Sharing the Secret
A History of the Intelligence Corps 1940-2010
by Nick van Der Bijl
Pen and Sword (www.pen-and-sword.co.uk)
RRP GBP £30
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This interesting book has been written under the auspices of the Trustees of the Military Intelligence Museum. It is not an academic regimental history but a privileged glance into a highly secret organisation. Naturally the organisation has been publicity shy and it has been deeply involved in military intelligence since its inception in 1940 through to modern times (2010).
Due to the nature of the Intelligence Corps’ work little has been written about it and its activities. This is natural due to the Official Secrets Act and the need for confidentiality in Field Security and Protective Security. The Corps has had to deal with measures needed to protect the Army from espionage, sabotage, subversion and terrorism during both peaceful and war times.
At the end of World War 2 the above roles for the Corps were particularly important and good Field Security lead to the successful arrest of leading Nazis such as Himmler and Doenitz. The author devotes almost 200 pages to the Corps’ activities during World War 2. He covers the initial creation of the Corps, its role in the Middle East, Iraq, Syria, Persia, the Central Mediterranean and the Far East.
The Corps was interlinked with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The later conducted many highly secret operations behind enemy lines in Europe and naturally the Corps had an input into these operations.
Most of the book’s post-war narrative is split into the National Service Years and the Regular Years. This distinction naturally follows the state of the post-war forces such that conscripts are differentiated from volunteers. It concludes with fairly recent operations in the “Coalition Years” from 1990 – 2010.
If you are seeking to obtain a glimpse into this highly secret organization then this volume is an ideal place to start. The author has produced an outstanding work and he should be highly commended for it.