2. Portland Spy Case
Lonsdale, Gordon [Konon Molody]. Spy: Memoirs of Gordon Lonsdale. London: Spearman, 1965. London: Mayflower-Dell, 1965. [pb] Spy: Twenty Years in Soviet Secret Service. New York: Hawthorne Books, 1965.
Clark comment: In this piece of heavy-handed Soviet propaganda, suggested by some to have been ghosted by Kim Philby, the Soviet illegal recounts what he wants the reader to believe is his career from early days through his release from a British prison in 1964 in exchange for Greville Wynne.
Pforzheimer says the work "is unreliable," because it was "written purely for Soviet propaganda and disinformation purposes." Constantinides sounds the same theme, dismissing the book as "very unreliable" and "without redeeming qualities." For Halebian, Studies 9.4 (Fall 1965), Lonsdale's memoirs "are clearly designed as a deception operation. Their accounts of his Canadian birth, a childhood spent in Poland, and intelligence work with Colonal Abel in the United States before going to the United Kingdom are, from evidence on hand, complete fabrications."
The Portland spy case involved a spy ring run by Soviet illegal Gordon Lonsdale (Konon Molody). The ring was supported by Peter and Helen Kroger (Morris and Lona Cohen, who had earlier been part of the Rosenberg spy ring). The number of agents in the ring is not known, but two of them (Harry Houghton and his mistress, Ethel Gee) were tried, found guilty of espionage, and sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1961. The Cohens were sentenced to 20 years in prison, but were exchanged in 1969 for several British citizens being held by the Soviet Union.
Bulloch, John, and Henry Miller. Spy Ring: The Full Story of the Naval Secrets Case. London: Secker & Warburg, 1961.
Chambers calls Spy Ring a "workmanlike story of the Lonsdale and the Portland spies." For Constantinides, it is a "fairly competent treatment.... The last chapter is a particularly good summary of the lapses in the British security system that permitted this Soviet success ... [but] the subtitle ('The Full Story') is hardly on target."
Clarke, Comer. The War Within. London: World Distributors, 1961.
Pforzheimer, Studies 6.2 (Spring 1962), identifies this as an "account of the Soviet espionage net headed by Gordon Lonsdale."
Houghton, Harry F. Operation Portland: The Autobiography of a Spy. London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1972.
Constantinides: Houghton's version of the Portland naval secret case "is utterly unsatisfactory." The convicted spy "is less than frank" and many of his stories are "unreliable or products of self-deception and a vivid imagination."
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