1. Theodore Alvin Hall
2. George Koval
1. Theodore Alvin Hall
Albright, Joseph, and Marcia Kunstel. Bombshell: The Secret Story of America's Unknown Atomic Spy Conspiracy. New York: Times Books/Random House, 1997.
Clark comment: The speculation that Theodore Alvin Hall was the Soviet spy whose codename was "Mlad" seems to be at an end. Hall admits to the authors of Bombshell having contact with the Soviets, although he carefully (even at this late date) avoids admitting to specific acts of espionage. The self-serving justifications offered by Hall for his acts of treason (the Soviets were allies and a fear "of an American monopoly of atomic weapons if there should be a postwar depression") ring particularly hollow today. The question remains, however, why he was allowed to walk away from an FBI investigation in the 1950s and 1960s. Perhaps, the best guess may be that the FBI lacked the evidence to convict Hall of espionage without revealing the existence of the Venona decrypts. See report in New York Times, 16 Sep. 1997, A17 (N). See also, Hall's obituary: Bart Barnes, "Atomic Bomb Physicist Theodore Alvin Hall Dies at 74," Washington Post, 11 Nov. 1999, B7.
Herken, WPNWE, 10 Nov. 1997, says that Bombshell "is both a solid, well-researched work and a brilliant piece of reportage." The focus is the spy ring known to its Soviet handlers as the "Volunteers," comprised of Theodore Alvin Hall ("Mlad" in the Venona traffic), Saville Sax ("Star"), and the husband-and-wife team of Morris and Lona ("Helen") Cohen. The book "provides convincing evidence" that Klaus Fuchs' treachery "only confirmed information the Russians already had from Hall."
For Wettering, IJI&C 11.4, this is "an interesting biography of Ted Hall, with some fascinating looks at Morris and Lona Cohen." Although the book "contains very little real information on Hall's espionage activity," Bombshell is overall "a well-researched and very well-written biography of a heretofore little known spy."
Cohen, Sam. "Ted Hall: A Soldier from Venona." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 11, no. 3 (Fall 1998): 351-365.
Cohen knew Hall from their days working on the Manhatten Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
1. "Code Name Mlad: The 'Crime of the Century' Is Not Yet Closed." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 4-10 Mar. 1996, 9-10.
Based on "a review of dozens of recently declassified Soviet and U.S. documents," Dobbs develops the argument that Theodore Alvin Hall was the Soviet spy known previously only by the code name Mlad.
2. "Pointing the Finger at Mlad. Newly Declassified Intercepts of Soviet Spy Messages Also Renew Suspicions about Alger Hiss." Washington Post National Weekly Edition, 11-17 Mar. 1996, 34.
A new release of VENONA documents with NSA notes identifying U.S. officials and others as the Soviet agents mentioned by code name in the Soviet cables names Theodore Alvin Hall as the Atomic spy known previously only as Mlad ("Youngster").
2. George Koval
Broad, William J. "A Spys Path: Iowa to A-Bomb to Kremlin Honor." New York Times, 12 Nov. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]
On 2 November 2007, the Russian government announced that President Putin had posthumously awarded George Koval, "a Soviet agent who penetrated the Manhattan Project," the title of "Hero of the Russian Federation, the highest honorary title that can be bestowed on a Russian citizen." Koval "died in his 90s last year in Moscow," but his name "is just coming to light publicly." Historians say that Koval "was probably one of the most important spies of the 20th century." He was a "mole groomed in the Soviet Union" by the GRU, the military intelligence agency. "Washington has known about Dr. Kovals spying since he fled the United States shortly after the war but kept it secret."
Isachenkov, Vladimir. "Russia Honors Cold War Spies for Soviets." Associated Press, 12 Nov. 2007. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]
On 12 November 2007, Russian intelligence honored George Blake, "one of Moscow's most important Soviet-era spies." Blake was praised by "the Foreign Intelligence Service, a KGB successor agency, in comments carried by Russian media, and by the service's spokesman." The accolades for Blake, and the award of Russia's highest medal to George Koval, "another prominent Soviet spy, came five months after Queen Elizabeth II honored Oleg Gordievsky, a high-level KGB man who defected to Britain in 1985." An interview with Blake on his 85th birthday was broadcast by "Russia Today, an English-language cable TV network," on 11 November 2007.
George Koval "was born to Jewish parents who [had] emigrated [to Iowa] from Czarist Russia. In the early 1930s, the family returned to the Soviet Union.... After he graduated from a Moscow university, Soviet intelligence sent him back to the U.S. in the 1940s. He was drafted and assigned to the Manhattan Project.... Other Soviet spies also got into the project, but Koval was 'the only Soviet agent who infiltrated secret U.S. nuclear facilities which produced plutonium, enriched uranium and polonium for building atomic weapons,' a statement from President Putin's office said."
Walsh, Michael. "Iowa-Born, Soviet-Trained." Smithsonian 40, no. 2 (May 2009): 40-47.
This article traces what is known about George Koval's life and his espionage activities for the Soviet Union. The "GRU spy code-named Delmar" may, "with the exception of ... Klaus Fuchs,... have done more than anyone to help the Soviet Union achieve ... nuclear parity with the United States in 1949."
Return to A-Bomb Spies Table of Contents
Return to Spy Cases Table of Contents