Disinformation, Deception, Frauds, And Forgeries, Chapter 21

Title:                      Disinformation, Deception, Frauds, And Forgeries, Chapter 21

Author:                 Paul W. Blackstock

Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Chapter 21: “Disinformation, Deception, Frauds, And Forgeries”. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

LCCN:    74011567

Z6724.I7 B55


Intelligence service–Bibliography.


Subversive activities–Bibliography.

Date Updated:  March 29, 2017


The clandestine services divisions of intelligence agencies of the great powers have sections which specialize in the production and dissemination of misinformation (usually called disinformation) for political warfare purposes. To the extent that such covert operations are successful, the fraud involved is not exposed, so that the literature in the field consists mainly of periodic exposes by one intelligence service of the alleged frauds and forgeries of its rivals, or occasional scholarly articles or books which discuss disinformation as part of the broad spectrum of political warfare and covert operations. Accordingly, material on disinformation is scattered throughout the general works of both the Soviet and American intelligence agencies which are annotated elsewhere in this bibliography. Only books and articles dealing specifically with the subject are listed below.


Bittman, Ladislav (1972).The Deception Game. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press


The use of rumor and so-called “black propaganda,” and the deliberate spreading of false information (disinformation) for political warfare purposes properly belongs under a catch-all category of “psychological warfare” which is excluded from this bibliography. However, the secret or clandestine use of disinformation is usually handled by the covert operational elements of intelligence agencies for either political or mixed political-military objectives, such as strategic deception as to location or timing of a military operation or campaign. All sides made extensive use of such deception in World War II, frequently with important strategic consequences. Books dealing with the most important of these operations ore listed in this bibliography according to the cases themselves, However, one history of deception operations used in World War II stands out and the title and annotation of this extraordinary book follows.

Cave Brown, Anthony (1976). Bodyguard of Lies. London: W. H. Allen

  1. Gleiwitz and Related Border Provocations

On August 22, 1939 (one day before the signing of the German-Soviet peace pact), Hitler made a speech in which he stated that he would “give a propagandistic cause for starting a war,” referring to a series of staged Polish border incidents, of which the best known is the fake attack on the German radio station Gleiwitz. On a much larger scale, months before the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, a massive campaign of deception and disinformation successfully confused not only Stalin but also Soviet intelligence as to how the build-up for BARBAROSSA (the German code word for the invasion) should be interpreted. A selection of the growing literature on both these cases is listed below.

Best, Sigismund Payne (1950). The Venlo Incident. New York, Hutchinson

Blackstock, Paul W. (1964). The Strategy of Subversion: Manipulating The Politics of Other Nations. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, Chapter on “Covert Operations and Policy Sabotage.”

Peis, Günter (1960). The Man Who Started The War. London:Odhams Press

Runzheimer, Juergen. “Der Überfall auf den Sender Gleiwitz im Jahre 1939.” Vierteljahreshefte Fuer Zeitgeshcichte (10, 1962. Pp. 408-26).

An excellent, authoritative article, based on exhaustive research, on the Gleiwitz incident.

Shirer, William L. [1960]. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany. New York, Simon and Schuster

  1. Barbarossa: German Deception and the Invasion of the USSR

Whaley, Barton (1973). Codeword BARBAROSSA. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

  1. Operation “North Pole”: Radio (Funkspiel) Deception in Holland

Germany’s military intelligence organization (Abwehr) successfully neutralized British SCE activities in Holland during World War II by capturing agents and then controlling their radio communications for deception purposes. Three of the books dealing with this operation are listed below; for annotations see the crosslistings in chapter 15, section D2.

Dourlein, Pieter (1954, 1989). Inside North Pole: A Secret Agent’s Story. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books

Ganier-Raymond, Philippe (1968). The Tangled Web; translated from the French by Len Ortzen. London: Barker

Giskes, H. J.(1953). London Calling North Pole. London: William Kimber

  1. Operation “Mincemeat”: Deception before the Allied Invasion of Sicily

Montagu, Ewen (1953). The Man Who Never Was: World War II’s Boldest Counter-Intelligence Operation. London, Evans Bros

  1. The “Double-Cross System”: Deception prior to the Normandy Invasion

Masterson, J. C. (2012). The Double-Cross System: The Incredible True Story of How Nazi Spies Were Turned into Double Agents. Guilford, DE: The Lyons Press


Blackstock, Paul W. (1966). Agents of Deceit: Frauds, Forgeries And Political Intrigue Among Nations. Chicago: Quadrangle Books

Harrison, Wilson R. (1958). Suspect Documents: Their Scientific Examination. New York: Praeger

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws (1961). Communist Forgeries. Hearing before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate. Testimony of Richard Helms, Assistant Director, Central Intelligence Agency, June 2, 1961. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary (1958). Communist Passport Frauds. A staff study prepared for the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, Eighty-fifth Congress, second session. Washington, DC: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

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One Response to Disinformation, Deception, Frauds, And Forgeries, Chapter 21

  1. Pingback: Covert Operations, Part IV | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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