Establishing a Global Intelligence System

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:
Establishing a Global Intelligence System

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In August 1906 Captain Henry Campbell was appointed head of the Trade Division of the Naval Intelligence Department and charged with producing a plan for protecting British seaborne commerce. To meet the threat of armed German liners, which he saw as the key danger, he proposed the establishment of a new worldwide intelligence network. The idea was to station reporting officers around the globe who could monitor German shipping movements and inform the Admiralty of the whereabouts of potential German raiders. Their position would thus always be known and, should war break out, British merchantmen could be routed away from danger and British warships vectored to meet the threat. The system, although initially strongly opposed by Admiral Fisher, was finally put into place in 1912 and served Britain well in two world wars.

Keywords: Henry Campbell; Trade Division; Naval Intelligence Department; intelligence network; reporting officers

Chapter.  12368 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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