Operation TINSMITH

TINSMITH was an historical Laundry operation which infiltrated the French nuclear testing programme in the late 1950s and early 1960s. While its goal was simply technical surveillance of the computer-modeling systems employed there, the operation culminated with the “failed” fourth weapon test at Reggane in French Algeria in 1961 being re-directed by Laundry agents against a CRETAN (or possibly SCEPTRE) entity emerging in the area. The French intelligence services didn’t even suspect Laundry involvement in the test's failure until after they cracked the Dee-Turing theorem more than a decade later, and the revelation further soured our OCCINTEL relationship to a degree that seemed permanent. The Laundry has never actually admitted our interference to DCRI, and even the Foreign Office probably has never been fully briefed.

The “Reggane chill” between the Laundry and DCRI didn’t begin to thaw until the mid 1990s, and to some extent it persists even to this day, hampering pan-European OCCINTEL cooperation.


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