Does Anyone Remember The Cambridge 5?

A History Sunday……

Probably only UK visitors will be the only ones that will remember and then only those that are aging….like me.

The Cambridge Five were the most notorious of all the spies who worked for the Soviet Union. This British quintet were exceptional for a number of reasons: while they worked independently, they knew the identities of one another; they spied at a critical time (during the Second World War and the early Cold War); the content of their espionage complemented each other, as each worked in different parts of the government. And the amount of information they provided was unsurpassed.

The five were recruited while students at the University of Cambridge in the 1930s and each would go on to have successful dual careers as British civil servants and Soviet spies. Kim Philby (1912–88) spent most of his career working for the British intelligence agency MI6, including a period as head of Soviet counterespionage and as MI6 liaison officer to the CIA in Washington DC. Donald Maclean (1913–83) had a successful career in the Foreign Office, working on atomic and military matters. Guy Burgess (1911–63) worked briefly for MI6, but also spent some time in the Foreign Office, working in London on propaganda, and then in the British Embassy in Washington.

From the mid-1930s through the early 1960s, the Soviet Union benefited from the services of five British traitors. Reams of classified documents transferred from British files and offices to those of the Soviet’s. During the height of World War II and the Cold War which followed, classified information shared between the United States and Great Britain received an eager welcome from the Soviets. The traitors sent so much information to their Soviet handlers that some in the NKVD/KGB questioned its value. Others were simply overwhelmed by the amount of data received and had insufficient time to properly analyze it all. Much of the damage done by the group originally labeled the Cambridge 4, later expanded to 5 when another traitor’s activities came to light, remains unknown.

This Spy Ring Betrayed the US and British to Soviet Intelligence

These spies did some major damage to the US and the UK in their sell-out to the Soviets.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


9 thoughts on “Does Anyone Remember The Cambridge 5?

  1. Thanks for the information, Chuq! I had now read in such detail, for the first time. Sometimes I think, that espionage is the only real policy. 😉 Have a nice Sunday! Michael

  2. Not to change the subject (although it does seem that I am), chuq, I was reading a book review who’s author claimed that the Second Amendment was created for fear of a black revolt. Not overly plausible or historically accurate.. but was an interesting presentation. Anyway… the author mentioned the Uniform Militia Act.. and Shay’s Rebellion.. (the first “civil war”.. 1787, under the Articles of Confederation) having led to the act’s creation in 1792, after the Constitution. Given current events.. and you being our history professor… it might be a good topic for a post.
    This is from on the federal government’s first implementation of the Uniform Militia Act…

    “The Militia Act was tested shortly after its passage, when farmers in western Pennsylvania, angered by a federal excise tax on whiskey, attacked the home of a tax collector and then, with their ranks swollen to 6,000 camped outside Pittsburgh, threatened to march on the town. In response, President Washington, under the auspices of the Militia Act, assembled 15,000 men from the surrounding states and eastern Pennsylvania as a federal militia commanded by Virginia’s Henry Lee to march upon the Pittsburgh encampment. Upon its arrival, the federal militia found none of the rebels willing to fight. The mere threat of federal force had quelled the rebellion and established the supremacy of the federal government.”

    Shays Rebellion is pretty interesting as well….. (did you do a post on this at one time?)

    1. I have mentioned it a couple of times but nothing on the rebellion itself……I kinda like Warren Berger’s thought….
      Chief Justice Warren Berger, a hunter and gun owner, whose specialty was the Bill of Rights, wrote that the 2nd Amendment dealt only with raising an army.He found no support anywhere in the Constitution for guaranteeing individuals the right to own guns. And what of the wording of the 2nd Amendment? Many pro-gun advocates point to the second phrase as proof of their position. But they are not separate statements or concepts bound together in one sentence. In English, the first phrase is the ‘main’ clause, the second is the ‘dependent’ clause. Hence the right to keep and bear arms is dependent upon the first phrase. So the Supreme Court, other federal courts, scholars and the framers of the constitution are in agreement – the 2nd Amendment does not grant individuals the right to own guns.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.