CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

The 1950s

The Berlin Tunnel

(Operation PBJOINTLY)

N - Z

The CIA history of the Berlin Tunnel operation has been declassified and published as U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956 (Washington, DC: 1968). Available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/tunnel.pdf; and via search at: http://www.foia.cia.gov/.

Stafford, David. Spies Beneath Berlin. London: Murray, 2002.

Clark comment: This is a scholarly account, supplementing and even extending Murphy/Kondrashev/Bailey's Battleground Berlin (1997).

For Peake, Studies 47.1 (2003), Spies Beneath Berlin presents "the most complete story of this amazing operation," adding new details and putting down some of the myths. The author "does a good job of explaining why the tunnel operation was indeed a success even though the KGB knew about it." Bath, NIPQ 9.1/2, notes that the author "sees no sign that the Soviets used their knowledge of the tunnel to plant disinformation." This is "[a]n interesting story, well told." Going even further, Cain, JIH 3.2, concludes that "Stafford's book will stand as the last word on this subject and in this manner it recommends itself to all intelligence historians."

Stockton, Bayard. Flawed Patriot: The Rise and Fall of CIA Legend Bill Harvey. Dulles, VA: Potomac, 2006.

Clark comment: I wanted to enjoy this book, but was in the end disappointed. The author clearly worked hard to capture Bill Harvey and his work and life, and there is no question that doing so was an almost impossible task. However, it seems in some ways that Stockton gathered material in his research that he felt he had to use even if it was not central -- or even germane -- to his story. I almost quit the book when the author went into wildly speculative musings about the Kennedy assassination and, then again, when much space was wasted (to no conclusion) on Harvey's links with Marajen and Michael Chinigo. The Berlin part is interesting, and probably an accurate reflection of work and life in that place at that time. Just as things went downhill after Berlin for Harvey, so do they go downhill for this book after that time. There are just too many "it must have been...," "he was likely to...," and the like for me to feel comfortable that what is being conveyed is on the mark. Legends certainly deserve a legend teller, but we are unlikely to see another biography of Harvey. Therefore, we will have to make do with this book with all its flaws.

For Goulden, Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), "some -- but by no means all -- of [Harvey's] career" is covered in this work. Since "much of Harvey's work was done in the darkest of shadows, one is not going to learn much about the specifics of how he earned his reputation." The reviewer's "one major criticism" of the book concerns Stockton's dragging "David Atlee Phillips into ill-grounded speculation about the assassination of President Kennedy."

Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), reminds us that "Richard Helms characterized Bill Harvey as aggressive, demanding, and conscientious, with a good knowledge of operations. Flawed Patriot adds meat to these bones while tempering the contrary Angletonian view found in David Martin's Wilderness of Mirrors and the image of Harvey as the 'weird eccentric' portrayed by Norman Mailer in his novel Harlot's Ghost. The story of Harvey's often controversial career has lessons for all readers interested in intelligence."

A review by Chapman, IJI&C 20.4 (Winter 2007), deals more with evaluating Harvey's career as presented by Stockton than with evaluating the author's effort. The reviewer does note, however, that "Stockton builds the cornerstone of the Harvey legend on the Berlin Tunnel.... By Stockton's account, the tunnel was Harvey's brainchild, with him as planner, architect, and engineer, but that is gravely in dispute."

Hickman, I&NS 23.6 (Dec. 2008), comments that "readers who expect a biographical work to get at larger questions will find some disappoitment" with this book. In addition, it "is organized awkwardly (at times, even poorly)"; and Stockton's "incorporation of interviews and primary source material is substandard." This reviewer is also bothered by the author's failure to use more thoroughly Harvey's 1975 testimony to the Church Committee. Bohning, Intelligencer 16.2/67/fn3 (Fall 2008), calls Failed Patriot "[a]n excellent account of the ZRRIFLE program."

Stokes, David R. "The Tunnel Time Forgot." Intelligencer 16, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 67-68.

This is a brief review of circumstances surrounding the Berlin Tunnel.

Time. "Berlin: Wonderful Tunnel." 7 May 1956. [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,937300,00.html]

This is one of the earliest articles about the discovery of the Berlin Tunnel by the Russians.

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956. Washington, DC: 1968. [http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/tunnel.pdf and via search at: http://www.foia.cia.gov/.

This is the official version of the Berlin Tunnel Operation (PBJOINTLY), written as part of the Clandestine Services History. It was declassified and released to the public in redacted form in February 2007.

Whitlock, Craig. "The East Berlin Tunnel: Whose Ruse? In Cold War Spy Games, a Coup for the CIA Wasn't All It Seemed." Washington Post, 28 Jan. 2008, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The author rehashes the usual points of discussion that surround the Berlin Tunnel. The occasion for the article seems to be the apparent recent discovery of the release (which occurred in February 2007) of the CIA's internal history of the operation, The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956. The CIA document is carried in three parts on the Washington Post's website:

1. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/documents/tunnel1.pdf

2. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/documents/tunnel2.pdf

3. http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/world/documents/tunnel3.pdf

It is also available at: http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/tunnel.pdf and via search at: http://www.foia.cia.gov/.

Return to CIA 1950s Table of Contents