The Double Cross System : The Contributions Of The Double Cross System

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Introduction World War II was an era of utter fear and uncertainty. With the Axis powers conducting atrocities of war, the Allied powers felt a call to stand up and fight in order to preserve decency in humanity. With Nazi-Germany gaining momentum in the European Theatre, England felt the pressure to come up with a solution before it was too late. With much contemplation, a laborious and strategic answer was created, the double cross system. The double cross system is essentially the act of capturing, turning, and controlling agents sent to England from Germany and utilizing them to an advantage. While this system is not revolutionary in the idea, the amount of weight put into it by the British and the success that was reaped from it was astonishing. Masterman (1972) makes the staggering claim that “we [MI5] actively ran and controlled the German espionage system in this country” (pg.3). As Masterman’s claim seems outlandish, evidence in the book can directly corroborate his argument in depth. J.C. Masterman was a skilled historian, author, and chairman of the Twenty Committee and wrote the book The Double-Cross System. While one can get engrossed with the details of this book pertaining to certain individual agents, I will summarize a few key points being: the principles learned when running double agents, how MI5 built up the double agents, and the deception scheme involved with operation OVERLORD. I will then analyze the text as a whole and present the topics of the
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