Chapter

Uncovering the Plan

Matthew S. Seligmann

in The Royal Navy and the German Threat, 1901-1914

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199574032
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741432 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574032.003.0003
Uncovering the Plan

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This chapter examines British intelligence on German intentions to attack British commerce in the event of an Anglo-German war. It shows how the first suspicions were aroused in 1901 while Admiral Custance was Director of Naval Intelligence and how these built up over time as more and more information came in to substantiate these early fears. While there were many sources at the navy's disposal, including consuls and naval attachés, particularly significant in this respect were the reports from secret agents that began to be received from about 1911, two years after the British Secret Service Bureau was established. As a result of this intelligence material, the majority of the senior officers of the Royal Navy were convinced that, come war, an attack by armed German liners on British merchant vessels was to be expected.

Keywords: naval intelligence; Secret Service; Admiral Custance

Chapter.  11276 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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