Latest MI5 files released

28 Sep 2016 02:47 PM

Today we have made available to the public 137 previously top secret files from the UK Security Service, or MI5.

The records cover a range of subjects and span the interwar years, Second World War and post-war era up to the mid 1960s. Personal files include individuals classed as Second World War double agents, Soviet intelligence officers, communists and suspected communists including Russian and communist sympathisers.

Some familiar names include:

  • The so-called ‘spy who saved D-Day’ Juan Pujol-Garcia, codenamed ‘Garbo’ by MI5, whose deceptions as part of Operation Fortitude were vital in convincing Germany that the Normandy landings were a diversion for a larger invasion elsewhere (KV 2/4190 to KV 2/4214)
  • Celebrated British historian E.P. Thompson, author of ‘The Making of the English Working Class’, who was a prominent member of the Communist Party of Great Britain until his resignation over the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 (KV 2/4290 to KV 2/4294)
  • Marxist historian Rodney Hilton who was a member of the Oxford University group of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and his wife Gwynneth Hilton who was an active committee member of their party branch (KV 2/4296 to KV 2/4299)

You will find files on Communist Party members Yvonne Kapp, an author who wrote the biography of Eleanor Marx and was assistant director at the Czech Refugee Trust Fund (KV 2/4260 to KV 2/4265) and Christian Mary Hamp, an architect best known as the designer of a group of modernist houses in Buckinghamshire built in the 1960s (KV 2/4300 to KV 2/4302).

Also included are secretary of the Communist Party’s Central London area Samuel Aaronovitch (KV 2/4268 to KV 2/4273) and Roland Berger, whose home was used as to hold much of the Communist Party archive which was infiltrated in MI5’s Operation Party Piece (KV 2/4235 to KV 2/4251).

Listen to an introduction to the files by Professor Christopher Andrew, former official historian of MI5, or read more about ‘Garbo’ on our blog: the story behind Britain’s greatest Double Cross agent.

Explore the files