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George Blake has died

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George Blake has died

Old 26th Dec 2020, 21:49
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George Blake has died

Many may be justified in taking some comfort in hearing of the passing of traitor George Blake in Moscow today.
Blake was sent by MI6 to Berlin in 1955, and passed on highly secret information to the Soviets about "Operation
Gold". From 1950 The British and Americans had dug a tunnel into the Soviet zone (East Germany) and accessed
three landline communication cables of the Soviet army. These linked Soviet headquarters at Zossen (25mins from
SXF) to the Soviet Embassy in East Berlin. The British and U.S. were able to tap-into and record the intercepted
Soviet messages until 1955, when Blake arrived and a year later gave the game away.

Lance Shippey
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 22:19
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Original parts of that tunnel were later recovered and can (under normal conditions, now it is closed for the time being) be seen and walked through at Alliierten Museum in Berlin.
Plus Hastings TG503 outside.

http://www.alliiertenmuseum.de/en/ex...ighlights.html
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 00:44
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George Blake has died

Sorry chaps, but no tears shed by old Uncle Fred. One of those blighters like Philby and his lot who got a lot of good people killed.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...t-dies-aged-98
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 01:03
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98, proof positive only the good die young.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 02:12
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Originally Posted by Uncle Fred View Post
Sorry chaps, but no tears shed by old Uncle Fred. One of those blighters like Philby and his lot who got a lot of good people killed.
It all depends on your point of view, Uncle Fred. He claims he provided information on the condition that opposing spies were not executed as a result of it. Whatever. It would appear Cold War spying and espionage were a dirty business, on both sides, and he examined the options and chose his side rather than picking up for whichever ideology into which he was born.

At least he was not motivated by money but instead had the courage of his conviction and maintained his beliefs on communism well past the point even the commies, themselves, had abandoned it and begun defecting en masse in the other direction. It's hard to find that depth of political dedication these days, outside of islamomaniacism of course.

Still, he should've got the rope and would've if it'd been a hot war instead of cold.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 06:49
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Great Escape though, and no motor sickles were harmed in the course of it. Real 20th century stuff. Oh I do miss that century!
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 07:09
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At least we did not give him the Novichok alternative, unlike the doubles who defected from them, not to mention innocent family and members of the public.

As you say, a very dirty business.

IG
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 09:18
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Still, he should've got the rope
Hard to disagree with that. Treason is treason, in my book. Committed in wartime or 'peacetime' makes no difference!
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 10:03
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It might practically be the harder punishment to be kept away from your original life for tens of years being a retired spy in the east. Isolated, under constant surveillance with only selected minders around you. A lot of time to think about it and no way back.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 10:22
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Good. What a c u next tuesday.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 11:13
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Eclan - thoughtful, thank you; otherwise usual suspects, usual responses.
Interesting juxtaposition of Blake versus the other 'notables'. Philby's death count was vast, including near 200 in one operation in Albania. He, however, was impeccably English and believed "as an English Gentleman". Blunt achieves and maintains high office, even when 'outed'. The 'Establishment' reigns in any and all areas of British life and woe betide you if you aren't 'one of us'! Still makes for interesting reading and the 'Fifth Man' remains to be defined. Peter Wright was, of course, utterly beyond the pale !
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 11:44
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There were strong rumours at the time of his conviction that the 42 year sentence reflected one year for each agent whose death was a result of Blake's treachery.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 11:54
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Regardless of that "but please don't kill anybody" narrative it is a dirty and bloody business. There is no gentleman traitor.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 12:05
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All just public schoolboy games really.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 13:26
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Kim Philby speaking at Stasi headquarters in 1981, original Stasi film:

https://www.bstu.de/en/the-stasi/art...th-an-mi6-spy/
In August 1981 Central Department A (HV A) invited an important guest to the Berlin ministry headquarters: the British double agent Kim Philby. Philby was born in India in 1912. While studying at the elite Cambridge University in England, he encountered Guy Burgess, an enthusiastic communist who was able to spark in Philby a passion for the ideology as well. His enthusiasm became so intense that in 1933 Philby joined the Communist International (Comintern) in Vienna, where he was recruited by the Soviet secret service GPU (Gossudarstwennoje polititscheskoje uprawlenije). After a stint working as a journalist for Soviet intelligence in the Spanish Civil War, Philby, with the help of Burgess, was successfully recruited by the British foreign Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6).

He began working there in counterespionage and was later placed in charge of the alliance with the U.S intelligence agency Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Following a few interim appointments, in 1949 he was promoted to liaison officer of the British secret service in the United States. This position provided him excellent access to information he could pass on to his actual employers in the Soviet Union. Together with two friends from his university days, the previously mentioned Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, who were both employed in the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., he was able to provide highly sensitive material to Moscow.

Courtesy of the german Stasi file archives institution.
https://www.bstu.de/en/

Last edited by Less Hair; 27th Dec 2020 at 14:02.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 14:11
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
Eclan - thoughtful, thank you; otherwise usual suspects, usual responses.
Interesting juxtaposition of Blake versus the other 'notables'. Philby's death count was vast, including near 200 in one operation in Albania. He, however, was impeccably English and believed "as an English Gentleman". Blunt achieves and maintains high office, even when 'outed'. The 'Establishment' reigns in any and all areas of British life and woe betide you if you aren't 'one of us'! Still makes for interesting reading and the 'Fifth Man' remains to be defined. Peter Wright was, of course, utterly beyond the pale !
I guess you could say I respect the fact that, as a result of his personal experiences and research, he came to his own conclusion that communism was the way ahead and decided to help bring about its supremacy. How he justified the totalitarianism which went hand in hand with Soviet and North Korean communism would be another thing and harder to justify, I would've thought. I agree there are no "gentleman traitors" but he didn't seem to have been in it for the money as are many other traitors which at least makes him a respectable foe who, having chosen his side, did his best to help them win. I'd probably feel more hatred if I lost someone to his treachery but it's hard not to feel some weird form of grudging respect for his dedication to his cause. I wonder how he really felt about living in Moscow. You'd think they could at least have put him up in St. Petersburg.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 16:36
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It was certainly a different era back then. Mind you, some of the more famous spies probably did a lot to raise awareness of the threats to our security. I remember going to an early morning interview with a security officer at what was then the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment, at Portland. I arrived at his office at the same time as he did, and as he unlocked he opened a steel cabinet door and showed me the security passes for Harry Houghton and Ethel Gee that he'd taped inside the cabinet door. He said he kept them there as a reminder of the need to be vigilant. After that friendly introduction, he proceeded to grill me for hours about (innocent) contacts I'd had with the crew of a Romanian fish processing ship . . .
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 17:36
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I presume Blake died from old age, rather than the
shock of receiving a pair of Vladimir underpants in
his Christmas stocking. ? I can't see what he found
endearing in Karl Marx. My grandmother could never
see the humour in the brothers, and switched to a
different channel when they came on.

Lance Shippey
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 18:33
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Originally Posted by Lance Shippey View Post
I presume Blake died from old age, rather than the

shock of receiving a pair of Vladimir underpants in

his Christmas stocking. ? I can't see what he found

endearing in Karl Marx. My grandmother could never

see the humour in the brothers, and switched to a

different channel when they came on.


Lance Shippey

Well, technically, yes, he did die of old age just a couple of days ago.


But I like to think that he died inside in 1990 when he witnessed the coming down of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Communist ideals he held so dear and considered warranted the reckless endangerment and death of countless men and women - many of them his former countrymen. And he did it by himself; just him and his idiotic sense of self-importance.

Wish we'd got to him with a blow torch and pair of pliers before he spouted.
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Old 28th Dec 2020, 09:58
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Wish we'd got to him with a blow torch and pair of pliers before he spouted.
Interesting perspective - probably need to join 'the other side' to enjoy such sport though!
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