Spies have been a feature of state security and military intelligence since the beginning of warfare. Entire wars have been won or lost according to these secret activities. Today we will look at spycraft during World War Two, a golden age of espionage.

Spycraft was an essential element to the war effort as ships, planes, or weapons. At no time were military secrets so valuable. Nuclear technology was vital for both sides if they did not want to fall behind the other. Learning the troop movements of the enemy could make it possible to launch an attack on the level of D-Day, permanently crippling their war machine.

In this episode I will discuss the careers of…

  • Richard Sorge, the German playboy based in Tokyo who stole nearly all of Japan’s World War 2 plan, sent it to the Kremlin, and prevented Nazi Germany’s attempt to invade and capture Moscow.
  • Nancy Wake, a socialite in France-turned- Resistance Fighter who saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives of Allied airmen by smuggling them to the Spanish border.
  • George Koval, the Iowa-born Soviet spy who worked on the Manhattan Project and fed all the scientific breakthroughs to Russia, accelerating their nuclear program by years

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Benjamin, Medea, and Barbara Ehrenreich. Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Fully revised and updated edition. London: Verso, 2013.

Berloquin, Pierre. Hidden Codes & Grand Designs: Secret Languages from Ancient Times to Modern Day. New York: Sterling, 2010.

Blackwood, Gary. Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers. New York, N.Y: Dutton Juvenile, 2009.

Braddon, Russell. Nancy Wake. The History Press, 2011.

Crowdy, Terry. The Enemy Within: A History of Spies, Spymasters and Espionage. Osprey Publishing, 2011.

FitzSimons, Peter. Nancy Wake Biography Revised Edition. HarperCollins, 2012.

Haynes, John Earl, and Harvey Klehr. Early Cold War Spies: The Espionage Trials That Shaped American Politics. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Kahn, David. The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet. Simon and Schuster, 1996.

Miller, Frederic P., Agnes F. Vandome, and McBrewster John. George Koval. VDM Publishing, 2011.

Prange, Gordon W., Donald M. Goldstein, and Katherine V. Dillon. Target Tokyo: The Story of the Sorge Spy Ring. Open Road Media, 2014.

Sulick, Michael J. Spying In America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War. Georgetown University Press, 2012.

Volkman, Ernest. The History of Espionage: The Clandestine World of Surveillance, Spying and Intelligence, from Ancient Times to the Post-9/11 World. Carlton Publishing Group, 2008.

Whymant, Robert. Stalin’s Spy: Richard Sorge and the Tokyo Espionage Ring. 1st U.S. ed edition. New York: St Martins Pr, 1998.