Battle Order...
As noted above, the equivalent to D.Ops in the real SIS, at least when Mackintosh served in the Navy and when he was writing the series, was D/P. The post of D/P has generally proved something of an on-again-off-again post, like that of Deputy Chief. SIS’ operational side had been organised around country-based Production Sections since 1942, each P Section overseeing its own stations abroad. From 1943 the P Sections (as many as fifteen during the war, up to twenty in the 1970s) were grouped under between six and eight Area Controllers.

The Controllers themselves have generally been grouped in turn under a ‘global controller’ or D/P, although during the 1950s they were subordinated directly to the Vice Chief of Service (at the time there were two deputies; the Vice Chief, #2, and Assistant Chief, #3). Indeed, one of the anomalies in The Sandbaggers is the use of the term ‘controller’ to refer to the officer directing a specific operation either through the Ops Room or a foreign station, rather than the geographical or regional desk officer at HQ. There is, however, an ambiguity in the term ‘controller’ such that it is also used to refer to a handler or case officer so that the officer handling an agent is referred to as that agents’s controller.

In the Navy
At the time that Mackintosh served in the Navy, and at the time of the series, Director, Production oversaw seven Controllerates at Century House: Western Europe (C/EUR), Soviet Bloc (C/SOV), Far East (C/FE), Middle East (C/ME), Africa (C/AF), Western Hemisphere (C/WH) and a Controller UK (C/UK) who handles things like deploying agents under local or ‘natural cover’ into hard target states (e.g. Soviet bloc, China), recruiting and handling British businessmen acting as informants or cut-outs (a la Paul Henderson or Greville Wynne), running a section of volunteer operators (UKN), arranging cover with British institutions and businesses, and joint sections run with MI 5 targetting Soviet facilities in the UK (from 1966), Irish terrorism (from 1971) and Middle East terrorism (slightly later).

Each overseas controller oversaw between two and four P sections, the P Sections dealing with three or more individual countries and their field stations. It is interesting to note that having given the SIS CIA designations, when referring to the CIA’s operational side Mackintosh refers to ‘Plans Division’ in All in a Good Cause when it is noted that Jenny Ross originally worked in Plans Division. Plans Division was the original name for the Directorate of Operations (DO) during the 1950s. D.Int and D/R Where the most noticeable difference between MacIntosh’s SIS and the real one at this level is the role of D.Int. Mackintosh makes it clear throughout the series that D.Int’s function is to conduct and oversee the work of intelligence analysis, that is, the production of ‘finished intelligence’ (as opposed to ‘raw’ agent reports, intercepts &c). For example, in ‘First Principles’ Herr Torveg offers to provide the electronic intelligence (ELINT) product of his radar ferreting operation along the Soviet border to SIS’ Intelligence Directorate.

Likewise, in A Proper Function of Government D.Int’s team produce a policy paper which recommends getting rid of President Lutara. In fact, SIS is not permitted let alone equipped to perform intelligence analysis. The analytical role is one that the various Ministries and Departments of State reserve to themselves in their capacity as the principle source of advice to Ministers. The exception to this narrowly Departmental approach to intelligence analysis is the Joint Assessments Staff (JAS) of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) in the Cabinet Office which performs inter-departmental all-source assessments (about which more below).

The counterpoint directorate to Production, Requirements (originally called Requirements and Intelligence when it was set up in 1946) functions to represent the interests of SIS’s consumers in government to the operational side of the agency. Originally, under a system the official history calls the 1921 Arrangement, SIS’s major consumers attached liaison sections to SIS HQ to articulate their home Departments’ requirements and to act as secure conduits for the information SIS produced in response to those reqiurements. Under the original 1921 Arrangement the consumer liaison sections included Section I (Foreign Office), Section II (Air Ministry), Section III (Admiralty), Section IV (War Office/Army) and from 1938 Section VI (Ministry of Economic Warfare). After the creation of a consolidated consumer liaison directorate under a single D/R (analogous to the single ‘global controller’) in 1946 these became R Sections (for Requirements) as R1 (FO), R2 (Air), R3 (Admiralty), R4 (War Office) and R6 (servicing now the FO Trade Department, Treasury, Board of Trade and Bank of England).

The Armed Service liaisons were actually sections of their home Service intelligence branches, posted to SIS HQ and carried on the SIS budget. Hence in 1930 or so Section II was also known as AI (Air Intelligence) 1c inside Air Intelligence, Section III was NID 3 inside the Naval Intelligence Department and Section IV was MI 1c of the Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence. After the war, R2 remained AI 1c at least for a time, R3 was NID 17, and R4 was MI 6 (a designation it acquired 1941 and which I have recently demonstrated is the origins of SIS’ other name MI 6 in my article cited at the end of this section).

When the Armed Services were amalgamated under the Ministry of Defence, their intelligence branches were consolidated and combined with the MoD’s Joint Intelligence Bureau to create the Defence Intelligence Staff. Within DIS, SIS Service branch liaison was also consolidated as DI 6 (another name one sees applied to the SIS from the early ‘70s on), with R2 being DI 6 (air), R3 DI 6(n) and R4 DI 6(a). A scientific and technical (S&T) Requirements section servicing the DIS’ Directorate of Scientific and Technical Intelligence (DSTI) was designated R7 at SIS and the Technical Coordinating Section in the DSTI. An eighth R Section, R8, handled tasking and dissemination on behalf of GCHQ (about which also more below).

In principle, therefore, if Military Intelligence wanted to know something abot the deployment of Soviet forces in Berlin, for instance, the process would look like this: the MI 4 (German Section of Military Intelligence a the War Office) would ask MI 6/R4. R4 would send the requirement to Controller Western Europe or P3 (the Germany/Austria/Switzerland P Section at SIS) who would task Berlin Station and perhaps Bonn Station in support. The stations would then task the query to one of their sources or agents (in intelligence jargon an agent is always a human source; an emloyee of an intelligence service is an intelligence officer) or mount a new operation to get the information (with appropriate authorisation from the Embassy in Bonn and the Foreing Office Advisor at SIS HQ, about whom more below). The result would then be passed back R4 and copied to P3. R4 would then pass the source report to MI 4 who might then respond with a Supplementary Query and the process would start all over again.

Out of the Navy
At about the time Mackintosh left the Navy, SIS was undergoing another reorganisation, particularly of Requirements Directorate. In 1957, the JIC had moved from the then-relatively small MoD to the Cabinet Office. Once there, its ambit extended to co-ordinating and articulating the overall intelligence requirements of Whitehall, partly to minimise overlap and redundancy, and partly to avoid overloading the operational services.

At this point, tasking became more a question of national rather than Departmental responsibility and interest, the SIS portion of the annual National Intelligence Requirements Paper was circulated to stations abroad as the SIS ‘Red Book’. A decade later, the JIC itself underwent on overhaul, and its supporting constellation of sub-committees called the Joint Intelligence Staff was restructured on mainly geographical divisions as a series of Current Intelligence Groups collectively called the Joint Assessments Staff (JAS). In 1974, after something of a lag during the tenure of Sir John Rennie as C (see piece on ¦The Sandbaggers² as a roman a clef), Requirements was finally reorganised along geographical lines instead of Departmental lines. This reflected the fact that SIS was now primarily tasked nationally rather than Departmentally, and that its main point of contact with HMG was the JIC and JAS. As a result, from 1974 the Production side Controllerates were matched to equivalent R sections (R/EUR, R/SOV, R/FE, R/ME, R/AF, and R/WH). The Armed Service liaisons continued as Ministry of Defence Advisors, as MODA/Air (still DI 6 (air)), MODA/Navy (DI 6(n)) and MODA/Army (DI 6(n)), and R8 (GCHQ) carried on as RGC.

The three MODAs joined the Foreign Office Advisor and a Historical Section in a new SIS Secretariat in the eighties. A fourth MODA, MODA/SO was added in the 1980s to handle liaison with a clutch of special forces element seconded to the SIS and known as ‘the increment’ (see below). Because of a decade of cutbacks in the 1970s, Requirements Directorate dwindled in size until in 1979 it was amalgamated with Production under a Director, Production and Requirements (D/PR). The R sections continued to answer to a Deputy Director Requirements (DD/R) until 1995 when it was felt that networked communications, especially the HMG intelligence community intranet called the UK Intelligence Messaging System (UKIMS) had made the need for such involved consumer liaison system superfluous.

As a result, DD/R was abolished and the R Sections subordinated directly their respective area controllers. Anyone seriously interested in the role and developments of the Requirements side of the SIS can look at my article on the subject, ‘MI 6’s Requirements Directorate: Integrating Intelligence into the Machinery of Government’ Public Administration LXXVIII: 1 (January 2000).

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