-Brigadeführer Walter Schellenberg. This was the foreign intelligence service of the SS.

    Amt VII, Written Records, overseen by SS-Brigadeführer Professor Dr. Franz Six and later by SS-Obersturmbannführer Paul Dittel. It was responsible for "ideological" tasks. These included the creation of anti-semitic, anti-masonic propaganda, the sounding of public opinion and monitoring of Nazi indoctrination by the public.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic
    Why was espionage so poorly practised by NS Germany? If one looks at postwar history, East German intelligence was very adept at penetrating NATO security and overcoming its counterintelligence measures and, in doing so, served well their Soviet masters and the Warsaw Pact. Yet the intelligence agencies of NS Germany performed poorly in comparison with their enemies: the British proved proficient in espionage; the Soviet Union proved positively expert in its practice of espionage. Why did Germany fall behind in this area?
    Infiltrating Soviet society was always incredibly hard for NATO too. German military intelligence on the Eastern Front is usually criticized as well, yet Fremde Heere Ost did an amazing job with the limited (re-)sources they had under the brilliant leadership of Reinhard Gehlen, who would work with the C.I.A. and for West German Intel after the war.

    In France/The Low Countries/Norway German spies were highly successful. As MCP3 pointed out: German espionage wasn't entirely bad. The question is: why didn't German spies do a better job in the Anglosphere? Why didn't they weed out more spies and compromised sources in their own ranks?

    Because of traitors like Canaris and Hans Oster, perhaps also because the art of espionage doesn't come naturally to Germans and least of all national-socialists, because of the strength of enemy (counter-)espionage - the allies and the Soviets did a lot right beyond Germany's control - and due to the Germans pressing agents into service which didn't want to be agents (Jews, Norwegians, ...) and who unsurprisingly ran when the first opportunity to do so presented itself, no doubt a range of more technical matters too and the fact that an emerging NS-German spy network can't have had the same global reach and depth as that of the British Empire.
    “As brothers and sisters we knew instinctively that if we were going to stand in darkness, best we stand in a darkness we had made ourselves.” - Douglas Coupland

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    Our best spies in the US seems to come from first born generation of foreign born parents as I witnessed from the news over the years. In the US, we have multicultural influenced espionage. The Reich, lacking colonial ties, probably did not have an established globalist network much like England and Russia from her satellite countries. Britain has a long history of dealing with foreign nations not in the kindest manner. Throughout history, many foreigners have been used as "agents" or "weapons" against their native population.

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