Before the War
Spying for the Kaiser
On His Majesty’s Secret Service
The use of spies during war has a very long history, no doubt going back to the beginnings of warfare itself. In The Art of War, which is believed to have been written in the sixth century BCE, the Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu wrote about the advantages to be gained from knowing your enemy and in the final chapter of the book stressed the importance of cultivating those people who were in a position to spy on them. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that spying has sometimes been called the second oldest profession, even if, for most of its history, it has been conducted by amateurs. What might now be thought of as espionage - state intelligence agencies employing professional secret agents – only began to emerge during the latter part of the 19th century and then developed during World War I into some of the institutions which, in some cases at least, still exist today.
Bill Price is originally from Herefordshire and now lives in North West London. After working in various areas of the UK book trade for fifteen years, he become a full time freelance writer and is now the author of ten books. Most of these have reflected his interest in the history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and, in particular, the First World War.