Military Review

Kim Philby - Intelligence Genius

Kim Philby - Intelligence Genius

“The information that the Soviet secret services extracted during their World War II through their intelligence operations greatly assisted the military efforts of the USSR and was such information that is the subject of dreams for intelligence of any other country.”

The Art of Intelligence by Allen Welch Dulles

In the middle of the 1930s, the so-called Cambridge Five, an agent group consisting of Anthony Blunt, Guy Burgess, John Kerncross, Donald MacLaine and Kim Philby, was created by the outstanding illegal scout Arnold Deutch in England. It was Philby who was the undisputed leader of the group and played a major role in its work.

Arnold Deutsch

Harold Adrian Russell Philby was born on January 1 of the year 1912. His father, John Philby, a hereditary aristocrat, was a high-ranking official in the administration of the British colony. From an early age, Kim's father instilled in him a craving for knowledge.

At six, the boy was sent to England to his grandmother, under whose supervision he continued to receive an education, read a lot, became interested in studying geographical maps, which later grew into a craving for travel.

In 1929, graduating with honors from the prestigious Westminster School, Philby entered the equally prestigious College of Cambridge University. During these years, he joined a group of progressive-minded youth, actively opposing fascism.

In 1931, after the Labor Party’s defeat in parliamentary elections. Philby, believing that of all the parties, only the Communists could seriously interfere with the nascent Nazism, he became close to the British Communist Party.

After graduating from college, in the summer of 1933, Philby went to Austria on the instructions of the Communist Party, ostensibly to learn German. In Austria, he took part in an armed uprising, and also became engaged to an Austrian Communist, with whom he returned back to England, the marriage was fictitious and they immediately dispersed upon arrival.

Soon the progressive views of the young aristocrat attracted the attention of Arnold Deutsch. And with 1934, breaking all ties with the Communist Party, Philby begins his collaboration with Soviet intelligence. On Kim's advice, Deutsch is also attracted to the work of his university friends Guy Burgess and Donald MacLane.

On the assignment of Deutsch, Philby gets a job as a journalist in the famous London "Times". Working in the newspaper, he joins the Association of Anglo-German friendship. Soon he becomes the editor of the pro-Nazi magazine Associations British financiers, which allows him to get close to the German ambassador Ribbentrop, the future head of the Foreign Ministry of the Third Reich.

During the Spanish Civil War, Philby worked as a war correspondent for General Franco, a rebel leader. At this time, he supplied Moscow with important information about the plans of the rebels, about the relocation and arming of their troops, and about the situation in general. With his publications in the press about the course of the Spanish insurrection, he attracts the attention of British intelligence and becomes its confidant.

General Franco

From 1940, Philby officially begins working for the United Kingdom intelligence service - Secret Intelligence Service (ICU). In 1941, due to his exceptional abilities, he already works as a deputy head of department B, and he is responsible for counterintelligence support of all military operations of the allies of the USSR. Since 1944, Philby has received one more promotion, he is appointed head of the 9 section of the SIS, who has been studying "Soviet and communist activities" in the UK.

During the Second World War, he supplied Moscow with valuable information. Thanks to the information received from Philby, the Center learned in time about the attitude of the allies towards the USSR, about the German armed forces and about spies being thrown on Soviet territory. For example, thanks to the data transmitted by Philby, Moscow became aware of the plans of operations of the fascist command in the Kursk area and of the German’s readiness to use new types of weapons on the Eastern Front. Also, thanks to him, our foreign intelligence revealed all German attempts to conduct separate peace negotiations with the allies (1942 year - Ankara, 1943 year - Stockholm and the Vatican, and finally 1944 – 1945 years - Switzerland).

After the war, Philby works as a resident of the ICU in Istanbul. From 1949 to 1951, Philby has worked closely with the leadership of the CIA and the FBI, coordinating the actions of the British and American intelligence services in the fight against the "communist threat." During this period, Moscow is aware of all the actions of American and British intelligence services directed against the USSR and its allies in the Eastern bloc.

In 1951, Philby managed to save his Cambridge Five comrades, Burgess MacLane, from being arrested, warning them in time that their work in Soviet intelligence had been uncovered. In this regard, he himself came under suspicion and in 1952, he was recalled to London, and interrogated with passion at the headquarters of MI-5. Thanks to his composure and willpower, he did not admit anything, managed to ward off all suspicions from himself and was released for lack of evidence.

In the 1955 year, he still had to resign. However, he managed to achieve full public rehabilitation and already in the 1956 year he was a correspondent for well-known newspapers, on the instructions of British intelligence was sent to Beirut. Over the next seven years, he worked in the capital of Lebanon, supplying Soviet intelligence with interesting information about the plans of the United States and Great Britain in this region.

In 1963, Philby faced a serious threat of failure, and he was illegally exported to the Soviet Union, to Moscow.

In Moscow, Philby continued working as a consultant for Western intelligence services. He also met his future wife Rufin Pukhov, an employee of one of the scientific institutes, with whom he lived happily until the end of his life.

Kim Philby died 11 May 1988 of the year. Novokuntsevo cemetery of Moscow was the last refuge of the genius intelligence officer.

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