World War II

The Soviet Spy Rings in Europe:

The Rote Kapelle, the Lucy Ring, & the Rote Drei

A - Q

Accoce, Pierre, and Pierre Quet. Tr., A.M. Sheridan Smith. The Lucy Ring. London: W.H. Allen, 1966. A Man Called Lucy, 1939-1945. New York: Coward-McCann, 1967. New York: Berkley Medallion Edition, 1968. [pb]

Clark comment: Lucy was the codename of Rudolf Roessler who, working from Switzerland from 1939 to 1943, supplied the Soviet government a steady stream of intelligence direct from the German High Command. The authors note that, in order to give Lucy's story "the greatest possible unity, we have presented it almost as a narrative, even colloquially..., while always carefully adhering to the facts." (p. 14, Berkley edition) Commentators have not universally agreed with the latter assertion.

For Chambers, the book is "inventive -- the authors admit large parts are made up." Constantinides notes that "experts have concluded that their work is not a reliable source on the subject."

Aldrich, Richard J. "Soviet Intelligence, British Security and the End of the Red Orchestra: The Fate of Alexander Rado." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1991): 196-218.

From January to July 1945, Alexander Rado -- the GRU chief in Switzerland from 1940 to 1943 -- was in the hands of British Security Intelligence Middle East (SIME) in Cairo. Aldrich mines the available material for the conclusion that, contrary to popular legend, Rado neither tried to defect to the British nor did the British repatriation of Rado to the Soviets represent anything other than the routine treatment of him as a Displaced Person. The author suggests that the failure of the British to recognize who and what they had in their hands argues against the kind of relationship between British intelligence and Rado's network that some writers have put forward.

Boysen, Elsa. Harro Schulze-Boysen. Dusseldorf:  Komet-Verlag, 1947. Harro Schulze-Boysen: Das Bild eines Freiheitskämpfers.. Koblenz: Fölbach Verlag, 1992.

Brysac, Shareen Blair. Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

To Heusler, H-German, H-Net Reviews, Jan. 2005, the merit of this "biography lies ... in narrating for us the ... tragic story of a fascinating and courageous woman," who "was the only American woman executed in Nazi Germany -- on the personal instruction of Hitler. As a result of Brysac's research, the significance of alleged peripheral figures like Mildred Harnack for the internal structure of the 'Red Orchestra' and for the motives and actions of its well-known protagonists becomes clearer now."

Foote, Alexander. Handbook for Spies. London: Museum Press, 1949. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1949. Rev. ed. London: Museum Press, 1964.

Clark comment: The title gives no indication of the content of this book. Foote, an Englishman, was an agent and radio operator in the Rote Drei, a Soviet World War II espionage net operating out of Switzerland. Chambers notes that this is "Foote's version of events.... Werner disagrees violently with him."

For Pforzheimer, this is an "interesting early study ... [but] other writings have now caught up with some of Foote's errors and distortions." Aldrich, I&NS 6.1/212/fn. 4, says that Foote "inflated his own while attempting to attack [Alexander] Rado's personal integrity." After pointing to the controversy surrounding this book and its errors, Constantinides seeks to avoid discouraging potential readers by noting the value of Foote's "description of a Soviet network and of Soviet recruitment, cover, network financing, communications, and overall methods of operation."

Clarridge, A Spy for All Seasons, pp. 49-50, comments on reading this book early in his CIA career that it was "informative" and "had a lot of good information about what is called tradecraft -- the way espionage is conducted. He discussed how to compartment an agent, how to use a principal agent to run subagents, clandestine radio communications, and cipher techniques."

Garlinski, Jozef. The Swiss Corridor: Espionage Networks in Switzerland during World War II. London: Dent, 1981.

Rocca and Dziak note Garlinski's argument that "the British fed relevant Enigma production to the Soviets via their Swiss GRU network, the Rote Drei." Aldrich, I&NS 6.1/212-213/fn. 5, refers to Garlinski's work as "[o]ne of the more carefully researched accounts of this period"; however, it "suffers from ignoring the CIA's Rote Kapelle, published in 1979."

Höhne, Heinz. Codeword: Direktor: The Story of the Red Orchestra. New York: Coward, McCann, & Geoghegan, 1971. London: Secker & Warburg, 1971. New York: Ballantine, 1982. [pb]

To Pforzheimer, this "well documented" book "presents a dramatic account of the confrontation between the Soviet ring and the Nazi counterespionage organization." The author contends that both German and Russians "have greatly exaggerated the impact of the ring on the course of the war."

Kesaris, Paul, ed. The Rote Kapelle: The CIA's History of Scouting Intelligence. Lanham, MD: University Publications of America, 1979. The Rote Kapelle: The CIA's History of Soviet Intelligence and Espionage Networks in Western Europe, 1936-1945. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1979.

See U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, Counterintelligence Staff, The Rote Kapelle: The CIA's History of Soviet Intelligence and Espionage Networks in Western Europe, 1936-1945 (Washington, DC: University Publications of America, 1979).

Kilzer, Louis. Hitler's Traitor: Martin Bormann and the Defeat of the Reich. Novato, CA: Presidio, 2000.

West, IJI&C 14.3, dismisses completely the author's effort to connect Martin Bormann and the Rote Drei's mysterious sources codenamed Werther, Teddy, Anna, and Olga. The reviewer concludes that "this volume is an example of espionage mythology being exacerbated by an almost pervasive determination to circumvent any contrary evidence."

Nelson, Anne. Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler. New York: Random House, 2009.

Goulden, Washington Times, 21 Jun. 2009, and Intelligencer 17.2 (Fall 2009), notes that the author "focuses on the intellectuals, artists and bureaucrats -- half of them women -- who comprised the German off-shoot of the Rote Kapelle." However, she "goes a bit far in divorcing the entire effort from Soviet intelligence." And she "chose to ignore the most authoritative overview of the Red Orchestra, a post-war CIA study," which continues to be readily available. Nonetheless, this is "[a] first-rate read."

For Pringle, IJI&C 23.1 (Spring 2010), the author's "pages on the role of the women of the Red Orchestra are quite moving." It is clear that Nelson "deeply empathizes with the key members of the group, and has done impressive research about their lives." However, it is bothersome that she "apparently did not consult some important books on Soviet intelligence and the Red Orchestra." Despite this, this work "usefully explores a relatively unknown chapter of German history."

Perrault, Gilles [Pseud., Jacques Peyroles]. Tr., Peter Wiles. The Red Orchestra. London: Barker, 1968. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1969. New York: Schocken, 1969. [pb]

Clark comment: Originally published as L'Orchestre Rouge (Paris: Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1967). Constantinides comments that Perrault "does not fully and precisely identify where he ... got his information." Although detailed in nature, the work still contains inaccuracies, including a slanting of the story toward Leopold Trepper.

Forward to Russia WWII Spies R-Z

Return to Russia WWII Table of Contents

Return to Soviet Spies - By Name

Return to WWII Germany Table of Contents