Military Review

Anna Revelskaya - Russian Mata Hari

The role of women in intelligence activities is often covered with darkness, many of them forever disappear, leaving almost no trace of themselves. It happened with the Russian intelligence officer during the First World War, which became known as Anna Revelskaya. Until now, it is not known for certain whether this character was real or fictional. No documentary evidence or photographs of Anna Revelskaya has been preserved. In part, this may be due to the conduct of hostilities and heightened secrecy of operations, in part due to the fact that the Russian intelligence archives suffered greatly as a result of the revolutionary events of the 1917 year. Now, almost 100 years later, it is not possible to establish the real name of this scout, as well as the details of her biography.

В history During World War I she entered under the name of Anna Revelska, and in Libau, occupied by German troops, she was known as Klara Iselgorf. Later, Valentin Pikul revived her image in his historical novel “Moonsund”, while at the same time working on his novel he tried to make extensive use of German sources of information, including the memoirs of the leaders of the Austro-Hungarian and Kaiser special services, including the memories of Max Ronge and Walter Nikolai. The writer did not invent his heroine and her fate, although he decorated her with a number of picturesque details.
The main merit of the Russian intelligence was her role in disrupting German plans for a breakthrough fleet to the Gulf of Finland and to Petrograd. On her personal account, you can record the destruction of almost the entire squadron of the latest German destroyers, which were blown up on Russian mines and the provision of information about the date of the Germans' Moonsund offensive operation.

Little is known about this lady, it is assumed that she came from a wealthy Russian family who had their own possessions in the Baltic States. According to other sources, she was Latvian or Russian German. She graduated from high school before the war and knew several European languages, including German. They described her as an attractive and graceful woman, literally health-giving.
Anna Revelskaya - Russian Mata Hari

As early as in the spring of 1915, before the German large-scale offensive in the Baltic States, under the name of Klara Iselgorf, a Russian scout was arranged as a keeper in a port café in Libava, which sailors like to visit. Having captured Libava (Liepāja) during the offensive, the Germans made it the base of the fleet. The Kaiser's brother, Grand Admiral Henry of Prussia, commander of the German fleet in the Baltic Sea, moved to the city with his headquarters.

Following the grand admiral, the city was filled with officers of the German fleet, and some of the German Dreadnoughts stood in its port. Thus, the officers of the German fleet soon became frequent guests in the institutions of the city, including the coffee shop on Charlotte Strasse, where they served good coffee, French brandy and delicious cakes. Many German sailors stared at the local pastry chef, and eventually one of them - Lieutenant von Klaus - falls in love with Clara Iselgof, who lives alone in Libava. As a result, Clara allows the lieutenant to stand on a stand in her apartment.

One day, she tells a German officer that before this she had an officer in the Russian fleet who had forgotten her leather bag at her home. The lieutenant, having shown curiosity, found in the briefcase of paper and maps the setting of minefields in the Baltic. Soon, these cards were transferred to the admiral. The information presented in them allowed the German fleet to hope for successful operations in the Baltic, as the Germans received passes to Helsingfors, Revel and even Kronstadt. The resulting maps and charts were sent to Germany and subjected to the most thorough analysis and verification in the General Staff of the Navy. As a result, they came to the conclusion that they are authentic, and the representatives of the imperial fleet themselves would have placed their minefields with minor changes in the same way.

For additional verification of the reliability of the route, the Germans sent a destroyer 2 to explore, who successfully completed the raid. As a result, 10 November 1916, the entire 10 destroyers flotilla was sent to the Baltic Sea breakthrough, which was supposed to set up minefields on the fairways of the Gulf of Finland, Helsingfors and Kronstadt, sending everything that fell into its way on the bottom. The squadron consisted of 10 newest German destroyers (large destroyers) of the type S-53 and light cover cruiser "Strasbourg". When all the ships were already drawn into the “safe” passage indicated in the diagram, the Germans didn’t expect anything to happen: 2 of large destroyers were blown up by mines. However, the unit commander, Captain First Rank Witting, wrote off this episode as an accident, continuing the movement. As a result, only the 4 ship could return to the base. In one night, which was called the “Night of Shame,” the German fleet lost the newest destroyers at the Russian minefields 7. At the same time, Klara Iselgof herself safely disappeared from Libava.

The second time she appeared only in 1917, already in Sweden. 23 September (6 October in a new style) 1917, an unfamiliar young girl dressed in a veil of mourning came to the Russian embassy in Stockholm and asked for a confidential conversation with the naval attache. Captain of the 2 rank, Stashevsky, received her in his office. At the meeting, the woman stated that she was not authorized to go to the embassy personally, but circumstances force her to do so. She told Stashevsky that the 4 battleship of the Nassau type was already in Libava, and dreadnoughts like the powerful Bayern appeared there. Near Vindava there is an increased activity of the Germans. Suspicious drop-side barges, a lot of motorcycles and horses are transported on platforms from Germany. The woman asked to transfer to the Admiralty urgent information that 28 September, on Thursday (October 11 in a new style), the Germans plan to begin an unknown operation in the area of ​​the Moonzund Archipelago.

This information was transferred by the naval attache in Stockholm to the Admiralty, from where it was transferred to London with a request to help the Russian fleet and pull at least some of its forces from the Baltic. However, the British and Germans, in addition to mutual hostility, then existed another goal - to prevent the Russian revolution from spreading. As a result, more than one English ship did not move from its place. The battle for the Moonsund Archipelago began on 1 the day after the term Anna Revel called, due to the fact that the Germans spent more time than planned on mines. September 29 German squadron, which numbered around 300 various ships began a breakthrough, but met the heroic resistance of the Baltic sailors, who managed to delay the advance of the enemy and disrupt the operation to capture Petrograd.

According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, the island’s garrison and fleet forces were able to destroy up to 10 destroyers, 6 minesweepers and damage the 3 battleship, 13 destroyers and the destroyer. As a result, the Germans abandoned plans for a breakthrough to Petrograd and on October 7 withdrawn fleet forces from the Gulf of Riga.

For many years, Anna Revelskaya fell out of history until she showed up again 17 June 1941 of the year in Berlin, almost a quarter of a century after the events of the First World War. An unidentified woman, 40-45, who identified herself as Anna Revelskoy, appealed to the Soviet embassy in Berlin, demanded a meeting with the naval attaché. The woman was received by the future Rear Admiral Mikhail Vorontsov, to whom an unknown person reported that on the night of 22 June 1941, German troops would invade the territory of Soviet Russia. Anna Revelskaya left the embassy, ​​without revealing the source of the information voiced to her. The woman explained her appeal to the naval attache by the fact that she was once connected with the Baltic Fleet. In 1941, Anna Revelskaya last appeared in public, what became of her in the future is unknown to anyone.

Information sources:
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-http: //
-http: // newsid = 1699
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  1. omsbon
    omsbon April 2 2013 08: 50
    I really hope that the Russian intelligence agent Anna Revelskaya lived to a very old age and read about herself in the novel by V. Pikul.
    Glory and good memory to Anna from all over Russia!
    1. predator.3
      predator.3 April 2 2013 09: 49
      Battle of Moonsund
    2. xan
      xan April 2 2013 13: 18
      That she had a novel Pikul, she needed May 45 th
  2. avt
    avt April 2 2013 09: 33
    Well, what I definitely disagree with is the title of the article! I think the comparison is not appropriate, just compare the known facts of the biography.
  3. predator.3
    predator.3 April 2 2013 09: 47
    Here she is Anna REVELSKAYA performed by Lyudmila Nilskaya!
  4. Rezun
    Rezun April 2 2013 12: 10
    For the 41st year, a separate earthly bow ...
  5. knn54
    knn54 April 2 2013 13: 40
    1 ... she was a Latvian or a Russian German.
    She herself said - her only love is Russia.
    2. The woman was taken by the future Rear Admiral Mikhail Vorontsov ...
    Vorontsov believed Anna Revelskaya and sent a cipher to the narcologist of the Navy N.G. Kuznetsov. Admiral Kuznetsov also believed that the message of Anna Revelskaya was not misinformation, and together with Admiral I.S. Isakov discussed the situation in the fleets and decided to take additional precautions. On June 19-20, the Baltic, Northern and Black Sea fleets were put on alert No. 2.
    On the first night of the war, the Soviet Navy practically had no casualties.
    3 ... what happened to her in the future no one knows.
    To the great shame of the USSR and Russia!
  6. Black
    Black April 2 2013 14: 36
    Her feat is the feat of a man who loves his homeland, despite those who are sitting in the Kremlin.
    I think the Eternal Fire to the Unknown Soldier burns to her glory.
  7. svp67
    svp67 April 2 2013 15: 44
    Anna Revelskaya - Russian Mata Hari

    I do not agree. Mata Hari worked for money, and still for whom, for the Germans, for the French. Anna worked for Russia and for Russia ...
    1. xan
      xan April 2 2013 19: 44
      Quote: svp67
      Anna Revelskaya - Russian Mata Hari

      I do not agree. Mata Hari worked for money, and still for whom, for the Germans, for the French. Anna worked for Russia and for Russia ...

      Our ancestors did not burn women at the stake in their time, since ancient times we have all the demand from men, so our women are different.
      And for the loot, let Mata Hari protect the homeland.
  8. AlNikolaich
    AlNikolaich April 2 2013 19: 31
    Anna Revelskaya is just one secret of Russian intelligence, the veil over which was only slightly opened to close immediately. And apparently we will never recognize the names of all these people, the Patriots with a capital letter, whose hard work has given and continues to give security to Russia!
    Eternal glory to them!
  9. strenadk
    strenadk April 2 2013 20: 09
    There are many mysteries and secrets in history, but I want the unknown Heroes to find their names, even if during the lives of their contemporaries ..... Indeed, the Eternal Flame burns in honor of this woman ....
  10. Spstas1
    Spstas1 April 2 2013 21: 02
    Thanks a lot and Eternal memory!
  11. Vladimir 70
    Vladimir 70 April 2 2013 21: 13
    It is annoying that the monument was erected to EBN and the pest. And it is necessary for such as Anna Revelskaya to erect monuments throughout Russia.
    1. predator.3
      predator.3 April 2 2013 21: 32
      Quote: Vladimir 70
      It is annoying that the monument was erected to EBN and the pest. And it is necessary for such as Anna Revelskaya to erect monuments throughout Russia.

      Did you mean this "monument"? As the people have already noted it!
  12. Colonel
    Colonel April 2 2013 21: 40
    How amazingly planned the operation to withdraw to the mines of German destroyers. This must be taught in academies. And before such a woman it is worthy to kneel!
    1. brelok
      brelok April 3 2013 05: 30
      Quote: colonel
      How amazingly planned the operation to withdraw to the mines of German destroyers. This must be taught in academies. And before such a woman it is worthy to kneel!

      the operation was included in intelligence books. Sudoplatov somehow talked about it on TV.
  13. Takashi
    Takashi April 4 2013 10: 16
    even a photo of such a woman has not been preserved. sorry.
  14. murriou
    murriou 10 March 2017 00: 08
    According to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, a garrison of islands and fleet forces were able to destroy up to 10 destroyers, 6 minesweepers and damage 3 battleships, 13 destroyers and destroyer. As a result, the Germans abandoned plans for a breakthrough to Petrograd

    The Germans, for starters, had no plans to break through to Petrograd, knowing full well the presence of a strong mine-artillery position and the main forces of the Russian fleet.

    German historian von Chishwitz reports that the alleged German plans for an attack on Petrograd were common misinformation aimed at pulling the forces of the Russian fleet to the bases and their passivity in the struggle for the Baltic islands.
    The Germans did not know that their measure was excessive: * incredibly valiant * the Russian fleet was already avoiding open combat with an enemy of comparable strength.

    With regard to the list of German losses, then consider damage that does not lead to the failure of the ship - this is a sure sign peramogi-peramogi, when you need to do a good face with a bad game, and NOTHING.

    From the German so-called destroyers lost in the battles for Monsund, such is exactly ONE.
    The rest - T-54, T-56 and T-66 - are small destroyers built in 1890-1893, with a displacement of 120-150 tons and a main caliber of 37-50 mm, i.e. their combat value is close to zero, and they were used as minesweepers and messengers. Some more. German destroyers, allegedly destroyed in the battle at Kassar Reach, according to Russian reports, lol - safely survived to the end of the WWII or beyond.

    On the Russian side, the “Glory” EDB was lost, not even that old (1906 — compare with 1890, huh?), With a displacement of 14,8 thousand tons, and the newest “Thunder” type Novik, much more stronger than the EM S-64, the only truly lost German ship in the Moonsund operation. In addition, the Russian ground forces lost more than 20 thousand prisoners, the Khlebobuchniks are silent about the losses of the killed and wounded - they only bashfully call the losses "relatively small." Well, yes, against the background of 20+ thousand prisoners and complete defeat, a lot will seem a little small.

    And we know that in only one episode of the air raid on the Russian coastal battery, about 120 people were killed. - comparable with German losses for the entire operation: 411 in total, including soldier 154 wounded, 60 killed, sailors killed and wounded about equally, and a little less than 200 in total.

    The number of those killed at the “Glory” and “Thunder” EDBs is not given, because taking into account l / s, there was already a complete mess: there were no lists, part of the team was on vacation or for other reasons was missing, so that “it is not possible to give the exact number of losses,” but it was certainly considerable.