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Title: The secret war in the south : the covert center in Algiers and British and American intelligence in the western Mediterranean, 1941-1944
Author: Wales, T. C.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Abstract:
A dissertation concerning the secret British-American intelligence hub that developed in Algiers during the Second World War, and its subsidiary clandestine networks in Italy, southern France and Spain. From 1941, when the first US intelligence agents arrived in the area, until late 1944, when the Anglo-American covert contingent largely departed to follow the Allied armies on their advance into the Axis heartland, the city served as a regional headquarters in the secret war against fascism. Utilising a comparative approach, this dissertation analyzes the three main geographical areas covered by the Algiers-based secret networks. New archival research and oral testimony is used to illuminate important topics in the field: particularly the history of wartime intelligence in Italy. The discrepancy between the disappointing Anglo-American clandestine campaign in Italy, and the more successful experience in France, is probed. Drawing on these investigations, and ongoing trends in the historiography of intelligence, it comes to the following conclusions on the nature of the secret war. First, the universal application of special operations, regardless of political or military conditions in the target country was ill-judged. Second, the British and American intelligence agencies were engaged in a constant struggle for authority and leadership. A cooperative approach was usually favoured by the stronger power; the weaker party viewed ‘cooperation’ as a euphemism for subordination. Finally, Allied policymakers sometimes ignored or misinterpreted intelligence that did not fit their political priorities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.663348  DOI: Not available
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