I Spied Spies

Title:                      I Spied Spies

Author:                 Alfred William Sansom,

Sansom, Alfred William (1965). I Spied Spies. London: G. G. Harrap

LCCN:    65006195

HV8196 .S3


Date Updated:  January 27, 2017

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Sansom was head of British Field Security in Cairo in World War II. After it, he stayed on in Cairo as security officer of the British embassy when Donald Maclean served there (one spy he did not catch). The cases he is best in describing are those in which he had a direct investigative role: the Eppler (Kondor) case and Anwar Sadat’s connection with it, the murder of Lord Moyne, the revolt of Greek troops in Egypt in 1944 and its suppression. Sansom reveals the use of the captured Kondor code for deception of the Germans. The many stories of security problems would make the book good as a training manual for such officers (not excluding problems of poor security of senior personnel); his work against Kondor is instructive for counterintelligence purposes up to a point. Sansom spells out the operational mistakes and the unprofessionalism of the German agents but makes no mention of intelligence available to the British that the Kondor mission was on its way (see Lewin’s and Mure’s comments in the notations for Eppler’s Operation Condor[2]). His other stories of the intelligence war in the Middle East, though interesting, are not authoritative accounts of someone privy to the innermost secrets of that struggle. His segments on Donald Maclean are from personal knowledge, and Maclean’s activities outside the embassy are vividly described.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[3]

The memoirs of a British wartime security officer in Cairo.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, p. 397

[2] Eppler, John (1977). Operation Condor: Rommel’s Spy. London: Macdonald and Jane’s

[3] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 185


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3 Responses to I Spied Spies

  1. Pingback: Operation Condor | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: The Cat And The Mice | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  3. Pingback: Counterespionage, Chapter 15 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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