Military Intelligence was conducted only during war time.
Within the framework of the Military Archive in Vienna, the intelligence department with designation Evidenthaltungsabteilung was established as well as four intelligence offices at the regional army headquarters in border areas.
Field-Marshal Radetzky indicated the responsibilities of the Generalquartiermeisterstab, which was supposed to deal with the study of military history, creating military archive, collect intelligence on neighbouring armies, their organisation and changes. Military attachés attached to respective embassies and well organized espionage were the preconditions for it. Radetzky also issued detailed instructions for military attachés.
The detachment of the Evidenthaltungsabteilung from the military archive and its establishment within the framework of Operation and Dislocation Office attached to the Chief of the General Staff.
Evidenthaltungsgruppe incorporated as department „ B" into the Headquarters of the Quartermaster General.
Assigned to the Kriegsgeschichtlichesburo, the management was retained.
The Kunschaftssektion within the framework of the Central Operating Bureau was established. The Intelligence Department was incorporated as an independent section into the Headquarters of the Quartermaster General in December 1850. Since then, it was running under the designation Evidenzbureau (hereinafter Evidenzburo).
The first military attaché to Paris was appointed and followed by other military attachés in Saint Petersburg and Berlin. Intelligence centres were established in different parts of the monarchy and closer cooperation with the Ministry of Police was founded.
Intensive intelligence activity against Prussia relating the war.
Evidenzburo issued written directives for intelligence service.
The occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina demanded increased requirements with respect to the activity of intelligence service.
Special Russian section was established.
The guidebook "Directives on Performing Intelligence Service in Peacetime" dealing with intelligence activity against Russia and funded by 60,000 Guldens (Austro-Hungarian currency). This enabled to sustain a constant network of some 100 confidents.
The cryptographic team within the framework of the intelligence group headed by Max Ronge was set in.
The scandal of Alfred Redl, Colonel of General Staff, the deputy head of Evidenzburo, Chief of Staff of the VIII Armed Corps in Prague, who was selling secret information to Russia and France. Organisational changes followed. In particular, the number of employees was increased (at the beginning of 1912, there were 28 officers and in mid-1914 already 42 officers).
As concerning each major manoeuvres, Evidenzburo suggested to provide security measures at the final exercise in Bosnia where the crown prince was supposed to participate. However, Archduke Ferdinand refused the proposal. On 28 June, the news of the assassination in Sarajevo came.
Serbia declared mobilisation. Evidenzburo ordered the execution of all measures by which the intelligence service could contribute to the success of the army: organising uprising of Macedonians in New Serbia, anti-war propaganda among new recruits, sabotages and other subversive activities.
Under the patronage of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the informal conspirators’ organisation Maffie – or the Secret Committee – was established as the significant centre of resistance against the Hapsburg monarchy during the World War I. It was operating on the basis of patriotic espionage. One hundred four persons were participating in the intelligence activities of Maffie. It had confidents at the Imperial Court in Vienna, too.
In the beginning of 1918, "the Mafiosi" established a wiretapping station near Prague and monitored the conversations on the telephone line between the Austrian Ministry of War and German General Staff.
Within the framework of the Czechoslovak legionary divisions in Russia, "reconnaissance departments" were operating. They covered the defence of train connection from Volga region to Vladivostok by means of intelligence.
The 3rd Intelligence Department within the framework of the General Staff was established in the structure of the Ministry of National Defence (MNO). Soon afterwards, it was renamed the 2nd Department of the General Staff, or also MNO, General Staff, 2nd Department. It integrated external and internal intelligence. It was of relatively independent status.
Regional Military Command (ZVV) for Slovakia was established and based in Bratislava. On that day, the 2nd Intelligence Department started its activity in the organisational structure of the Headquarters of the Regional Military Command.
The competence of the 2nd Intelligence Department was defined in more details in the "Competencies of the Ministry of National Defence from 1926", which were the basic statute expressing its operative focus and specifying its activity from the legal perspective: the 2nd Department of the General Staff was authorised to build up intelligence vital for gathering information on foreign states and important for the Czechoslovak Military Direction.
Additional four main organisational units: Educational (analytical) Group, Foreign Group, General Group and Support Office completed the Detective and Defence Group of the 2nd Department.
The first Frontward Agency Centre (PAÚ) was established and based in Liberec.
The operational work was centralized in the Frontward Agency Centres (PAUs), which took over the agent networks of the divisions and smaller units. Bratislava Intelligence Centre directed the PAÚ in Bratislava, which focused its intelligence activity overwhelmingly against Hungary.
Establishment of the separate Offensive Section (P-1) and Defensive Section (P-2) within the framework of the Detective Group. P-1 developed separate intelligence extensions at some Czechoslovak diplomatic missions and in strategically neutral countries, Foreign Agency Centres (ZAÚ) were established. P-2 was uncovering agent networks especially of German and Hungarian intelligence services on the Czechoslovak territory. P-2 carried out eavesdropping and directed the 2nd intelligence departments at the headquarters of corps, intelligence officers of divisions as well as intelligence officers of infantry, artillery and cavalry regiments.
The joint agency centre Poste Mixe with French intelligence service came to end. The British Secret Intelligence Service became the most important partner.
The Czechoslovak-Soviet operational centre VONAPO in Prague started to function as a result of the interstate treaty of alliance in May 1935, which comprised also the secret provision of mutual intelligence cooperation. The centre was aimed against the Nazi Germany.
In the course of reorganisation of the Czechoslovak intelligence service, Intelligence Centres I. – IV. (APS) were renamed to Agency Detective Centres I. – IV. (APS) and likewise as Regional Military Headquarters (ZVV), they were located in Prague, Brno, Bratislava and Košice. By means of Agency Detective Centres (APS) Frontward Agency Centres (PAÚ) were directed. PAÚ were dislocated in the border areas and carried out intelligence activities against Germany, Hungary, Austria and Poland.
Agency Detective Centre IV in Košice was closed. Agency Detective Centre III was relocated from Bratislava to Banská Bystrica. Reason – agency network APS IV was almost completely compromised by Hungarian counter-intelligence.
Resulting from the Munich dictate, intelligence activity against Germany was prohibited. Czechoslovak intelligence officers continued in the activity despite the prohibition. In the Czech regions, the APS and PAÚ were closed, consequently, instead of them, the Operational Detective Centre Against Germany (APÚN) was established with its seat in Prague.
One day before the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, Colonel of the General Staff František Moravec and ten Czechoslovak intelligence officers with intelligence documents flew to London where they continued in the intelligence efforts under the name Intelligence Headquarters Žižka, later within the scope of the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile as the 2nd Department of the Ministry of National Defence throughout the World War II.
Intelligence structures inherited from the former Czechoslovak Republic were assumed as unreliable in the Slovak Republic. Based on the order of the Chief of the Main Military Headquarters intelligence areas corresponding to territorial competence of higher-level headquarters were established. The Intelligence structures were subordinated to the Intelligence Department of the Ministry of National Defence – Chief Military Headquarters in Bratislava.
A secret negotiation between vice admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of the German military intelligence service Abwehr and general Ferdinand Čatloš, the Minister of National Defence of the Slovak Republic took place in Bratislava. It was agreed that " the right to operate an offensive intelligence activity will reside within the German army, the Slovak Republic will not perform intelligence activity..." The Slovak party did not observe this agreement.
Czechoslovak military intelligence service in exile took part in the assassination of the Acting Reich-Protector SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich.
By the Order of General Ludvík Svoboda – without the knowledge of the Government-in-exile, the Military Defence Intelligence (OBZ) was established as an independent intelligence service with extensive executive competence. OBZ was controlled and abused by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ).
In the beginning of the year, the Military Defence Intelligence (OBZ) was integrated into the Chief Staff of the Czechoslovak Army as the 5th Department.
Military Defence Intelligence (OBZ) as the independent Headquarters of the Military Intelligence Service was subordinated to the Minister of National Security. The Intelligence Department of the General Staff was changed to Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff.
The Headquarters of the Military Intelligence service was renamed to Chief Directorate of Counter-Intelligence (HS VKR).
External military intelligence, which was operating under the designation Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Czechoslovak People´s Army came under the absolute control of the intelligence sections of the Ministry of Interior.
Military Counter-Intelligence (VKR) was designated as the 3rd Directorate of the Ministry of Interior.
Also the officials and officers of the Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff were subject to purges as they had actively participated in the resistance against the Soviet occupants.
Military Counter-Intelligence (VKR) was run as the 3rd General Directorate of the National Security Corps (ZNB).
VKR became subordinated to the Ministry of Defence and was renamed to Military Defence Intelligence (VOS). The Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff renounced the agreement on cooperation with Soviet military intelligence (GRU) and was renamed to Military Intelligence Service (VSS).
The Federal Assembly approved the Act on Military Defence Intelligence, the Military Intelligence Service continued to operate in legal vacuum.
The Intelligence Directorate began its operation within the framework of the Headquarters of the Army of the Slovak Republic (Trenčín) after the dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.
The Act no 198 on Military Intelligence came into force.
The Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Army of the Slovak Republic changed its name to Military Intelligence Service of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic and the service fell from the subordination of the General Staff of the Army of the Slovak Republic to the subordination of the Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic based in Bratislava.
Military Defence Intelligence (VOS) and Military Intelligence Service (VSS) merged into one service called Military Intelligence (VS).
- CIBULA I. História tajných služieb v ČSR. www.absd.sk/historia_tajnych_sluzieb_v_csr
- ČAPLOVIČ, M. Organizácia a činnosť Československej vojenskej spravodajskej služby v rokoch 1919-1939. In
- FERENČUHOVÁ, B. Slovensko a svet v 20. storočí. Kapitoly k 70. narodeninám Va¬leriána Bystrického. Bratislava : Veda, 2006, s. 93-97.
- MAREK J., Zpravodajská služba čs. legií v Rusku 1918-1920. Historie a vojenství. Praha: Vojenský historický ústav, 2012, č.3, s.29-44
- MEDVECKÝ, M. - ZAŤKOVÁ, J. - ONDRA, H.: C. K., Evidenz bureau - k vývoju rakúsko-uhorskej spravodajskej služby. Vojenská história, 3, 20,2016, pp 111-126, Bratislava
- MORITZ V., LEIDINGER H., Oberst Redl – Der Spionagefall, der Skandal, die Fakten, St. Pölten, Residenz Verlag, 2012
- Na pomoc dohodě. Tajná činnost několika českých vlastenců za války. (Dle líčení br. Ludvíka Očenáška). Praha, vlastným nákladom, 1919
- PACNER, K. Československo ve zvláštních službách I.-IV. Praha, Themis. 2002
- ŠIMUNIČ, P.: Počiatky slovenskej vojenskej spravodajskej služby 1939 – 1941. Vojenská história, 2, 16, 2012, pp 39-78, Bratislava.