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By Robert Marshall

In 1942 Claude Dansey, deputy head of MI6, infiltrated Henri Déricourt, double agent extraordinaire, into the rival British wartime mystery provider, SOE. the consequent path of destruction and betrayal resulted in the lack of over 400 British and French brokers. Recruited because the guy SOE so desperately wanted, Déricourt penetrated the guts of PROSPER, SOE's greatest community in France. whilst he renewed touch with Karl Boemelburg, head of German counter-espionage in Paris. each circulate, code and dispatch from the British brokers used to be made identified to Boemelburg; Déricourt gave him every little thing. His treachery eventually resulted in the disastrous fall of the PROSPER community, and to the arrest of approximately 1000 women and men, 1000s of whom died in focus camps. was once it patriotism that drove Dansey, or was once the Déricourt plan purely a part of the key battle among MI6 and SOE, a battle during which Dansey held the entire guns? the entire King's males is the dramatic account on the most ruthless mystery operations of the second one global warfare.

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Dated 2 November, Directive fifty one defined plans to reinforce the Atlantic Wall, re-fortify plane and submarine assets and building up well-equipped and professional devices that may be mobilized to ‘throw the enemy again into the sea’. The September invasion probability gone, the Germans have been now getting ready themselves for the obvious, ‘…an offensive opposed to the Western entrance of Europe no later than spring, and maybe earlier’. 1 it might hardly ever have escaped Dansey’s realize how dramatically his warfare had altered considering 1939 whilst he stood on the helm of the Z association. Now, Stewart Menzies had in his hand copies of Hitler’s latest directive, 18 days after it have been promulgated. the most important headache with this new kind of intelligence was once no longer one in every of acquisition, yet of digestion for volume had arrived with caliber. The luck of extremely – of signs intelligence quite often, of photo-reconnaissance and all of the different clinical advancements, had slowly eroded the worth of the ‘network’ of brokers. As 1944 and the invasion crept nearer, Dansey was once starting to relish what others had learned lengthy sooner than – that the ‘man within the box’ used to be no longer a battle winner anymore. He could in destiny play a way more expert function, like complicated tactical intelligence, yet his heyday used to be over. Dansey’s great impression in the ‘community’ had all started to wane and the younger intellectuals appeared much much less deferential. whereas Menzies had obtained his ‘K’ within the New Year’s honours and was once driving excessive on extremely, Dansey had began to be obvious for what he was once, an anachronism – a guy out of his time whose equipment not had a spot within the smooth provider. Frankly, he was once turning into anything of a legal responsibility. in the course of September and October there were a chain of relatively vitriolic rows with SOE that had nonetheless now not been resolved. throughout the year Major-General Gubbins had stored up a crusade of assaults opposed to Dansey, having by some means bought it into his head that Dansey was once interfering with SOE’s networks. Gubbins’ conferences with Menzies have been consistently fruitless – specifically as Menzies may perhaps consistently swear along with his hand on his middle that he knew not anything approximately any of Dansey’s alleged improprieties. Menzies had neither the need nor the inclination to ease Dansey from his task and remained unswerving to his deputy in the course of the warfare. meanwhile, with assistance from Déricourt’s intelligence, Menzies and Dansey have been waging a profitable crusade to have SOE in Europe close down. Following the conferences with the mixed Chiefs in August and September touching on Menzies’ Memo CX 108, the Joint Intelligence Committee urged that SOE’s actions should still stop instantly and that the association be liquidated, or absorbed into MI6. (The JIC got here to that end in December, inspired by way of robust representations from the RAF that plane and assets presently delivering SOE networks in France will be extra usefully deployed in help of the bombing of Germany. however the JIC have been not able to continue from now on with their suggestion simply because Winston Churchill was once in a foreign country and it was once felt basically he can make the ultimate choice.

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