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Spies in UniformBritish Military and Naval Intelligence on the Eve of the First World War$
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Matthew S. Seligmann

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261505.001.0001

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Taking Centre Stage: The Influence of the Service Attachés on the British Government

Taking Centre Stage: The Influence of the Service Attachés on the British Government

(p.214) 5 Taking Centre Stage: The Influence of the Service Attachés on the British Government
Spies in Uniform

Matthew S. Seligmann (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the impact of the many reports and memoranda sent by the service attachés in Berlin to their superiors in London. It shows that their dispatches were taken very seriously in the three departments concerned with Britain's foreign and defence policy — the Admiralty, War Office, and Foreign Office — that received them; that they were also read by senior figures in government from the king and Prime Minister downwards; that they were often circulated to the cabinet and discussed in the Committee of Imperial Defence; and that they were the basis of a considerable amount of private correspondence among senior officials. Case studies of British aviation policy and British shipbuilding policy during the 1909 naval scare also reveal the considerable input that the intelligence provided by the attachés had on Government decision-making.

Keywords:   1909 naval scare, British government decision-making, British foreign policy, British defence policy

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