For All Nails #35: A Question of Attribution
by Henrik Kiertzner
Kastellet, Copenhagen, Kingdom of Scandinavia
14 January 1973
The Chairman, Hertug Magnus Eigilsson, called the extraordinary Joint Foreign Intelligence Committee FN1 meeting to order. A brief Blitz precedence note had been circulated in advance and the one-item agenda was clear to all. First to speak, as ever, was the Head of the KIT - Friherr Erich Korpela - a lifelong operative from the Special Projects Division who had unexpectedly succeeded to the supreme post in the Kabinet of the Service FN2 after the untimely death of the previous incumbent, a more conventional aristocrat from the staff and analytical branches of the Service. Korpela had a distinct tendency to view most intelligence problems as nails to be hammered down and his enthusiasm for special projects was unusual in what liked to consider itself a sophisticated and cerebral organisation. His appointment had been in the gift of the King, who no doubt had his own reasons for the selection.
"Gentlemen. You will all be aware of the SKOVTROLD FN3 material which MET produced some days ago, which gave us the first indication that there might be something untoward occurring in Puerto Rico. My own Service, as you will note, has now developed a line of reporting which would tend to confirm this. The new material, which originates from a usually reliable source in the Prado - and we are rechecking the validity - states that a number of logistic enhancements to Puerto Rican infrastructure, in terms of transport and port improvements, are in hand. The finance for these enhancements originates from foreign sources."
The Head of MET was next. General Professor-Doktor Friherr Axel Juul-Pedersen was a career officer, newly promoted both to his current rank and to the command of the military intelligence service. Apart from a Jaegerkorps tour during the Global War and some experience as the Chief Military Adviser in Skt Peterborg during the Sixties, he had previously had minimal exposure to the murky waters of intelligence. He was, however, a highly experienced military diplomat and a former Director of the Royal Scandinavian Defence College FN4 and one of the more formidable intellects in his Service.
"We concur that there is reason to suppose that our SKOVTROLD source has been partially validated. We have requested that the Navy deploy one of our technical resources to the West Indies on board a Narhvalen-class submersible. We are confident that, knowing where to look, we shall be able to provide definitive confirmation of the presence of the German assets on the island within a few days of arrival on station, which is expected by 20 January."
The meeting went on for another hour, with general agreement on the measures it was necessary to take to confirm the reports. As the fog of tobacco smoke thickened in the room, the conversation turned to what it was necessary to do with the intelligence. Scandinavia had no formal alliances, or even overt treaties, with any foreign Power (although some of the constituent States had links with others - notably Iceland with the CNA), but had a sophisticated network of understandings between its intelligence services and those of the CNA and Britain and a very highly developed relationship with Kramer Associates' External Security Division. Given the extent of the potential threat to the eastern regions of the CNA from Puerto Rico, it was important to find a way of making the Confederacy aware, without compromising own sources and methods FN5.
Word, in outline, could be got to Liddy in Burgoyne without significant risk, but it was necessary to reinforce the message. It was agreed that KIT should organise a conduit from a trusted Spanish source to a known British intelligence officer operating from the Lisbon Embassy to pass on a fragmentary account from "a brother in San Juan" of the arrival of German Air Service officers at the Parador in that city. Liddy's men could be relied upon to follow up and develop their own intelligence from that lead.
A further issue for discussion was the Mexican field officer's motivation in letting slip the original nugget of information. It was agreed that the possibility of mounting a Special Projects operation to extract him should be examined, but that immediate action would probably be undesirable.
A key question was whether the field officer's action was sanctioned in some way. The Chief of the Great General Staff took the floor:
"If I might summarise the issue, just to ensure that my limited intellect has fully grasped it? The problem is establishing whether this leak indicates some Mexican . . . hesitancy at the prospect of an intimate German strategic involvement in the Western Hemisphere, is it not? We need to take a bearing on the Mexicans without making them aware that we have the information, in case the action of the field officer was unsanctioned, do we not? Do we have any assets in place inside Mexico?"
The two Heads of the active intelligence services exchanged momentary glances. Neither was inclined to discuss the details of their apparats with the Chief of the Great General Staff, who was undoubtedly a gallant and much-decorated officer, but not . . . intellectually sophisticated. The glance sufficed to arrange a separate meeting, a deux, at which this would be discussed.
(Proceed to Southern Cross.)
(Proceed to The Hero of Paris.)
(Return to For All Nails.)