Secret reports on one of the most controversial British undercover operations of the Second World War are to be released Monday, showing that a Soviet spy may have been responsible for the British switching support to Tito's forces in the former
By switching support to Tito's forces, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) helped to force the German retreat, but it cost Mihailovich his life - he was executed after the war as a collaborator - and ensured that the former
SOE spies who fought in the Balkans included the former Tory PM Julian Amery. Other famous names who flit in and out of the tales of SOE derringdo and duplicity in the region include Paddy Leigh Fermor and Major Anthony Quayle, the screen actor.
Rupert Allason, author of spy books under the pen name Nigel West, and former Tory MP said the real issue raised by the papers was the reason for the British government's backing of Tito. Nothing had been known about Tito - Fitzroy Maclean, a British agent, thought he was a woman - and the government became convinced that Mihailovich was a collaborator with the Germans - something the "Ultra" code intercepts showed to be untrue.
The signals sent by Klugmann, who was an intimate of the traitors Blunt, Philby, and Burgess at Cambridge, will for the first time confirm the claim of an agent, quoted by Andrew Boyle in The Climate of Treason, that Klugmann was principally responsible for the massive wartime sabotage of the Mihailovich supply operation and for keeping from London information about the impressive activities of the Mihailovich forces in the fight against the Germans.
They will be of particular interest to a decoder at
"Certainly Klugmann seems to have played a more important role than was thought. Two former Communist wartime agents assured me that he did, but they didn't elaborate," she added.
The files 969 in all, cover the operation of the SOE in
Unfortunately the blaze all too frequently singed SOE operatives themselves as they were caught up in internal politics - particularly in
The signals sent to SOE HQ in
A further opportunity for scanting the information from
The concerted efforts of the
There is evidence of a power struggle which developed over the role of Brigadier Sir Fitzroy Maclean, who was parachuted in as Churchill's personal representative and came to exercise a powerful influence with Tito.
Two months later, Bill Deakin, later Colonel Sir William Deakin, Senior Intelligence Officer in
NORMAN JOHN KLUGMAN, from The National Arcives, May 2002, the ninth and largest Security Service (MI5) release, consisting of 212 files, bringing the total number of MI5 records in the public domain to 1332. As with previous releases the bulk of records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2) with a small number of policy (KV 4) and subject files (KV 3)
Norman Klugman joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1933 whilst studying at