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Abwehr the new version of Gestapo nowadays

Friday, January 7, 2011

One tendency, among others, that national intelligence services have exhibited throughout this century is a frequent and repeated change of name. Since except in revolutionary conditions, and not by any means always then, the newly named apparatus usually consists of most of the same men doing approximately the same job for about the same pay, the change in nomenclature may imply little more than an administrative re-organization at a high level, which can of course be of greater or lesser importance if it brings with it a higher or lower degree of efficiency on the Part of the men and women who do the work of collecting, collating and evaluating intelligence material. It may, on the other hand, be a simple mania for secrecy as such.

In London, in 1940, everyone who was interested, and quite a few people who were not knew that the main clerical apparatus of 'M.I.5', the British army's counterintelligence service, was located in a commandeered prison called Wormwood Scrubs. It would have been easier to change the name of the organization than to move the files, but when the problem was solved by a German bomb that destroyed a large part of the records, M.I.5 did not then have publicly to change its name, simply its location.
On the other hand the K.G.B., which before that was essentially the M.V.D previously the N.K.V.D, the O.G.P.U and earlier still Lenin's Cheka has functioned, so far as this we knows, from a permanent base within the Lubyanka Prison, Moscow.

You may change the name of their organization, you may move them physically from place to place, but the job of those engaged at the centre upon secret intelligence and counterintelligence work remains the same, and so in their span of working life do most of the people engaged thereon. Meanwhile, for the convenience of both  reader and writer, certain obvious, familiar and not unduly inaccurate terms will be used to cover national intelligence apparatuses: the Secret Service in Britain, the Deuxieme Bureau in France, later the Abwehr in Germany, to give but three European examples.
None is identical with any of the others, let alone with the intelligence services of Russia, Japan or the United States, but all were intended for the same purpose, namely to serve the state by means that apparently could not be openly used. Each was therefore dependent on the state it served not only in its fundamental nature but in the varying needs that the state, or to be more exact its governing elite, was pursuing at any particular time. At the beginning of this century German intelligence served the Imperial Germany of Kaiser Wilhelm II  

Now, while the nature of any intelligence service is almost inevitably based upon the morality and methods of the masters whom it serves, its importance to those masters will usually be in inverse proportions to their own intrinsic strength. To give a very simple but not altogether misleading parallel, a heavyweight boxer fighting for the Lonsdale Belt may weigh less, have a shorter reach and pack a less powerful punch than his opponent, but may yet win the championship by superior skill as a boxer, which means in these terms a greater intelligence in the use of his more limited means. On the other hand a flyweight, no matter how brilliant his footwork and how quick his reactions, cannot hope to defeat a heavyweight. This means that a state with overwhelming power in relation to its opponent does not really need to bother unduly about intelligence work. A country with fifty armored divisions need not waste energy and brains neither of which is ever in adequate supply for all purposes if its potential enemy merely has five.

The story of Ausland Abwehr or Office of Foreign Defence

In the 1939-40 Soviet-Finnish War a stupid Red Army eventually did crush its tiny, cleverer enemy. And this applies even when a condition nearer to parity is reached. The stronger power has less need of intelligence than the weaker. History has shown, more than once, that David can defeat Goliath, while if Goliath had been as well trained with a sling as was David there could have been no defeating him. When the combatants are closer to parity, technical skill becomes immensely important. It can even be decisive. One direct form of such skill is The Amt Ausland Abwehr or Office of Foreign Defence' was created in 1919.
Its officials were in most cases already experienced intelligence officers knowledge of the enemy, that is to say intelligence. And an overwhelmingly powerful society is apt to forget this. It is apparent that the Greeks knew more about their enormous Persian enemy than the Persians who stumbled into Thermopylae and Marathon and above all into Salamis had bothered to discover about the Greeks. If your basic policy is one of the knock-out blow why bother about details? In other terms, when manpower seems overwhelming, brain power is at a discount, as it frequently has been. But the alternative also applies in certain circumstances
The heaviest heavyweight does not always win Imperial Germany was indeed a national heavyweight, in any reckoning, at the beginning of this century. It was also, and like most great states at all times, in what is called 'a transitional period of its history'.
How, if at all, does one measure the status of an extremely complex society involving scores of millions of persons, all different, against other, similar societies of the same period living in approximately similar circumstances? Then one might try, indeed in the framework of this particular book must try, to measure some aspects and organizations of Imperial Germany against similar aspects and organizations as devolved and created by the British and the French. Or does one compare Germany in 1906, an important year so far as intelligence goes with Germany forty years before or after? In 1906 the Germans could see the past only. We can, after a fashion distorted by history and our own point of view, glimpse that Germany of 1906, and the 'today' of the people who lived there and then. In the case of this particular country, two major wars have added several extra dimensions to the distortions.

Bismarck had fallen in 1890. Until Hitler came to power in 1933 no Chancellor exercised such power or had any such real and deep influence upon his country and his countrymen's attitudes. Kaiser Wilhelm II, that grandiose, disastrous and slightly ridiculous figure, we see for ever parading in a vast variety of exhibitionist uniforms beneath be-plumed or be-eagled helmets, interfering in complex military and economic matters often quite beyond his comprehension, scribbling comments not infrequently obscene in the margins of state papers, twirling his moustaches and, in the end, leading his country into disaster and his dynasty to oblivion

What Bismarck had left behind him when he retired to hisestate of Friedrichsruhe was that rarity among great powers, al new country, proud of recent triumphs in almost every field in eluding its own unification and in general without overweening ambitions. Bismarck had taken the quasi-revolutionary nationalism of 1848, had most skillfully removed most of the revolutionary component that had survived the debacle, and had retained the nationalism within bounds by an almost unique combination: of aggression and restraint. Building upon the Customs' Union of the various German states, and relying for military purposes upon the Prussian army, he had eschewed pan-Germanism, and had chosen the 'small German' solution to German unification, leaving an Austria defeated but not unfriendly to cope with the Habsburgs' clever, clumsy empire. With France eliminated, at least temporarily, from the European equation after 1871, he had sought to limit his own new emperor's domains to a homogeneous, manageable and, so far as this be possible, happy country.
Always conscious of geography, he had sought to ensure - and! so long as he held the reins of power did ensure - that this central' European power was not encircled by potential enemies. Of equal importance, he relied on the expanding German middle-class, the' tradesmen, industrialists and bureaucrats, to provide a firm conservative centre. To the land-owning aristocracy he gave the pomp of the armed forces, and above all of the German army, but under controls and within the limitations of their military profession. To the growing urban proletariat he gave the first rudiments of a welfare state, thus in large measure depriving th~ proletariat of a revolutionary ardor directed against the state

Despite his contemporary, Karl Marx, German revolution extremism remained very limited, particularly by comparison wit
The Russia of the time and even with France.The German Social! Democrats did not wish to destroy the state from which the benefited, but merely to modify it. To the capitalists, on the other hand, he gave great freedom of enterprise, which they used to utmost and with very considerable skill, perhaps equal to different from that of their American contemporaries. Education was encouraged as in no other great country, rapidly surpassed English standards for the population as a whole, and was in large measure responsible for an extraordinary increase in productivity, skill and therefore wealth. At a somewhat higher level, the great German universities were second to none. In some fields, such as pure science, they were peerless. And even the French recognized, albeit often reluctantly, the enormous importance of the great German philosophers, The Germany Bismarck created was not limited by a philistine materialism, a ledger mentality which then threatened a vital aspect in the development of the United States.

A high degree of democracy prevailed in Germany, perhaps more in appearance than in reality, but that too was Bismarck's intention. He once remarked that to let the working class run a country was the equivalent of letting the nursery run a household. His policy was paternal, wise and very sane. Perhaps the greatest and most successful statesman of modern times, he quite properly regarded the principal duties of government as two-fold: the safeguarding of the frontiers and the physical and moral well-being of the citizens. To achieve these aims he used all his own great abilities for over twenty years and into them he channeled most of the talents of the people he governed. The Germany that Wilhelm II took over from him was very rich, very powerful, and extremely patriotic and (with the exception of those French eager for revenge') had no real enemies.

For Bismarck's German Empire was very strongly influenced by the life-style of its 'founding fathers', of the first Kaiser Wilhelm (who is said to have recorded half-empty wine bottles and snuffed candles), of the great Moltke who, in his modest retirement in a small red house, left his tea guests tactfully, to die without complaint in a neighboring room, of Roon, the creator of the armies that Moltke had led to victory, and of Bismarck himself. This manner of living and dying lingered on in the motto of the German Great General Staff, mehr sein als scheinen, which might be translated as 'reality rather than display'. It was the reaction to, and antithesis of Bonapartist histrionics, whether those of the Great Napoleon or of Napoleon le Petit. It was formidable in that it appealed precisely and exactly to the mentality and manners of the north German nineteenth-century middle-class from which the state drew its greatness and its purpose. If it lacked the glamour of French panache and elegance, it was very considerably more efficient. Sobriety, responsibility and sustained application are not generally counted among the more attractive virtues, but in Bismarck's middle-class Germans, as among Queen Victoria's middle-class Britons, they can and did produce extremely effective results.
Against all this, elements of Wilhelmine Germany reacted, as did elements in Edwardian England.

The Schlieffen Plan

A generation had grown up which did not know the fatuity of political histrionics, the ultimate tedium of pomp and display. The bourgeoisie might plod along its usual course, 'a proper place for everything and everything in its place'. Such, however, was not the style of the emperor, that knight in shining armor.
Unlike his grandfather he did not snuff out the candles before retiring to bed. He did not of course belong in Bismarck's nursery, but Bismarck did despise a quality of frivolity in his new emperor, and made little attempt to conceal it, for he feared quite correctly that Wilhelm II was endangering his and his generation's life work. And indeed though Wilhelm II was far from stupid he did play at politics; for him too, as not for Bismarck, it was the 'great game'. And his favorite toy was his magnificent army. Soon he was to order another, his High Seas Fleet. He aroused fears and he created, almost it would seem deliberately, that encirclement which Bismarck had fought so hard to avoid. And therefore the German army assumed a political, as opposed to a military and social, importance with which it had never been burdened while Bismarck was winning wars and creating Germany. There was a shift in the centre of gravity within government. Its culmination was the implementation of the Schlieffen Plan, whereby military operations in 1914 could not be confined to the Eastern Front but necessitated war with France, the invasion of neutral Belgium and war with England. Military, strategic considerations had become para .. mount. It would be an exaggeration to say that the General Staff ran the German government in 1914 - that did not happen until 1916 - but one instrument of government, the army, had acquired a disproportionate degree of authority in the making of decisions. The close co-operation between Bismarck and Moltke had been replaced by a state of affairs in which a series of men as Chief of Staff, men of great efficiency but intellectually Moltke's inferiors and backed by Wilhelm II, were telling a series of chancellors, who were certainly Bismarck's inferiors, what options were open to the German government, which in any case was repeatedly put in awkward and embarrassing positions by the direct interference and adventures of the Kaiser.
And all this was repeated, in miniature but significantly, in the German secret intelligence service. We have already seen Colonel Schwartzkoppen, as military attache in Paris, carrying out espionage operations with neither the approval nor the knowledge of the German ambassador as early as 1894.
This situation was to be aggravated until the army was operating, in this field, purely for itself, not for the government. Since no firm line can be drawn between political and military intelligence, the army was soon dabbling in muddy waters that were not of its own immediate concern and that it was ill-equipped to evaluate. The stresses that thus arose were in some measure resolved by the administrative reorganization of the German intelligence services that took place in 1906. And here, as elsewhere, it was the army's hand that was strengthened, to the ultimate disadvantage of the country that that army served most loyally unto death.

The forebear of the whole German intelligence apparatus was, a certain Dr Wilhelm Stieber, born in 1818, whose memoirs, Denkwiirdigkeiten des Geheimen Regierungrathes.t seem to be reliable. What are of equal interest to this man's achievements are his own background and the nature of what he took over. He was never a soldier. Born a member of the nascent and solid Prussian bourgeoisie - his father was a civil servant in Merseburg, and he had been himself a civil servant before taking a law degree - he joined the Prussian police, in which he rose rapidly to become head of the Berlin Criminal Police for a decade. He expressed, and no doubt felt, views that were both democratic and liberal. Nevertheless he was sacked, after 1848~ for excessive brutality in his interrogation of suspected criminals.
These two statements would appear contradictory
He may have been dismissed from his important post for his views or for his methods possibly for both. As more modern history has shown, men entrusted with the enforcement of democratic law and order is not very squeamish as to how they perform their duties. In any event, he created a private detective agency and among his clients were the Okhrana,
He was clearly in a position both to infiltrate refugee and revolutionary Russian organizations and to evaluate what he there discovered. Obviously the authorities in Berlin kept an eye on Dr Stieber
His anti-revolutionary activities on behalf of the secret police of an allied state would scarcely have displeased them. And if the Russians found his services worth his pay, Stieber also profited greatly from the knowledge he acquired of Russian methods, indeed so much so that by 1863 he was also working for Bismarck, who entrusted him with secret missions outside Germany too, where he created a network of reliable agents
In fact this man laid the foundation stone of a weird relationship between German and Russian secret intelligence that in the past century has survived wars hot and cold, forms of government that have come and gone, and revolutions that- have succeeded and failed
The 'historic' hostility between Teuton and Slav has only briefly interrupted a down-to-earth practical collaboration out of the limelights. Arnold Toynbee has remarked upon the qualities some of us not infrequently acquire from our enemies. There can be little doubt that the proven methods of infiltration, the double agent and the double-cross, were of Russian origin and were imported into Germany, probably by Dr Stieber.
In May of 1866 a student attempted to assassinate Bismarck, who then saw that Dr Stieber's talents were perhaps needed nearer home. He was put on the government payroll as head of the new Secret State Police. But that was not all. In the following month Prussia annexed Holstein, Hanover, Saxony and Hesse and was prepared for the war with Austria that took place in July. The Prussian General Staff was then so ill-supplied with intelligence from its own sources, principally military attaches, that it had little idea as to where the Austro-Hungarian Army was nor how it was equipped. The victory at Sadowa was definitely not due to Prussian military intelligence which, according to Field Marshal von Waldersee, provided information that was 'almost exclusively uncertain and inferior Dr Stieber's sphere was rapidly expanded to become the Central Intelligence Bureau on }. August 1866, with headquarters in the Foreign Office and in control both of agents abroad and of political intelligence inside Prussia and the new Prussian dominions. Paragraph 5 of his new commission also ordered him to 'support the military authorities in the collection of intelligence concerning enemy armies
This in effect put Dr Stieber in charge of all secret intelligence, political and military, at home and abroad.
Needless to say the Prussian General Staff did not appreciate being dependent on the Foreign Office for military intelligence. Early in the following year it created, for the first time, its own intelligence bureau, a negligible affair of three officers, quite incapable of matching Stieber's rapidly expanding organization, now called in its military activities the Secret Field Police.
Stieber, who soon had agents all over France, provided the intelligence for the Franco-Prussian War, and when the General Staff objected to his interference in their military affairs they were firmly slapped down by Bismarck.
The reply of the General Staff was to expand its own intelligence apparatus. And a compromise was reached whereby Stieber withdrew into his Central Intelligence Bureau while the army created a new and more efficient organization under a neJV senior staff appointment, the Oberquartiermeister III or Deputy Chief of Staff
It absorbed the Secret Field Police and created an army military intelligence chain of command eventually down to and including divisional level. These officers, who corresponded to the later G .S.O. (I) or the G-2 (senior intelligence staff officers) of the British and American armies were designated on their respective staffs.
The Oberquartiermeister III also had his own secret agents abroad, in 1889 no fewer than seventy-five in Russia alone, for it was against that potential enemy and against France that German military intelligence concentrated its efforts. It was, however, still financed by the Foreign Office, and the inevitable interdepartmental squabbles ensued. Nor was it merely the position of military attaches such as Schwartzkoppen that was ambiguous. Contacts with foreign intelligence services, such as with the experienced Austrian Evidenz and even with the British, were confused and therefore more useful to the foreigners than to the Germans. Stieber retired from the Foreign Office in 1882 and his successor allowed the Central Intelligence Bureau to decay until it was disbanded a few years later. 1he military were winning, and in 1891 the Minister for War, writing to Chancellor Caprivi, claimed that 'only a military organization can guarantee security and achieve something'.
But the Foreign Office fought back, though the power was slipping from between its fingers into the hands of the military. On the other hand there was an insufficient number of staff officers trained in intelligence work, which became increasingly complex in the new century. Finally, the business was rational .. ized in 1906, as the international situation hardened and the arms race accelerated in preparation for the coming war. All secret intelligence was placed under a comparatively junior staff officer named Walter Nicolai.
In 1913 Nicolai was still only a major. But in military intelligence rank is of very little significance. Nowhere is the principle of mehr sein als scheinen more important. And Nicolai's staff organization had the very important backing of the head of Section 2 of the Great General Staff, Colonel ErichLudendorff. He saw to it that Nicolai received not only the funds he needed but more important, the brains.. He also protected this new and growing branch of the General Staff against its enemies: because of its nature, secret intelligence arouses the enmity of the uninitiated. Finally, being himself one of the cleverest soldiers of his generation, he had immediately grasped the vital importance of military intelligence. Indeed, it would be hard to find a really competent commanding general, in any army, who did or does not. Nicolai's military intelligence apparatus was to prove its extreme competence on all the fronts between 1914 and 1918 and for this Ludendorffwas in aconsiderablemeasure responsible, particularly in the years before the war.
But here a flaw appears for which Ludendorff, both as an individual and as a representative of the very kernel of the German army, its General Staff, was also in some measure responsible. German intelligence was, by the decree of 1906, military intelligence
As the German army assumed greater and greater power before and particularly during the First World War, political intelligence was increasingly ignored
Even naval intelligence suffered and was never able to compete with that of the British enemy. And all this suited Ludendorff's concepts, first of total war, culminating in total victory, and then in a government with an imperial figurehead (though even this might be expendable), founded upon an omnipotent General Staff and an irresistible German army
He might well have said, for he certainly thought: 'What's good for the army is good for Germany. And this fallacy was to lead him, at least briefly, into Hitler's National Socialist Party, though he did leave it quickly enough after observing how Hitler and his followers behaved during the failed Putsch of 1923.
A higher degree of political as opposed to military intelligence might have avoided several national calamities. It might have averted the war of 1914, or at least postponed it to Germany's advantage; it might have ensured British neutrality, at least until the defeat of France; it might have saved Germany from total defeat by a negotiated peace in 1916; it might have prevented the German government from compelling a reluctant United States to save the Western Allies in 1918; in fact, i.t might have won Germany the First World War with a free hand in Russia. Of course none of these 'ifs' and 'buts' is anything but gossamer hypothesis, but the fact that whenever a decision had to be taken it was based on military intelligence and carried out for military purposes led to mistake after mistake in the political field. One cannot help feeling that Dr Stieber's organization would never have offered such a one-sided intelligence view. And one can be moderately certain that had he been advising a Prince Bismarck such advice would have been ignored. The very brilliance of German military intelligence led to its omnipotence in that field. And this very omnipotence led to total, national disaster.
After the somewhat grandiose hypothesis of the previous paragraph it is worth examining what, in fact, German secret intelligence was believed to be achieving in the decade or so before 1914.
Much literature on the subject, most of it highly inaccurate, was being published, especially in France. In England it tended to, assume fictional form, the works of-John Buchan for example, or Erskine Childers' The Riddle of the Sands. It is not possible nor would it be fruitful to examine here all this mass of semi- or misinformation, but one book which is both characteristic and in some respects better-informed than most deserves attention.
Monsieur Lanoir's spy-mania

This is entitled The German Spy System in France, by Paul Lanoir, anonymously translated and published in 1910.2 Internal evidence shows that it was finished in late 1909 or early in the following year, though the translator says it was written in 1908. Monsieur Lanoir was something of an authority on the French railway system, concerning which he had also written at length. He also says that he was an amateur spy-detector, though he obviously had connections with the French police, the French military counter-intelligence apparatus 9f more probably both. His book is an impassioned plea for a more efficient counterespionage organization and this, together with the omissions concerning various aspects of German secret intelligence and French counter-measures, indicate strongly that if the book was not inspired by the Deuxieme Bureau it was at least vetted there. It too was intended for popular consumption.
Lanoir's politics, though never stated, are clearly revealed. He was most certainly a man of the right, probably the extreme right and it may be assumed that he had been an anti-Dreyfusard. Furthermore, it was not the Germans of 1918 who invented the 'stab in the back' legend. To a patriotic Frenchman the total defeat of 1870 could not have been solely the fault of a badly equipped and poorly led French army; there must have been more sinister forces at work to nullify the acknowledged bravery of the French soldiers. For the left, the great national humiliation could be ascribed to the fatuous inefficiency of the old imperial regime: for the right, to the disloyalty of the socialist revolutionaries, with their allegedly international class loyalties, culminating in the Commune of 1871; for both to the incredible cunning of Stieber's secret intelligence at all social levels of Dr Stieber's personal activities and those of his principal subordinates in 1870-1 Lanoir has some quite incredible tales to tell. They do not concern us. He does not seem to have known that Stieber had retired for reasons of health in 1882 and sees his guiding hand planning for the forthcoming war many years later. This last is an excusable error. Stieber's espionage organization was inherited and modernized by his successors, nor need Lanoir have been aware of the basic administrative restructuring and shift of emphasis that had taken place in the previous twenty Years.
The collection of intelligence is ascribed solely to spies, active within France. He does not refer to the activities of military attaches, nor to developments dependent on technological inventions since 1871, such as telephone-tapping, code-breaking, bugging of diplomatic premises, wireless interception and cryptanalysis, all of which were being secretly used in varying degrees by all major intelligence services, including that of France herself, by the time Lanoir put pen to paper.
No, for Paul Lanoir it was all- or almost all- direct espionage he saw, quite correctly, that the control centers of the spies were not on French soil, but rather in an arc, in part in German territory, in part allied, but perhaps most valuably of all in neutral countries (Belgium and Switzerland), and that these control centers reported to Berlin, where the central files were kept. Indeed he directs much venom against Belgian and Swiss nationals allegedly in the employ of German secret intelligence.
Lanoir distinguishes, with growing disgust, between 'spies', that is to say Germans or the agents of Germany, and 'traitors', that is to say Frenchmen, particularly French officers, prepared to sell military secrets to the past and future foe. He objects strongly to a legal differentiation in France between the law which makes treason a capital offence, and the law of 1886 which makes espionage a less serious crime: he would shoot the lot. For one of the main activities of the more plebeian spy, according to Lanoir, was the creation of traitors within the French army. A card index, he says, was kept in Berlin of all French officers, to which was added the top 25 per cent of all the annual output of St Cyr, the French military academy. (Cards on the other 75 per cent were presumably only added if and when they achieved some promotion or notoriety.) To these cards, which did indeed exist though not to the extent that Lanoir imagines, were added details of the officer's private life by which he could be bribed or blackmailed into betraying military secrets: if he were in debt, unfaithful to his wife, homosexual and so on.

Again, Lanoir is here probably on the right track, though he obviously exaggerates its importance. The persons who produced the material that ultimately reached the Berlin files were usually insignificant residents, shop-keepers, cafe waiters and so forth, preferably located in fortress or garrison towns, who also had the task of reporting on the strength and armaments of the fortress, garrison troops and communication systems.
They should be LaDoir stel1dy says, almost lately recognizable by the fact that they spend more than they can be expected to earn from their 'cover' trade. All such persons, and he estimates their number in 1909 at between 30,000 and 35,000, should be put on the suspect list and arrested as soon as war is imminent. This fantastic figure is ridiculously high when applied to enemy agents, and just as fantastically low if it is supposed to include all those, in any country the size of France, who live beyond their income. However, it is not altogether a bad rule of thumb, though a very crude one, in the detection of spies anywhere and at any time; in so far as a man with a known income who regularly exceeds, this without getting into debt must be deriving his funds from some other, probably illegal, source. Espionage can be one such way. For Lanoir it was apparently the only way.  
The petty spy-in-residence was paid, and passed on his information, in a fashion similar to his own employment, semi-bogus.
Commercial travelers being of particular use in this job at a somewhat higher level persons, particularly ladies, traveling on the great international trains of the day, from Brussels to Genoa" from Calais to Geneva, could meet a man who boarded and left, the train while it was in transit through France. He claims actually to have seen such a transaction with his own eyes, and, there is no reason to doubt his word. A most reliable friend" of this writer once saw a member of the British Labour Party's 'extreme left' in the 1950s being actually handed a large bundle of banknotes in the otherwise empty lounge of a hotel in a Communist-dominated country. After all, as Lanoir remarks, it is not, easy to pay your agents by post, and the Germans had by this Lanoir's use of statistics is extremely odd. The xenophobia he feels for French-speaking Belgians and Swiss, when extended to the population of metropolitan France as a whole, produces an extraordinary' figure. On page 218 he states, without giving any authority: 'In fifteen of the Departments of France the foreign element amounts to between sixty-one and eighty-two per cent of the population; in other Departments it amounts to between fifty-one and sixty-two per cent.' Since in his view all these foreigners are potential, even probable, spies or traitors, a mere twenty-five to thirty-five per cent of the inhabitants of France are, perhaps, reliable patriots. Only one French citizen or, resident in three can be trusted to control double their number, if need' be by arresting them. In fairness to Lanoir it must be said that this is far and away the most idiotic statement in his book
Time abandoned the system of depositing the agent's pay In banks, the source being too easily traced.
Women, and sexuality in general, were, according to Lanoir, the major levers, those and money; but for people with plenty of money already - that is to say those close to the centre of power - women above all else. Not that the diplomat or senior officer was offered women in exchange for information. Rather were the women expected to extract information of military or political importance in exchange for sexual favours - in particular, Lanoir says, for those of a somewhat eclectic nature, the details of which we are spared.
For, this purpose, he says, the Germans subsidized a most luxurio us brothel in the Dorotheeenstrasse in Berlin. (This story was revived, with how much truth this writer does not know, in the Nazi period.) Now it is hard to believe that amidst the luxuries of the Dorotheeenstrasse any French general of artillery would have been so boorish as to regale the girls with the statistics of the muzzle velocities of heavy howitzers, or that any diplomat would have failed to be surprised if his bedfellow were to ask him about secret clauses in unsigned treaties. For that matter it would not have been easy to blackmail a Frenchman of that period by threatening to reveal his patronage of such an establishment.
As for the exported whore, or the French one bought by German money in Paris, her credibility would surely be of a very low order. But the myth still prevails, at least in England, and the reality is still apparently practiced by the Soviet K.G.B. English visitor to Moscow, beware that fair guide or chambermaid who between the sheets wishes to be told about the Early Warning System in Yorkshire! American diplomat, watch out if she shows a keen interest in sexual malpractices in Georgetown! Be careful not to drop off to sleep if there is anything in your briefcase or the secret compartment of your suitcase that is not intended for the eyes of the K.G.B.
Monsieur Lanoir, like many of his contemporaries including Sigmund Freud, extended this preoccupation with the omnipotence of sex to social fields elevated far above the Dorotheeen strasse or the rue St Denis. Ladies in the very highest society living irregular private lives and referred to by initials, the Princess S  the Duchesse de T '~, were as often as not the east's paws of other, Prussian lovers and it was in their interest that they extracted from prominent and powerful Frenchmen information of the very greatest value to the enemy. Here, it seems that to a tiny trickle of truth - indiscreet remarks dropped in drawing rooms or over dinner tables - was added the far more powerful stream of mutual distrust within the French ruling class. Since Dumouriez in 1793 and Bemadotte in 1810, so many French generals had gone over to the enemy, since Ney in 1815 and Bazaine in 1873 so many a Marshal of France had been tried for treason, when above all there had been such repeated changes of allegiance as one regime succeeded another, it is hardly surprising if what Lanoir and many of his contemporaries regarded as the 'frailer.

Sex into the betrayal of the nation
Sex was likely to be led, quite easily, into the betrayal of the nation. In the First World War the more lowly courtesan's role was attributed to Mata Hari; in the Second, and at a more elevated level of political society, to Paul Reynaud's mistress, Madame de Portes.
One form of espionage referred to in this book is the employment, by French military families, of German tutors. These were intended to fulfill a dual role: the rifling of the desk belonging to the pere de famille, presumably a general who kept his most secret papers at home, and the exercise of positively Jesuitical ingenuity in influencing the political allegiance of future generals while still in the classroom .. It is ironic that our author more than once refers to the family of Franchet d'Esperey, who apparently at one time did employ a German tutor. If so, his influence upon the future Marshal of France, one of the two or three greatest French generals of the First World War, must have been minimal, or even enlightening as to the nature of the Germans. In any event, few French military families can have employed German tutors; those who did so were presumably influenced by the acknowledged academic excellence of the Germans and by their well-known attention to discipline.
When dealing with another aspect of national disaffection, Monsieur Lanoir is on slightly firmer ground. The Second International, then the only major non-nationalist Socialist force, laid great emphasis on the word 'international' and on the theory, for it was nothing more, that the workers of one country fit would never again fight the workers of another. Indeed some of its leaders went so far as to defy any capitalist government to mobilize the workers, for by arming the masses it would be asking for international class war. The Germans did attempt to exploit this fallacy in France, in a rather more cautious fashion than Lanoir realized for they knew it to be a most dangerous weapon, as likely to explode in their own face as in that of the enemy.
While the Kaiser's top Germans were anxious to weaken France, they did not desire yet another French revolution: that of 1792 and its sequel had not done their German forebears any good. So they concentrated on weakening certain vital aspects of French industry, and in particular what happened to be Lanoir's 'special subject', the railways.

Fully aware that the efficiency of the German railway system relative to the French was essential to rapid mobilization, the Germans strengthened their own railways strategically, in part for the same deliberate military purposes that led Hitler to build his autobahnen, while at the same time attempting to infiltrate and alienate the workers on the French railways. In 1892 the Mesmard Pamphlet was published in French, almost certainly with German secret service financial backing. Its thesis was dual. Any major industrial strike must be backed by the railway men, thus effecting at least a partial general strike in French industry. This appealed to the solidarity of the proletariat. But second; and more important, any attempt at mobilization for war would be a threat directed against the French workers, and should therefore also trigger off an immediate railway strike. The two appeals were quite skilfully interwoven. The real enemies were the officers, French officers of course, and on page 80 of the pamphlet its author, who called himself Mesmard, states: 'We know our duty as patriots, and we know when we must become soldiers. But if you gentlemen do not know it, you officers, then leave us alone to manage our own affairs or we shall call in the Prussians.'
It was, of course, too crude. -The French government and the railway companies reacted as might be expected. So far as possible the French railways were cleared of subversive, pro-German elements. And they functioned very efficiently in 1914. But here we have, perhaps for the first time though certainly not for the last, a foreign secret service engaged upon large scale internal subversion based upon ideology. French patriotism was ultimately to prove infinitely stronger than Socialist internationalism, and stronger than French mutual self-distrust. But it is significant that our Monsieur Lanoir should have taken the threat so seriously.
And this significance adds yet a third dimension to the conventional espionage activities of a hostile secret service, namely to increase the enemy's self-distrust and to foment an almost irrational fear of one's foe's ability to exploit one's own internal enmities. Monsieur Lanoir's spy-mania was, in itself, a triumph for German secret military intelligence. 


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