The video, WWI Germany’s Secret Gambles, analyzes the way Germany turned to covert operations, which included sabotage, espionage, biological weapons and secret communications to win the First World War. The video evaluates the measures and strategies, which Germany adopted to undermine the authority of the British Empire.
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For example, the film analyzes the outcomes of Germany’s secretive involvement with independent Irish groups. The film suggests that Germany collaborated with Irish Republicans in planning the revolt to end the British rule in Ireland. The planning of the Easter Rising began a couple of months after the British government declared war on Germany.
The planners of the Eastern Rebellion met with the German Ambassador in Washington and agreed on the involvement of a German expeditionary force to aid the uprising. The “interception of the German arms shipment by the Royal Navy” led to the quick suppression of the Eastern uprising and execution of key leaders of the Irish Republicans.1 The failure by Germany to deliver on its promises on the Eastern Rebellion enabled the British forces to overpower Irish Republican militants and curtailed Germany’s efforts to destroy the British Empire.
The control of areas such as Texas, New Mexico and Arizona was a chief WWI strategy by Germany. The pursuit of close diplomatic ties was a covert operation to facilitate a secret alliance between Germany and the Mexican government. The enticement of Mexico into a secret alliance against the U.S was one of the factors, which influenced the U.S to severe its relations with Germany.
The interception of top-secret communications between the German Foreign Minister and German Ambassador in Mexico confirmed President Woodrow suspicions regarding “a secret alliance between Germany and Mexico”.2 Germany promised to provide the relevant strategic support to recover the territories Mexico had lost to the United States in return for the Mexican government support of Germany’s First World War agendas.
Biological warfare was one of Germany’s most immoral covert operations in various parts of the world. Germany bioterrorism covert operations included the use of anthrax to infect animals or contaminate animal feed in enemy countries. The infection of livestock shipments designated for Allied countries was a core bioterrorism strategy by Germany.
The German scientists assumed that infecting a few animals would help to spark epidemics in the enemy countries. Germany was largely unsuccessful in its use of biological and chemical weapons considering the negligible effects of its biological sabotage. Germany operated spies within America with the objective to use the spies to instigate political unrest throughout the country.
The covert operations by German spies in America included sabotage and propaganda directed at the German-American population, culture and political institutions. Some of the covert operations by Germany spy rings in America included the New York Harbor explosion and San Francisco Bay attack.
The swift response by federal agents and local police departments led to anti-German sentiments and the “enactment of sedition and anti-espionage laws”, which targeted Germany sympathizers.3 The suspicions regarding German spy networks in America had detrimental effects on Germany’s strategic plan to turn Americans against their country.
Germany’s covert operations failed mainly due to quick counter-intelligence measures and systems implemented by the Allied countries. Germany overlooked the existence of spy programs and robust intelligence infrastructure by the Allied countries, which enabled them to detect the First World War maneuvers by Germany.
Best, Richard A. “Leadership of the U.S. Intelligence Community: From DCI to DNI.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 27, no. 2 (2014): 253-333.
Hammond, Thomas H. “Intelligence Organizations and the Organization of Intelligence.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 23, no. 4 (2010): 680-724.
Director of National Intelligence, “An Overview of the United States Intelligence Community for the 111th Congress,” January 1, 2009. Accessed from https://fas.org/irp/eprint/overview.pdf
1 Best, Richard A. “Leadership of the U.S. Intelligence Community: From DCI to DNI.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 27, no. 2 (2014): 253-333.
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2 Director of National Intelligence, “An Overview of the United States Intelligence Community for the 111th Congress,” January 1, 2009.
3 Hammond, Thomas H. “Intelligence Organizations and the Organization of Intelligence.” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 23, no. 4 (2010):680-724.