Snippets of current and historical interest

MI6 Slush Fund?

Dateline November 2017 The revelation in The Times and elsewhere that, post WW2, MI6 operated a secret bank account at the military bankers, Holt & Co., is interesting, but not surprising. After both WW1 and WW2, the 'Peace Dividend' saw massive cuts in SIS finances. The same concern was felt at Vauxhall Bridge with the end of the Cold War; the Service was saved by the rise in terrorism, rogue states and cyber insecurity.  However, the fact remains that SIS funding is still a secret and that effective oversight is still a matter of trust.




CFP: What Does Brexit Mean for British and European Intelligence Agencies? (Journal of Intelligence History)

The websiteH-Intel, has posted an invitation for articles looking at the above conundrum. 

With no apparent connection to the world of secret intelligence (but even spies need time out), here is a piece about graffiti in the Churches on the Romney Marsh in Kent. Click on the image to open the PDF.




Above: The use of drones is nothing new. These are stills from footage of a French WW1 reconnaissance/surveillance drone. Click the green button below to visit the British Pathé website. 

A "must read" book

On our Resources page we have listed many books of interest to the student of secret intelligence history. Some of them can be found online. One particular book is now available to download free of charge as a PDF, and it is well worth reading. 

Nicholas Rankin's A Genius for Deception-How Cunning helped the British win two World Wars. also known as Churchill's Wizards

Click on the image below to link to the book.

 Comment: History repeats itself?

Whilst SPYSTORY will try to steer clear of anything too controversial, we cannot fail to note that, a century after the First World War, some things seem never to change. The political blunders that led to British involvement in WW1 have found resonance in elements of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War. In both instances, the checks and balances which should restrain the over enthusiasm of political leaders bent on war failed to operate effectively.

The catastrophe of the Dardenelles Campaign is especially brought to mind, with flawed intelligence as to Turkish military assets and capabilities, and no exit strategy, Churchill's crusade brooked no opposition. In Iraq, it was Tony Blair who was on a crusade, with flawed intel from MI6 and misguided support from JIC. The failure to 'win the peace' after WW1 and the shambles of the Treaty of Versailles, leading inexorable to WW2 and the Cold War,  is matched by today's rise in Terrorist activity exacerbated by the Iraq War.