Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 6

Title:                      Military Intelligence

Author:                  Paul W. Blackstock

Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. “Chapter 6: Military Intelligence,” Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

LCCN:    74011567

Z6724.I7 B55


Date Updated:  April 19, 2016


Military intelligence can be strategic or tactical in scope. Often it is a mixture of both. The higher the military headquarters involved, the more strategic in nature is the intelligence it uses or- produces; the lower the echelon, the more purely tactical is the intelligence, with more concentration on the enemy in front and less on the broad economic, political, scientific, and sociological aspects of whole nations. Thus, entries will be found throughout this information guide on various aspects of military intelligence of a strategic nature.

The objective in this section is to focus on a selection of references which provide insights into the more tactical and less strategic aspects of intelligence on the national level. Andregg’s Management of Defense Intelligence[1] deals with military intelligence at the Headquarters, Department of Defense, and Joint Chiefs of Staff levels, the highest component of strategic intelligence. At the intermediate level there are works on intelligence for joint commands (the U.S. Armed Forces Staff College’s Intelligence for Joint Forces), combined commands (Strong’s Intelligence At The Top[2]), and lower echelon (Ind’s Allied Intelligence Bureau[3]). There are many books and articles on combat or tactical intelligence doctrine, and on ground force, naval, and air force service tactical intelligence of either the United States or of certain foreign countries.

However, much of the literature on combat or tactical intelligence is fast becoming dated. Combat or tactical intelligence is changing rapidly and there are few comprehensive studies in the literature, although a few articles are included in this chapter end in Chapter 10.

Three interrelated trends are mentioned here:

First, technological innovations in surveillance and reconnaissance sensors, computers, and communications are making possible an entirely new look in combat or tactical intelligence. Among the most important advances are improved and more time-responsive information acquisition means with greater range, information processing and display advances, and data links for the quick dissemination of information or intelligence. Combat intelligence is fast becoming more machine-intensive whereas it has always been thought of as job which only humans could perform. In this regard see Dickson and Rothshild’s article, “The Electronic Battlefield,” cited in this chapter, and the two Senate Subcommittee reports on electronic battlefield investigations noted in chapter 10.

Second, conflicts such as the one in Vietnam, and counterinsurgency or liberation conflicts, add economic, political, and sociological factors to the conduct of military operation and therefore to the intelligence support needed for them. Only one study has been written specifically on this area, although there are numerous news articles on U.S. Special Forces operations in Vietnam and on the CIA-sponsored operation Phoenix—a combination combat-intelligence and combat-counterintelligence action.

Third, for the past several years modern communications have made it possible for the president, the secretary of defense, or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be present, in effect, on the bridge of a destroyer on blockade duty off Cuba, in the cockpit of a fighter bomber over North Vietnam, or in the command operations center of an infantry division deployed in Germany. Consequently, consideration of the details of low-level combat intelligence has been forced to the highest strategic and national levels of decision making. The North Vietnamese and Vietcong forces fighting in South Vietnam could never pose a direct threat to the security of the United States, yet major discussions occurred in Washington before and alter the Tet offensive of 1968 on the order-of-battle estimates of these forces right down to the size of battalion units. Press releases at that time reported the decision makers in Washington simply did not believe the enemy strength figures reported by General Westmoreland in Vietnam. They believed the figures on the Vietcong and North Vietnam Army to be inflated in order to justify sending more U.S. troops to the battle area. Congressional hearings were held on the effects of bombing (Bomb Damage Assessment in air tactical intelligence terms) against North Vietnam and newspapers showed copies of aerial photographs taken over North Vietnamese targets. The distinctions between strategic (national) and tactical (combat) intelligence are becoming less clear as higher level intelligence staffs and agencies involve themselves in ever lower levels of combat intelligence. It appears that combat intelligence is becoming less a function of direct and personal support to the commander in the field and more and more a matter of strategic or national policy and decision making. Evidence of this trend is provided by recent news articles reporting efforts to control all intelligence fiscally and managerially at a central level under the director of the Central Intelligence and dominated by the CIA.

Among the many volumes of official histories of World War ll and the Korean War (and those being written on the Vietnam War), no single volume on intelligence has been identified, and the coverage of intelligence in each of the volumes varies greatly. Many specific unit or staff histories, alter-action reports, and studies have been written on intelligence, but have not become available publicly, secrecy classification being only part of the problem. For example, MacArthur’s G-2, Major General Willoughby, stated in the preface of his book, MacArthur: 1941-1951[4], that his staff prepared a “General Intelligence Series running to some 6,000-odd pages.” Most of this material written in the field probably ended up in the offices of the chiefs of military history of the three military services and may be available to researchers.

Annual yearbooks and strategic surveys which provide reliable information on the world’s nuclear and strategic forces are described in the introduction to part Il, Strategic Intelligence.


Andregg, Charles H. (1968). Management of Defense Intelligence. Washington, Industrial College of the Armed Forces

Collier, Richard (1958, 2001). Ten Thousand Eyes. New York: Lyons Press [New York: E. P. Dutton, 1958]

Glass, Lt. Col. Robert R. (1948) and Lt. Col. Phillip B. Davidson. Intelligence Is for Commanders. Harrisburg, PA: Military Service Publ. Co.

Fleming, Peter (1957). Operation Sea Lion: The Projected Invasion of England In 1940, An Account of The German Preparations And The British Countermeasures. New York, Simon and Schuster

Garthoff, Raymond L. (1953). Soviet Military Doctrine. Santa Monica, Calif., Rand Corp

Grant, Robert M. (1969). U-boat intelligence, 1914-1918. London: Putnam

U.S. Military Technical Manuals (1970). Handbook of German Military Forces (TM-E30-451) and Handbook of Japanese Military Forces (TM-E30-480). Gaithersburg, MD; Military Press, 1970. 550 p. each. Illustrations, index, maps.

These two U.S. Anny technical manuals were reprinted for sale by the Military Press, The Germen forces manual is dated 15 March 1945, and the Japanese forces manual, October 1944. Each was classified restricted and represented the knowledge of the enemy, obtained through intelligence, on tactics, organization, order of battle, and weapons and equipment. These handbooks represent important military intelligence products of the War Department during World War II.

Hay, John H., Jr. (1974). Tactical and Materiel Innovations. Department of the Army, : Washington, DC: Government Printing Office

Heymont, Irving (1960). Combat Intelligence in Modern Warfare. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Co.

Ind, Allison (1958). Allied Intelligence Bureau: Our Secret Weapon in The War Against Japan. New York: David McKay

Koch, Oscar W. (1971, 1999) with Robert G. Hays. G-2: Intelligence For Patton. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Military History

Leverkuehn, Paul (1954). German Military Intelligence. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson

McChristian, Joseph A. (1974). The Role of Military Intelligence, 1965-1967. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

McLachlan, Donald (1968). Room 39: A Study in Naval Intelligence. New York: Atheneum

Mashbir, Sidney Forrester (1953). I Was An American Spy. New York: Vantage Press

Miles, Milton (1967). A Different Kind of War: The Little-Known Story of The Combined Guerrilla Forces Created in China by The U.S. Navy And The Chinese During World War II. Garden City, NY: Doubleday

Nelson, Otto L. (1946). National Security and The General Staff. Washington, DC: Infantry Journal Press

O’Ballance, Edgar (1974). The Electronic War in The Middle East, 1968-70. Hamden, CT: Archon Books

Phillips, Cecil Ernest Lucas (1958). The Greatest Raid of All. London: Heinemann

Pogue, Forrest C. (1954). The Supreme Command. Washington, Office of the Chief of Military History, Dept. of the Army

Roskill, Stephen W. (2011). The Secret Capture: U-110 and the Enigma Story. Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press

Schemmer, Benjamin F. (1976). The Raid. New York: Harper and Row

Stagg, James Martin (1971, 1972). Forecast for Overlord, June 6, 1944 New York, W. W. Norton

Stead, Philip John (1959). Second Bureau. London: Evans Brothers

Strong, Kenneth (1969). Intelligence At The Top: The Recollections of An Intelligence Officer. Garden City, NY: Doubleday

Strong, Kenneth (1972). Men of Intelligence: A Study of The Roles And Decisions of Chiefs of Intelligence From World War I to The Present Day. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Strutton, Bill (1958) and Michael Pearson. The Secret Invaders. London, Hodder and Stoughton

Thorpe, Elliott R. (1969). East Wind, Rain; The Intimate Account of an Intelligence Officer in the Pacific, 1939-49. Boston, MA: Gambit

Townsend, Elias Carter (1955). Risks: The .Key to Combat Intelligence. Harrisburg, PA: The Military -Service Publishing Co

Armed Forces Staff College (U.S.) (1965, 1967). Intelligence For Joint Forces. AFSC Publication 5. Norfolk, VA: AFSC

This is the manual used in the Armed Forces Staff College for instruction in the doctrine and organization of military intelligence in support of joint army, navy, air force, and marine corps headquarters, and task forces. Since the creation of unified commands within the U.S. Armed Forces, the development of joint intelligence doctrine has been a necessity. This manual represents the basic guide for the conduct of intelligence for joint forces and for the organization and operations of the office of the assistant chief of staff, intelligence (J-2) within joint or unified command headquarters. (Mentioned in the introduction to this chapter. This publication is not posted on the blog.)

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Foreign Relations, 94th Cong., 1st sess (1975). Early warning system in Sinai : hearings before the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, Ninety-fourth Congress, first session, on memoranda of agreements between the Governments of Israel and the United States, October 6 and 7, 1975. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off

United States. Department of the Army (1971, 1973). Combat Intelligence: FM30-5. Washington, DC: Dept. of the Army

United States Marine Corps.; United States. Marine Corps Development and Education Command (1967, 1972). Intelligence. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Development and Education Command

Vagts, Alfred (1967). The Military Attachè. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press

Whitehouse, Arthur George Joseph (1964). Espionage And Counterespionage; Adventures in Military Intelligence. Garden City, NY: Doubleday

Willoughby, Charles Andrew (1954) and John Chamberlain. MacArthur: 1941-1951; Victory in the Pacific. New York: McGraw-Hill

Wise, William (1968). Secret Mission to The Philippines; The Story of The “Spyron” And The American-Filipino Guerrillas of World War II. New York, Dutton

Wood, Derek (1961, 2010) and Derek Dempster. The Narrow Margin: The Battle of Britain And The Rise of Air Power, 1930-40. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Aviation

Zacharias, Ellis M. (1946, 2003). Secret Missions: The Story of An Intelligence Officer. Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press


Dlckerson, Paul, and John Rothchild. “The Electronic Battlefield: Wiring Down the War.” Washington Monthly, (May 1971, pp. 6-14.)

An extensive and comprehensive article on the army and air force programs for deploying newly developed surveillance sensors in Vietnam and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos, a concept revolutionizing combat intelligence.

Enthoven, Alain C., and K. Wayne-Smith. “What Forces for NATO? And from Whom?” Foreign Affairs (48, October 1969), pp. 80-89.

In this article analyzing the need for U.S. forces in Europe, the authors discuss the controversy over the intelligence estimates on the size of the Warsaw Poet military forces which pose a threat to NATO. Their contention is that the strength of the Warsaw Pact forces has been exaggerated and that the estimates lack proper analysis of the real makeup of. the poet land forces.

Heiman, Grover. “Army: Beep to Bong.” Armed Forces Management, (July 1970), pp. 36-39.

An accurate and concise account of the Army program to develop new surveillance and target acquisition techniques and material for combat intelligence gathering on the battlefield and to automate its distribution and display for quick utilization. An excellent graphic depicts the entire concept. See also the reports on investigations into the electronic battlefield programs of the services, cited in chapter 10 under U.S. Congress. Senate. Committee on Armed Services. Preparedness Investigation Subcommittee.

Norman, Lloyd H. “Westmoreland’s J-2.” Army (17, May 1967), pp. 21-25.

Norman, at the time the Pentagon correspondent for Newsweek, describes the activities of Maj. Gen. Joseph A. McChristian, who between 1965 and 1967 was Westmoreland’s Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, J-2. Norman reports on the intelligence production, POW interrogation, and captured documents and captured documents and captured materiel exploitation centers organized and built by McChristian as part of the rapid development of combat intelligence in Vietnam.

Williams, Robert W. “Commanders and Intelligence: The Growing Gap.” Army (22, December 1972), pp. 21-24.

A thoughtful article by an experienced intelligence officer, Williams suggests that the most serious reason for a growing communications gap between commander and intelligence is the widening separation of military intelligence from the combat arms it is supposed to support, and its relegation to higher echelons and separate agencies,

[1] Andregg, Charles H. (1968). Management of Defense Intelligence. Washington, Industrial College of the Armed Forces

[2] Strong, Kenneth (1969). Intelligence At The Top: The Recollections of An Intelligence Officer. Garden City, NY: Doubleday

[3] Ind, Allison (1958). Allied Intelligence Bureau: Our Secret Weapon in The War Against Japan. New York: David McKay

[4] Willoughby, Charles Andrew (1956) and John Chamberlain. MacArthur: 1941-1945; Victory in the Pacific. London: Heinemann [LCCN: 56003529]

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One Response to Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources, Chapter 6

  1. Pingback: Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations, Part II | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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