In Plain Sight
- Felix A. Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico 1908 to 1914
Felix A. Sommerfeld moved through the Mexican Revolution (1910 to 1920) like a wraith. Neither his contemporaries nor scholars throughout the past hundred years have been able to piece together a clandestine career that relegates the exploits of James Bond to mere child s play. Appearing on the scene in Mexico from obscurity, Sommerfeld became the personal confidante of Mexican President Francisco Madero in 1911. Unbeknownst to his peers, Sommerfeld had worked for the German secret service since 1908. German agents had maneuvered him close to the future president of Mexico. From that position, Sommerfeld managed to climb to become the highest placed German asset in the Mexican government. While working for President Madero, and most likely with his tacit approval, Sommerfeld acted as the intelligence liaison for the German minister in Mexico, Rear Admiral Paul von Hintze, and provided him with valuable intelligence on Mexico, Europe, and the United States. His clout helped focus German foreign policy towards Madero and his successor Huerta. Sommerfeld's organizational skills and the help of his contacts at the highest levels of the American Government produced a notorious network of agents along the Mexican-American border. When Mexican army general Victoriano Huerta usurped the presidency in February of 1913 and killed Madero in a bloody coup d'etat Sommerfeld re-activated his secret service organization along the U.S. - Mexican border to join the battle against the usurper president Huerta. With the help of his connections in Germany and the United States, Sommerfeld became the linchpin in the revolutionary supply chain. His organization along the border smuggled arms and ammunition to the troops in amounts never before thought possible, while his contacts in the highest echelons of the American and German governments shut off credit and supplies for Huerta. Surprising to most but not illogical, the U.S. government fully cooperated with Sommerfeld and turned a blind eye to the blatant violations of U.S. laws.
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