Military Review

Secrets of the Great Patriotic War. The interaction of Soviet intelligence with the English

The representative of the British special services in Moscow, George Hill.

On the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, Soviet troops defended the freedom and independence not only of their own country. It was also a struggle for the independence of the countries captured by the Nazis. The liberation nature of the war was noted by Stalin in his radio address on 3 on July 1941. Common goals in the fight against fascism are reflected in the creation of the anti-Hitler coalition - a military-political union of states, which included countries with diametrically opposed ideological and political systems.

It should be emphasized that the anti-Hitler coalition, which united the communist Soviet Union and the Western countries — the United States and England — was a unique military-political phenomenon and was primarily aimed at eliminating the threat posed by German Nazism and its military machine. This union was forced on both sides, considered as something unnatural and temporary. Each side sought to maximize the use of the coalition in their own interests, in order to prepare positions advantageous for themselves for the period after the end of the war.

Until now, little is known about the fact that, during the war, for the first time between the USSR, on the one hand, England, and then the USA, on the other, contacts were established in the area of ​​intelligence services. And although the parties were wary of each other, the very fact of such cooperation is significant as a sign of the search for new forms of relations between members of the anti-fascist coalition, despite the social and political differences that divided them.


The first serious step towards the creation of the anti-Hitler coalition was the conclusion by 12 of July 1941 of the agreement between the USSR and Great Britain on joint actions in the war against fascist Germany, which provided for mutual assistance. The agreement was signed in Moscow as a result of negotiations with a representative government delegation from London.

And at the end of July in the development of this agreement, the British government made a proposal to the Soviet government to establish cooperation between the intelligence services of the two countries in the fight against the Nazi special services. For talks on this issue 13 August in Moscow arrived a representative of British intelligence, Colonel Guinness. The British tried hard to hide from the Soviet side the official name of the service, which was represented by Guinness. Later it turned out that he was a responsible officer of the “Special Operational Executive” (ESR) - a special secret service for conducting subversive work against Germany and its allies, which was part of the British Ministry of Economic War. In the operational correspondence of the NKGB, this service received the code name "Sect".

The next day, August 14, negotiations began on cooperation between the intelligence services of the two countries. From the Soviet side, the most experienced foreign intelligence officers took part in them: one of its leaders was Vasily Zarubin, who was introduced to the English as General Nikolaev, and the head of the Anglo-American intelligence department, Colonel Ivan Chichaev.

The negotiations were conducted secretly, without the involvement of a translator and secretary. Only Stalin, Molotov and Beria knew about their true content. As Guinness reported to her leadership, the London residency, which received information from one of the members of the Cambridge Five, informed the Center in a timely manner, “negotiations started after breakfast daily and lasted until three or four in the morning with a lunch break. On the whole, there was a striking unanimity on all basic principles. ”

On September 29, two documents were signed on the interaction between the Soviet and British foreign intelligence services: “A record of what the Soviet and British representatives agreed in their conversations on the subject of subversive work against Germany and its allies” and “Preliminary plan for a common course of conduct in subversive work for the leadership of the Soviet and British communications sections. " The signatures of the documents were put by Nikolaev (Zarubin) and Guinness. In his report to London, the latter emphasized: “Both by me and by the Russian representatives, the agreement is considered not as a political treaty, but as a basis for the practical work of our connecting links and does not need an official signature.”

According to these documents, both sides pledged to assist each other in the exchange of intelligence information on Hitler's Germany and its satellites, in organizing and conducting sabotage, and dropping agents into European countries occupied by Germany and communicating with her. The parties also agreed on the conditions for supporting the partisan movement in the occupied European countries and distributed the parties' activities: for England, Western Europe from Spain to Norway, as well as Greece; for the USSR - Romania, Bulgaria and Finland. The main objects of the subversive activities of England and the USSR in the documents determined all types of transport and military industry of the enemy.

As a link, which were to coordinate the efforts of the intelligence services of the two countries in the fight against the Nazi special services, the documents provided for the creation of corresponding communication missions in Moscow and London.

Colonel Chichaev was appointed head of the Soviet liaison mission with British intelligence in London. In “NVO” No. 39 from October 14 of 2011, we told our readers in detail about the life and operational path of Ivan Andreevich.

We only recall that at the beginning of October 1941, Chichaev and his staff arrived in the British capital. Officially, he was an adviser to the USSR Embassy and Charge d'Affaires with the émigré governments of European countries in London, occupied by Germany and Italy. However, this position was only the official cover of his secret activities as a representative of the Soviet foreign intelligence service under the special services of Great Britain. The British did not advertise the true content of his stay on the shores of Albion, but closely watched the activities of the Soviet intelligence officer.

In order to maintain contact with the Soviet mission, the British colleagues formed a group of Sect workers headed by Colonel Geiskell. Meetings with him usually took place in a safe house chosen by the British, sometimes in the house of a Soviet representative.


In the Soviet capital, British intelligence was represented by Colonel George Hill, who was soon given the rank of brigadier general.
George Alfred Hill was born on 1893 in London. His father was a British merchant who had long been trading in pre-revolutionary Russia and Persia. George spent his childhood and youth in three countries - England, Russia and Persia. He was fluent in Russian, Persian and Armenian. Thanks to a Russian nanny from Kazan who brought him up, George spoke good Tatar from childhood. Later he studied French, Bulgarian and German.

Hill was very proud of his origin: he was the heir and successor of the old English family of the Stewards, the emblem of which was a bird pulling out feathers from its chest to build a nest. All his closest relatives, like J. Hill himself, were freemasons.
Studying in a British college, George came to Russia to his parents for the holidays. After graduating from college in 1910, he became his father's companion. In connection with commercial activities, he traveled extensively to various cities of the vast Russian Empire. Later he often told his friends about his meeting with the great proletarian writer Maxim Gorky, whom he had all his life treated with deep respect.

The knowledge of many foreign languages ​​could not fail to attract the attention of the British special services to J. Hill. He himself writes in his memoirs that he got into the service in the British intelligence of the SIS during the First World War.

The First World War found J. Hill in Canada, where he served in the army in an infantry regiment. Soon the regiment was transferred to France. J. Hill became a translator and was engaged in interrogation of prisoners of war and the study of captured documents. In one of the battles he captured red-handed German spy. He was involved in the abandonment of British agents in the country occupied by Kaiser Germany. In 1915, he himself was abandoned on a reconnaissance mission to Belgium, where he carried out visual reconnaissance. The information collected by J. Hill applied sympathetic ink on the wrapping paper, in which sandwiches with very fat ham were wrapped. On the border with neutral Holland, the Germans did not pay attention to greasy paper, which was then exhibited in the British Intelligence Museum as an original exhibit.

During World War I, on the instructions of the ICU, J. Hill assisted Russian counterintelligence in the fight against German espionage. In August 1917, he was sent to the mission of Lieutenant General Poole in Petrograd and counted among the headquarters of the Russian army in Mogilev.

After the victory of the October Revolution, the British leadership set before the ICU the main task - to prevent Germany from coming closer to Russia and making peace between them. In December, J. Hill, along with Canadian Colonel Boyle, on the instructions of British intelligence, went to Petrograd to persuade Soviet leaders to continue further resistance to the forces of Kaiser Germany. In exchange, England was ready to commit to supplying the South-Western Front.

Boyle and Hill were taken in Smolny. According to the latter, they negotiated with Podvoisky and Muralov and were engaged in restoring order on the Russian railways, as well as in organizing food supplies in Moscow and Petrograd.

In March, 1918, J. Hill met in Moscow with Lenin and Trotsky, who made a big impression on him. However, young Soviet Russia did not have the strength to resist the offensive of the Kaiser troops and was forced to sign the Brest Peace Treaty with it. In response, the Entente countries plotted against the Soviet government. J. Hill participated in the residency of British intelligence under the leadership of Lockhart, including in the "conspiracy of ambassadors" against the Soviet government.

After Lockhart was expelled from Russia, J. Hill returned to London and worked in the Russian department of the UIC. Soon he was sent to the south of Russia, to the territory controlled by the Volunteer army of Denikin. During the years of occupation by the British troops of the Russian Transcaucasus, Hill performed the tasks of British intelligence in Georgia. After the collapse of the White movement was again recalled to London. In 1921, he was sent to Constantinople as a political officer in the headquarters of the occupying forces, where Soviet Russia continued to be the target of British intelligence.

At the end of 1921, the division of political officers in Constantinople is abolished, and J. Hill is transferred to the residency ("station") of the SIS in Sofia, and then in Varna. He is still conducting intelligence work on Russia from the territory of Bulgaria. About a month before the start of the Genoa 1922 Conference, Hill was sent by British intelligence to the areas of Baku, Maikop and Grozny to ascertain the situation in the oil industry of Russia, which at that time was one of the largest in the world. Taking part in the Genoa Conference, he worked closely with the Soviet delegation. After the end of the conference, J. Hill spent a long time on business trips in the capitals of countries bordering on Soviet Russia — in Constantinople, Warsaw, Riga, and Helsinki.

In the 1922 year, the reduction of British forces began in Europe following the post-war crisis. At the same time, there was a sharp reduction in exploration subsidies, with the result that many intelligence agents were dismissed from the ICU, among them J. Hill. Before 1939, he changed a lot of professions, but did not have solid sources of income and was interrupted by odd jobs. But already in April, 1939, after the annexation of Czechoslovakia by Germany, J. Hill, as a specialist needed in wartime, returned to service in British intelligence. This was facilitated by W. Churchill, whose unofficial referent Hill was during the Civil War in southern Russia.

The SIS has undergone major changes at this time. In Britain, the Ministry of Economic War was created, which began to obey a number of British intelligence services. Under the Ministry, secret organizations of special operations CO-1 and CO-2 were established. Each organization had several intelligence stations (residencies), traditionally called "stations". "Station-17" was located in the village of Straton-Stekmore Park, Brikendonbury, Hetford County. She was a training camp for training saboteurs. Her boss was Commodore Peters. J. Hill was his deputy and chief instructor for sabotage work.

Secrets of the Great Patriotic War. The interaction of Soviet intelligence with the EnglishThe representative of the Soviet intelligence in London, Ivan Chichaev.


The advancement of J. Hill to the post of representative of the MI-6 representative in Moscow was facilitated by Prime Minister Churchill, who protested Hill and conferred on him the rank of brigadier general. Despite Hill’s role in the Lockhart plot, Moscow agreed to accept him as a representative of British intelligence. At the Lubyanka, the pro-Soviet sentiments of J. Hill were also taken into account, and the fact that the conservative British government clearly did not send a communist to Moscow, especially since they were not officially listed as such in the British special services. On this occasion, Soviet intelligence officer Kim Philby later noted in his memoirs: “The Russians accepted this assignment with delight. They knew everything about Hill. ” J. Hill arrived in Moscow at the end of 1941 of the year. When filling out entry documents at the USSR Embassy in London, he reflected his past activities in our country and even presented a book of his memoirs.

In the Soviet capital, the former resident of the NKVD in New York, and then the deputy chief of foreign intelligence, Hayk Badalovich Hovakimian, maintained constant contact with Hill. He was introduced to Hill as General Osipov. In 1943, Hovakimyan was replaced by the head of the Anglo-American foreign intelligence department, Andrei Grigorievich Graur, who had previously been the deputy to I.А. Chichaeva in the mission of communication with the British intelligence in London. Graur was an exceptionally strong scout. He has worked in foreign intelligence since 1938. Before traveling to London, where he had gained valuable experience in working with English colleagues, Graur traveled to senior operations in the United States and Sweden.

The mission of J. Hill in Moscow was successful because he managed to establish working contact with Soviet intelligence. This, of course, affected his sympathies for our country, as well as his proximity to the British Prime Minister.

In the 1942 year, J. Hillu was even shown one of the bases for training reconnaissance and sabotage detachments near Mozhaisk, which was part of the Fourth Directorate of the NKVD, which was led by Lieutenant General Pavel Sudoplatov. This base made a serious impression on J. Hill, because it was different from his “Station-17” in a favorable direction. The order he saw there and the training of saboteurs themselves, among which was the future legendary intelligence officer Nikolai Kuznetsov, impressed him pleasantly.


In the initial period of cooperation, the main attention was paid to the work of throwing Soviet intelligence agents from England into Germany and the countries occupied by it.

In the first months of 1942, our agent-saboteurs, prepared by the Center to drop into the German rear, began to arrive in England by sea. Groups of agents of two to four people were met by representatives of the Sect. The British placed agents on safe houses and took them to full board. In England, they underwent additional training: they trained in skydiving, learned to navigate using German maps. The British took care of the appropriate equipment of agents, the supply of their products, German grocery cards, sabotage equipment.

In total, 1944 agents were sent to England for the period from the date of the March 36 agreement, of which 29 were parachuted using British intelligence to Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Belgium and Italy. Three died during the flight and four were returned to the USSR.

During the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet and British intelligence agencies actively cooperated in the territory of third countries.

So, in Afghanistan, the residency of the NKVD and MI-6 conducted a successful joint operation to defeat the Marauders. Under this pseudonym, in operative correspondence with Moscow and London, there was an agent network of German intelligence, which operated in the war years in this country. Together, significant blows were inflicted on the German, Japanese and Italian residencies that governed the Afghan land. As a result of the combined actions of the Soviet and British intelligence services, the coup prepared by the Nazis and the introduction of German troops in Afghanistan was averted.
The centers also deserved the high appreciation of the joint action to defeat the intelligence and sabotage network of the German and Japanese intelligence services in India and Burma. They actively cooperated with each other on a number of operational issues relating to the residency of Soviet and British intelligence services in other countries.

However, this did not prevent the British from simultaneously conducting purposeful subversive work against the USSR. So, the residency of the NKVD in Tehran, it became known that the British have created their own intelligence school in this city. It recruited young people with knowledge of the Russian language and prepared them for the introduction of intelligence missions into the territory of the Soviet republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus. Duration of training - 6 months. Conspiracy is the strictest.

On the instructions of the Tehran residency, a young illegal employee “Amiru” (under this operational pseudonym, the future prominent Soviet intelligence officer-illegal, Hero of the Soviet Union Gevorg Vartanyan, acted in those years) managed to infiltrate the intelligence school. After some time, the station had detailed information about the school itself and about its students.

A few months later, the Soviet representative met with the official representative of British intelligence in Iran and made him an idea about "non-union behavior." The Englishman denied everything. But soon the school ceased to exist.
By the way, for half a year “Amir” completed a full course of study in an English intelligence school. Received in it from the officers of the secret service of His Majesty, good-quality operational training - recruiting work, caching operations, cryptographic business, maintaining two-way communication, identifying external surveillance - was very useful to the Soviet intelligence officer subsequently.

Within the framework of the cooperation agreement, Soviet intelligence representatives established a steady business contact with the British intelligence officers operating under the headquarters of Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia.

The situation was also good with the exchange of information on new technical means and methods of conducting subversive work. The sides handed over to each other samples of documents from Germany and the countries occupied by it to equip agents sent to these countries (identity cards, stamps and seals, ration cards), exchanged data on sabotage equipment and equipment, samples of radios and weapons, various types of detonators and mines.

The British side positively assessed samples of sabotage equipment received from Soviet intelligence. For its part, the Fourth Directorate of the NKGB also highly evaluated similar materials and samples obtained through British intelligence.
During the cooperation, the British intelligence leadership organized for Chichaev visits to a number of special closed facilities at which he was able to familiarize himself with subversive special equipment, in particular, an experimental station near London, an exhibition-museum of special equipment in London, a parachute school in Manchester.

However, not everything went smoothly in resolving issues related to the implementation of the agreements reached earlier. The British intelligence began to take an openly incorrect position in 1944, when the Red Army began to approach the countries of Eastern Europe. Despite the fact that the 1941 cooperation documents clearly agreed that the support of the partisan movement in Bulgaria and Romania would be within the scope of Soviet intelligence, the British side actively tried to penetrate into these countries in order to maintain their positions and influence.
Thus, January 20 1944, General Hill, sent an official letter addressed to Hovakimian, in which he announced the intention of Sect to increase its activity in Bulgaria. In this regard, he asked the British side to provide information on the material resources and the number of partisans in this country, on the location and number of troops guarding the main lines of communications from Sofia, as well as on the territories safe to release their agents in Bulgaria. Hill persistently repeated his request several times. In March, 1944, the leadership of the NKGB decided that it would not be appropriate to transfer such information to British intelligence.

There were also frank delays by the Sect in transmitting important operational information to us. In the middle of 1944, J. Hill was even forced to report from Moscow to London: “I cannot help but feel that the Russians have an argument, a good argument against our willingness to cooperate, and an argument against us in the sense of detaining intelligence information that may be valuable to them ".

At the beginning of 1945, with the war approaching its end, it became apparent that cooperation with British intelligence was deadlocked. 10 March Ivan Chichaev received an instruction from the Center to inform the Allies about his upcoming departure to the Soviet Union. J. Hill, for his part, declared his readiness to return to London.

11 May 1945, George Hill flew to England. After arriving in Moscow for replacement, the head of the Russian section of the Sect, Lieutenant Colonel Benam, “played” cooperation for several months, putting forward various options for its continuation after the war.

On September 3, Benham was forced to report to London that the Sect's mission in Moscow was of no benefit and there was no need for it. And on September 24, on instructions from London, he sent an official letter to the head of the Soviet foreign intelligence, Lieutenant-General Fitin, in which he said: “With the end of the war, our mission is disbanded because it was created to solve problems related to the war. Please express our gratitude to Graur for the friendly help, although our path was sometimes thorny. ”

The British and Soviet intelligence missions in London and Moscow were closed. They were created to solve problems that arose during the war, and with the signing of the surrender of Germany, they became obsolete.

For information on how the interaction of Soviet foreign intelligence with the Office of Strategic Services of the USA developed during the Great Patriotic War, in one of the following issues of NVO.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. Lalaloa
    Lalaloa 10 June 2013 12: 39
    It seems to be so bad, but no, we have to do worse. The authorities do not cease to amaze. This site recently came across: where information about each of us is publicly posted. I don’t know why to do this, but it personally scares me. Nevertheless, I somehow managed to delete my data, though I had to register, but no one could "dig up" anything on me.
  2. omsbon
    omsbon 10 June 2013 13: 34
    I.V. Stalin did NOT belong to the gullible-corrupt clique of the post-Soviet, Yeltsin period. It was a politician who perfectly understood the rotten essence of the "foggy Englishwoman!"
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. omsbon
    omsbon 10 June 2013 15: 50
    England’s policy was never friendly to Russia, during WWII, this alliance was caused by an external factor, Nazi Germany. I.V. Stalin understood and took this into account.