British Intelligence, Strategy and the Cold War, 1945-1951 by Richard J. Aldrich

By Richard J. Aldrich

The chilly conflict is usually thought of to be the essential intelligence clash. but mystery intelligence is still the `missing size' of Britain's chilly struggle background. This quantity bargains an authoritative photo of Britain's clandestine position within the improvement of the chilly battle focusing upon the foremost problems with intelligence and technique.

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98 Similar problems of a larger scale were faced in India in 1946 where the advent of an interim government of Indian officials immobilized much of Britain’s intelligence apparatus on the subcontinent. MI5 held urgent conferences with SIS on how this espionage gap could be filled. The transfer of British security organizations to the successor states was of the highest importance, for India and Pakistan could be permitted to participate in high-level defence planning only if London and, more importantly, Washington, could be assured of their administrative security.

58 SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE AND SCIENTIFIC INTELLIGENCE At what point in the 1940s Britain recommenced its pre-war work on intercepting and breaking Soviet communications remains a mystery. Britain’s codebreaking organization (GCHQ) operated under formal SIS control until 1946 and, as we have seen, SIS slowly began to redirect its own attention towards the Soviet Union as early as 1944. But it has been asserted by Professor Hinsley, in his magisterial official history of British intelligence, that work on Soviet communications ceased with Germany’s attack on the USSR in June 1941 for the duration of the war.

On the other hand, this early Baltic episode may have amounted to no more than an attempt to gather intelligence. 42 What is certain is that SIS, which was under direct, but not always close, Foreign Office control, had turned its attention to forming a new Soviet section as early as the summer of 1944. It is to these precocious developments that we must now turn. SIS (MI6): THE SECRET INTELLIGENCE SERVICE In the post-war period SIS retained its traditional role of intelligence gathering and of counter-espionage duties outside British territory.

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