Spies And Secret Agents In World War II

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Spies and secret agents played a large role in the outcome of World War II. They gathered secret information about their enemies, such as their location, what weapons they had, and how they were getting supplies. There were also double agents, or people who pretended to be spies for one country, but actually worked in favor of another country. Most of the people who became spies did so through a job that already gave them access to classified documents and other forms of possibly vital information. Some of the largest players in World War II had their own individual spy systems. During the Second World War, spies and spy agencies from the United States, Britain, and even Germany played roles in the German defeat. The United States used spies…show more content…
The two agencies, MI5 and MI6, have existed in different forms since 1569, when the secretary of state to Queen Elizabeth I established a secret service in Great Britain (Secret Intelligence Service; SIS). MI5 and MI6 are still intelligence agencies in Britain, and they received their current name and function from a commander of the British army. In the 1930s and 1940s, MI6 was thought to be the most effective intelligence agency in the world (Secret Intelligence Service; SIS). In addition, the MI6 Agency helped to train OSS officers for the United States once the U.S. had entered the war (Secret Intelligence Service; SIS). One of the famous programs of the MI6 was called the Double Cross program, which turned spies from other countries into their own spies. Furthermore, this program allowed the British to gain information from the Germans. In the book The Double-Cross System by J.C. Masterman, who himself played a large role in the British MI6, he says, “by means of the double-agent system we actively ran and controlled the German espionage system in this country” (Masterman, Page XI). As can be seen, the British were somewhat arrogant when it came to their intelligence gathering, and in result of that there were times that German agents double crossed them. In spite of that, the British did have a very effective intelligence agency, and their greatest feat was breaking German ciphers on the Enigma machine, which sent out German diplomatic and military communications. After cracking the Enigma machine’s codes, the British were able to use the information that the Germans were sending amongst one another to their advantage, and it helped them to win the war. Many historians, such as Judson Knight, call their cracking of the code “the single greatest cryptanalysis success of the war (Knight).” Considering the U.S. and Britain

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