Channels for deception (KV4/429-430)

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Channels for deception (KV4/429-430)

These two files contain the Security Service's policy work on using covert means of passing false information or rumours to the enemy during the Second World War, other than the established 'double cross' agents. Often, this information was to be used to back up the information being passed by double cross routes.

The files detail policy and practice for this work, including much on inter-service cooperation, the relations between the UK and US authorities, and records of some key meetings where the policy was developed.

The files include some actual cases: KV 4/429 (1940-1943) includes lists of contacts in the British establishment of the Duke of Alba and the Turkish ambassador, as they were being considered as channels for the rumour-spreading technique. Serial 7a discusses the work of the FBI in this respect.

KV 4/430 (1943-1944) considers the potential for using this technique against Japan and also the use of pigeons for spreading false rumours. It had been noted that only ten per cent of pigeons dropped into Europe by MI14 (for use by their networks behind enemy lines) ever returned to their home lofts. It was therefore assumed that many fell into German hands - and that dropping large numbers of pigeons in the Pas de Calais area could strengthen the impression that the D-Day landings would take place there instead of Normandy.

Serial 65a concentrates on particular concerns, derived from decrypted intercepted German radio communications from Portugal, that the Americans were using rumour-spreading techniques in double cross activities not declared to the British, which was of great concern (though there turned out to be alternative explanations).

Go to Discovery to view image of KV 4/429

Go to Discovery to view image of KV 4/430