Spy Cases

The Five

A substantial amount of new material bearing on the activities of Soviet spies in Britain was carried by the Telegraph (London), beginning on 10 Jan. 1998, under the title "How Britain Was Betrayed: The KGB's Story." The material published by theTelegraph is "[b]ased on KGB files released for The Crown Jewels by Nigel West and Oleg Tsarev and supplemented by additional research of material in the KGB archives."

BBC. "The Cambridge Spy Ring." 10 Sep. 1999. [http://news.bbc.co.uk]

Reviews careers and treachery of the Cambridge Five.

Boyle, Andrew. The Climate of Treason: Five Who Spied for Russia. London: Hutchinson, 1979. The Fourth Man: The Definitive Account of Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean and Who Recruited Them to Spy for Russia. New York: Dial, 1979. Rev. ed. London: Coronet, 1980, 1987. New York: Bantam Books, 1980. [pb]

Carver, George A., Jr. "The Fifth Man." The Atlantic 262 (Sep. 1988): 26-28.

The author is a former CIA official.

Cecil, Robert.

1. "The Cambridge Comintern." In The Missing Dimension: Governments and Intelligence Communities in the Twentieth Century, eds. Christopher Andrew and David Dilks, 169-198. London: Macmillan, 1984.

2. "Legends Spies Tell." Encounter, Apr. 1978, 9-17.

Deacon, Richard [Donald McCormick]. The Cambridge Apostles: A History of Cambridge University's Elite Intellectual Secret Society. New York: Farrar, Straus, 1986.

From the 1820s to Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt.

Kerr, Sheila. "KGB Sources on the Cambridge Network of Soviet Agents: True or False?" Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 3 (Jul. 1996): 561-585.

Macintyre, Ben. "An Intimate Betrayal." History Today 64, no. 5 (May 2014): 18-20.

The author focuses on the third volume of Guy Liddell's diaries, declassified in 2012. The volume covers the period 1945 to 1953, ending with Liddell's departure from MI5. "It is an astonishing ... document, charting Liddell's reactions to the mounting evidence of his friends' treachery, from bland confidence, through apprehension, to open suspicion." Liddell "slowly came to the grim realisation that some of his closest friends, men he trusted utterly, had deceived and betrayed him. Liddell's friendship with the Cambridge spies wrecked his career, unfairly tarnishing the reputation of an exceptional intelligence officer."

Mann, Wilfrid Basil. Was There a Fifth Man? Quintessential Recollections. Oxford: Pergamon, 1982.

Mather, John Sidney, ed. The Great Spy Scandal. London: Daily Express, 1955.

Rees, Goronwy. A Chapter of Accidents. London: Chatto & Windus, 1972. New York: Library Press, 1972.

Rees, Jenny. Looking for Mr. Nobody: The Secret Life of Goronwy Rees. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1994.

Smith, Michael. "KGB Files Reveal Clue that Broke British Spy Ring." Telegraph (London), 2 Oct. 1996. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"The intercepted KGB messages that detail Moscow's dealings with the British spies Kim Philby, Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess were released by GCHQ" to the Public Record Office on 1 October 1996. "The move was forced on the Cheltenham spy base by the Americans, who released on to the Internet the results of Operation Venona, the top-secret project to decipher Moscow Centre's communications with its foreign stations....

"It was not until 1949 that the Venona team managed to break into the messages from New York to Moscow containing the information provided by Maclean, who was identified by the cover name Homer.... [T]he FBI concluded that any one of 6,000 people might have been Homer.... [S]lowly, MI5 narrowed down those names to a handful of people who would have had access to the top-secret exchanges between London and Washington.

"Then in April 1951, the Venona cryptanalysts found the vital clue in one of the messages. For part of 1944, Homer had had regular contacts with his Soviet control in New York -- using his pregnant wife as an excuse. The names had been narrowed down to just one -- Donald Maclean. Tipped off by Philby, who had access to the Venona material, he fled to Moscow with Burgess."

Sutherland, Douglas. The Fourth Man: The Story of Blunt, Philby, Burgess and Maclean. London: Secker & Warburg, 1980. The Great Betrayal: The Definitive Story of Blunt, Philby, Burgess and Maclean. New York: Times Books, 1980.

Teagarden, Ernest M. "The Cambridge Five: The End of the Cold War Brings Forth Some Views from the Other Side." American Intelligence Journal 18, no. 1/2 (1998): 63-68.

The author examines a number of the post-Cold War versions from both Russian and Western writers of how the Cambridge Five came into being and operated. He notes that agreement is lacking on such a basic issue as how each member was recruited. It also seems clear that their reporting was not always accepted on its face by the Soviet intelligence leadership. There was, in fact, a "distrust of the Five that always seemed to be just below the surface." The three defectors among the group "were under constant surveillance" from the KGB.

West, Rebecca.

Much of what West does in her works on treason stands up well, especially from a philosophical point of view, even after so many years.

1. The Meaning of Treason. New York: Viking, 1946. London: The Reprint Society, 1952.

2. The New Meaning of Treason. New York: Viking, 1964. [pb] Rev. ed., 1967.

Constantinides finds this work "marked by the penetrating analysis and writing ability for which the author is famous." She provides "discerning judgments on the traitors and their motives." To Taylor and Snow, I&NS 12.2/116/fn.1, West's "epilogue in both volumes is a good introduction to the concept of ideological treason."


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