Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation

Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation

by Steve Vogel
Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation

Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War's Most Audacious Espionage Operation

by Steve Vogel


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"A riveting and vivid account. ... A remarkable story. ... It reads like a Hollywood screenplay." —Foreign Affairs

The astonishing true story of the Berlin Tunnel, one of the West’s greatest espionage operations of the Cold War—and the dangerous Soviet mole who betrayed it.

Its code name was “Operation Gold,” a wildly audacious CIA plan to construct a clandestine tunnel into East Berlin to tap into critical KGB and Soviet military telecommunication lines. The tunnel, crossing the border between the American and Soviet sectors, would have to be 1,500 feet (the length of the Empire State Building) with state-of-the-art equipment, built and operated literally under the feet of their Cold War adversaries. Success would provide the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service access to a vast treasure of intelligence. Exposure might spark a dangerous confrontation with the Soviets. Yet as the Allies were burrowing into the German soil, a traitor, code-named Agent Diamond by his Soviet handlers, was burrowing into the operation itself. . .

Betrayal in Berlin is Steve Vogel’s heart pounding account of the operation. He vividly recreates post-war Berlin, a scarred, shadowy snake pit with thousands of spies and innumerable cover stories. It is also the most vivid account of George Blake, perhaps the most damaging mole of the Cold War. Drawing upon years of archival research, secret documents, and rare interviews with Blake himself, Vogel has crafted a true-life spy story as thrilling as the novels of John le Carré and Len Deighton.

Betrayal in Berlin includes 24 photos and two maps.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062449627
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 1,117,334
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.90(d)

About the Author

Steve Vogel is the author of Through the Perlious Fight and The Pentagon: A History, both published by Random HouseHe is a reporter for the national staff of the Washington Post who covers the federal government and frequently writes about the military and veterans. Based overseas from 1989 through 1994 and reporting for the Post and Army Times, he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War, and subsequently reported on military operations in Somalia, Rwanda, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq. Vogel also covered the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and its subsequent reconstruction. He lives in the Washington metro area.

Table of Contents

Maps xi

Prelude 1

Part I The Sins Inside

Chapter 1 Black Friday 15

Chapter 2 To Betray, You First Have to Belong 24

Chapter 3 Bill Harvey, of All People 48

Chapter 4 Ground Zero 64

Chapter 5 A Hero's Return 78

Chapter 6 The Big Prize Was Going to Be Berlin 96

Chapter 7 Agent Diomid 113

Chapter 8 This Was Explosive Material 126

Part II The Warehouse

Chapter 9 A Special Assignment 135

Chapter 10 It Was Getting So Complicated 148

Chapter 11 The Dig 163

Part III Ace in the Hole

Chapter 12 The Baby Was Born 185

Chapter 13 Striking Gold 199

Chapter 14 The Penetration of the CIA into Our Midst 213

Chapter 15 The One-Man Tunnel 227

Chapter 16 The Hottest intelligence Operation on the Face of the Planet 239

Chapter 17 Berlin was on the Top of the World 255

Chapter 18 There's a Fast One Coming 269

Part IV A Nest of Spies

Chapter 19 A Sensational Story About American Espionage 293

Chapter 20 The Invisible War 310

Part V Among Friends

Chapter 21 Exit Berlin 325

Chapter 22 Sniper 344

Chapter 23 The Worst That Can Be Envisaged 365

Chapter 24 Our James Bond 387

Chapter 25 Mischief, Thou Art Afoot 405

Chapter 26 A Free Man Again 423

Epilogue 443

Acknowledgments 469

Note on Sources 473

Selected Bibliography 475

Notes 481

Index 519

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