Spy Cases


P - Z

Included here:

1. Bruno Pontecorvo

2. Geoffrey Prime

3. Profumo Case

4. Third Wartime Spy at GCHQ

5. Tudor-Hart

6. Vassall

6. X Group (GRU)

1. Bruno Pontecorvo

Turchetti, Simone. "Atomic Secrets and Governmental Lies: Nuclear Science, Politics and Security in the Pontecorvo Case." British Journal for the History of Science 36, no. 4: (2003), 389-415.

2. Geoffrey Prime

Cole, D. J. Geoffrey Prime: The Imperfect Spy. London: Robert Hale, 1998.

Northcott, I&NS 14.1, notes that Cole is the Detective Chief Superintendent who led the inquiry into Prime's activities. Consequently, the author's book "contains much useful information and many unique insights from his interviews with Prime." In addition, Cole "writes with an easy-flowing, almost conversational, and highly readable style." Nevertheless, this is a personal memoir "not a scholarly work," and does not have the trappings of the latter.

Economist. Editors. "The Treason of Geoffrey Prime." 13 Nov. 1992, 63- 64.

Prime, Rhona. Time of Trial. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1984. [Chambers]

The author is Geoffrey Prime's wife.

Smith, Michael. "NATO Blinded by UK Cold War Traitor." Sunday Times (London), 24 May 2009. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

A new book, The Secret Sentry by Matthew Aid, to be published next week, "reveals that the information handed over" by Geoffrey Prime told the Russians "that Britain and America had cracked high-grade Soviet military codes.... The revelation led to Moscow changing its encryption methods, leaving western intelligence in the dark for almost a decade afterwards."

3. Profumo Case

Davenport-Hines, Richard. An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo. London: HarperPress, 2013.

Preston, Telegraph (London), 8 Jan. 2013, finds that the author "is an incisive writer with a terrific eye for detail. He's particularly good, too, on his subjects' contradictions.... However, his determination to root the scandal in context means that the background almost outweighs the foreground." Nevertheless, Davenport-Hines provides "an intriguing -- and appalling -- sense of the layers of hypocrisy that the affair was draped in."

Denning, Alfred Thompson [Baron] The Circumstances Leading to the Resignation of the Former Secretary of State for War, Mr. J.D. Profumo. London: HMSO, 1963. The Profumo-Christine Keeler Affair: Lord Denning's Report. New York: Marc, 1962. John Profumo & Christine Keeler, 1963. London: The Stationery Office, 1999. The Scandal of Christine Keeler and John Profumo: Lord Denning's Report, 1963. London: Tim Coates, 2003.

Irving, Clive, et al. Anatomy of a Scandal: A Study of the Profumo Affair. New York: Mill, 1963. [Wilcox]

Ivanov, Yevgeny, and Gennady Sokolov. Foreword, Christine Keeler. The Naked Spy. London: Blake, 1992. 1994. [pb]

From publisher: "The story of the Profumo scandal, written by the Russian spy who was involved in it."

Keeler, Christine. Christine Keeler: The Truth at Last. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 2001.

From publisher: "Christine Keeler was the woman at the centre of the Profumo scandal in the 1960s, which led to the downfall of Harold Macmillan's government."

Kennedy, Ludovic. The Trial of Stephen Ward. London: Gollancz, 1964. [Chambers]

Knightley, Phillip, and Caroline Kennedy. An Affair of State: The Profumo Case and the Framing of Stephen Ward. New York: Atheneum, 1987.

Profumo, David .Bringing the House Down: A Family Memoir. London: John Murray, 2006.

The author is John Profumo's son.

Rice-Davies, Mandy. Mandy. London: Joseph, 1980.

Summers, Anthony, and Stephen Darril. Honey Trap: The Secret Worlds of Stephen Ward. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987. Honey Trap: The Scandal, Now the Explosive Movie. Philadelphia, PA: Coronet, 1989. [pb]


4. Third Wartime Spy at GCHQ

Smith, Michael. "Enigma of KGB's Third Man at Bletchley Park." Telegraph (London), 26 Jun. 1997. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

According to documents uncovered at the Public Record Office, "Bletchley Park ... was infiltrated by a previously unsuspected third agent run by Moscow.... Two KGB agents were previously known to have passed 'Ultra' material, decrypted from the Nazis' Enigma cipher machine, to the Russians.

"John Cairncross [codenamed Carelian], who joined the Government Code and Cipher School ... in 1943[,] is acknowledged to have given the KGB large amounts of the Ultra material. The only other KGB agent known to have passed on information from Bletchley Park was Leo Long [codenamed Elli], who worked in MI14, the intelligence department that covered Germany. But decrypts of communications between Moscow Centre and the Soviet embassy in London ... show that a third agent, codenamed Baron, was passing on Bletchley Park's intercepts to the Russians.... The identity of the third agent at Bletchley Park remains unknown."


5. Edith Tudor-Hart

Cobain, Ian. "How MI5 Failed to Expose Matriarch of Cambridge Spy Ring." The Guardian, 20 Aug. 2015. [http://www.theguardian.com]

Files dealing with Edith Tudor-Hart files, "all classified as top secret, are among the latest tranche of MI5 records transferred to the National Archives at Kew." The documents show that Tudor-Hart "had been a key figure behind the Cambridge spy ring at the height of the cold war."

6. Vassall

Vassall was a British Admiralty clerk when he was recruited by the Soviets. His espionage activities were discovered in 1962, and he was tried and sentenced to prison. Vassall was released from prison in 1972, and died in London on 18 November 1996. His obituary appears in the New York Times, 6 Dec. 1996, A19 (N).

Vassall, William John Christopher. Vassall: The Autobiography of a Spy. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1975.

West, Rebecca. The Vassall Affair. London: Sunday Telegraph, 1963.


6. X Group (GRU)

West, Nigel [Rupert Allason]. "'Venona': The British Dimension." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 117-134.

According to West, the Venona texts allow the identification of GRU X Group operatives "Intelligensia" and "Nobility" as J.B.S. Haldane and Ivor Montagu, respectively. There are lots of other codenames still to be revealed.

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