History Podcasts

World War Two Spycraft: Stealing Nuclear Secrets, Blowing Up Nazi Factories, and Infiltrating Japanese High Command

World War Two Spycraft: Stealing Nuclear Secrets, Blowing Up Nazi Factories, and Infiltrating Japanese High Command

Spies have been a feature of state security and military intelligence since the beginning of warfare. Entire wars have been won or lost according to these secret activities. Today we will look at spycraft during World War Two, a golden age of espionage.

Spycraft was an essential element to the war effort as ships, planes, or weapons. At no time were military secrets so valuable. Nuclear technology was vital for both sides if they did not want to fall behind the other. Learning the troop movements of the enemy could make it possible to launch an attack on the level of D-Day, permanently crippling their war machine.

In this episode I will discuss the careers of…

  • Richard Sorge, the German playboy based in Tokyo who stole nearly all of Japan's World War 2 plan, sent it to the Kremlin, and prevented Nazi Germany's attempt to invade and capture Moscow.
  • Nancy Wake, a socialite in France-turned- Resistance Fighter who saved hundreds, if not thousands, of lives of Allied airmen by smuggling them to the Spanish border.
  • George Koval, the Iowa-born Soviet spy who worked on the Manhattan Project and fed all the scientific breakthroughs to Russia, accelerating their nuclear program by years


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