SOVIET SPY RING by Arthur Tietjen


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The London Daily Mail reporter has re-recorded the case he originally covered for many newspapers of the five agents who were brought to trial in London in 1961 not too long after the U-2 incident. At the time Life called it the ""biggest British spy case since Fuchs"", and, while true, it does not have the inherent interest, the more puzzling aspects of the psychological deviation which led to defection and which were so well illuminated in Alan Moorehead's The Traitors. This is a very workmanlike, undemonstrative and detailed account of the five people involved: a professional Russian spy, Gordon Arnold Lonsdale, who was an impostor for a Canadian of that name, in change of the Soviet spy ring; the Krogers, Americans with several allases, professed Communists and friends of the Rosenbergs and Rudolph Abel, who now as antiquarian booksellers transmitted messages via books; and two fairly ordinary English people, Honghton and his mistress, Bunty who secured the information (test pamphlets and photographs) for Lonsdale. One of the most starting facts of a case in which truth is more commonplace than fiction is the fact that the Krogers, in spite of their known associations, escaped the FBI, and all in all this particular episode pointed up the ""all over negligence"" of Naval intelligences and the general laxity of security measures....Sobering rather than exciting reading.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1961
Publisher: Coward-McCann