Misdefending the realm

Antony Percy

Date Published :
April 2018
Publisher :
University of Buckingham Press
No associated books available.


This is the story of how the Soviet Union successfully infiltrated the UK government in the years leading up to WW2, and specifically when the USSR was an ally of Nazi Germany (August 1939 - June 1941). Historians have previously argued that this success was due to the existence of a Communist ‘super-mole’ within MI5, and that in the fight against Fascism, multiple indulgences towards communists were an unavoidable strategy. The reality was very different. When a key Soviet defector warned of the deep insertion of agents within the corridors of power, the Comintern were obliged by the Hitler-Stalin pact to launch an aggressive counteroffensive in 1940. Britain’s Security Service was persuaded that the threat from communist subversion was minimal. When this most damaging espionage was detected, MI5’s officers engaged in an extensive cover-up to conceal their deficiencies. Exploiting recently declassified material and a broad range of historical and biographical sources, Antony Percy here reveals how the Soviet Union caught up so swiftly with Western expertise and weaponry, and so removed a key Western advantage over its Communist adversary as the Cold War ensued.

About The Author

Antony Percy is an academic historian. This is his first book.