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Robert Blake and Wm. Roger Louis

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198206262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198206262.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 October 2021

Churchill and the Use of Special Intelligence

Churchill and the Use of Special Intelligence

(p.407) 23 Churchill and the Use of Special Intelligence

F. H. Hinsley

Oxford University Press

Winston Churchill was exceptional among British statesmen of his time for his familiarity with intelligence and his consuming interest in it. This familiarity began before the First World War. Having served as First Lord of the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915 and as Secretary of State for War and Air from 1918 to 1921, Churchill had been involved in the creation of the British intelligence system in its modern form from 1909 and in its reorganization between 1919 and 1921. Special intelligence played a major role for Britain by throwing some light on Germany's intentions, establishing at the end of 1940 that the country was extending its infiltration of the Balkans to Bulgaria. The British Cabinet had already authorized an attempt to bring Turkey into the war on the British side before the decrypts confirmed rumours from the embassies and the Secret Intelligence Service that Adolf Hitler planned a considerable offensive through Bulgaria to Greece.

Keywords:   Winston Churchill, Britain, special intelligence, Second World War, Germany, Adolf Hitler, Bulgaria, Turkey, decrypts, Secret Intelligence Service

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