Operation Kronstadt: The True Story of Honor, Espionage, and the Rescue of Britain's Greatest Spy, the Man with a Hundred Faces

Overview

Part Blackhawk Down, part The Riddle of the Sands, former MI6 officer Harry Ferguson has written an extraordinarily gripping non-fiction thriller

Operation Kronstadt not only reveals the early days of intelligence services but also uncovers a truly dramatic story from the Russian Revolution involving a daring rescue attempt and a "mission impossible" against the best defended naval target in Russia. By May 1919, when the power struggle between former Tsarists and Bolsheviks ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$22.68
BN.com price
(Save 15%)$26.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (25) from $1.99   
  • New (5) from $13.64   
  • Used (20) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Part Blackhawk Down, part The Riddle of the Sands, former MI6 officer Harry Ferguson has written an extraordinarily gripping non-fiction thriller

Operation Kronstadt not only reveals the early days of intelligence services but also uncovers a truly dramatic story from the Russian Revolution involving a daring rescue attempt and a "mission impossible" against the best defended naval target in Russia. By May 1919, when the power struggle between former Tsarists and Bolsheviks hangs in the balance, the only British agent in Russia is trapped and in mortal danger. Mansfield Cumming (alias "the first C") dreams up an audacious-probably suicidal-plan to rescue him, and a young naval officer is sent with a specially selected team into the jaws of the Soviet fleet. This is the remarkable true story of the spy Paul Dukes (the only MI6 officer to be knighted for work in the field) and Gus Agar, whose extraordinary escapade won him the Victoria Cross.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Two stories are told here, one of the all-but-forgotten British master spy, Paul Dukes, and the other of his rescue from Petrograd in 1919 by a Royal Navy team led by Lt. Gus Agar. Both are told with an insider's expertise and enthusiasm that keep the pages turning. Ferguson, a former MI6 officer and former undercover agent for the National Investigation Service, is not afraid to note the fumblings, mistakes, and infighting perpetrated by Britain's intelligence services during this, their formative period (1918-20). Dukes, the only British spy in Bolshevik Russia at this period of the Russian Revolution, managed to infiltrate the government and come away with important top-secret information. Next, all he had to do was get back to friendly territory. Enter Agar and Agar's hand-picked team of seven men and the fastest naval vessels in the world-made of plywood and powered by aircraft engines! Add to this mix the Soviet fleet and the Baltic island fortress of Kronstadt, and you have a totally engaging true story. Highly recommended.
—David Lee Poremba

Kirkus Reviews
A sometimes sluggish recitation of a thrilling episode at the dawn of the Bolshevik era. Former MI6 operative Ferguson ventures that the findings of British spies in Russia during the civil-war era should have encouraged intervention to bring down the vulnerable Communist regime, which would have spared the West a great deal of trouble in the decades to come. But much of the action he recounts here was characterized by bad guesses, misinterpretations and crossed signals, for which Ferguson lays much blame at the door of early spymaster Mansfield Cumming ("the myth that he was an intelligence mastermind persists to this day"). In the contested theater of operations around Petrograd, a British agent named Paul Dukes had been caught in the Bolshevik lines, bearing sensitive documents. The only way to get him out, the stalwarts of the Royal Navy concluded, was to mount a daring raid. Ferguson's novelistic touches in setting the scene are heavy-handed-"At long last, the grey-haired officer removed his spectacles and slipped a gold rimmed monocle into his right eye"-and his efforts at rendering dialogue are clumsy. The narrative gathers steam as the author follows the resourceful commandos and their attack on the heavily armed Soviet fleet at Kronstadt with a flotilla of plywood boats. It remains for the interested reader to learn the outcome of the attack. Suffice it to say that things did not go exactly as planned, but there were plenty of fireworks and cliffhangers-even though the Soviet regime survived both the attack and the civil war. A somewhat useful documentation, but a shorter, tighter tale would have been welcome. Agent: Julian Alexander/Lucas Alexander Whitley
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590202296
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/9/2009
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Harry Ferguson is a former MI6 officer and an undercover agent for the National Investigation Service (NIS). He has written two books about his experiences with the NIS: Kilo 17 (2003) and Lima 3 (2005).
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)