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

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9780006388944: 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:

The ‘Crown Jewels’ was the phrase used by the KGB to describe their most valuable assets – the reports by British pro-Soviet spies, many of which have never been released before now. As well as adding hitherto unsuspected dimensions to the famous Cambridge five and revealing the full scale of their duplicity, 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, organized 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 mysterious intelligence activists of the Cold War years, Nigel West proves himself once again the best-informed of all writers on intelligence and security issues. His co-author, Oleg Tsarev, played a key role in persuading the KGB to declassify much of its historical archive.

“Where 'The Crown Jewels' most glitters is in new light cast on the ‘Cambridge Five’: Burgess and Maclean, Philby, Cairncross and Blunt. The sheer volume of reports to their KGB masters was quite staggering ... What struck me was the wily assiduity of Blunt, here revealed for the first time.”
ALISTAIR HORNE, 'The Times'

“ 'The Crown Jewels'is rich in KGB material about British agents, including the Cambridge spy ring.”
RICHARD NORTON-TAYLOR, 'The Guardian'

“Generations of students and historians will unquestionably find 'The Crown Jewels' their major source of facts on 20th-century espionage.”
TONY VAN DEN BERGH, 'New Statesman'

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 former lt.-colonel in the Russian foreign intelligence service of the Russian Federation and, for the KGB, operated in Britain under journalistic cover.

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West, Nigel; Tsarev, Oleg
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