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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Warfare by Other Means > Spy Wars

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Spy Wars Reconnaissance, deception and intelligence are all vital aspects of warfare, ancient and modern - discuss these aspects here!

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  #1  
Old 29 Aug 16, 16:02
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Axis spies who got away with it.

An idle bit of googling turned up with loathsome member of the aristocracy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willia...h_Lord_Sempill

Were there any other notable Axis spies who were nationals of Allied powers who escaped justice?
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  #2  
Old 29 Aug 16, 16:25
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There is a phrase there which you seem to have missed " before the Second World War". There were quite a few in many places who had dubious connections " before the Second World War" including Charles Lindbergh but its another thing to prove that any did once hostilities had begun.
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  #3  
Old 29 Aug 16, 16:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
There is a phrase there which you seem to have missed " before the Second World War". There were quite a few in many places who had dubious connections " before the Second World War" including Charles Lindbergh but its another thing to prove that any did once hostilities had begun.
"On 13 December 1941, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sempill's office was raided. A search revealed various secret documents that he should have handed back to the Admiralty over three weeks earlier. Two days later Sempill was discovered making phone calls to the Japanese Embassy.[22] Despite the evidence of treason in wartime (see Treachery Act 1940), no arrest or prosecution was ordered; Sempill agreed to retire from public office.[4]"

He was a traitor and should have been hung.

Besides there is a big difference between having dubious connections and passing on information useful to an enemy.
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  #4  
Old 29 Aug 16, 16:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
"On 13 December 1941, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sempill's office was raided. A search revealed various secret documents that he should have handed back to the Admiralty over three weeks earlier. Two days later Sempill was discovered making phone calls to the Japanese Embassy.[22] Despite the evidence of treason in wartime (see Treachery Act 1940), no arrest or prosecution was ordered; Sempill agreed to retire from public office.[4]"

He was a traitor and should have been hung.

Besides there is a big difference between having dubious connections and passing on information useful to an enemy.
Again you offer no proof that he had passed on information after (or even before) hostilities. He was obviously a serious security risk but I imagine that the authorities took the view that there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.
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  #5  
Old 29 Aug 16, 17:28
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Again you offer no proof that he had passed on information after (or even before) hostilities. He was obviously a serious security risk but I imagine that the authorities took the view that there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution.
I assumed that even someone who used to work for KPMG could look up wiki.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will...h_Lord_Sempill
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  #6  
Old 29 Aug 16, 19:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surrey View Post
I assumed that even someone who used to work for KPMG could look up wiki.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will...h_Lord_Sempill
And as someone who recently successfully took degrees in history at Birmingham and Wolverhampton one who was taught that wiki should never be taken as proof without corroboration from verifiable sources.
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  #7  
Old 30 Aug 16, 04:10
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
And as someone who recently successfully took degrees in history at Birmingham and Wolverhampton one who was taught that wiki should never be taken as proof without corroboration from verifiable sources.
Read the link, evidently they didn't teach you that much. Thr article was also carried by a number of national newspapers. The allegation of spying ultimately originates from the security services and includes an admission by Sempill himself. The reason given for not prosecuting was political.
I cannot see any motivation for the security services in 1998 making up a story about events that would have occurred over 50 years previously and concerns individuals who are long dead, can you?
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Old 30 Aug 16, 04:50
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Wolverhampton? I bet you have never heard of McNeese State either!

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Old 30 Aug 16, 06:49
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Wolverhampton? I bet you have never heard of McNeese State either!

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  #10  
Old 30 Aug 16, 23:57
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During WW 2 Germany didn't have any spies in England or the US that were actively working for them. The few they tried to plant in the US were quickly arrested and either imprisoned or shot while those in Britain not getting the same were turned and fed Germany false information.

If anything, the Axis was really, really bad at spying. Inept doesn't begin to describe how bad they were.
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Old 21 Sep 16, 09:45
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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
During WW 2 Germany didn't have any spies in England or the US that were actively working for them. The few they tried to plant in the US were quickly arrested and either imprisoned or shot while those in Britain not getting the same were turned and fed Germany false information.

If anything, the Axis was really, really bad at spying. Inept doesn't begin to describe how bad they were.
Germany may not have but Japan clearly did. Sempill spied for them as did Rutland who was craught by the FBI near Pearl.

There was a BBC documentary on it back in 2012 called the great betrayal.

Sempill was a Nazi sympathiser who passed military secrets to the Japanese, the Germans ally. He was not prosecuted initially because it would reveal that the British had broken the Japanese codes and laterly because it would embarrass the government.
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Old 21 Sep 16, 12:06
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Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
And as someone who recently successfully took degrees in history at Birmingham and Wolverhampton one who was taught that wiki should never be taken as proof without corroboration from verifiable sources.
Aren't those prison schools?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see someone turn their life around, and studies have shown that inmates seeking higher education benefit from a greater focus.
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Old 23 Sep 16, 13:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
During WW 2 Germany didn't have any spies in England or the US that were actively working for them. The few they tried to plant in the US were quickly arrested and either imprisoned or shot while those in Britain not getting the same were turned and fed Germany false information.

If anything, the Axis was really, really bad at spying. Inept doesn't begin to describe how bad they were.
It may have helped that the guy in charge hated Hitler.
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Old 25 Sep 16, 11:53
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He did, but ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DARKPLACE View Post
It may have helped that the guy in charge hated Hitler.
... Canaris himself walked a fine line, was careful enough to hedge his bets and pick and choose his battles, such as they were. During the war itself and in general terms, Allied Intelligence considered the Abwehr little better than its SS counterpart, Himmler's Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS i.e. SD Foreign Intelligence. Going back to the OP, because the Abwehr had a small but genuine anti-Nazi cadre within its ranks, that was employable post-war in the investigation and prosecution of war crimes, and still useful in the Cold War, some of its own wartime activities were swept under the rug for what was perceived to be at the time, the greater good. There were no lily-white German agencies in their line of work, given the regime they served, that weren't complicit in some capacity in war crimes of various types; the Abwehr got away with a great deal.
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