MI5 double agent that betrayed secrets to the Soviets may have also been leaking information to the Nazis

MI5 double agent that betrayed secrets to the Soviets may have also been leaking information to the Nazis

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop


Published: 30/04/2024

- 22:32

Anthony Blunt, a member of the Cambridge Five, is now suspected to be the spy who leaked details of Operation Market Garden to the Germans in 1944

A British spy and Soviet traitor may have also shared secrets to the Nazis, leading to the deaths of thousands of Allied troops, a new book has claimed.

Anthony Blunt, the MI5 double agent, could be the traitor who leaked details of Operation Market Garden to the Germans in 1944 - the largest airborne operation of all time.


Codenamed Josephine, the spy’s betrayal resulted in the failure of the Allied airborne invasion, causing the deaths of thousands of British, American and Canadian soldiers.

The operation aimed to outflank the German defences along the Rhine to allow the Allies to advance into Germany. However, when they parachuted in, they were met with unexpected resistance.

Anthony Blunt

Anthony Blunt, a MI5 double agent that betrayed secrets to the Soviets, may have also been leaking information to the Nazis

Getty

Robert Verkaik, author of The Traitor of Arnhem, argues that it was Blunt’s actions “contributed to the deaths of tens of thousands of Allied servicemen and women and countless civilians who perished as a result of a prolonged war”.

US losses totalled 3,996 dead, wounded, or missing, while British and Polish losses were 11,000 to 13,000 dead or wounded and 6,450 captured.

As well as halting an Allied advance, the plan’s failure also resulted in Stalin’s troops being the first to reach Berlin, a move which paved the way for the Iron Curtain which split Europe in two.

Verkaik, who spent months studying the archives, is now convinced that Blunt and Josephine are the same person – with Blunt ironically being given the task of tracking down the spy in his position at MI5.

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“Blunt had the means, the motive, and the opportunity,” the author said, claiming the spy was the only person who fit the profile of the mystery mole.

Verkaik added: “What I would go on to discover was that his betrayals had directly and intentionally aided the Nazi war machine and caused the deaths of thousands of soldiers and civilians.”

Blunt, a British art historian, was one of the Cambridge Five Spies who acted as a double agent for the Soviets from the 1930s to 1950s.

He was exposed as a Soviet mole in 1979. He died four years later in 1983 aged 75, at his home in Highgate, North London.

Aerial picture of a small part of Operation Market Garden in September 1944 - the largest airborne operation of all time.

Aerial picture of a small part of Operation Market Garden in September 1944 - the largest airborne operation of all time

PA

Blunt graduated from Cambridge University and then proceeded to join the army before entering the Secret Services in 1940.

In 1944, Blunt held a crucial role at the heart of British military intelligence and would have had a good knowledge of the operation.

After his confession, Blunt, the “fourth man” of the spy circle, was stripped of his knighthood and lived as a recluse in London until his death.

The “fifth man” in the spy ring has never been conclusively identified but was named as John Cairncross by KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky.

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