Human Intelligence Article Summary And Review

Article Summary

The paper will analyze the article “Reminiscences of a communication agent” written on 23rd September 1993 by a technician who was involved in photographic and radio transmission of maps, reports and sketches among other intelligence work to the British service in the Second World War via the foreign agent despite of heavy supervision by the Germans.  The writer lived in three different time that include neutral time when the country was not supporting anyone, then the country as German allay and at last under the German occupation. The writer was initially arrested among many other when Germany overturned the company. He eventually managed to escape and vowed to avenge on what Germany had done on his country. This where he decided to adapt the most unique way to hind from Germanys while still effecting his duties to British Intelligence Services.

Working as an intelligence office for a foreign body was extremely dangerous in this area. It was getting harder and hander since Germany could raid homes and arrest any person they would suspect was working for their opponents. They normally identified foreigners who were living in expensive estates and that would manage to visit expensive places. Once identified their homes were raid and they were imprisoned in case there was anything connecting them to intelligence work. In his determination to fulfill his intention and promise to avenge, the writer developed a strategy to continue working for British Intelligence without making Germany’s suspicious. He enrolled in a school as a foreign student and search for a simple servant boarding house where he lived like a very poor student. He even made the landlady believe that he was extremely struggling to survive in that place. This made it easy for him to escape arrest. He also agreed with his employers to only send enough money to enable him survive in his current environment without affording extra expenses. This made him successful in fooling Germany and also in carrying doing his duties as an intelligence officer effectively.

The writer states that his success with the radio was not due to his high techniques in enhancing security but complete lack of these techniques and procedures. He developed his own transmitter and thus, it was far much below the standards that the Germans were looking for. With this transmitter, it was impossible to change frequencies and thus, it was hard to draw suspicion or attention.  The writer then limited his transmission to about two hours per transmission but ensured that these transmission were done on different places. The writer did not have a transmission schedule. Instead, they always organized for the next one in the end of each transmission. This made it hard for anyone to study their transmission frequency or time and hence hard to time the next transmission and trace it. In case of an emergency call, the British intelligence provided security to the writer transmitter just like other operators. With this kind of communication, the writer was able to facilitate a number of successful bombing of the enemy’s field.

With regard to photographic work, the writer felt a bit safe. He was able to work after Germans raids which normally took place between 10 pm to midnight and between 6 am to 8 am. The writer took advantage of time between 1 and 6 am where he would meet with his superior get materials to work on, work on them and submit them before 6am. The work involved taking photos of volumes of work and packing the negatives in unsuspicious way and sending them through people as presents via new cigarette packets or on flash light battering, in shoes heels among other means. This was a bit more tedious job since it involved photographing 40 to 80 pages of materials making negatives, cleaning negatives to eliminate think ink that would clearly show the content, sizing them and packing them within about 5 hours. It normally happened after every two weeks. The author was supposed to be left with a copy, which he was supposed to hind safely until there is a confirmation on the recipient of the material sent. After taking photos the original materials were completely burnt so as the backup negative after the confirmation to council evidence from Germans just in case. This way, the writer was able to survive and continue working as a British Intelligence officer right in the eyes of Germans.


I have learnt a number of important intelligence tricks in this article. One of this tricks is that always do the unexpected. Germans expected that intelligence officers would be foreigners showered with enough money to live exotic life. This made many to be imprisoned but the author was able to survive and work for the entire period since he decided to live different in a way Germans could not imagine an intelligence officer could do.  Using of untested own made radio devise also made German overrule its importance in any intelligence service. They anticipated that only powerful secure system would be employed and this makes it hard for him to be suspected. The paper also taught me on the importance of being observant. The author was successful because he was able to monitor Germans routine and counter it. This made it easy for him to hind. It has also taught me on importance of being cautious and creative. The author could burn any material he has used to ensure that it is never linked to him. Cleaning and sizing negatives, storing backup carefully in a manner that no raid would uncover them and also adopting the best packaging technique demonstrate a high level of creativity and cautious. All this contributed to great success of the author in his work against Nazi and in support of British Intelligence.


Central Intelligence Agency. (1993). Reminiscences of a communicationagent. Retrieved from <>

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