Like all neutral capitals in Europe, Stockholm became a natural hub for intelligence activities during the Second World War. One of the most active participants in the search for critical information was the Japanese Military Attaché, Makoto Onodera. In a limited edition of 100 numbered copies, Dr.C.G.McKay, an acknowledged expert on the history of intelligence activities in Northern Europe and the author of the now classical study From Information to Intrigue (Cass,London, 1993) and co-author with Bengt Beckman of Swedish Signal Intelligence 1900-1945 (Cass,London, 2003)has given a concise, stimulating and elegant account of Onodera’s “intelligence bourse” based on co-operation with other intelligence services some of which-like the services of Germany and Poland- were at war with one another. Based on archival sources in many countries and equally on McKay’s own knowledge gained through conversations and correspondence with a generation of intelligence officers now dead, his book entitled Emperor of Spies Onodera’s Wartime Network in Northern Europe, apart from being a book collector’s item of some value, deserves a place in the library of professional students of the history of intelligence. Individual copies cost £25 plus postage and can be ordered not later than September 1, 2020 and as long as the initial stock lasts, by sending an email to the UK printer handling distribution at firstname.lastname@example.org
Declassified older documents of the CIA provide new insight into the role of Lolle Smit in Allied Intelligence during the Second World War. They help to confirm the author’s earlier findings and at the same time introduce important new information about one of the Dutchman’s chief collaborators.
Here I consider Huppenkothen’s account of the Choynacki case.
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.
One of the many ”mystery men” of the Second World War was the Baltic businessman Edgar Klaus who is chiefly known for his role in supposed attempts by Stalin to achieve a separate peace treaty with Germany. In the essay, we look at what emerges about Klaus from a close analysis of German and Russian signal traffic.
In July 2013, I attended a conference at Nuffield College, Oxford on Intelligence and the Neutral Countries during the First and Second World Wars. As regards Sweden, there were two contributors: Jan-Olof Grahn who spoke about Swedish SIGINT and I who spoke about the conflict which arises from the possible leakage of information to the enemy through a neutral mission situated on the territory of a belligerent and a neutral country’s own need to collect intelligence.
The Dutch businessman, Lolle Smit is an excellent example of how important Allied secret agents of the Second World War have been totally forgotten. Although there is no reason to doubt the importance of his work-after all he received an O.B.E from Britain for it soon after the war – there is no mention of him even in disguised form in the Official History of the SIS by Professor Jeffery. Smit’s activities first became know to me when I was carrying out research on Raoul Wallenberg. Yet while Wallenberg has achieved the position of secular saint and is the chief subject of an ever expanding list of films, TV programmes, books and articles, very few people have ever heard of Lolle Smit. This was why in August 2010, I wrote my essay on Smit in a belated attempt to give honour where honour was due..