Vladimir Petrov was a senior Soviet MVD officer and his wife, Evdokia, was a code clerk. They defected in Australia in April 1954.
Australia, Commonwealth of. Report of Royal Commission on Espionage. Sydney, Australia: A.H. Pettifer, 1955.
Pforzheimer identifies this as the "official and extremely important report on Soviet intelligence activities in Australia in the early 1950's, growing out of the defection of the Petrovs."
Bialoguski, Michael. The Case of Colonel Petrov: How I Weaned a High MVD Official from Communism. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955. The Petrov Story. London: Heinemann, 1955. Melbourne, Australia: Paladin, 1989.
Clark comment: The author was the Australian security intermediary in Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov's defections in Australia in 1954. Pforzheimer, Studies 6.2 (Spring 1962), suggests that at times the author "overplays his own role in the affair." Constantinides is harsher, calling the book "a questionable version of those events, and the author's role in them." This conclusion is buttressed by the Petrovs' own account in Empire of Fear.
Brown, Wilton J. The Petrov Conspiracy Unmasked. Sydney, Australia: Current Book Distributors, 1957. [Petersen]
Horner, David. The Spy Catchers: The Official History of ASIO 1949-1963. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2014.
West, IJI&C 28.3 (Fall 2015), says "David Horner's authoritative account" of events surrounding the Petrov defection "is absolutely compelling and completely undermines the numerous other versions of the episode." Although this official history "is borderline hagiographic," the author "knows his craft and has produced a strongly recommended and hugely impressive account of ASIO's work."
Manne, Robert W. The Petrov Affair: The Politics of Espionage. Sydney and New York: Pergamon, 1987. London: Brassey's, 1987.
Cain, I&NS 6.1, says that Manne "has brought the history of Petrov affair totally up to date.... [This] thorough study will serve as a guide to other researchers still interested in the topic."
Petrov, Vladimir, and Evdokia Petrov. Empire of Fear. New York: Praeger, 1956. London: André Deutsch, 1956.
Pforzheimer recommends this book for its "insight into the Soviet state, its intelligence apparatus and operations." Constantinides comments that the "important facts of Soviet intelligence activities in Australia that Vladimir Petrov revealed" can be found in the Report of Royal Commission on Espionage, but are not included in the Petrovs' book.
Thwaites, Michael. Truth Will Out: ASIO and the Petrovs. Sydney, Australia: Collins, 1980.
Michael Thwaites, former head of counter-espionage in the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), died on 1 November 2005 at the age of 90.
Constantinides notes that this book "gives Australian security's view of the Petrovs' defection as well as revealing that [the Petrovs'] Empire of Fear was ghost written by Thwaites."
Whitlam, Nicholas, and John Stubbs. Nest of Traitors: The Petrov Affair. Milton, Australia: Jacaranda Press, 1974. Rev. ed. St. Lucia, Australia: Queensland University Press, 1985.
Cain, I&NS 6.1/247, says that this work "is easier to read than Manne's book [The Petrov Affair] and should be consulted by students of the affair before they tackle Manne's more thorough study based on archival records."
Wilkie, Douglas. "The Soviet Spy Case that Shook Australia." Reporter, 24 Mar. 1955, 28-33. [Petersen]
Return to Australia Table of Contents