The French secret services have a long history dating back to the ancien regime. With the founding of the Third Republic (1870-1940) the famous Second Bureau was created as France's principal intelligence-gathering organization. After the Germans invaded France in 1940, however, the services splintered and diversified, with Vichy agencies and Collaborationists, the Free French and the internal resistance all in contention. More recently, since 1944 the activities of the reorganized French secret services have extended across a surprisingly wide area, sometimes with spectacular results as in the 'Greenpeace Affair' in New Zealand in 1985.
This volume deals with the French secret services according to a chronological framework which reflects the evolution of the services which were created and transformed by both internal and external historical factors. The bibliography commences with an examination of the origins and development of the French Intelligence Service from the ancien regime to 1870. It then considers the history and activities of the secret services during the following periods: the Third Republic; the Second World War; the Fourth Republic; and the Fifth Republic, firstly between 1958 and 1981 and then during the 1980s and 1990s, including the 'Greenpeace Affair'. This is an essential reference tool for all those interested in the history of intelligence agencies and national security in general and in the development of the French secret services in particular.