The Cambridge Five – From the Vault


Manage episode 288085023 series 170555
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As we continue ramping up for SpyCast 2.0, featuring a content overhaul and improved audio, we release a real gem on a perennial favorite of the SpyCast community. You literally couldn’t make this one up, it has everything you’d expect to see at Shakespeare’s Globe – betrayal, suspicion, ambition, political machinations, royal intrigue and flabbergasting chutzpah.

Philby. Burgess. MacLean. Blunt. Cairncross. Spies who betrayed their country in the name of an ideal: communism. In the 1930s, five young Cambridge University students were recruited by Soviet intelligence to penetrate the British establishment. In the course of their espionage career, the Five did enormous damage to Western security. The gradual unravelling of the spy ring across the decades also led to mole-hunts and an ever widening ring of paranoia. It even put the “special relationship” between Britain and America under strain.

While parts of their story inspired the pages of Cold War spy thrillers, back in 2009 British intelligence author Nigel West examined their motivations and activities, and revealed new evidence he unearthed in Soviet intelligence archives.

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