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Was he a double agent?
The British were running the entire German spy ring in the UK, using it to feed misinformation.
The British were running Lucy in Switzerland to supply Enigma decrypts to the Russians. The encirclement of Stalingrad indicates detailed knowledge of enemy dispositions. The Russians were never told who's spy ring this was, they may have worked it out. It must have been understood the Stalin would never trust anything from London. The UK had invaded Russia in the twenties and the Conservative government were extremely hostile to the Communists.
So when the FISH network was broken with, from December 1941, Hitler controlling the army, it would have been desireable to supply relevant FISH decodes to the Russians.
Colossus, Ed B J Copeland, has an extraordinary section that accuses Cairncross of traitorously supplying details of the German plans for the Kursk battle, then on the next page says that the consequent Russian victory was a turning point in the war. There was no other feed. Why did the British wish to conceal the information?
Churchill had said that he would make a pact with the devil to defeat Hitler. The Defence of the Realm, C Andrew, explains that the Russian diplomatic traffic was using one time pad for encryption, there is nothing better than that and the two transmission legs of Lucy were dangerously decipherable as they used published statistics for encryption. It would have been an obvious extension of the existing inventive use of agents to use a British controlled Russian spy in Bletchley Park.
The page on Cairncross is characteristic of the information about him - minimal. We know lots about the other four. This one appears and disappears. There is no writing describing how Cairncross got drunk and enjoyed orgies with the others. He appears minimally in Defence of the Realm.
Colossus tells how after the war the Russians collected some Lorenz machines and used them to communicate with its new satellite empire. The Brits kept one Colossus to intercept this. If Cairncross had been so bad then the Russians would have known that Lorenz was broken.
It was repeated while Cairncross was alive that he was not a Russian spy. He only became a spy when he was dead.
P.S. Andrew also shows that the target of MI5 from the 20s was communism, specifically the Soviet Union and CPGB. CP was completely penetrated. MI5 had a complete card index of CP members, which was maintained until the collapse of the SU, so that applications to work in the civil service could be refused. It is explained that the four succeeded for so long because they were never CP members. If Cairncross was ever a genuine CP member he would never have been employed by HMG, let alone in intelligence, unless he was either a mole from the start or turned to be a British asset. If he was once a CP member and he was at Bletchley Park than he must have been a double agent. Can someone advise me? Reg nim (talk) 21:02, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
I have just seen the BBC 2 programme Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park's Lost Heroes. It boasts that information about the coming battle of Kursk from the Colossus decrypts was supplied to the Russians. No details were given. This admission must be be officially sanctioned, so all the dots are now joined up, he was a double agent. Over the last year the article has been amended to remove the possibility that he was a double agent, that is sad. Tell whatever lies you like and look foolish in consequence. Reg nim (talk) 21:08, 29 October 2011 (UTC)