Between the wars

Maxwell Knight

The '20s and '30s

The years immediately after the World War 1 saw MI5's size reduced drastically as a result of post-war cost-cutting. 

Our organisation’s very existence came under threat for a time, but by the start of the 1930s it had gained new importance in countering communist and fascist subversion in the UK. 

It also played a leading role in countering Soviet espionage and obtaining information on Nazi Germany.

Mugshot of Soviet spy Percy Glading

The Soviet threat between the wars

MI5 unmask a spy ring but Soviet intelligence have already begun a new recruitment strategy which would culminate in the  ‘Cambridge Five’.