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The battle for intelligence

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The battle for intelligence

Postby DaveH » September 2nd, 2016, 6:59 pm

This subject does seem to have been rather overlooked, except for the Exploring Officers under Wellington, in the past 200 years, perhaps because so much was never written down and of what was, much was destroyed (no names, no packdrill - Napoleon!).

Poking around in this subject from time to time, I noted Tom Holmberg's post on the NS to an lecture by Huw Davies, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7ckJ6BCjpE which was presumably expanded with this Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/732902230057118/ looking at Wellington's intelligence effort in Spain.

I then found this about Russian efforts https://espionagehistoryarchive.com/201 ... -napoleon/ and an interesting article, which claims that the spy, who got a copy of the secret Tilsit treaty was not Colin MacKenzie, but that rather opaque character, d'Antraigues http://ssns.org.uk/resources/Documents/ ... p_9_16.pdf
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Re: The battle for intelligence

Postby TheBibliophile » September 3rd, 2016, 1:53 pm

I don't think it has been overlooked exactly, just not often discussed.
For years, Admiral Philip D'Auvergne ran a network of spies and informers from his base in Jersey. This network was particularly active during the Chouan uprisings. Much has been written about them and there are a number of biographies of D'Auvergne.

Nelson's secretary AJ Scott was also quite an effective gatherer of intelligence through a network of contacts....
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Re: The battle for intelligence

Postby Josh&Historyland » September 3rd, 2016, 7:27 pm

There is a rather good book on the subject. Called British Agents in France. And not a little good cloak and dagger can be found in the extraction of the Romana Division from Sweden, Navy played a vital part in that did they not, Bibliophile. I have never seen a book on Napoleon's secret police, or agents run by the much lauded Fouche, but there must be one out there somewhere.

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Re: The battle for intelligence

Postby TheBibliophile » September 4th, 2016, 7:11 am

You're right Josh

Those Interested might want to consult G R Balleine "The Tragedy of Philippe D'Auvergne"
There is also a short bio of D'Auvergne in Naval Chronicle 13.
I have a more recent biography of Philippe written for Jersey Heritage which has an excellent bibliography of books on Pitts secret agents and the Chouan uprisings. Its gone walkabout, for I'm Da---d if I can find it, as they used to say.
When I do, I'll post the bibliography.

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