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Agent Sonya, Stalin & The Hitler Assassination Plot

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by GRW, Sep 12, 2020.

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  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Don't think I've heard this one before.
    "Neighbours in the tranquil Oxfordshire village of Great Rollright knew housewife Mrs Burton for the scrumptious taste of her scones in the summer of 1945.
    But they had no idea she was actually top Soviet spy Ursula Kuczynski, who came close to blowing up Adolf Hitler before Joseph Stalin got cold feet.
    Kuczynski, code-named Sonya, nearly averted the horrors of the Second World War as she plotted to assassinate the Führer in a restaurant in the winter of 1938.
    Her daring plan has now been detailed by Ben Macintyre in his new book Agent Sonya, which has been serialised in The Times.
    The historian delved into MI5 files and unearthed accounts from those involved in the mission, allowing him to reveal one of the best-laid plans to slay the dictator.
    The plot was hatched when one of Kuczynski's agents Alexander Foote was dining at the Osteria Bavaria in Munich when Hitler showed up at a private dining room he visited up to three times a week.
    Foote noticed the Führer's guards failed to react as his dining companion reached into his jacket pocket for cigarettes when they walked past the table.
    The spy told Kuczynski it would be possible to plant a bomb in a suitcase next to the partition in the main restaurant and the assassination attempt was pieced together.
    Kuczynski presented the plan to Moscow - declaring it an 'excellent idea' - and agents were ordered to prepare an operation to shoot Hitler as he walked through the restaurant or blow him up as he dined.
    It superseded an audacious idea to blow up the airship Graf Zeppelin.
    But the latest plot was just weeks away when the Germans and Soviets signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, a non-aggression agreement that shelved Kuczynski's operation.
    Months later Kuczynski had divorced her German architect husband and married her English recruit Len Beurton for a passport for the UK.
    Macintyre believes her plot would have 'transformed world history' and and had a better chance of success than any other attempted."
    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8725005/Undercover-Soviet-agent-hatched-plot-blow-Hitler-assassination-attempt-called-off.html
     
  2. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    So how did MI5 get to know all this?
     
  3. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ..there are probably a lot of ''low key'' plots against hitler that we will never know about .
    ...as ARWR says, how did it get ''known'/substantiated?

    ..my question: how willing would Russia have been to carry that out? assassinating the head of another country is not routine
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    She was interviewed after Alexander Foote defected and a link was established between them, AFAIK. Turns out Foote might actually have been an MI6 double agent-
    Alexander Foote - Wikipedia
     
  5. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    Somehow the idea of an SIS double agent encouraging a Soviet assassination exercise on a foreign HoS doesn't ring quite true - especially given SIS's later attitudes to SOE ops - SIS just didn't do that sort of thing - it got in the way of intelligence gathering
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2020
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Kim Philby?? Then again Stalin wanted Germany have war in the west.
     
  7. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    Back in the early 80s, as a management consultant, I performed a review of the BBC's Caversham archive set up. During this I was shown some correspondence from the BBC to the security services dating from the immediate post war period. The Beeb had done a radio programme on the security services and had submitted the scripts in advance to get clearance. They had received an assurance that they were not broadcasting anything that would tell the Soviets anything new. The signature on the document was Philby. Obviously this was correct as he would have already supplied said info in advance!
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Was Philby not the leader of MI6 the counterintelligenge section and knew nothing new? Not my mess but after Twenty years i would think he had some info to send.
     
  9. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Aye, it's a strange one.
     

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