September 27 One of the most famous British intelligence officers, the “king of espionage” - Sydney George Reilly, was detained by officers of the United State Political Administration (OGPU) in Moscow on September 1925. There is an opinion that it was he who became the prototype of the super spy James Bond from the novels of Ian Fleming. 5 November 1925. He was shot by the verdict of the Revolutionary Tribunal, rendered in absentia back in 1918 year. Before his death, he confessed about subversive activities against the USSR, gave him information about the intelligence network of the British and American intelligence agencies.
Considerable books and articles abroad and in Russia, several films have been written about the life of Sydney Reilly and the special operations associated with him and his colleagues. However, it is still a mystery man. Apparently, we will never learn much from his life. His activities and her motives still have enormous geopolitical importance - Reilly was at the forefront of the struggle of the Western world against Russian civilization. Even the exact place and time of his birth is unknown, there are only assumptions. According to the generally accepted version, Reilly was born under the name of George Rosenblum in Odessa, 24 March, 1874. According to another version, Reilly was born 24 in March 1873, under the name Shlomo (Solomon) Rosenblum in the Kherson province. According to Reilly, he took part in the youth revolutionary movement, was arrested. After liberation, Reilly left for South America, lived in France, England. Having changed a number of specialties, he enlisted in the British intelligence at the end of the 19 century. In 1897 — 1898 Reilly worked at the British Embassy in St. Petersburg, acted in the foreign organization of revolutionaries "Society of Friends of Free Russia". He assisted the Japanese - England was an ally of the Japanese Empire, supporting Tokyo against St. Petersburg. Worked against Russia in 1905 — 1914.
He had several masks - an antiquary, a collector, a businessman, an assistant naval attache of Great Britain, etc. His passion was women, with the help of them he solved two tasks at once - he received money and information. So, in London at the very beginning of his espionage career, he had an affair with the writer Ethel Voinich (the author of the novel “The Gadfly”). Living in a big way required funds, and he married Margaret Thomas, whose elderly husband had died suddenly (there is a version that the potential fiancé helped him leave the earthly world). When the bridegroom was married, it was recorded as Zigmund Georgievich Rozenblyum, and then became Sydney George Reilly. At the beginning of the 20 century, the newlyweds lived in Persia, then left for China. Settled in Port Arthur - in 1903, Reilly, under the guise of a construction forest dealer, entered the confidence of the Russian command, obtained a plan of fortifications of the fortress and sold it to the Japanese. Soon, Margaret and Reilly broke up - spit, numerous betrayals and ties with other women, put an end to their union.
Reilly was another passion and cover aviation. He became a member of the St. Petersburg Flight Club and was one of the organizers of the flight from St. Petersburg to Moscow. In Britain, Sydney Reilly joined the Royal Air Force as a lieutenant.
He began his active work in Russia after the October 1917 coup, during the years of the Civil War. At the beginning of 1918, Reilly was sent to Murman and Arkhangelsk as part of an Allied mission. In February, as part of the allied mission of English Colonel Boyle, he appeared in Odessa. Reilly has developed a boisterous activity on the organization of an agent network. He settled down well in Soviet Russia, was a regular guest in state institutions, had patrons in the highest echelons of power. He had several girlfriends and mistresses, among them was the secretary of the CEC, Olga Strizhevskaya. Easily recruited Soviet employees, receiving the necessary documents, had access to the Kremlin. In Russia, he performed in several guises at once: antiquary Georgy Bergman, an employee of the Cheka Sydney Relinsky, a Turkish trader Konstantin Massino, English lieutenant Sydney Reilly, etc. Reilly organized the export of Alexander Kerensky from Russia. He worked closely with the Left Social Revolutionaries - coordinated the 6 insurgency of July 1918 in Moscow.
It should be noted that Sydney Reilly was a real Russophobe and hater of Soviet power. After leaving for England, he became a consultant to Winston Churchill (who also hated Russia and was one of the organizers of the intervention) on the Russian problem and headed the organization of the struggle against Soviet power. Reilly wrote that the Bolsheviks are a cancer that strikes the foundations of civilization, the archivists of the human race, and even the power of the antichrist. “At all costs, this abomination, born in Russia, must be eliminated ... There is only one enemy. Humanity must unite against this midnight horror. ” Thus, the idea that the Northern Empire is “Mordor” and the Russians are “Orcs” was born even then.
In 1918, Reilly solved the task of organizing a coup in Soviet Russia. The conspiracy was organized in 1918 by diplomatic representatives and intelligence services of Great Britain, France and the USA - it received the name of “conspiracy of three ambassadors” or “Dela Lockcard” (the head of the special British mission Robert Lockhart is considered the head of the conspiracy in Russia). The liquidation of Vladimir Lenin was considered permissible, and the main military agent of the British government in Soviet Russia, George Hill, and the head of the MI-6 residency in Moscow, E. Boyce, were to take part in the execution of the assassination attempt.
The strike force of the coup in Soviet Russia was to be soldiers from the division of Latvian riflemen who guarded the Kremlin. Naturally, they were not free of charge, they had to effect a violent change of power in Russia. Reilly gave 1,2 million rubles to one of the commanders of Latvian riflemen Eduard Petrovich Berzin (they promised 5-6 million rubles in total), for comparison, V. Lenin's salary was then 500 rubles per month. It was envisaged that during the V All-Russian Congress of Soviets (it passed 4 — 10 in July 1918 in Moscow), which was held in the hall of the Bolshoi Theater, the British agents would eliminate the Bolshevik leaders. However, the idea failed. Berzin immediately transferred the money and all the information to the Commissioner of the Latvian Division, Peterson, and that to Sverdlov and Dzerzhinsky.
True, it was possible to organize the murder by the Social Revolutionary Yakov Blumkin of the German ambassador Wilhelm Mirbach, the uprising of the Left Social Revolutionaries and the assassination attempt on Lenin 30 on August 1918. These events were to become links of one chain and lead to the fall of Soviet power (according to another version, the transfer of all power in Russia to Trotsky). But the key event did not happen - the Latvian arrows remained loyal to the Kremlin, while Lenin remained alive. The English plan failed, it was not possible to arrange a new change of power in Russia by proxy. 2 September was followed by the official statement of the Soviet authorities on the disclosure of the "conspiracy of three ambassadors." Lockhart (Lockhart) was arrested and expelled from Soviet Russia in October 1918. British naval attache in Russia Francis Cromie, one of the active organizers of the coup in Russia, 31 August 1918, put up armed resistance to the security officers who broke into the building of the British Embassy in Petrograd, and was killed in a shootout. Reilly was able to escape and escape to England. At trial in Moscow chaired by N.V. Krylenko in late November - early December 1918, Sydney Reilly was sentenced in absentia to the death penalty "at the first detection ... within the territory of Russia."
In London, Reilly was awarded the Military Cross and continued to work on Russian issues. In December, he was again in Russia - in Yekaterinodar, as a member of the Allied Mission at the headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Southern Russia Denikin. He was sent to Russia by British Secretary of War Winston Churchill to help Denikin set up intelligence activities and become a link between the white general and his many Western allies in the fight against the Bolsheviks. Sydney Reilly visits the Crimea, the Caucasus and Odessa. In the spring of 1919, Reilly was evacuated from Odessa to Istanbul along with the French. Then he goes to London and takes part in the work of the international peace conference in Paris. The English spy worked hard in European capitals to create anti-Soviet armies and espionage and sabotage organizations. The scout has established close ties with representatives of the Russian émigrés, especially he “took care of” one of the leaders of the Social Revolutionary Party, the head of the Combat Organization of the Social Revolutionary Party, mason Boris Savinkov. With his help, during the Soviet-Polish war 1920 of the year, an "army" was organized in Poland under the leadership of Stanislav Bulak-Balakhovich. Savinkov’s unofficial circles behind Reilly were seriously considered in 1924 year as the future dictator of Russia. Savinkov after moving from Poland settled in Prague, where he formed from the former White Guards a movement known as the Green Guard. The Green Guards invaded the Soviet Union several times, plundering, smashing, burning down the village, destroying workers, local officials. In this activity, Boris Savinkov was actively helped by the secret police agencies of several European countries (including Poland).
Reilly worked as a semi-official agent for some Russian white-emigre millionaires, in particular, for his old acquaintance, Count Shubersky. One of the most famous projects that Sydney Reilly helped carry out at this time was the Torgprom, an association of White-Immigrant entrepreneurs with their British-French and German counterparts. As a result of his financial frauds, the British agent had amassed quite substantial funds and was a board member of a number of companies associated with significant Russian enterprises. Reilly had important international contacts and had among his comrades such prominent individuals as Winston Churchill, General Max Hoffmann and Chief of the Finnish General Staff Wallenius. German General Max Hoffmann (at one time he actually served as commander-in-chief of the German forces on the Eastern Front) was interesting because at the Paris Peace Conference he proposed a ready-made plan for an attack on Moscow. According to the German general, who witnessed two defeats of the Russian army (in the Russian-Japanese and the First World Wars), it turned into a “rabble”. From the point of view of Hoffmann, his plan could solve two problems. Save Europe from the "Bolshevik danger" and at the same time save the German imperial army and prevent its disbandment. The general believed that "Bolshevism is the most terrible danger that has threatened Europe for centuries ...". All the activities of Hoffmann were subordinated to one main idea - order in the world can be established only after the unification of the Western powers and the destruction of Soviet Russia. For this it was necessary to create a military-political union of England, France and Germany. After the failure of the armed intervention in Soviet Russia, Hoffman proposed a new plan to combat Russia and began its distribution in Europe. His memorandum awakened a lively interest in the growing Nazi and pro-fascist circles. Among those who strongly supported the new plan or approved it were such significant figures as Marshal Foch and his chief of staff Petain (both were close friends of Hoffmann), British naval intelligence officer Admiral Sir Barry Domville, German politician Franz von Papin, General Baron Karl von Mannerheim, Admiral Horthy. Hoffmann's ideas later found support among a large and influential part of the German high command. The German general planned the alliance of Germany with Poland, Italy, France and Great Britain in order to jointly strike at Soviet Russia. The coalition invasion army was to be concentrated on the Vistula and Dvina, repeating the experience of Napoleon’s “Great Army” and then, under the German command, to take down the Bolsheviks with a lightning strike, to take Moscow and Leningrad. It was proposed to take Russia up to the Ural Mountains and thus, “save a dying civilization by conquering half of the continent”. True, the idea of mobilizing the whole of Europe under the authority of Germany for war with Russia could be realized somewhat later, already with the help of Adolf Hitler.
The destruction of Bolshevism became the main meaning of Reilly's life, his fanatical hatred of Russia did not diminish at all. His main character was Napoleon, this made him a zealous collector of items that were related to the Corsican. British intelligence officer captured megalomania: “The Corsican artillery lieutenant extinguished the flames of the French revolution,” said Sydney Reilly. “Why should the agent of British intelligence, with so many favorable data, not become the master of Moscow?”
Death of Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin in January 1924 revived the hopes of Sydney Reilly. His agents reported from the USSR that the opposition inside the country was revived. In the Communist Party itself there were major disagreements that could lead to its split. Reilly returns to the idea of establishing a dictatorship in Russia headed by Savinkov, who will rely on various military and political elements, the kulaks. In his opinion, in Russia it was necessary to create a regime that would be similar to the Italian one headed by Mussolini. One of the main persons who joined the anti-Soviet campaign during this period was the Dutchman Henry Wilhelm August Deterding. He was the head of the British International Oil Concern "Royal Dutch Shell". The British "oil king" Dederding, as a representative of global capital, acted as an active fighter against Soviet Russia. With the help of Raleigh Deterding, he cleverly bought shares in the largest oil fields of Soviet Russia for the members of the Torgprom in Europe. When, at the beginning of 1924, he failed to gain control over Soviet oil through diplomatic pressure, he declared himself the "owner" of Russia's oil and declared the Bolshevik regime outside the law and beyond civilization. Reilly planned to launch a counter-revolutionary uprising in Russia, initiated by the secret opposition together with Savinkov’s militants. After the start of the uprising in Russia, Paris and London were supposed to recognize the illegality of the Soviet government and recognize Savinkov as the legitimate ruler of Russia (modern “Libyan” and “Syrian” scenarios have similarities in the 20 century, Western intelligence services only improve the details). At the same time, external intervention was to begin: the attacks of White Guard units from Yugoslavia and Romania, the advance of the Polish army against Kiev, and the Finnish army against Leningrad. In addition, supporters of the Georgian Menshevik Noah Jordania were supposed to raise the uprising in the Caucasus. The Caucasus was planned to be separated from Russia and to create an “independent” Caucasian Federation under the British-French protectorate. The oil fields of the Caucasus were transferred to the previous owners and foreign companies. The designs of Sydney Reilly were approved by the anti-Soviet leaders of the French, Polish, Finnish and Romanian General Staffs. Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini even invited the future "Russian dictator" Boris Savinkov to Rome for a special meeting. Mussolini proposed to supply Savinkov’s people with Italian passports and thus ensure the transfer of agents across the Soviet border during the preparation for the uprising. In addition, the Italian dictator promised to give instructions to his diplomats and the secret police on rendering comprehensive assistance to Savinkov’s organization. According to Reilly, "a grand counter-revolutionary conspiracy was nearing realization." However, the Soviet security officers thwarted this ambitious plan. As a result of the operation Cindicate-2 developed by the OGPU, Savinkov was lured into Soviet territory and arrested. Savinkov was sentenced to death, which was replaced by a prison sentence of 10 years.
The failure of the Caucasian uprising and the arrest of Savinkov were cruel blows to the Reilly case. However, the open trial of Savinkov was for the British agent and his comrades even more severe blow. Boris Savinkov, to the surprise and dismay of many prominent individuals who were involved in this case, outlined the details of the entire conspiracy. Savinkov began to play a misguided patriot of Russia, who gradually lost faith in his comrades and in their goals, understood all the evil and hopelessness of the anti-Soviet movement.
After weakening the anti-Soviet emigration and arresting Savinkov, Sydney Reilly tried to organize a series of terrorist and sabotage acts on the territory of the Soviet Union, which he said were “to stir up the swamp, stop hibernation, destroy the legend of invulnerability of power, throw a spark ...”. To this end, he established contacts with the underground organization “Trust”, which was created by the Chekists. A major terrorist act, in his opinion, "would have made a terrific impression and would have stirred up the world over the hope of the near fall of the Bolshevik regime, and at the same time an active interest in Russian affairs." The Soviet special services, concerned about the activity of Reilly, decided to lure him into Soviet territory under the pretext of discussing further actions with the leadership of the Trust. On the territory of Finland, a meeting of Sydney Reilly with the head of the Trust A.A. Yakushev, who was able to convince the British intelligence officer of the need to personally visit Soviet Russia. Subsequently, Yakushev recalled that the appearance of the English intelligence officer "felt some kind of arrogance and disregard for others." Reilly went to the USSR in full confidence that he would not linger and soon return to England. The Soviet Chekists outplayed a solid enemy, he did not return home.
On the night of 25 on 26 September 1925, the British intelligence officer was transferred through a “window” at the border near Sestroretsk and began his last journey. Together with the conductor, he reached the station, took the train going to Leningrad. Then he went to Moscow. On the way, Reilly set out his views on the activities of the Trust and the future of Russia. The scout offered to fund anti-Soviet activities with the help of thefts of artistic and cultural values from museums and archives, to sell them abroad (Sydney Reilly also had an exemplary list of what was required to “withdraw” first). He called another way to get money - to sell to the British intelligence information about the activities of the Comintern. He described the dictatorship as a form of future government. Regarding religion, Reilly believed that the Soviet authorities made a big mistake by not bringing the clergy closer to them, which could be an obedient tool in the hands of the Bolsheviks.
In Moscow, the intelligence officer spoke to the “leaders” of the Trust and sent a postcard abroad, which should testify to the success of the operation. Then Sydney Reilly was arrested and placed in the OGPU Internal Prison at No. 2 in Bolshaya Lubyanka. In order to conspire, he was dressed in the uniform of an OGPU officer. At the same time, a special operation was carried out on the Soviet-Finnish border: when crossing the border, the “twin” of Sydney Reilly was allegedly “mortally wounded” by the Soviet border guards. By the end of November, 1925, in the leadership of the OGPU, decided that Reilly had given all the information he had. It was decided to implement the death sentence, which was signed in 1918 year.
On September 27, 1925, the "espionage king" Sydney George Reilly was arrested in Moscow
- Alexander Samsonov