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Encyclopedia > Cambridge Five

The Cambridge Five (also sometimes known as the Cambridge Four) was a ring of Soviet spies in the UK who passed information to the Soviet Union during World War II and into the early 1950s. It has been suggested they may also have been responsible for passing Soviet disinformation to the Nazis. The ring has been proven to have included Kim Philby (cryptonym: Stanley), Donald Duart Maclean (cryptonym: Homer), Guy Burgess (cryptonym: Hicks), and Anthony Blunt (cryptonym: Johnson). Several other persons have been suggested as probably or possibly belonging. Soviet redirects here. ... Spy and Secret agent redirect here. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... Disinformation, in the context of espionage, military intelligence, and propaganda, is the spreading of deliberately false information to mislead an enemy as to ones position or course of action. ... Nazism in history Nazi ideology Nazism and race Outside Germany Related subjects Lists Politics Portal         Nazism or National Socialism (German: Nationalsozialismus), refers primarily to the ideology and practices of the Nazi Party (National Socialist German Workers Party, German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP) under Adolf Hitler. ... Kim Philby Harold Adrian Russell Kim Philby or H.A.R. Philby (OBE: 1946-1965), (1 January 1912 – 11 May 1988) was a high-ranking member of British intelligence, a communist, and spy for the Soviet Unions NKVD and KGB. In 1963, Philby was revealed as a member of... A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. ... Donald Duart Maclean Donald Duart Maclean (25 May 1913 – 6 March 1983) was a career British diplomat turned Soviet intelligence agent. ... Wanted poster of Burgess (right) with Donald_Duart_Maclean. ... Anthony Frederick Blunt (26 September 1907 – 26 March 1983), known as Sir Anthony Blunt, KCVO between 1956 and 1979, was an English art historian, formerly Professor of the History of Art, University of London and director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, London (1947-74). ...

They were originally known as the Cambridge Spy Ring because all became committed communists while attending Cambridge University in the 1930s. There is some conjecture as to when they were actually recruited to Soviet intelligence, but Anthony Blunt claimed that it did not happen at Cambridge. Rather, they were recruited after they graduated. Both Burgess, and Blunt were Apostles - a secret, elite debating society based around Trinity and King's Colleges. Philby, Blunt and Burgess were at Trinity. It is not believed they were recruited by Anthony Blunt, who was a Fellow at Trinity while the others were undergraduates and who had also been an Apostle. Blunt was a recruiter but in all likelihood did not recruit the other three. Another Apostle known to have passed information to the Soviets, John Cairncross, is suspected by many of being the so-called Fifth Man, who has never been formally identified. Michael Whitney Straight was also a Soviet spy and Cambridge Apostle. The University of Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world, with one of the most selective sets of entry requirements in the United Kingdom. ... Trinity College Great Court. ... Full name The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity Motto Virtus vera nobilitas Virtue is true Nobility Named after The Holy Trinity Previous names King’s Hall and Michaelhouse (until merged in 1546) Established 1546 Sister College(s) Christ Church Master The Lord Rees of Ludlow Location Trinity Street... For other uses, see Kings College. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... John Cairncross (July 25, 1913 – October 8, 1995) was a British intelligence officer during World War II who, along with four other men (Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt) passed secrets to the Soviet Union during the war. ... Michael Straight Michael Whitney Straight, (September 1, 1916 – January 4, 2004) was an American magazine publisher, novelist, patron of the arts, and a member of the prominent Whitney family. ...


Known members

In 1951, Burgess and Maclean made international headlines by very publicly defecting to the Soviet Union. It was immediately apparent to investigators that they had been tipped off, and Philby quickly became a prime suspect. Investigation of Philby found several suspicious matters but nothing for which he could be prosecuted, and he was forced to resign from SIS (later MI6). He was named in the press as chief suspect for "the Third Man" in 1955, and called a press conference to deny it. Nevertheless, he left the secret service and began working as a journalist in the Middle East. In 1961, defector Anatoliy Golitsyn provided information which seemed to point to Philby. An MI5 agent and a personal friend of Philby from his MI6 days, Nicolas Elliott, was sent to interview him in Beirut, and reported that Philby knew he was coming (indicating the presence of yet another mole) but freely confessed. Shortly afterwards, apparently fearing he might be abducted in Lebanon, Philby also defected to the Soviet Union. Year 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... A defector is a person who gives up allegiance to one political entity in exchange for allegiance to another. ... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6). ... The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), more commonly known as MI6 (originally Military Intelligence Section 6), or the Secret Service, is the United Kingdom external security agency. ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... A member of Liberal Democratic Party Taizo Sugimura in an apology news conference in Japan A news conference or press conference is a media event in which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and, most often, ask questions. ... For other uses, see Journalist (disambiguation). ... A map showing countries commonly considered to be part of the Middle East The Middle East is a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea, a territory that extends from the eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Anatoliy Mikhaylovich Golitsyn CBE (Russian: ;born August 25, 1926 in Piryatin, Ukrainian SSR) is a Soviet KGB defector and conspiracy theorist. ... MI-5 redirects here. ... This article is about the Lebanese city. ... A mole is a spy who works for an enemy nation and works within his nations government. ...

By 1979 Blunt was publicly accused of being a Soviet agent by investigative journalist Andrew Boyle, in his book Climate of Treason. In November 1979, then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher admitted to the House of Commons that Blunt had confessed to being a Soviet spy 15 years previously. By that time already in a position without access to classified information, he had secretly been granted a formal immunity by the Attorney General in exchange for telling everything he knew. He had provided a considerable amount of information, and preventing the Soviets from discovering his confession would have increased its value. Also: 1979 by Smashing Pumpkins. ... Investigative journalism is a branch of journalism that usually concentrates on a very specific topic, and typically requires a lot of work to yield results. ... A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. ... Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS (née Roberts; born 13 October 1925) served as British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 and leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 until 1990, being the first and to date only woman to hold either post. ... Type Lower House Speaker Michael Martin, (Non-affiliated) since October 23, 2000 Leader Harriet Harman, (Labour) since June 28, 2007 Shadow Leader Theresa May, (Conservative) since May 5, 2005 Members 659 Political groups Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru Democratic Unionist Party Sinn Féin... A typical classified document. ... In most common law jurisdictions, the Attorney General is the main legal adviser to the government, and in some jurisdictions may in addition have executive responsibility for law enforcement or responsibility for public prosecutions. ...

The "Five" comes from 1961 KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, who named Philby as a probable, Maclean and Burgess as part of a "Ring of Five" whose other two agents he did not know. However two had already defected to the USSR and Philby would do so in 1963. Of all the information provided by Golitsyn, the only item that was ever independently confirmed was the exposure of John Vassall. Vassall was a relatively low ranking spy whom some researchers believe may have been sacrificed to protect a more senior one. Golitsyn's information was suggestive of Philby being a member, but Philby was already under suspicion—indeed, had been accused in newspapers—and was in a country with no extradition agreement with Britain. Select members of MI5 and MI6 already knew Philby to be a spy from VENONA decryptions. Golitsyn also provided other information that is widely regarded as highly improbable, such as the claim that Harold Wilson (then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was a KGB agent. To this day Golitsyn's reliability remains controversial, and as such there is little certainty of the actual number of agents in the Cambridge ring. To add to the confusion, when Blunt finally confessed he nominated several completely different people as among those he had recruited. Altogether, at least twelve persons have been seriously indicated as possible members of Golitsyn's "Ring of Five". Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the KGB of the Soviet Union. ... Anatoliy Mikhaylovich Golitsyn CBE (Russian: ;born August 25, 1926 in Piryatin, Ukrainian SSR) is a Soviet KGB defector and conspiracy theorist. ... John Vassall (1925 - 1996) was a British military who, having been blackmailed, spied for the Soviet Union. ... Extradition is the official process by which one nation or state requests and obtains from another nation or state the surrender of a suspected or convicted criminal. ... The VENONA project was a long-running and highly secret collaboration between the United States intelligence agencies and the United Kingdoms MI5 that involved the cryptanalysis of Soviet messages. ... James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, PC (11 March 1916 – 24 May 1995) was one of the most prominent British politicians of the 20th century. ... The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is, in practice, the political leader of the United Kingdom. ...

Fifth Man

On the basis of the information provided by Golitsyn, speculation raged for many years as to the identity of "the Fifth Man". The journalistic popularity of this phrase owes something to the unrelated novels, The Third Man and The Tenth Man, by Graham Greene who, coincidentally, knew the Cambridge spies. It is now widely accepted that the spy ring probably had more than five members, possibly many more, since three other persons are known to have confessed, several more were nominated in a confession, and strong circumstantial cases have been made against still others. The extent to which the following suspects can be regarded as members of "the Ring", or just a list of Soviet spies, depends on the degree to which they knew and cooperated with one another. The degree of this cooperation remains largely unknown; even Philby, Burgess, and Maclean operated largely on an individual basis. The Third Man (1949) is a British film noir directed by Carol Reed. ... The Tenth Man (1985) is a short novel by British author Graham Greene. ... This article is about the writer. ... Circumstantial evidence is lesbian sex with a huge glass dildo unrelated facts that, when considered together, can be used to infer a conclusion about something unknown. ...

  • John Cairncross (1913–1995), confessed in 1951; this was publicly revealed in 1990.
  • Guy Liddell (1892–1958), a close friend of Burgess and Rees, was accused of being a spy by an anonymous informer in 1949. This was eventually written off as Soviet disinformation, but it permanently harmed his career. He was accused specifically of being a member of the Cambridge Spy Ring in the death-bed confession of Goronwy Rees in 1979.
  • Goronwy Rees (1909–1979), a close friend of Burgess and Liddell, admitted under interrogation in 1951 that he had known Burgess was a spy; then made a death-bed confession of being one himself in 1979, also accusing Guy Liddell of having been a member of the Ring.
  • Victor Rothschild (1910–1990) (better known as the third Baron Rothschild), accused by Roland Perry, in his book, The Fifth Man (London: Pan Books, 1994). Rothschild was a member, along with Blunt and Burgess, of the Cambridge Apostles.
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), In Kimberly Cornish's controversial book The Jew Of Linz, the author argues that as a Trinity College don, Wittgenstein recruited the Trinity College spies Burgess, Philby and Blunt (and Maclean, from nearby Trinity Hall College) for the Soviet Union.
  • Accused by Anthony Blunt during his confession in 1964:
    • Peter Ashby
    • John Cairncross
    • Leo Long
    • Brian Symon

John Cairncross (July 25, 1913 – October 8, 1995) was a British intelligence officer during World War II who, along with four other men (Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt) passed secrets to the Soviet Union during the war. ... Sir Roger Henry Hollis, KBE, CB (1905 - 1973) was a British journalist, secret-service agent and director general (DG) of MI5. ... North Tyneside Council North Tyneside Council is the local council of North Tyneside, England. ... Counter Intelligence A uk label started and owned by John Machielsen. ... See also Peter Wright (rugby player) and Pete Wright (musician) Peter Wright (born on August 9, 1916 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, United Kingdom - died April 27, 1995 in Tasmania, Australia) was a former MI5 counterintelligence officer noted for writing the controversial book Spycatcher (ISBN 0670820555), which was part memoir, part expos... Henry Chapman Pincher (born March 29, 1914) is a British journalist and novelist whose writing mainly focuses on espionage and related matters. ... Goronwy Rees (1909-1979) was a Welsh journalist, academic and writer. ... Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild, CBE, GM, FRS (October 31, 1910 – March 20, 1990) was a biologist by training and a member of the prominent Rothschild family. ... Baron Rothschild, of Tring in the County of Hertford, is a peerage title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. ... Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (IPA: ) (April 26, 1889 in Vienna, Austria – April 29, 1951 in Cambridge, England) was an Austrian philosopher who contributed several ground-breaking ideas to philosophy, primarily in the foundations of logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mind. ... College name College of Scholars of the Holy Trinity of Norwich Founder Bishop Bateman of Norwich Named after The Holy Trinity Established 1350 Location Trinity Lane Admittance Men and women Master Prof. ...

In fiction

A Question of Attribution is a 1991 television play written by Alan Bennett and commissioned by the BBC. Directed by John Schlesinger it stars James Fox as Anthony Blunt and Prunella Scales as Queen Elizabeth II. Set around 1977 the play details the complex relationship between Blunt as Keeper of... An Englishman Abroad is a film based on the true story of a chance meeting of an actress, Coral Browne, with Guy Burgess, one of the famous group of Soviet Union whilst with MI6. ... Published by Faber/Profile Books in 2005 Alan Bennett (born May 9, 1934) is an English author and actor noted for his work, his boyish appearance and his sonorous Yorkshire accent. ... Another Country is a play by Julian Mitchell loosely based upon the life of the spy Guy Burgess, called Guy Bennett in the play, examining the effect that his homosexuality and his exposure to Marxism have on him and the hypocrisy and snobbery of the British public school system. ... Julian Mitchell (born May 1, 1935) is a British screenwriter, especially for TV. He was screenwriter for many Inspector Morse episodes. ... Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a spy novel by John le Carré, first published in 1974. ... John le Carré is the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell (born October 19, 1931 in Poole, Dorset, England), an English writer of espionage novels. ... The Untouchable is a 1997 novel by the Irish author John Banville. ... John Banville (born 8 December 1945) is an Irish novelist and journalist. ... Frederick Louis MacNeice (September 12, 1907 – September 3, 1963) was a British and Irish poet and playwright. ... Cambridge Spies was a 2003 four-part BBC television drama concerning the lives of the Cambridge Five from 1934 to the defection of Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean to the Soviet Union. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... Toby Stephens (born April 21, 1969) is an English stage, television and film actor, best known for playing supervillain Gustav Graves in the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002) and Edward Fairfax Rochester in the BBC television adaptation of Jane Eyre (2006). ... Tom Hollander (born November 30, 1969) (IMDb says 1967, but BBC and Toms fansite says 1969) is an award-winning English actor who has appeared in productions such as Enigma, Gosford Park, Cambridge Spies, Pride and Prejudice and Pirates of the Caribbean. ... Photographed on location for the 2007 TV movie Persuasion with Sally Hawkins Rupert Penry-Jones (born 22 September 1970 in London), sometimes credited as Rupert Penry Jones, is an English actor. ... Samuel West, sometimes billed as Sam West, (born June 19, 1966) is a British actor, the son of Prunella Scales and Timothy West. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For the BBC radio station, see BBC Radio 4. ... Sir Derek George Jacobi, CBE (IPA: ) (born 22 October 1938) is an English actor and director, knighted in 1994 for his services to the theatre. ... For the composer, see Antony Hopkins. ... Ian William Richardson CBE (7 April 1934 – 9 February 2007) was a Scottish actor best known for playing the Machiavellian politician Francis Urquhart in the House of Cards trilogy for the BBC. // Born in Edinburgh, Richardson was educated at Balgreen Primary School and Tynecastle High School in the city,[1...

In culture

The bars in the Manchester nightclub The Hacienda were named after the Cambridge Five Fac 51 Haçienda (also known as simply The Haçienda) was one of the most well known nightclubs in Manchester during the Madchester years of the late 1980s and early 1990s. ...

See also

The Portland Spy Ring operated in Britain from the late 1950s till 1961 when the hard core of the network was arrested by British security. ... William (Jim) Skardon (1945-1987) was a Special Branch officer who became an MI5 interrogator and head of The Watchers (physical surveillance teams). ... Yuri Modin (1922- present) was the KGB controller for the so called Cambridge Five, from 1944 to 1955, during which period Donald MacLean was said to have passed atomic secrets to the Soviets, and he later arranged the 1951 defections of Maclean and Guy Burgess. ...

External links

  • The Cambridge Five at the Crime Library

  Results from FactBites:
Cambridge Online (627 words)
Cambridge Dating is a fun local dating service with several thousand members.
London is less than an hour away from Cambridge by train and is home to hundreds of stunning attractions, magical theatres and stunning art exhibitions.
Yorkshire is two to three hours away from Cambridge by train depending on whether you change at Stevenage or Peterborough.
Guy Burgess - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (837 words)
Like most of the Cambridge five, he came from a privileged background, attending Eton College, and eventually attending Cambridge University, where he was recruited into the Cambridge Apostles, a secret, elite, debating society, whose members at the time included Anthony Blunt and Kim Philby.
At Cambridge, he had been a friend of Julian Bell, the English poet who was tragically killed driving an ambulance in that conflict.
He, and apparently the other members of the "Five" were also very divided about the impact of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which compromised their hard left ideals.
  More results at FactBites »



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