Paul Lashmar


Lashmar, Paul. "The Double Life of a Quiet Old Lady." The Independent (UK), 12 Sep. 1999. []

Re Melita Norwood ("Hola"): "Co-op tea from a Che Guevara mug.... [In] the bizarre world of a suburban spy."


Lashmar, Paul. "Shayler is Accused of 'Reckless' New Leak." The Independent (UK), 25 Apr. 2000. []

British Intelligence Services claim that the publishing of a top-secret MI5 report on an American internet site "gives enough detail for hostile agencies to identify MI6 spies who have given information. The 14-page report examines Libyan intelligence penetration in Britain during the mid-1990s and, for example, cites detailed information from three MI6 sources in the Libyan community in Britain."


Lashmar, Paul. Spy Flights of the Cold War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1996. Phoenix Mill, UK: Sutton, 1996.

Clark comment: The genesis of this book is found in a BBC TV Timewatch documentary, "Spies in the Sky," first broadcast in the UK in February1994 and later carried in the United States by the A&E Network in May 1994. The focus is on strategic aerial reconnaissance primarily against the Eastern Bloc up to 1962. The author raises some concerns about the role and "intentions" of Gen. Curtis E. LeMay.

From the point of view of Brugioni, WIR 16.3, one of the author's "great contributions is revealing the role of the RAF 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing" in the early overflights of the Soviet Union. However, the "chapters on the U-2 reveal little new information," and "Lashmar goes too far in implying that a comment made by General LeMay was intended to provoke the Soviets into a nuclear war."

Anderson, Intelligencer 8.3, finds Lashmar's frequent use of the word "provocative" to describe the U.S. spy flights and his conclusion that the flights prolonged and intensified the Cold War a bit much to take, but concludes, nonetheless, that the less opinionated and polemical parts of the book are "informative and historical." Twigge, I&NS 14.2, finds this work to be "well balanced," "impressive," and "an important contribution to our understanding of the strategic role played by aerial reconnaissance during the cold war.... The only minor criticism is that the citation of documents consulted at the Public Record Office is so incomplete as to be useless."

For Thomas, Air Power Journal 13.1, this work "represents an ambitious and impressive effort to reveal the truth from a shroud of secrecy.... Personal accounts by aircrews provide rich detail and offer fascinating insights into the operational and tactical aspects of these courageous missions. Lashmar's effort, however, is undermined by questionable propositions regarding the USAF's unofficial, provocative strategy."


Lashmar, Paul. "Stranger than 'Strangelove': Did Gen. Curtis LeMay Have a Secret Agenda Aimed at Starting World War III?" Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 11-17 Jul. 1994, 24.

Lashmar, Paul, and James Oliver. Britain's Secret Propaganda War, 1948-1977. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 1998.

Wilford, I&NS 14.2, notes that this is "a popular narrative history" of the Foreign Office's Information Research Department from its beginning in 1948 to its demise in 1977. The work "has some flaws but more virtues." The authors' "high-calibre research work" is flawed by "patchy and unreliable" citing of sources, and some of their judgments show a "lack of subtlety or nuance." Consequently, the book "needs to treated with some caution."

For Stafford, Journal of Cold War Studies 2.3 (2000), “the breathless and shocked tone that pervades Britain's Secret Propaganda War seems out of place…. The alarmist tone of the book, combined with a plethora of misspellings and factual errors…, casts doubt on the authors' credibility as historians…. Fortunately, there is enough of value and interest in the book to make it worthwhile. This is especially true of what the authors tell us about the IRD's publishing activities…. In sum, parts of this book are very useful and convey much fascinating information. On the whole, however, the book is to be treated with caution.”

Shaw, Journal of Cold War Studies 3.3 (Fall 2001), comments that the authors "cast a discerning eye over the IRD's manipulation of newspapers, magazines, news agencies, and radio stations from the 1940s to the 1970s. Indeed, they tell a fascinating -- if at times overly sensationalist -- story of a unit that was kept secret from the British public during its lifetime." The book "draws impressively on a range of documentary material," but "is marred ... by the numerous inaccurate or missing references, faults compounded by a disconcerting reliance on oral testimony." It also has "numerous typographical mistakes and spelling errors."


Lashmar, Paul, Yvonne Ridley and Rachel Sylvester. "More Spies To Be Named." The Independent (UK), 12 Sep. 1999. []

According to "[a] British intelligence officer," there will be "[u]p to 12 more Britons recruited into the KGB ... unmasked later this week. Some are understood to be still alive and living in the UK."


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