R. V. Jones and the Birth of Scientific Intelligence
Goodchild, James Martinson
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The history of scientific intelligence – its birth, its importance during the Second World War, and its unique wartime qualities – has relied almost entirely on the memories of its pioneer, R. V. Jones. This thesis constitutes a critique of this history; through scrutiny of Jones’s post-war literature (especially his war memoirs entitled Most Secret War), his archival papers and those of his colleagues and contemporaries, and other mediums he used to promote his account of scientific intelligence. This thesis examines chronologically all of the key events Jones became famous for – the Battle of the Beams, the Bruneval Raid, the Radio War, the Battle of the V-Weapons – and compares Jones’s account of these (and many other) events with contemporary documentation. This thesis provides a rich understanding of the internal machinations within the British wartime air scientific intelligence organisation defined as ADI (Science), and their relationships with the many other political, military and intelligence sections that pursued similar and often closely-linked quests. This thesis importantly connects science and technology with the collection and collation of intelligence, is an analysis of wartime intelligence of a scientific and technical nature, and argues that scientific intelligence was much more than one man’s accomplishments, involved many more individuals and organisations than is perceived, and is much more important to twentieth century history than has been permitted.