Ac industrial espionage


It could not have occurred to anyone that the modest, seemingly inconspicuous aircraft designer Manfred Roths was in fact one of the aces of industrial KGB espionage. He worked as a responsible employee in the company Messerschmitt - Belkov - Blom (IBB), which is a recognized world center of high technology. In this arms concern, in which 30 employs thousands of employees, primarily military aircraft, helicopters, anti-tank missiles and air defense missiles, space satellites are produced. During 30 years, Roths was able to transfer not only drawings of various types of weapons, but also information about Western high technologies, which allowed social countries to save billions on research and help them move forward their own aerospace programs.

Manfred Emil Rothsch (his middle name will later become his pseudonym in the KGB) was born in 1924 in Bocau near Auszig in the Sudetenland. His father was a gardener. After graduating from the folk school of Manfred, you enroll in a vocational school, study as a locksmith and at the same time work in a real school. Then Roths studies to be an engineer, but in 19 years he goes to the front, and after being wounded, he finds himself in American captivity.


After being released from captivity, Roths returned to the Sudetenland, but soon he and his parents were forcibly evicted to the Dresden area. In 1949, the family moves to West Germany in Hanau. But Manfred remains in the Soviet occupation zone and enters the Dresden Higher Technical School in order to gain the profession of an aircraft builder. He enters the Union of Free German Youth to be able to study, marries in 1952. With the diploma of engineer Roths, he gets a place in Pirna at the national enterprise Dessau, where Soviet MiG-17 fighters are built under license.

At the beginning of the 50's Soviet secret services of the KGB and the GRU are beginning to engage in the selection of promising agents who in the future could work in intelligence with a focus on Western aviation and space technology. One of those sleeping (as in the espionage slang is called agents in a preserved state), intended for espionage in the West German aviation industry, the agents should be certified aircraft designer Manfred Rothsch. As soon as after the resettlement in Germany, he takes the appropriate place in the production services of interest, he will be awakened and will start working with him as with a source. Perhaps he was recruited by the KGB at the Dresden Higher Technical School.

In the course of espionage training, Roths learns to secretly write, learn to equip caches and follow other conspiracy rules. As an avid amateur photographer, he already owns the shooting technique. In May 1954g. Rothsha is bombarded in Germany, where he presents himself to the authorities as a refugee. From the very beginning of his career in the West, Roths tried to get into the industry, of which the West German aviation industry would later emerge. In 1955, he joins the Heinkel firm in Stuttgart-Zuffen-Hausen and participates in the modernization of the French Fugue Master car, with drawings of which he is unexpectedly announced in East Berlin and ... gets overclocked from the authorities for his initiative. From now on he must, in order to avoid all suspicion, send long letters to his beloved aunt Ole in East Berlin, signing with his two nicknames - Emil and Krista. He must enter secret information in his own invisible inks - a mixture of dissolved vitamin tablets and ammonia. He was also ordered to arrange two caches in Munich and Speyer.

In 1959, Rothsha is transferred to work in the so-called research circle of the South to Munich, where the German model of the aircraft with a vertical launch is tested - VI-101. In 1964, he goes to Junkers Aircraft Engine Company. Here he takes part in the creation of research satellites Geos and Dial, as well as in the design of the solar probe Helios. In 1969, Junkers plants merge with the largest German arms concern Messerschmitt - Belkov - Blom (MVB). Initially, Roths was working hard for a year in the department that deals with space technology. Then he becomes the chief of the department of E-285, developing the middle part of the body of a multi-purpose European combat aircraft Tornado.

In addition, using his access to secret documentation, Roths got acquainted with the technical descriptions of Cormoran offensive missiles, Hot and Milan anti-tank missiles, VK-117 and BO-105 helicopters, Transall transport aircraft, Spacelab space laboratory.

From the secret report of the Technology of the future combat aircraft containing information about the fighter-90 and the stealth aircraft, which cannot be detected by any radar, Roths receives data on the forward planning of the German Air Force. Fighter-90, a product of a joint European project worth 15 billion marks, was to become the basis of Western air defense in the next decade and overshadow Tornado. The superfighter could take off from small lanes, detect and suppress various targets from a distance of 90 km.

All negotiations that were conducted between NATO and the World Bank during this period become known in Moscow earlier than in Bonn. Information transmitted by Rothsham allows the Soviet Union to disable the highly sensitive electronics of a Tornado using powerful radio pulses. This is indicated by many of their dubious catastrophes. So, January 6 1986. the sophisticated electronics of one of the Tornado's aircraft was paralyzed by a mysterious electronic impulse, and the car crashed near Holzkirchen. It was probably a radio pulse from the nearest Radio Free Europe transmitter, lapidally reported in an official statement of the authorities. However, after this incident, both the Luftwaffe, the British Royal Airforce, and the Italian Air Force are beginning to suspect that Moscow is aware of the Tornado and its highly sensitive electronic equipment, so the multi-billion dollar project, or the largest armament program since Christ, is probably lost its value. Roths photographed secret plans either at home by his old-fashioned GEDA Practice, or using photocopiers right at work. Strange as it may seem, over the course of many years neither Roths nor the other senior officials of the concern have been tested for reliability, despite the fact that the Ministry of Defense annually allocated 25 million marks to ensure the security of military projects. The case was limited to the annual letter of concern management to employees indicating that no one should tell anyone about their work. Everything else, Roths was a good actor. He often played out of himself an extreme anti-communist, which was the subject of constant jokes on him by his colleagues. In 1967, the city of Rothsch settled with his family in Poing, Ebersberg district. There he enters the CSU and establishes a branch of a Christian Social Workers organization adjacent to this party. Through this group, he enters the production council of the MVB. He is also active in the Sudeten Germans Chess Club.

Looking outwardly a respectable and not very distant man, Roths and his wife live in a well-kept single-family house, giving his three daughters a good education. The subject of his pride is the magnificent geranium bushes in front of the house and the largest tomatoes in the town. The only luxury in his house is the piano. A certified engineer always wears old-fashioned gray suits, rides a superstar car until the technical inspectorate prohibits the use of a car, which is a dumping place.

Roths is in contact with his customers through the Austrian branch of the KGB. The Vienna residency is the largest in the West, and all industrial espionage starts from here. Roths meets with Soviet agents at certain intervals in Salzburg. Representing a tourist, he walks with a camera around his neck along Konigsgesschen to a pharmacy located on the corner of Linzerstrasse. Making sure that everything is clear, he takes a newspaper in his hand. If, however, involves surveillance, then he hides it in his pocket - and his contact is warned. Usually, everything goes according to plan. The password of the connected KGB in the role of an officially accredited Soviet diplomat is: Excuse me, is there a shoe store Salamander? To which Roths must answer: Unfortunately, there is not here, but there is in Linz ... Then everything is ok, and they are arranged in a pre-designated restaurant. Sipping wine, Rothsch passes copies of secret documents, answers additional questions and receives regular tasks. Such meetings with one of his leading officers often last up to three hours and occur every three months in Salzburg.

Hans reports to the next meeting place of Rothsch in a harmless letter to Hans: in a glued-up envelope bend a three-millimeter dotted micro-negative that can be read with a school microscope. On the first Monday of the month, Roths sits down at his Brown T-100 portable radio and listens to an East Berlin channel. If the Blue Danube waltz sounds on short waves in 23 hours, this means that he should call the 50-12-56 East Berlin number. There will respond a disguised KGB bureau. If there are no messages for him, then marches are on the air. Employees of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution take the trail of Manfred Roths only in the middle of 1983 as a result of information received from the French counterintelligence. According to a certain industrial KGB spy, the French owe one high-ranking Soviet secret service officer who works to the West under the nickname Feavell (Farewell). Here, as in the case of Colonel Penkovsky, a Western businessman played an intermediary role. So, the French once find out that the KGB’s foreign intelligence department has highly secret information about Tornadoes. Paris decides to inform Bonn about this. Feavell, a KGB officer who worked in the 60. in the Soviet embassy in Paris, has since retained some French connections. At the beginning of 1981, he decided to trust one Frenchman, a businessman who regularly visited Moscow, and asked him to pass on secret information to the French intelligence chief.

In France, they still cannot understand the motives of his act, since the KGB colonel did not demand money for his cooperation. A businessman from Paris, Monsieur K., charges himself for the entire 18 months the extremely dangerous duties of a courier, for which he receives the order of the Legion of Honor. The name of the courier remains a secret sealed even for the heads of friendly special services.

It is known that Feavell handed over to the French from the spring of 1981 until the autumn of 1982 about 4 thousand documents marked “top secret”. Most of them are labeled with the first number, which means that they are under the jurisdiction of the head of department T, responsible for espionage in science and technology. Many documents have autographs of the then KGB chairman Yuri Andropov. On one document, even Brezhnev’s personal resolution. As for Feavell, then, according to some reports, he died at the end of 1983. The cause of death is not known. Based on confidential information from Paris 26 Jun 1983. An appeal to the MVB firm is being taken to thoroughly check their management staff. As a result, almost a year later, the department for the protection of the constitution goes to Manfred Roths. His surveillance lasted three months before there was a reason to expose: a tin can. The fact is that the always-cautious Roths did not notice the shadowing and, on the way to the binder, pulled out a tin can from the cache, equipped for the garbage can. It did not fit in with the appearance of a respectable bourgeoisie, that detectives, tired of fruitless observations, suspected something was wrong. The bank was microfilm with drawings of a secret aircraft project, which deals with the research department of the IBB. A search of Roths home exceeded all expectations of counterintelligence. His desk was packed with various research materials about unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, the so-called drones, the successor of the 90 fighter phantoms, the Tornado MW-1 weapons system, and the maintenance manual for the American F-15 fighter. Roths, according to experts, in addition to the strictly secret documents on Tornado, gave the KGB information about the unmanned reconnaissance vehicle capable of “diving” under the rays of enemy radars, remaining unnoticed, plans of all satellites built in Germany, complete documentation of the Leopard-2 battle tank, plans Spacelab space laboratory designs, as well as secret military technical research and a NATO plan document.


Manfred Roths was sentenced for espionage undercover activities to eight and a half years in prison, but he served only a small part of his term. In August, Rotsch's 1987 was exchanged for an agent of the Federal Republic of Germany. However, after three months, Roths unexpectedly returned to Germany. The spy written off was probably out of business with the old masters. Perhaps he did not get what he expected. One way or another, Roths spent the rest of his life in his house, living on a modest pension, growing geraniums and the largest tomatoes in the town.
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