Characters > Historical

Captain Karl Boy-Ed
German Naval Attaché

Photo of Captain Karl Boy-Ed German Military Attaché

Captain Karl Boy-Ed is cautious when he first meets Count Jaggi to brief him on the various covert operations that he has been running to get stranded German sailors back to Germany.

Boy-Ed also details his efforts to disrupt Allied shipping out of the New York City harbour. 

Ever since the American government ordered Captain von Papen back to Germany, Boy-Ed is aware that he will be next. He knows that Inspector MacNutt, head of the Canada’s Dominion Police’s Secret Service, Inspector Tunney of the New York City Bomb Squad and British Intelligence are keeping an eye on him until he leaves America.


Karl Boy-Ed entered the navy at a young age and eventually became a protégé of Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, who was seeking to increase the number of warships in the Imperial German Navy. Boy-Ed carried out a highly successful press campaign to influence the German public on the benefits of expanding the fleet. 

When he became the German naval attaché to Washington, in 1911, he impressed diplomatic Washington with his polish, cultivation, and charm.

As a naval attaché his main duties were:

When the war began Captain Boy-Ed was instructed, as was Captain von Papen, to secretly buy up or tie up American war production before it reached Britain and France. He was also instructed to find methods to resupply German naval raiders.

Shortly after the war began many German commercial ships were interned in the United States. Captain Boy-Ed quickly set up a network that allowed German navy and reservists to return home. He was also involved in various attempts to sabotage British and Allied shipping through the port of New York.

In 1917, when his activities became too blatant, President Wilson asked the German government to recall him.

Sources and further reading


First World - Who’s Who - Karl Boy-Ed

Karl Boy-Ed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Kaiser Sows Destruction - Central Intelligence Agency

CI Reader: An American Revolution Into the New Millennium, Volumes I, Office of the National Counter Intelligence Agency 


Jones, John Price and Paul Merrick Hollister. The German Secret Service In America, 1914-1918. Boston: Small, Maynard & Company Publishers, 1918.

Tunney, Thomas Joseph and Paul Merrick Hollister. Throttled! The Detection of the German and Anarchist Bomb Plotters. Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1919.