Method of obtaining information about enemy or potential enemy by stealing their secret data. Espionage is strictly forbidden in most countries and heavily punished as work against the state security, but many countries still perform such actions against others, nevertheless.

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11
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4answers
2k views

What was the first spy agency?

Who started the first official spy agency in the world? By spy agency, I mean a dedicated team under the control of a ruler, who specialize in intelligence gathering and counter espionage. Something ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there any research explicitly contradicting facts in Suvorov's “Icebreaker” book series claiming that Stalin intended to attack Hitler in 1941?

Viktor Suvorov is a somewhat famous ex-GRU spy who defected and wrote a series of books. The most (in)famous and sensational were a series of books on World War II, starting with "Icebreaker", which ...
8
votes
1answer
370 views

Did a forged seal ever seriously compromise a political or military operation?

Wax and clay seals have always struck me as a rather imperfect security mechanism. Better than nothing, of course, but imperfect. So I was interested to learn that Los Alamos National Laboratory's ...
8
votes
1answer
374 views

During the Sengoku-jidai, what were shinobi (aka ninja) used for?

During the Japan Sengoku-jidai, several clans of shinobi were recruited by various war lords to help their military campaigns. What were they primarily used for? Was it covert espionage, ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What would be a typical rank for KGB intelligence offices spying abroad in the 1980s?

What would be typical ranks of KGB officers spying in the west during the 1980s? I know there were some western spies recruited by the KGB, that after defecting to the Soviet Union got/had ranks in ...
7
votes
2answers
348 views

How were middle ranking Nazis known to the allies before the end of the war?

According to Hanns and Rudolf by Thomas Harding near the end of WW2 the allies created a large database ... known as CROWCASS, of war criminals which they intended to target once victory was achieved. ...
3
votes
3answers
472 views

Why did America not know about Soviet espionage in manhattan project

I was watching PBS documentary Behind Closed doors. According to that documentary Churchill and Roosevelt were not really sure if Stalin really understood about 'the new kind of weapon' when they ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

The original Lord Haw Haw's life in exile (Ireland)

I am writing a biography about my great uncle "Capt Tom Smith" who fought in WW1, WW2 and the Spanish Civil War During recent interviews the name Norman Baillie Stewart (wiki link) keeps cropping up ...
3
votes
0answers
42 views

Security of war documents/letters during revolutionary war?

I was wondering the security of such documents. Documents like letters written by the British generals to each other communicating about their next battle tactic against the Americans. See this link: ...
2
votes
3answers
334 views

What is the source of the claim that Enigma codebreaking efforts shortened the Second World War by years and saved millions of lives? [closed]

Since the release of the film The Imitation Game, it has been widely asserted that The cracking of Germany’s Enigma code shortening the war by two to four years and saving an estimated 14 ...
1
vote
2answers
128 views

Who was the highest ranking spy ever? [closed]

I wonder who was the highest ranking government official working knowingly and clandestinely for a foreign government. Two nominations are possible: Traitors A citizen of country X working ...