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Spies in America: German Spies & MI-8 during WWI John F Dooley William and Marilyn Ingersoll Professor of Computer Science Knox College

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Spies in America



The Amateurs



The Semi-Pros



The Pros

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German Spies….

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German Spies…. •

Many German spies in the U.S. during WWI •

Effort began in 1914

3

German Spies…. •

Many German spies in the U.S. during WWI •



Effort began in 1914

Mostly run out of the German Embassy in Washington. •

Focus was on Washington, Baltimore and NYC areas

3

German Spies…. •

Many German spies in the U.S. during WWI •



Mostly run out of the German Embassy in Washington. •



Effort began in 1914

Focus was on Washington, Baltimore and NYC areas

Sabotage was primary technique used •

Germ warfare (anthrax and glanders)



Black Tom Explosion (30 July 1916)



Kingsland munitions factory fire (11 January 1917)



Explosion at the U.S. Navy Yard at Mare Island, CA (March 1917) 3

The Amateurs •

In 1914, the initial espionage and sabotage efforts in NYC



Germany did not have any agents permanently stationed in the United States



Up to German Embassy staff •

von Papen



Boy-Ed



Albert 4

Franz von Papen German Military Attaché

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Karl Boy-Ed German Naval Attaché

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Heinrich Albert German Commercial Attaché

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Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff German Ambassador

His main interest was in keeping plausible deniability. 8

The Amateurs - Plots •

Passports (von Wedell)



Welland Canal (von der Goltz)



Vanceboro Bridge (Horn)



these ad hoc saboteurs weren't instructed in codes/ ciphers/secret inks



Communication was usually in person

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The Amateurs - Crypto •

von Bernstorff, von Papen, Boy-Ed, & Albert used the German diplomatic codes 13040 and 0075



von Papen and von Igel also used a 1-part code of 10,000 groups •

at least three different super encipherment techniques were used.

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The Semi-Pros (New York) •

In 1915 another wave of saboteurs appeared



Capt. Franz (von) Rintelen



Walter Scheele (a sleeper)



Lt. Robert Fay



They also communicated mostly through the German Embassy staff in NYC

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Capt. Franz Rintelen “The Dark Invader”

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Capt. Franz Rintelen “The Dark Invader” It was Rintelen who engaged Walter Scheele in manufacturing the “cigar bombs” that were successful in crippling a number of merchant vessels. 12

Lt. Robert Fay Inventor of the Rudder Bomb

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The Semi-Pros (Baltimore Cell)



Paul Hilken



Capt. Friedrich Hinsch



Fred Herrmann



Anton Dilger

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