Military Review

Resident foreign intelligence

Having retired to a well-deserved rest, he liked to walk in the evenings along his beloved Prospect Mira. Passersby rarely paid attention to a short, elegantly dressed old man with a cane in his hands. And this interest was purely contemplative. Who among them would have thought that he had met with a prominent Soviet intelligence officer, recruitment master, educator of several generations of fighters of the “invisible front”? That is what this man - Nikolay Mikhailovich Gorshkov left in the memory of fellow Chekists.


Nikolai Gorshkov was born on May 3 of 1912 in the village of Voskresenskoye, Nizhny Novgorod province, in a poor peasant family.

After graduating from the village school in 1929, he actively participated in eradicating illiteracy in the countryside. In 1930, he entered the factory at a radio telephone plant in Nizhny Novgorod. As a youth activist, he was elected a member of the factory committee of the Komsomol.

In March 1932, on a ticket to the Komsomol, Gorshkov was sent to study in Kazan aviation Institute, which he successfully graduated in 1938 with a degree in mechanical engineering in aircraft construction. In his student years he was elected secretary of the Komsomol committee of the institute, a member of the Komsomol district committee.

After graduating from the Gorshkov Institute by decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), he was sent to study at the Central School of the NKVD, and from there to the Special Purpose School of the GUGB NKVD, which trained personnel for foreign intelligence. Since the spring of 1939, he has been an employee of the 5 department of the GUGB NKVD of the USSR (foreign intelligence).

In 1939, a young intelligence officer is sent under diplomatic cover to operational work in Italy. During his time in this country, he managed to attract a number of valuable sources of information to cooperate with Soviet intelligence.

In September, 1939, Italy joined on the side of Germany in World War II. In this regard, the information received by the intelligence officer on political and military issues has become particularly relevant.

In connection with the attack of fascist Germany on the Soviet Union, Italy broke off diplomatic relations with our country, and Gorshkov was forced to return to Moscow.


During the Great Patriotic War, Gorshkov worked in the central apparatus of foreign intelligence, engaged in the preparation of illegal intelligence officers, who with the help of British intelligence were transported abroad (to Germany and in the territories of the countries occupied by it).

Of stories The Great Patriotic War is well aware that the German attack on the Soviet Union put on the agenda the question of creating an anti-Hitler coalition.

It should be emphasized that the anti-Hitler coalition, which included the Communist Soviet Union and the Western countries — the United States and Britain — was a unique military-political phenomenon. The need to eliminate the threat that emanated from German Nazism and its military machine united states with diametrically opposed ideological and political systems during the Second World War.

12 July 1941 in Moscow as a result of negotiations between the government delegations of the USSR and Great Britain signed an agreement on joint actions in the war against fascist Germany, which provided for mutual assistance. As a follow-up to this agreement, at the end of July of the same year, 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 special representative of British intelligence. The very next day, August 14, negotiations began on cooperation between the intelligence services of the two countries. Negotiations were conducted in confidence, without the involvement of translators and a secretary. In addition to the direct participants, only Stalin, Molotov and Beria knew about their true content.

29 September 1941 was signed a joint agreement concerning the interaction of the Soviet and British foreign intelligence services. At the same time, the head of the British side reported to London: “As for me, and the Russian representatives, the agreement is considered not as a political treaty, but as a basis for practical work.”

The substantive provisions of the agreed documents were promising from an operational point of view. The parties pledged to assist each other in the exchange of intelligence information on Hitler's Germany and its satellites, in organizing and conducting sabotage, in transferring agents to European countries occupied by Germany and liaising with her.

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.

At the beginning of 1942, our agent-saboteurs began to arrive in England, prepared by the Center to drop into the German rear. They were delivered on airplanes and ships in groups of 2 – 4 people. The British placed them in safe houses, took them for 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.


In 1943, Gorshkov is appointed a resident of the NKVD in Algeria. During this trip, he personally engaged a prominent officer from General de Gaulle’s entourage, Frenchman Georges Pak, to cooperate with Soviet intelligence, from which over the next 20 years the Center received extremely important political information on France and then on NATO.

For any foreign intelligence officer, just this episode alone would be enough to say with pride that his operational life was a success. And Nikolai Mikhailovich had many such episodes. Let us briefly recall who Georges Pak was and how he was valuable to our intelligence.

Georges Jean-Louis Pak was born on January 29, 1914, in the small French provincial town of Chalon-sur-Saone (department Saône-et-Loire) in the family of a hairdresser.

After successfully graduating from college in his native Chalon and lyceum in the city of Lyon in 1935, Georges became a student of the literary department of Ecole Normal (Graduate School) - a prestigious educational institution of the country, which the French President Georges Pompidou, Prime Minister Pierre Mendez- France, the ministers Louis Jox, Peyrefit and many others.

The deep and extensive knowledge acquired by Georges Pak while studying at Ecole Normal enabled him to receive Sorbonne degrees in higher education in the field of Italian philology, as well as practical Italian language and Italian literature. Pak taught at school in Nice for a while, then left France in 1941 and left with his wife for Morocco, where he was given a job as a literature teacher at a high school in Rabat.

The events of the end of 1942 have drastically changed the peaceful course of the life of the young Pak family. After the Anglo-American troops landed in Morocco and Algeria in November 1942, one of the Ecole Normal comrades Pak suggested that he urgently leave for Algeria and join the Free French movement. He began working as the head of the political department of the radio station of the Provisional French Government, headed by General Charles de Gaulle.

It was during this period that Pak, through one of his friends, met Nikolay Gorshkov, the head of the Soviet foreign intelligence station in Algeria. Gradually, they began a personal friendship, which turned into a strong collaboration of like-minded people, which lasted almost 20 years.

To understand why Georges Pak took the path of secret cooperation with Soviet foreign intelligence, it is necessary to recall the preceding political events related to his homeland, France.

22 June 1940, the French government of Marshal Petain signed the act of surrender. Hitler divided France into two unequal zones. Two thirds of the country's territory, including the whole of Northern France with Paris, as well as the coast of the English Channel and the Atlantic, were occupied by the German army. The southern zone of France with its center in the small resort town of Vichy was under the jurisdiction of the Peten government, which actively pursued a policy of collaboration with Nazi Germany.

It should be emphasized that not all the French accepted the defeat and recognized the "Vichy Regime". Thus, the former deputy minister of national defense of France, General de Gaulle, made an appeal "to all French and French women," urging them to expand the fight against Nazi Germany. "Whatever happens," he emphasized in the appeal, "the flame of the French Resistance must not go out and will not go out."

This appeal was the beginning of the movement "Free France", and then - the creation of the National Committee of Free France (NCCF), headed by General de Gaulle.

Immediately after the creation of the NCCF, the Soviet government recognized de Gaulle as the head of "all free French, wherever they are," and expressed a determination to promote "the full restoration of the independence and greatness of France."

Since 3 June 1943, the NCCF has been transformed into the French National Liberation Committee (FCNO), whose headquarters is located in Algeria. The Soviet government established a plenipotentiary representation at the PFIC, which was headed by prominent Soviet diplomat Alexander Bogomolov.

Against the background of the consistent political course of the Soviet Union towards the struggling France, the ambiguous policy of Great Britain and the United States looked like a sharp contrast. The leadership of these countries in every way hampered the process of de Gaulle’s recognition as the head of the provisional government of France. And even before November, the United States maintained 1942 official diplomatic relations with the Vichy government. It was only in August 1943 that the United States and England recognized the French National Liberation Committee, accompanied by this recognition by a number of serious reservations.

Georges Pak personally was able to convince himself of the duality of the policies of the United States and England in relation to his country. He unwittingly compared the actions of representatives of the West and Russians and began to sympathize with the latter, believing that he "is in the same line with the Russians." This is what Pak himself told later in his memoirs, released in 1971 year.

Resident foreign intelligence

Georges Pak. 1963 year. Photo courtesy of the author

After the liberation of France, Georges Pak returned to Paris and in October 1944 re-established operational contact with the Parisian residency.

For a while, Puck worked as the head of the office of the French Navy Minister. In June, 1948, he became an assistant to the Office of the Minister of Urban Construction and Reconstruction, and at the end of 1949, he was transferred to work in the secretariat of French Prime Minister Georges Bideau.

Since 1953, Georges Pack has held a number of important posts in the governments of the Fourth Republic. It should be emphasized that wherever he worked, he always remained for the Soviet intelligence an important source of valuable political and operational information.

In October 1958, Georges Pack was appointed to the post of head of the inquiry service of the General Staff of the French Army, and from 1961, he was the Head of the Office of the National Defense Institute. In October, 1962 of the year was followed by a new appointment - he becomes the deputy head of the press and information department of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).

New broad information capabilities of Georges Pak allowed Soviet intelligence to obtain during this period documentary intelligence information on many political and military-strategic problems of both individual Western powers and NATO as a whole. During the cooperation with the Soviet intelligence, he gave us a large number of valuable materials, including the North Atlantic bloc defense plan for Western Europe, the defense concept and military plans of the Western countries regarding the USSR, NATO intelligence bulletins containing information from Western intelligence agencies on the socialist countries, other important intelligence.

Georges Pak was recognized by the Western and, above all, by the French press "the largest Soviet source that has ever worked for Moscow in France", the "French Philby." In his book of memoirs, Georges Pak later emphasized that with his activity "he sought to promote parity between the forces of the United States and the USSR in order to prevent a global world catastrophe."

16 August 1963, according to information from defector Anatoly Golitsyn, Georges Pak was arrested and convicted of espionage. After being released from prison in 1970, he lived in France, visited the Soviet Union, and studied Russian. Died in Paris on December 19 1993.


After the liberation of Italy from the fascists in 1944, Nikolai Gorshkov (the operational pseudonym - Martin) was sent to this country as a resident under the protection of an employee of a diplomatic mission. He quickly organized the work of the residency, established assistance to Soviet prisoners of war, resumed contact with the leadership of the Communist Party of Italy.

Nikolai Mikhailovich was not only a good organizer, but also served as a wonderful example for his subordinates. Residency under his leadership has achieved great results in all types of intelligence activities.

The center set before the Roman resident the tasks of obtaining intelligence information on the strategic plans of the United States, Britain and the unions they led to confront the USSR and the countries of the socialist camp. Moscow paid particular attention to the issues of obtaining documentary materials on new types being developed and being implemented. weapons, above all, nuclear and missile, as well as electronic equipment for military use.

Gorshkov personally acquired a number of sources from which important political, scientific and technical information came from, which had significant defense and national economic significance: documentation on aircraft construction, samples of radio-controlled projectiles, materials on atomic reactors.

So, at the beginning of 1947, an orientation-task was received from Moscow in the Roman residency regarding the novelty of military equipment created by British specialists - an electronic artillery anti-aircraft projectile, which had a very high degree of destruction of moving targets at that time.

The station was tasked to obtain technical information about this projectile, which was code-named “Fight,” and, if possible, its samples.

At first glance, the task of searching for a novelty in Italy, developed by the British and applied in practice while defending the territory of England, seemed almost a hopeless deed. However, the residency under the leadership of Gorshkov developed and successfully implemented Operation “Fight”.

As early as September 1947, the resident reported on the assignment and sent drawings and relevant technical documentation to the Center, as well as samples of shells.

At the disposal of the Foreign Intelligence Hall, there is the conclusion of the chief designer of the leading Soviet defense research institute of that period, in which, in particular, it is emphasized that "obtaining a complete set of the sample ... largely contributed to reducing the development time of a similar model and the cost of its production" .

The Roman station did not stay aside from the work that had become extremely important in the post-war and subsequent years on the use of nuclear materials in the military and civil fields. As it became known later, the technical information received from the residency from one of the nuclear scientists involved in its cooperation with nuclear scientists was of great importance and was a significant contribution to strengthening the economic and defense potential of the USSR.

It should also be emphasized that, on the instructions of the Center, the Roman station, with the direct participation of Gorshkov, mined and sent to Moscow a complete set of drawings of the American B-29 bomber, which greatly contributed to the creation in the Soviet Union in the shortest possible time of delivery of nuclear weapons.

Naturally, the activity of the scouts of the Roman residency during the period of Gorshkov’s work there was not limited to the episodes described above. In the "Sketches of the History of Russian Foreign Intelligence" on this issue, in particular, it says:

“The behind-the-scenes actions of the former Soviet allies on the anti-Hitler coalition in Italy in the post-war period forced the focus of the intelligence of the Roman residency to be shifted from collecting information on the situation in the Mediterranean zone to obtaining information about the activities of the countries leading the standoff of the Soviet Union - the US and Britain. With the creation of the North Atlantic Alliance in 1949, the work of our intelligence officers in Italy was reoriented to the information coverage of the activities of the military-political bloc openly hostile to the Soviet Union. The cold war exacerbated confrontation and hostility between former allies. The development of events in this direction has led to a concentration of efforts of foreign intelligence residencies in European countries on the so-called NATO direction.

In many respects, thanks to the operational work carried out in the first post-war years by the Roman residency, it later succeeded in adequately solving the tasks set by the Soviet leadership. ”

In 1950, Gorshkov returned to Moscow and received a responsible post in the central apparatus of foreign intelligence.

It should be mentioned here that 30 of May 1947 of the USSR Council of Ministers adopted a resolution on the establishment of the Information Committee (CI) under the USSR Council of Ministers, which was entrusted with the tasks of political, military, and scientific-technical intelligence. The single intelligence agency was headed by V.M. Molotov, who was at that time deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and at the same time foreign minister. His deputies led the foreign intelligence units of the state security and military intelligence agencies.

However, time has shown that the unification of military and foreign intelligence services, which are so specific in their methods of activity, within the framework of one body, with all the advantages, made it difficult to manage their work. As early as January 1949, the government decided to withdraw military intelligence information from the Committee and return it to the Ministry of Defense.

In February 1949, the Information Committee was transferred under the auspices of the USSR Foreign Ministry. The head of the Information Committee was the new Foreign Minister Andrei Vyshinsky, and later the Deputy Foreign Minister Valerian Zorin.

In November 1951, a new reorganization followed. The government decided to merge foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence under the leadership of the USSR Ministry of State Security (MGB) and create uniform residencies abroad. The Information Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR ceased to exist. Foreign Intelligence was the First Main Directorate of the USSR Ministry of State Security.

After completing the mission, Gorshkov was appointed head of the department in the Information Committee at the USSR Foreign Ministry. In 1952, he becomes deputy head of the Directorate for Illegal Intelligence at the First Main Directorate of the USSR MGB.

Then followed a new trip abroad. Since 1954, Gorshkov has successfully worked as a KGB resident in the Swiss Confederation. In 1957 – 1959, he was in charge of the KGB Office at the Ministry of the Interior of the GDR in Berlin. From the end of 1959 of the year - in the central office of the PGU KGB under the USSR Council of Ministers.


In 1964, Nikolai Mikhailovich went to work at the Higher Intelligence School (better known as School No. 101), transformed into 1969, in the Red Banner KGB Institute. Until 1970, he headed the department of special disciplines in this educational institution.

Once Winston Churchill figuratively remarked that "the difference between a statesman and a politician is that the politician is guided by the next elections, and the statesman is the next generation." Proceeding from this statement, it is possible to say with confidence that the hero of our essay on state related to his work on the education of the young generation of intelligence officers.

Employees of the SVR of the first issues created in 1969 on the basis of the Higher Intelligence School of the Red Banner Institute of the KGB have always been proud that fate brought them together with this remarkable man, a brilliant operative, a thoughtful and skillful educator.

From 1970 to 1973, the year Gorshkov worked in Prague, in the KGB Representative Office under the Ministry of the Interior of Czechoslovakia. Returning to the USSR, he again taught at the Red Banner Institute for Foreign Intelligence. He was the author of a number of textbooks, monographs, articles, and other scientific research on intelligence problems.

In 1980, Nikolai Mikhailovich retired, but continued to actively engage in research activities, willingly and generously shared his rich operational experience with young employees, participated in the KGB-patriotic education of youth. For many years he headed the Council of Veterans of the Red Banner Institute.

The successful activity of Colonel Gorshkov in intelligence was awarded with the Orders of the Red Banner and the Labor Red Banner, two Orders of the Red Star, many medals, and the badge of “Honorary Officer of State Security”. For his great contribution to the cause of state security, his name was recorded on the memorial plaque of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

Died Nikolai Mikhailovich 1 February 1995 of the year.

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  1. Turkir
    Turkir 11 October 2014 08: 33
    Large scout. Brilliant work.
    Thank you for the article.
    1. Akuzenka
      Akuzenka 11 October 2014 14: 32
      Yes, a great article.
  2. Samurai3X
    Samurai3X 11 October 2014 09: 39
    For such articles, I like topwar.
  3. pinecone
    pinecone 11 October 2014 14: 22
    Interesting article.
    To the author: Italy entered the 2nd World War not in September 1939, but on June 10, 1940.
  4. jjj
    jjj 11 October 2014 14: 39
    I read that on the eve of the opening of the second front, Britain sent hundreds of agents to Germany. Moreover, so that they must fall into the Gestapo. And under torture they gave the information London needed.
    Honestly, I have not heard of such massive cooperation with Britain. Separate episodes flashed. But in order to do so, group after group was sent by the British ... It's the same re-enrollment. Apparently charges of ties with the British intelligence are not baseless
  5. wax
    wax 11 October 2014 14: 50
    How many heroes grew from the bottom during the Soviet era! And what now, when the Bologna education dominates?
  6. AlexA
    AlexA 11 October 2014 15: 25
    Well, what can I say? ...
    "There were people in our time." One can only be happy that it happened to be their contemporary.
    And hope. After all, communication with such people does not pass without a trace. So, decent people still live and work.
    Break through!
    May be...
    1. Turkir
      Turkir 11 October 2014 23: 10
      Yes, you can admire such people.
      Then the selection for intelligence, probably, was different. According to other parameters.
  7. Vasia1
    Vasia1 12 October 2014 13: 16
    Thank you for the article! I admire
    Soviet intelligence officers are true patriots and heroes of our Fatherland!
  8. k174oun7
    k174oun7 12 October 2014 14: 07
    The article is interesting and informative. I read with pleasure myself and show my son the materials on the pages of VO about the wonderful people of our country. There is a remark. So the author writes: "It should be emphasized that the anti-Hitler coalition, which included the communist Soviet Union and the Western countries - the United States and Britain, was a unique military-political phenomenon." If the author wants to draw attention to the socio-political structure of these countries, then one should point out the socio-political structure of not only the USSR, but also the United States and England, namely, that these are capitalist bourgeois regimes. Then everything will be logical. For article +.
  9. k174oun7
    k174oun7 12 October 2014 21: 57
    The article is interesting and informative. I read with pleasure myself and show my son the materials on the pages of VO about the wonderful people of our country. There is a remark. So the author writes: "It should be emphasized that the anti-Hitler coalition, which included the communist Soviet Union and the Western countries - the United States and Britain, was a unique military-political phenomenon." If the author wants to draw attention to the socio-political structure of these countries, then one should point out the socio-political structure of not only the USSR, but also the United States and England, namely, that these are capitalist bourgeois regimes. Then everything will be logical, otherwise there is a negative connotation. For article +.
  10. yan
    yan 13 October 2014 08: 07
    Wonderfully selected material, seasoned style, interesting article. Many thanks to the author for the information.
  11. vladushqa92
    vladushqa92 17 October 2014 15: 08
    There is little where you can read it. The article is good, thanks to the site.

    I hope someday it will be possible to read about Putin’s work in the special services
  12. Prager
    Prager 2 November 2014 13: 07
    Many thanks to the author for a wonderful article, I gladly gave it a try.