Security Service release: Introduction
This is the 25th Security Service records release and contains 170 files, bringing the total number of Security Service records at The National Archives to more than 4,500.
As with previous releases, around three quarters of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with the remainder a combination of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4) and organisation files (KV 5). The records cover a range of subjects and span the inter-war, Second World War and post-war eras.
Personal files are listed under the following categories:
- German Intelligence Agents and Suspected Agents (KV 2/3265-3291)
- German Intelligence Officers (KV 2/3294-3307)
- Subject of Security Service Enquiry (KV 2/3308-3323)
- SOE Agents (KV 2/3324)
- Soviet Intelligence Agents and Suspected Agents (KV 2/3325)
- Right-wing Extremists (KV 2/3326-3330)
- Communists and Suspected Communists, including Russians, and Communist Sympathisers (KV 2/3331-3385)
Subject files (KV 3/383-402) in this release include files on the secretive Etappendienst, a German naval intelligence department established before the First World War, which sought to acquire agents among Germans living abroad and to gather intelligence (KV 3/383-384). There are also files on the Communist Party Organisation for Penetration of the Armed Forces, a covert organisation set up to maintain and broaden contact with Party members in the armed forces during the Second World War (KV 3/386-387).
Policy files (KV 4/446-447) in this release concern the organisation of and liaison with British Security Coordination, a cover organisation headed by Canadian William Stephenson which operated out of the Rockefeller Center, New York during the Second World War. These files focus primarily on British Security Coordination's Security Division, whose responsibilities included liaison with the FBI on security matters.
Organisation files (KV 5/108-134) in this release include several files on the International Brigade Association which list thousands of its members who fought in the Spanish Civil War, including George Orwell (KV 5/112-131).
A few files have been weeded while others have been reconstituted from microfilm of the original document and are therefore in photocopy form. Most personal files include a minute sheet attached to the inside cover, providing a useful index to the file.
Highlights of this release include:
- Nobel Prize winning scientist, Maurice Wilkins, investigated as a possible candidate for a spy passing scientific information to The American Communist Party (KV 2/3382 - KV 2/3383).
- Investigation into British writer, Cyril Wolf Mankowitz, known for writing the screenplay of the 1967 James Bond film, Casino Royale (KV 2/3384-KV 2/3385).
- Ballerina, Marina Lee, described as 'blonde, tall, beautiful figure, refined and languid' , who according to unconfirmed German reporting had got hold of the British campaign plan in Norway (KV 2/3281).
- Investigation into German electrical company, Siemens, employees suspected of being involved in espionage activities abroad during the Second World War (KV 2/3313- KV 2/3316).
- Abwehr officer, Wilhelm Hollmann, reported to have sought to have used Ireland as a means to spy on England and would have led German invasion at Dover (KV 2/3300).
- Disgruntled British soldier, Philip Jackson, was contacted by British officer posing as German representative following intercepted letter from Jackson offering his services to the Germans (KV 2/3319-KV 2/3322).