Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5

By Christopher Andrew

For over a hundred years, the brokers of MI5 have defended Britain opposed to enemy subversion. Their paintings has remained shrouded in secrecy—until now. This first-ever licensed account unearths the British safety provider as by no means earlier than: its internal workings, its clandestine operations, its mess ups and its triumphs.

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In 1918 MI5’s moment vehicle, the ‘Müller’, bought with cash despatched through German intelligence to its agent Karl Müller, used to be stolen from outdoor front door of Waterloo residence. nine by means of the tip of the conflict, MI5 had a complete employees of 844. 10 At its London headquarters there have been eighty four officials (some civilian yet a majority with military rank), 291 woman Registry and secretarial employees, 15 male clerks, seventy seven ‘subordinate employees’ and 23 police. one of many maximum alterations during the struggle used to be that through the Armistice over forty according to cent of employees have been stationed open air London at domestic ports, enable places of work and missions in Allied international locations: 255 Ports Police (who, in an period prior to air trip, monitored all arrivals to and departures from the UK), forty nine officials, 34 lady and seven male clerks, nine subordinate employees. eleven With the decline of German espionage in Britain, MI5’s major precedence in the course of 1916 moved from counter-espionage to counter-subversion. It used to be solely average for MI5 to anticipate German intelligence to interact in a massive crusade of subversion to aim to undermine the British battle attempt. From the start of the warfare the Prusso-German normal employees built a method of ‘fomenting revolution’ (Revolutionierungspolitik), which it sought to enforce by means of sponsoring subversive routine in Allied nations. As Thomas Boghardt has famous: ‘German brokers financed French pacifists, American labour agencies and Indian nationalists. They supported Russian revolutionaries, Muslim jihadists and Irish republicans. ’12 the truth that, even though MI5 and Whitehall did not are aware of it on the time, German intelligence made no severe try out at subversion in mainland Britain mirrored now not any loss of wish to harm the British battle attempt however the trust, fairly after the most German brokers in the course of the first yr of the struggle were arrested, that Britain used to be a more durable aim than its major Allies. on the outbreak of warfare Berlin believed that the simplest solution to subvert the uk used to be through helping Irish Republican makes an attempt to finish British rule. Its major hopes have been pinned at the Irish exile Sir Roger Casement, previously a distinctive member of the British consular provider, who sought German aid for an Irish uprising. crucial British informant on Casement’s actions within the early months of the struggle was once his bisexual Norwegian-American manservant and lover, Adler Christensen, who followed him on a trip from the us to Oslo (then Christiania) in October 1914, en path to Germany. On his arrival in Oslo, Christensen made mystery touch with the British minister, Mansfeldt de Carbonnel Findlay, and gave him copies of a number of incriminating records Casement used to be wearing with him, together with a ciphered letter of creation from the German ambassador in Washington, count number Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff, to the German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. The international Secretary, Sir Edward gray, chanced on Christensen’s info so very important that he despatched copies of Findlay’s report back to the top Minister, Herbert Asquith, the Secretary of nation for battle, box Marshal Earl Kitchener, the 1st Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, and the executive Secretary for eire, Augustine Birrell.

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