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Germany's policies gave rise to fear of hostile intentions, particularly of invasion and of spies sent to prepare for it. Newspaper articles and popular fiction not only reflected these twin fears but also fed them. One of the stories in 'Spies of the Kaiser' by William Le Queux features German agents obtaining secret details of the dockyard at Rosyth, a real installation on which work had only just started.

Although German naval intelligence started with few secret agents, the British authorities mostly shared the popular belief in the existence of a network of German spies.

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This helped the creation in of the British Secret Service Bureau. MO5, the forerunner of MI5, used its powers to intercept suspects' correspondence and uncover the activities of German agents and their intermediaries in Britain. They were to observe the movement of Royal Navy vessels and to gather information at naval bases in England and Scotland. As part of the expansion of its spy network, the German spymasters recruited and trained A K Graves.

Like some other German agents, Graves had a criminal past. Born in Germany in , he claimed he had spent years abroad in German service. In January , having been trained in codes, explosives and warship recognition, he was sent to Scotland under the flimsy cover of attending medical lectures in Edinburgh. He arrived in Edinburgh in January on a mission to observe fleet manoevres, and to report developments in armament and equipment, mainly at the new Rosyth naval base on the Forth, and also in the Cromarty Firth.


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Information about individual warships was available in specialist publications, including Graves' copy of the edition of this German handbook of the world's navies. Although bare details of the power, speed and armament of British warships were published, the capabilities of newer vessels were increasingly kept secret. Graves carried codes for sending his messages about British warships, fortifications, naval bases and supply depots. They were written onto sealed pages of a medical diary, a plausible possession for a so-called doctor.

He noted some technical details of an order for a new The German spy network in Britain before was not as extensive as British intelligence believed. Seven agents were spying in the years - few did so effectively and all were caught.


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The spymaster Gustav Steinhauer communicated with his agents through Germans resident in London acting as intermediaries. They handled letters and telegrams and forwarded them in either direction. Steinhauer received his mail under aliases in various European cities as he moved about. The Post Office returned one letter wrongly addressed to 'A Stafford' to the apparent sender, the medical firm Burroughs Wellcome and Company in London.

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Suspicious of the cryptic German message and money that the letter contained, as well as the misuse of its stationery, the company handed it to the police. British intelligence was already well aware of Graves because since they had been intercepting mail passing through the hands of the London intermediaries.


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Two days after Graves reached Edinburgh, the head of counter-espionage, Vernon Kell, alerted the Chief Constable of Edinburgh, Roderick Ross, to the presence of 'a foreign agent', and requested 'a discreet surveillance'. Brussels: Lannoo Uitgeverij. Van Seters, McKenna, Marthe —c. Accessed 30 December The '14—'18 Journal.

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Retrieved 3 January Peculiar liaisons: in war, espionage, and terrorism in the twentieth century. Algora Publishing. The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

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The plane crashed, but parts of it were recovered and placed on public display in Moscow as evidence of American deceit. Although the capture of Powers provided the Soviets the concrete proof that the United States had been conducting the flights, it was not immediately clear what the impact would be for the Paris Summit. At first, and before they had confirmation that Powers had survived, U.

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On May 7, however, Khrushchev revealed that Powers was alive and uninjured, and clearly had not blacked out from oxygen deprivation. Moreover, the Soviets recovered the plane mostly intact, including the aerial camera system. It became instantly apparent that the weather survey story was a cover-up for a spy program. President Dwight Eisenhower denied any knowledge of the spy program and the United States apologized, he would have continued the summit.

Spying was common, and of course, the Soviet Union had its own agents reporting on developments in the United States. Eisenhower, however, refused to issue a formal apology to the Soviet Union; he had taken a great personal interest in the spyplane program, and considered the violation of Soviet airspace and the reconnaissance of Soviet nuclear facilities serious enough to personally approve each flight. On May 11, Eisenhower finally acknowledged his full awareness of the entire program and of the Powers flight in particular.

If he did nothing, that would be tantamount to acknowledging implicitly the right of the United States to spy.

Ultimately, he demanded that Eisenhower apologize for the past flights and promise to discontinue them as a precondition for entering into the planned negotiations on Germany. After extensive questioning by the KGB, Powers was convicted of spying and sentenced to three years in prison and seven more of hard labor.