Epilogue: Bengal Intelligence Officers and the Second World War

  • Michael SilvestriEmail author
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


The epilogue returns to the two major themes of the book: how colonial anxieties about “Bengali terrorism” led to the construction of an extensive intelligence apparatus within Bengal and in turn how this intelligence expertise was utilized against other anticolonial movements. The epilogue evaluates these issues through a consideration of selected episodes from the Second World War. First, it offers conclusions on the strengths and weaknesses of the Bengal intelligence apparatus by discussing the escape of the Bengali nationalist leader Subhas Chandra Bose from house arrest in Calcutta during the Second World War. It then considers how intelligence officers from Bengal sought to apply their intelligence experience with MI5, SIS, and other domestic and imperial agencies during the war. The book concludes by contending that the extensive intelligence apparatus directed against the Bengali revolutionaries demonstrates that the roots of imperial intelligence as a sustained practice lie in the interwar era.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.History DepartmentClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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