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Czechoslovakia

Cold War

August, Frantisek, and David Rees. Red Star Over Prague. London: Sherwood Press, 1984.

Milivojevic, I&NS 2.2, finds these memoirs of a Czechoslovak StB officer who defected in Beirut in 1969 "fascinating." August confirms that "the intelligence organisations of the satellite Warsaw Pact states are totally controlled by the KGB." (Emphasis in original) He also makes the point, confirmed by his fellow defectors Bittman and Frolik, that the "Czech StB is highly regarded by the KGB and has long been used by it for some of the most sensitive espionage and Active Measures operations against the West."

Bittman, Ladislav. The Deception Game: Czechoslovak Intelligence in Soviet Political Warfare. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Research Corp., 1972. New York: Ballantine, 1981. [pb]

Buzek, Antonin.

1. "Diplomacy and Espionage." East Europe 11, no. 8 (Aug. 1962): 10-11.

Rocca and Dziak: "The defected ex-chief correspondent in London of the Czech News Agency (CTK) describes agent activity under diplomatic cover during his tenure."

2. "Diplomacy and Espionage." Military Review 43, no. 1 (Jan. 1963): 85-88.

Rocca and Dziak: Buzek "[d]escribes the Czech service as, in fact, an extension of the Soviet Intelligence Service, used in places where the Soviets cannot penetrate."

Frolik, Josef. The Frolik Defection: The Memoirs of an Agent. London: Leo Cooper, 1975.

Harris, Francis. "KGB Attack Provoked Velvet Revolution." Telegraph (London), 16 Nov. 1999. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

"Senior KGB officers were covertly involved in the unprovoked police assault on students in Prague 10 years ago [17 November 1989] that sparked Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution and led to the fall of communism.... [D]ocumentary evidence of the KGB's role has survived. It shows that two senior officers [Gen. Viktor Grushko and Gen. Genady Teslenko] were in Prague at the time of the revolution."

Hutton, J. Bernard [Pseud., Joseph Heisler]. The Subverters. New Rochelle: Arlington House, 1972.

Chambers identifies this book as a Czech defector's tale.

Lefebvre, Stéphane. "The U.S. Counterintelligence Corps and Czechoslovak Human Intelligence Operations, 1947-1972." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 19, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 120-133.

During the Cold War, "the StB was focused primarily on internal security.... While good at intimidating people, the StB performed rather poorly as an intelligence-gathering organization.... [footnote omitted] [T]he role played by the CIC in countering" Czechoslovak human intelligence operations against Western targets "must be recognized."

Lukes, Igor.

1. "The Birth of a Police State: The Czechoslovak Ministry of the Interior, 1945-48." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 1 (Jan. 1996): 78-88.

The author argues two points: "First, Czechoslovak Communists did much of the work typically ascribed to the Kremlin by themselves"; and, second, "the West played a confusing role in the post-war Czechoslovak crisis."

2. "The Czechoslovak Intelligence Service and Western Reactions to the Communist Coup d'Etat of February 1948." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 4 (Oct. 1993): 73-85.

This article focuses primarily on the French and is keyed to a specific document: "[R]eport from the Ministry of the Interior's intelligence service to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

Lukes, Igor. "The Czechoslovak Special Services and Their American Adversary during the Cold War." Journal of Cold War Studies 9, no. 1 (Winter 2007): 3-28. [http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/jcws.2007.9.1.3]

From abstract: "This article discusses the activities of four Czechoslovak security and intelligence agencies to demonstrate that the scale of the U.S. failure in Prague in 1945-1948 was far greater than often assumed, especially if one considers the substandard size and quality of Czechoslovakia's Communist-dominated special services after the war."

Bridges, H-Diplo, 27 Jun. 2007 [http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/journalforum.htm], notes that the author "makes clear the ineptitude of the American military intelligence officers in the Prague embassy.... One wonders whether the failure of the military intelligence people may have been due to their lack of training in clandestine work." The reviewer also expresses his "doubt that any other American has done as much research as Lukes has in both prewar and postwar Czechoslovak archives."

For Smula, H-Diplo, 27 Jun. 2007 [http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/journalforum.htm], Lukes' overview "is especially useful to those unable to read Czech, who are getting for the first time a comprehensive, and at times colourful, look inside the intelligence services during the immediate postwar years." However, "a more systematic examination of the reasons behind the American failure would have benefited the article."

Lukes, Igor. "KAMEN: A Cold War Dangle Operation with an American Dimension, 1948-1952." Studies in Intellihence 55, no. 1 (Mar. 2011): 1-12.

The Czechoslovak StB "created fictitious resistance organizations, dangled them as bait," and drew in opponents of the communist regime.

Lukes, Igor. On the Edge of the Cold War: American Diplomats and Spies in Postwar Prague. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Peake, Studies 56.4 (Dec. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.3 (Winter-Spring 2013), sees this as "a superbly documented, well-written story of US intelligence operations in early postwar Czechoslovakia." For Fischer, IJI&C 26.2 (Summer 2013), this is a "thoroughly researched and gracefully written account." It "reveals how woefully unprepared American military and civilian intelligence officers were for the challenge that faced them in Czechoslovakia."

Masin, Barbara. Gauntlet: Five Friends, 20,000 Enemy Troops, and the Secret That Could Have Changed the Face of Cold War Europe. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2006.

From publisher: In October 1953, "five young men, armed with four pistols, crossed the border from Czechoslovakia into East Germany." Their goal was to reach West Germany and enlist in the U.S. Army. They touched off "the largest manhunt of the Cold War.... [T]housands of East German and Soviet troops chased them ... for thirty-one days.... [T]hree finally reached West Berlin. Prior to their escape, they had formed the nucleus of an anti-Communist resistance group, inspired by the testament of celebrated World War II resistance leader, Czech general Josef Masin, father to two of the young men and grandfather to the author of this book."

Goulden, Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007) and Washington Times, 26 Nov. 2006, says that the author presents a "thriller" that is written "in a highly readable style." Masin faults Radio Free Europe for raising the hopes of the captive peoples of East Europe.

Persak, Krzysztof, and Lukasz Kaminski, eds. A Handbook of the Communist Security Apparatus in East Central Europe, 1944-1989. Warsaw, Poland: Institute of National Remembrance, 2005.

Holland, IJI&C 19.2 (Summer 2006), sees this as an "exceptionally useful volume." Although the "volume's chapters are uneven,... each chapter provides a dependable base line of information."

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Strategic Warning and the Role of Intelligence: Lessons Learned From The 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, at: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/historical-collection-publications/czech-invasion/index.html.

"The Czechoslovak crisis began in January 1968. The Czech communist leadership embarked on a program of dramatic liberalization of the political, economic, and social orders. These reforms triggered increasing Soviet concerns culminating in the invasion of 21 August 1968. This collection of documents pertains to these issues, the responses and analysis of this event in history."

Zacek, Pavel. "The Origins and Development of the Czechoslovak Interior Ministry First Directorate: Communist Espionage in the 1950s." Journal of Intelligence History 5, no. 1 (Summer 2005). [http://www.intelligence-history.org/jih/journal.html]

From Abstract: "Collaboration and internal conduct of affairs between Moscow and Prague are connected with structures and intentions of the clandestine service. Exact figures, as well as names and codenames of intelligence chiefs," are given, as well as "detailed information about strategic aims and tactical movements in Europe at the height of a secret war between East and West."

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