Major Choynacki’s Ace: the Solution to an Old Puzzle of Wartime Intelligence

Major Choynacki , a member of the Polish intelligence service based in Berne became both a legend and a threat for German counterespionage because of the importance and accuracy of his reporting. Wilhelm Flicke, a Sigint specialist who was familiar with the case, spoke glowingly of the Pole outshining the British Secret Service as ”the sun outshone the moon”. It was clear from Choynacki’s traffic that he had at least one source placed at the very centre of the German High Command and Hitler personally ordered an investigation to find the traitor.

The interest in Choynacki’s ace was reawakened much more recently with the revelations of a Cambridge historian, Paul Winter, who discovered documents showing that British intelligence had received most valuable intelligence via the Poles from a highly placed spy called sometimes KNOPF / AGENTS 594. Winter’s research caught the attention of the world’s press and soon the feats of this mystery man were circling the globe thanks to the internet. But there was one major omission in Winter’s article: he was quite unable to identify the source behind the covername and ended by lamenting that unless SIS opened its archives, the problem would never be solved.

Happily this lament proved premature. Thanks to my own investigations, the identity of KNOPF/AGENTS 594 is no longer a mystery. As always, however, the solution of one problem generates another. A more detailed account of my investigation will be presented later.

Major Choynacki’s Ace