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Secret Intelligence Service · UK - this page is a stub

The Secret Intelligence Service, or SIS, also known as Military Intelligence Section 6 (MI6), is the foreign intelligence service of the UK. It is tasked mainly with covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence (HUMINT) in support of the UK's national security [1]. It is part of the Five Eyes intelligence community. It was established in 1909 as the Secret Service Bureau.

During WWII, Section VIII of the SIS developed a range of spy radio sets that were used by its agents and by foreign resistance organisations in occupied Europe for passing information to London (UK). Section VIII was initially located in Barnes (south of London), but moved to Whaddon Hall in late 1939. This was later expanded with production facilities at nearby Little Horwood. 1

  1. Both towns are in the vicinity of Bletchley Park (Bletchley, Milton Keynes, UK).

SIS/MI6 equipment on this website
Whaddon Mk V spy radio set (La Paracette) - 1941
Whaddon Mk VII spy radio set (Paraset) - 1942
Whaddon Mk XV (Mark 15) spy radio set - 1943
NERA VR-2B microwave receiver for passive listening device
 Other British spy radio sets

At the start of the war, the section that dealt with unorthodox warfare (UW) – Section D – was demerged to form the Special Operations Executive (SOE). As the SOE specialised in sabotage activities whilst the SIS quietly gathered intelligence, there was a conflict of interest that resulted in fierce rivalry and distrust between the two services during the first years of the war.

Initially, the SOE used spy radio sets that were developed by the SIS, but in 1942 they established their own research facility near Welwyn (UK), and began developing their own equipment. This is one of the reasons why their later radio sets are distinctively different from those of the SIS.

 More about the SOE

  1. Wikipedia, Secret Intelligence Service
    Retrieved November 2021.

  2. Dave Gordon-Smith (G3UUR), The Agent Killer, A Spy Set with a Bit of a Reputation
    Electric Radio Magazine #352, September 2018. pp. 2-15.
    Reproduced with kind permission of Electric Radio Magazine.

  3. Geoffrey Pidgeon, The Secret Wireless War
    ISBN 978-09560515-2-3. August 2008.
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© Crypto Museum. Created: Friday 12 November 2021. Last changed: Tuesday, 02 January 2024 - 14:08 CET.
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