Stalin's Secret War: Soviet Counterintelligence against the Nazis, 1941-1945

Overview

The Soviet-German War of 1941-1945 was the most extensive intelligence/counterintelligence war in modern history, involving the capture, torture, deportation, execution, and "doubling" of tens of thousands of agents—most of them Soviet citizens. While Russian armies fought furiously to defeat the Wehrmacht, Stalin's security services waged an equally ruthless secret war against Hitler's spies, as well as against the Soviet population. For the first time, Robert Stephan now combines declassified U.S. intelligence ...
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Overview

The Soviet-German War of 1941-1945 was the most extensive intelligence/counterintelligence war in modern history, involving the capture, torture, deportation, execution, and "doubling" of tens of thousands of agents—most of them Soviet citizens. While Russian armies fought furiously to defeat the Wehrmacht, Stalin's security services waged an equally ruthless secret war against Hitler's spies, as well as against the Soviet population. For the first time, Robert Stephan now combines declassified U.S. intelligence documents, captured German records, and Russian sources, including a top-secret Soviet history of its intelligence and security services, to reveal the magnitude and scope of the brutal but sophisticated Soviet counterintelligence war against Nazi Germany.Employing as many as 150,000 trained agents across a 2,400-mile front, the Soviets neutralized the majority of the more than 40,000 German agents deployed against them. As Stephan shows, their combination of Soviet military deception operations and State Security's defeat of the Abwehr's human intelligence effort had devastating consequences for the German Army in every major battle against the Red army, including Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, the Belorussian offensive, and the Vistula-Oder operation. Simultaneously, Soviet State Security continued to penetrate the world's major intelligence services including those of its allies, terrorize its own citizens to prevent spying, desertion, and real or perceived opposition to the regime, and run millions of informants, making the USSR a vast prison covering one sixth of the world's surface. Stephan discusses all facets of the Soviet counterintelligence effort, including the major Soviet "radio games" used to mislead the Germans—operations Monastery, Berezino, and those that defeated Himmler's Operation Zeppelin. He also gives the most comprehensive account to date of the Abwehr's infamous agent "Max," whose organization allegedly ran an entire network of agents inside the USSR, and reveals the reasons for Germany's catastrophic under-estimation of Soviet forces by more than one million men during their 1944 summer offensive in Belorussia. Richly detailed and epic in scope, Stalin's Secret War opens up a previously hidden dimension of World War II. This book is part of the Modern War Studies series.

"Stephan's thorough, accurate, and objective study provides unprecedented detail and keen insights on one of history's most illusive subjects. It is destined to become the standard work in this field."—David M. Glantz, author of The Battle for Leningrad "Stephan's book demonstrates how the Soviets adroitly manipulated both German intelligence and counter-intelligence in masterfully staged strategic deception operations. It chronicles timely lessons for contemporary intelligence professionals and should grace the libraries of today's intelligence services."—John J. Dziak, author of Chekisty: A History of the KGB "Should be read by anyone interested in the history of intelligence or of World War II."—John Ferris, author of Intelligence in the Second World War

Author Biography: Robert W. Stephan is employed by the CIA and specializes in Russian military and intelligence issues.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Historians trained before the fall of the USSR were weaned on the pervasive antagonisms of the Cold War; anything positive the Soviet Union did during World War II was suspect. Given the closed nature of the former Soviet Union, adequate research has never been done on Soviet counterintelligence until now. Stephen, a CIA specialist in Russian military and intelligence issues, uses the secret files just now beginning to open as well as British and American files and previous sketchy Russian works to triangulate information about the effectiveness of Soviet Counterintelligence during the Soviet-German war of 1941-45. His research indicates that "the scale, scope, and complexity of many of these Soviet operations rivaled or arguably exceeded those of the British Twenty Committee." Stephen's stated goal is to "stimulate further research on combat counterintelligence in general, lay out the current state of the Soviet equivalent of the British Twenty Committee, and induce Russians to publish a declassified credible history of their operations against the Germans that meets Western historiographic standards." Achieving these goals lies mostly in the future, but he has succeeded in pulling together a credible accounting of the accomplishments of Soviet counterintelligence of World War II. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700612796
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 3
1 "The World Will Hold Its Breath": Barbarossa, 22 June 1941 21
2 The "Invisible Front" 45
3 "Death to Spies": Defensive Counterintelligence Operations 55
Arrests of German Agents 57
The Informant System 58
Organization and Size of the Informant Networks 61
Rear Area Security 65
Sealing the Rear 66
The War of Documents 67
Detecting Suspicious Persons 69
The Search for Fascist Agents 71
Terror Incorporated 76
Defeat of the Abwehr 81
4 Soviet Offensive Counterintelligence Operations 87
Double-Agent Operations 92
Radio Games 100
Recruiting Intelligence Officers 107
Sabotage, Kidnapping, and Assassination 118
5 German Intelligence and Counterintelligence Operations 121
The Abwehr and the German Intelligence Problem in Russia 122
The "Baun Agency" (Agent Operations) 128
"Set the East Ablaze" (Sabotage and Sedition) 133
Schmalschlaeger's Spy Catchers (Counterintelligence) 137
The "Gehlen" Organization (Fremde Heere Ost) 143
6 Operation Monastery and "Case Klatt" 153
7 Operations Berezino and Zeppelin 175
8 The Sword and Shield 191
App. A Soviet Organization for Secret War 201
App. B Chronology of the Soviet Intelligence and Security Services, 1917-1990 220
App. C Chiefs of the Soviet Intelligence and Security Services, 1917-1990 220
App. D Evolution of Soviet Military Counterintelligence, 1917-1990 221
App. E German Organization for Secret War 222
Notes 231
Selected Bibliography 309
Index 325
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