April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the FBI’s largest manhunt for James Earl Ray, killer of Martin Luther King, Jr. This article by Susan E. Lloyd (FBI 1979-2004) was published in the April 2018 issue of The Grapevine, a publication of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Because of the breadth of […]
About Author Raymond J. Batvinis, PhD Ph.D., American History, The Catholic University of America, 2002 M.A., History, The Catholic University … [Continue Reading]
Chapter One from Hoover's Secret War against Axis Spies: FBI Counterespionage during World War II by Raymond J. Batvinis A Remarkable … [Continue Reading]
Chapter One from "The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence" by Raymond J. Batvinis Rumrich He was a US Army deserter when he was arrested on … [Continue Reading]
Hoover’s Secret War Against Axis Spies FBI Counterespionage During World War II By Raymond J. Batvinis April 2014 312 pages, 24 … [Continue Reading]
The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence By Raymond J. Batvinis, PhD Hardcover published in 2007 - Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-1495-0 Paperback published … [Continue Reading]
Read Chapter One – 2nd Book
Read the first chapter of Hoover's Secret War Against Axis Spies: FBI Counterespionage During World War II, which tells the story of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's moment-by-moment weekend when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Read More
Buy Ray Batvinis Books
This is a monumental book, breaking new ground in the field of secret intelligence. I strongly suspect Batvinis will write a third book, covering the early years of the Cold War. When complete, that body of work should stand alongside Rick Atkinson’s Liberation trilogy as an essential source for anyone interested in America’s soldiers and spies.
A richly detailed account of the FBI’s response to the world crisis of the 1930s and 1940s that overturns much accepted ‘wisdom’ about FBI intelligence failures and turf battles. Batvinis stays close to his sources while telling an engrossing story that should become the new standard account of FBI counterintelligence. A stimulating and fascinating work.
Raymond Batvinis recounts equally thrilling stories of international intrigue as the FBI, working alongside other US government elements and allies, sought to overcome Germany’s efforts to disrupt and defeat its war effort in the US before and during the war. They will transfix the reader to the book’s pages much as the writings of the great spy novelists. However, unlike the novelists’ works, Batvinis’ accounts are not amusements, but discussions of real cases of a struggle between …
A welcome addition to the literature on both the FBI and the World War II era, Batvinis’s book provides new information about how FBI counterintelligence and counterespionage operations against Nazi Germany during World War II transformed the FBI’s culture and capabilities.
Mr. Batvinis’ book is a splendid account of the FBI’s contribution to victory in World War II. Five cloaks, five daggers.
Hoover’s Secret War offers fascinating details about FBI espionage and counter-espionage operations during a deadly period in modern history.
A strong and compelling book on the FBI’s pre-World War II transformation.
Hoover’s Secret War goes beyond solid scholarship and provides an eminently readable, richly detailed narrative, which allows the reader to see the war through the eyes of counterespionage in the Allies’ camp. This book a must-read for both fledgling or old-hand intelligence professionals.
Raymond Batvinis recounts this FBI history with the insight of someone who has himself been in the game. An important contribution to the literature.
FBI in Moscow
Read about FBI Agent Louis Beck who was sent undercover to the US Embassy in Moscow during WW2 to assess the security situation in the embassy. What he found was shockingly lax security attitudes that allowed the Soviet NKVD control of the place -- and of secret US codes. Read More
FBI in Honolulu
Relive the hour-to-hour experiences of the FBI field office in Honolulu as they respond to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Read More
Future of FBI CI
Read The Future of FBI Counterintelligence Through the Lens of the Past Hundred Years, an essay by Ray Batvinis which was published in The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence.
FBI Studies Blog Posts
It was one of the largest criminal investigations in the history of the bureau, no question. I was interviewed by ABC News on the FBI’s hunt for James Earl Ray: Inside The International Manhunt For Martin Luther King Jr.’s Killer (ABC News) Thousands of FBI agents spent months hunting down every lead looking for Martin […]
The FBI’s legal attache in London during World War II received espionage, counterespionage and intelligence decrypts of ULTRA messages which were then sent to the FBI offices in America as leads. The FBI’s codename for these messages was called OSTRICH. I explain more about these files in this short video: FILES OSTRICH File 1 .pdf […]
HPSCI memo released to the public on 2 February 2018: HPSCI Memo: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (pdf) HPSCI minority memo: Correcting the Record–The Russian Investigations (pdf)
Over the next few months I’ll be posting various FBI files that researchers of FBI World War II investigations and activities may find useful. The first in the series is the complete Index (OF10b) of FBI reports that J. Edgar Hoover sent to the White House from September 1, 1939 until President Roosevelt’s death on […]
I wrote this FBI history article which appeared in the October/November 2017 issue of The Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. – November 16, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the opening of the FBI Legal Attaché Office in wartime London by a 28-year-old Special Agent named Arthur Thurston. It […]
This FBI history article appeared in the August 2017 issues of The Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. The article was written by by David H. Cutcomb (FBI 1968-1988). Marsh Chapel Sanctuary Event (pdf) In 1968, as an FBI Agent assigned to the Boston Office and a Marine veteran of […]
This FBI history article appeared in the July 2017 issues of The Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. The article was written by by Greg Stejskal (FBI 1975-2006) 3:10 To Marquette: The Manhunt and Capture of Vincent Loonsfoot in the North Woods of Michigan (pdf) In the summer of 1988, Vincent […]
I had the honor of being interviewed for the podcast “FBI Retired Case File Review” with Jerri Williams, which is a true crime podcast where she interviews retired agents about their high-profiled Bureau cases. For my interview, I reviewed the history of the FBI’s counterintelligence program and past and current investigations of Russian interference in U.S. policies. […]
Over the recent Memorial Day weekend my wife and I took a breather to Ocean City, Maryland for some getaway time. Our plan was to ease back on our beach chairs strategically placed at a favorite shoreline spot and soak up some pre-summer sun. Mother Nature, spiteful cuss that she is, had other ideas. Yes, […]
I wrote this FBI history article about the lives of Willy Fisher (above left), aka Rudolph Abel, and FBI Special Agent Paul Blasco (above right) and when their lives intersected on 21 June 1957. This article appeared in the June 2017 issues of The Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the […]
I will be speaking at the International Spy Museum on June 14 as part of their Author Debriefing series about counterintelligence, German atomic espionage efforts, FBI/British wartime relations, and radio deception conducted during the most critical part of the Second World War. Don’t miss it! – In June of 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister […]
Here I am in DC with the nation’s first spymaster, George Washington. Here’s a tip, if you want to work undercover, don’t wear bright orange! at GWU More George Washington, Spymaster (Mount Vernon) When history books praise the heroes of the American Revolution, they seldom include names like Agent 711 and John Bolton along with […]
I was interviewed on a new British documentary called “Spying on the Royals” about a secret government plot to eavesdrop on Edward VIII. I’m shown above with editor Chris Roots during the filming of my segment. Here is the trailer for the show: More information How MI5 spied on the KING: An explosive new documentary […]
This FBI history article appeared in the April 2017 issues of The Grapevine, published by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. The article was written by by Terrence Hake (FBI 1981-1988) with contributions from David Grossman (FBI 1978-1999), David Ries (FBI 1976-2000) and William Megary (FBI 1977-1999). FBI Grapevine: Operation Greylord (pdf) For […]