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Secrets of the Cold War

...from Pen & Sword

Title: Secrets of the Cold War
Author: Andrew Long
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52679-025-5

Espionage and Intelligence Operations from both sides of the Iron Curtain, some tales of spies and events that shaped the story of the Cold War. A 252-page hardcover book which does include appropriate photos and a good number of diagrams, tables and lists which help illustrate the story.
After an Introduction to set the scene for the book the rest is split across 4 chapters, each with plenty of sub-divisions. The first chapter covers Stalin's Atomic Spies, starting in WW2 and going on after that, it explains how the various Soviet intelligence gathering departments managed to get hold of the various elements of the development of nuclear fission. Both British and American scientists and the companies producing parts for the programme were infiltrated. Some of the names became famous, such as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, or in the UK, Burgess and Maclean, Blunt and more. Of course there are many more, along with their various code names, often more than one. Lots of effort in tracking down the leaks, and the first I had read of the US operation code named Venona. It goes on to cover the story of The Spy and the Tunnel, a British phone tapping operation in Berlin was discovered by the Soviets. Chapter 3 tackles various examples of Tradecraft, how the spy rings worked before chapter 4 looks at Behind Enemy Lines, as a British unit known as BRIXMIS travelled into East Germany, gathering intelligence on equipment and suchlike that they could find on their travels.
Rounded off with a Conclusion that tells us more of what happened in the end for some stories, then more detail presented in 8 appendices. I am of an age where I can remember when many of these stories hit the headlines and national news but now told with so much more detail. Some, such as the exchange of Rudolf Abel for Gary Powers was made famous by the film 'Bridge of Spies', while some of the tradecraft is reflected in the many James Bond books and films and so many other spy novels. These are real stories. I am sure some readers of my age will be fascinated by the extra detail, while younger readers may enjoy discovering more of the real stories that have inspired so many novels.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.


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