From Revolution to World War II

1917 - 1939

J - Z

Jansen, Marc, and Ben de Jong. "Stalin's Hand in Rotterdam: The Murder of the Ukrainian Nationalist Yevhen Konovalets in May 1938." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 4 (Oct. 1994): 676-694.

The hit on Konovalets was by Pavel Sudoplatov. See section on Sudaplatov in "Russia: Intelligence Memoirs" file.

Jansen, Marc, and Nikita Petrov.  Stalin's Loyal Executioner:  People's Commissar Nikolai Ezhov 1895-1940. Stanford, CA:  Hoover Institution Press, 2002. 

Peake, Studies 47.2 (2003), notes that Yezhov headed the NKVD during the Red Terror of 1937-1938. When that murderous period was finished, "Stalin's loyal executioner" was shot. The authors "have filled in some of the gaps in the case of the man called the 'bloodthirsty dwarf.'" See also, J. Arch Getty and Oleg V. Naumov, Yezhov: The Rise of Stalin's "Iron Fist" (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008).

Kahan, Stuart. The Wolf of the Kremlin. London: Robert Hale, 1989.

This biography of Kaganovich offers insights into the Terror and the relationship between Stalin and the OGPU/NKVD.

Kaledin, Victor K. K.14-O.M.66: Adventures of a Double Spy. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1934. London: Paternoster, 1937. [Chambers]

Kronenbitter, Rita T. "Leon Trotsky, Dupe of the NKVD." Studies in Intelligence 16, no. 1 (Special Edition 1972): 15-61.

"For operations abroad Stalin's services resorted at first to the use of penetration and provocation agents, spotters or fingermen, then to mobile teams for abductions and assassinations." Trotsky's "gullibility in dealing with people around him and the failure of the Fourth International to act by setting up some office to counter hostile espionage stand out as an enigma in [his] life and work."

Lammers, D. N. "The Engineers' Trial (Moscow, 1933) and Anglo-Soviet Relations." South Atlantic Quarterly 62 (1963): 256-267.

Leggett, George H. The Cheka: Lenin's Political Police--The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage (December 1917 to February 1922). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.

According to Pforzheimer, this is "considered to be the definitive book ... on the first formative five years of the Soviet security service." Rocca and Dziak say this "[e]xceptionally well-researched, balanced and informative ... book is a treasure of documentation and insight."

Leonard, Raymond. Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 1918-1933. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2000.

Lukes, Igor. "The GPU and GRU in Pre-World War II Czechoslovakia." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 8, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 91-104.

The author presents some 1923 Soviet documents dealing with the organization of the GPU and the GRU. The documents were collected by the Third Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was "active and successful in gathering offensive intelligence abroad" and which was headed by Jan Hajek.

Mahon, Tom. "The Secret IRA-Soviet Agreement, 1925." History Ireland 17, no. 3 (2009).

"In the summer of 1925,... [the IRA] sent a delegation to Moscow to solicit finance and weaponry from the Soviet Union…. The group was led by the well-known Cork gunman P.A. Murray, who met privately with Joseph Stalin…. Both parties made a secret agreement: the IRA would spy for the Soviets in Britain and America, as well as support their strategic goals, and in return receive a monthly payment of £500…. For the next few years [Moss] Twomey, in collaboration with his close associate [Andy] Cooney, oversaw the IRA's relationship with the Soviet Union…. Around [1930], however, the Soviets backed away."

McLoughlin, Barry. Left to the Wolves: Irish Victims of Stalinist Terror. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2006.

From publisher:  At least three of the victims of Stalin's Great Terror of 1937-1938 were foreign-born Communists of Irish nationality. "This book describes their social background, how and why they entered the semi-clandestine world of Communism and the reasons for their residence in the USSR."

Pavlov, Vitali. Operatsia "Sneg" [Operation "Snow"]. Moscow: "Geya," 1996.

Gordievsky, I&NS 14.1, points out that the operation in the title is claimed by the author to have taken place in the summer of 1941. It involved the use of Harry Dexter White to work toward provoking war between the United States and Japan, to take the pressure off the Soviet Union in the Far East. The reviewer is less than convinced by Pavlov's tale: "[E]verthing he says in Operation 'Snow' has to be taken with a heavy pinch of salt."

Poretsky, Elizabeth [alias Elsa Bernaut and Elsa Reiss]. Our Own People: A Memoir of 'Ignace Reiss' and His Friends. London: Oxford University Press, 1969. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970.

According to Rocca and Dziak, Ignace Reiss was the alias of Ignatz Poretsky, a GRU illegal in the 1920s who was reactivated by the NKVD along with Walter Krivitsky in Western Europe in 1933-1934. The two friends defected separately in 1937 and 1938. Reiss was murdered by the NKVD in September 1937. This work is Poretsky's "restrained memorial ... to her husband and to a small group of his Ukrainian-Polish colleagues." Constantinides sees in Poretsky's work "a parade of figures who later achieved fame as intelligence operatives or agents.... Her descriptions of Moscow in 1936 during the purges ... are chilling to read."

Pringle, Robert W. "Modernization of Terror: The Transformation of Stalin's NKVD, 1934-1941." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 113-123.

The author finds that materials now available "suggest that Stalin rebuilt the security service by purging older professionals and replacing them with better educated younger men: the corps of service personnel mutated from Leninist believers to Stalinist technicians of terror."

Service, Robert. Spies and Commissars: The Early Years of the Russian Revolution. New York: PublicAffairs, 2012.

Goulden, Washington Times, 23 Jul. 2012, and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), says that the author "delves into recently declassified British intelligence archives to add rich and very readable details of the cross-plotting" between the West and the Bolshevik government.

Sobolyeva, Tatyana A. Tr., Thomas R. Hammant. "Some Incidents in the 1930's." Cryptologia 25, no. 1 (Jan. 2001): 61-63.

Abstract: "Soviet comint personnel were active participants in at least Spain, China, and Mongolia during the 1930's. Special Operations Groups of cryptanalysts and comint intercept operators provided assistance to the host governments fighting German, Italian, and Japanese military forces in those countries."

Spence, Richard B. Boris Savinkov: Renegade on the Left. Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press, 1991.

Barros, I&NS 8.2, sees this work as a "notable scholarly departure from the largely unbalanced and shallow literature on Savinkov ... in the past." There is "one weak section: the discussion of Savinkov's involvement with Reilly, the Trust, and the Sindikat operations.... Several important sources are neglected."

Stone, David R. "The August 1924 Raid on Stolpce, Poland, and the Evolution of Soviet Active Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 3 (Jun. 2006): 331-341.

The Soviet-sponsored (ostensibly ordered by a local OGPU official) raid was such a disaster that the Politburo moved to revise its policy on "active intelligence" (subversion and sabotage).

Ural'skij, Yu [Lt. Col.]. Tr., Thomas R. Hammant. "Soviet Comint and the Civil War." Cryptologia 25, no. 1 (Jan. 2001): 50-60.

From abstract: "By January 1919, a radio intelligence service had been established in the Red Army, although shortages of equipment and comint personnel limited its operation during the civil war. Both sides in the civil war suffered from poor communications security."

Vespa, Amleto.

1. Secret Agent in Japan: A Handbook to Japanese Imperialism. Boston: Little, Brown, 1938.

Kikus Reviews (undated): "In 1920 the author entered the secret service of the Governor-General of Manchuria, then under China. At the time of the Japanese occupation, he was forced into their service, unwillingly. Five years later he made his escape, and this is the inside story of those years.... It seems authentic."

2. Espionage in the Far East: White Russians and White Slavers. [UK]: Allborough Publishing, 1992. Vol. 1 of the Allborough Espionage Series.

Surveillant 2.5 says this is a new edition of the 1938 book.

Wala, Michael. "A Triangle of Deception: Intelligence and Germany's Military Relations with the United States and the Soviet Union, 1919-1939." Journal of Intelligence History 8, no. 2 (Winter 2008-2009). []

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