3 edition of The Quest for C: Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service found in the catalog.

The Quest for C: Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service

by Alan Judd

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Published by in Militär, Militär & Spione .
Written in

Edition Notes

Authorby Alan Judd.
CategoryMilitär, Militär & Spione
The Quest for C: Mansfield Cumming and the Founding of the Secret Service
Number of Pages368
FormateBook, Gebundene Ausgabe
ID Numbers
SKU 0002559013

The British security and intelligence services have for decades been respected as the best in the world. The Quest for C is the story of the origins of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and the Security Service (MI5) in their immediate precursor, the Secret Service Bureau. The head of MI6 is known as "C"--not for Chief as often thought, but for Mansfield Cumming (1859-- 1923), its first head, and this book is as much a biography of Cumming as an account of the early years of MI6, the two being inextricably linked. MI6 staff today still tend to use green ink, an affectation of their first boss. Other strange habits have passed into MI6 folklore; after hacking off his own leg with a penknife after a road crash in which his only son was killed, Cumming would get around the corridors of Whitehall on a scooter--and would startle visitors by stabbing his(artificial) leg with the points of compass dividers. Cumming had to deal with bureaucratic and financial problems, and of course with political deniability; he had to find unorthodox ways for his Service to perform its job efficiently. According to Judd, "The image of MI6 affairs being arranged behind the polished doors of London clubs, beloved of spy books and films was, from the earliest days, always at least partly true." Cumming's connections with the establishment are sometimes unexpected; it was his widow who provided the money for the setting up of Gordonstoun School in the 1930s. Though probably not a book for the general reader, for anyone interested in the history of Britain's intelligence and security services, this detailed biography of the first "C" will be of immense interest. - -David VBarrett

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