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Friday 8 May 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. Like the rest of the country, MI5 pays tribute to the service and sacrifice of the entire Second World War generation, from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces to evacuees and those on the Home Front. Our Headquarters will be flying the Union flag at full mast to mark the occasion, and the organisation will join the country in a two minute silence at 11am.

During World War II, MI5 played a key role in combating enemy espionage, intercepting German communications and feeding misinformation back to Germany.

The organisation achieved great success in uncovering enemy agents in Britain, some of whom were "turned" by the Service and became double agents who fed false information to the Germans about military strategy throughout the war.

When German intelligence records were studied after the end of the war in 1945, it was found that almost all of the further 115 or so agents targeted against Britain during the war had been successfully identified and caught.

On the last Sunday of the war, church bells near Blenheim Palace (where most of the Service was based) rang out. Staff were allowed onto the Palace’s terrace to listen to the bells and people recalled it as being a “tremendous occasion”.

You can read more about MI5’s work during the Second World War here.


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