The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB's Archives

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9780002558686: The Crown Jewels: The British Secrets at the Heart of the KGB's Archives

For the first time, the KGB archives reveal the astonishing secrets betrayed by the most notorious of British spies, including Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross, plus details of other spy networks in Britain.

The ‘Crown Jewels’ was the phrase used by the KGB to describe their most valuable assets: the authentic manuscript and typescript reports by the famous Cambridge ring. Many of these reports are reproduced here for the first time.

As well as adding hitherto unsuspected dimensions to the Cambridge ring (including Burgess’s offer to murder his fellow conspirator Goronwy Rees), the files reveal:

a completely unknown Soviet network based in London and headed by a named Daily Herald journalist;

the huge scale of Soviet penetration of the British Foreign Office from 1927 to 1951;

details of a previously unknown spy-ring in Oxford, organised by university undergraduates who went on to work in Whitehall;

the key role played by Anthony Blunt in supervising postwar Soviet espionage activities in London.

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From the Back Cover:

Dear Comrade –

Once again I have to thank you for your most generous premium, which is not only very agreeable in itself, but is above all valuable as an encouragement to me to think that my work has been of use to the cause. If my contribution has really been of value, I can only say that a great part of the credit must go to our friend Max, without whose patience and unfailing understanding in any difficulties which arose, the work could never have been carried out so successfully.

Now that victory seems at last to be in sight, I can only hope that I may be able to continue to be of use, though I fear that the opportunities will be less in the future.

Once again, thank you for this recognition and encouragement.
Yours fraternally
A.B.

For the first time, the KGB archives yield up their notorious 'Crown Jewels' – the KGB's unofficial term for their most valuable assets – and we can at last examine the original manuscript and typescript reports of British pro-Soviet spies and assess the scale of their duplicity.

Many of these reports by Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross are reproduced here for the first time. As well as adding hitherto unsuspected dimensions to the famous Cambridge ring (including details of Burgess's offer to murder his fellow conspirator Goronwy Rees), the files reveal a completely unknown Soviet network based in London and headed by a named 'Daily Herald' journalist; the huge scale of Soviet penetration of the British Foreign Office from 1927 to 1951; details of a previously unknown spy-ring in Oxford, organised by university undergraduates who went on to work in Whitehall; and the key role played by Anthony Blunt in supervising post-war Soviet espionage activities in London.

With new material on the Soviet spymasters and recruiters, the atomic spy Klaus Fuchs, the Lonsdale circle and other shadowy intelligence activists of the Cold War years, Nigel West proves himself once again the best-informed of all writers on intelligence and security issues. As the 'Sunday Times' has commented, "His information is so precise that many people believe he is the unofficial historian of the secret services. West's sources are undoubtedly excellent. His books are peppered with deliberate clues to potential front-page stories." His co-author, Oleg Tsarev, is a former Russian intelligence officer with deep knowledge of the KGB archives.

About the Author:

NIGEL WEST is a military historian specialising in intelligence and security issues, author of some 20 titles including: A Matter of Trust: MI 5 1945–72, MI6: British Secret Intelligence Service Operations 1909–45, GCHQ: The Secret Wireless War, Molehunt, Secret War: The Story of SOE, and The Secret War for The Falklands.

OLEG TSAREV is a lt.-colonel in the foreign intelligence service of the Russian Federation and, for the KGB, operated in Britain under journalistic cover. In 1993 he co-authored DeADLY ILLUSIONS with John Costello.

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