Course Summary

History of Espionage - Part 1

Unit 1 - Introduction to The History of Espionage (Top Secret Umbra)

This is the first session in a group of 10 out of 40 units of a course presented to U3A Ballarat a few years ago and now edited for an Online Course. It follows the development and use of espionage, codes and ciphers from Biblical days to the 21st century. This first unit begins with an outline of how secrets are classified and explains some of the terms used in the intelligence business. Oh yes, it is a world-wide business, employing thousands of people using massive technology and costing billions of currency in many nations. 

Unit 2 

Espionage from the Bible to Joan d" Arc

Unit 3

The years from 1467 to 1850 including the cryptography of the American Civil War

Unit 4

Now we move into the 1800s. The further we travel; each century becomes more tightly packed with people and espionage..

Unit 5

In this unit we look at the many other male and female agents working on both sides during WW1, and two women executed who were not espionage agents.

Unit 6

In this Unit we look at stories about Special Operations Executive and its men and women agents in Europe during WW2.

Unit 7

In this unit we will explore the stories of some of the SOE agents and delve into the internal battles between MI6, SOE, US OSS and Free French intelligence. I will also introduce SOE’s top cipher expert, young Leo Marks, who fought military rulebooks to improve the signals systems and look after his cipher staff of FANYs at Grendon Park

Unit 8

In this unit we look at  a few stories about male MI6 agents, including Ian Fleming. Then I’ll begin to set the scene for war in the Pacific, and the changes taking place in wireless interception and ciphers.

Unit 9

In this unit I will tell you how senior officers’ lack of knowledge about SIGINT created serious problems.

Unit 10

This unit brings the war to our front doorstep, and there were justifiable fears we could be invaded when Darwin was bombed.