The Secret Services of Europe

Title:                      The Secret Services of Europe

Author:                 Robert Boucard

Boucard, Robert (1940). The Secret Services of Europe. London: Stanley Paul and Co.

LCCN:    40014508

UB270 .B62


Date Updated:  November 2, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

This English edition eliminated a number of names that appeared in the French edition because of English libel laws. A chapter cut by the censor was replaced by one written by the translator, who also wrote the first chapter as an introduction. Appearing just as World War II started, the book is mostly outdated. Boucard’s allegations of German intelligence successes in Russia either have been refuted or have never been substantiated (he claims Rasputin, the Russian War Minister Soukhomlinoff, and his aide Myasoedov were German agents—see Rowans The Story of Secret Service for refutation on the latter two). His description of the scope of the German secret services is pure speculation, and his account of the intelligence reasons for the outcome of the Battle of Tannenberg is not only incorrect but surprising, considering it was written a quarter-century after the event. There are a few segments on the French services and some of their operations in World War I. The version of a story that also appears in his 1930 book differs from the earlier account in a way that could be significant. He now claims it was the “Mixed Bureau”[2] that stole the German political code in Brussels. Since, according to Stephen Roskill[3], it may be true that Alexander Szek acquired it (a version previously denied by the British), we must await further disclosures to see if Boucard’s version of the Mixed Bureau’s role was correct.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

Blackstock lists the book under World War I and the Interwar Period, without comment.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 92-93

[2] Boucard, Robert (1930). Revelations from the Secret Service: The Spy on Two Fronts. London: Hutchinson

[3] Roskill, Stephen Wentworth (1980, 1981). Admiral of The Fleet Earl Beatty: The Last Naval Hero : an intimate biography. New York: Atheneum

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 164-165



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2 Responses to The Secret Services of Europe

  1. Pingback: Revelations from the Secret Service | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: Espionage and Counterespionage, Chapter 14 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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