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September 2016 release of files to The National Archives

More than 100 MI5 files of historical interest were declassified and released to The National Archives at Kew this week.

The files cover a range of subjects spanning the inter-war years to the era following the Second World War.

Notable material in this release relates to Juan Pujol, codenamed GARBO, who is widely regarded as the greatest double-agent of World War Two. Though the GARBO story has been told through previous releases to The National Archives, the latest release adds rich detail concerning Pujol's pivotal role in planning for the D-Day Normandy landings. For the first time, it examines the difficulties of his homesick Spanish wife on settling in the UK, and includes several reports to Winston Churchill emphasising the extraordinary creativity of GARBO, his case officer Tomas Harris and their MI5 support team.

There are also a number of personal files relating to individuals previously under investigation by MI5. In addition to a small number of records of Soviet Intelligence Officers and suspected Russian agents, there are files relating to Communist Party members and sympathisers. Amongst them are the files of Rodney Hilton and E. P. Thompson, both prominent members of the Communist Party Historians Group, the latter of which authored The Making of the English Working Class, one of the most influential history books of the twentieth century. The files, which between them span more than twenty years, provide intercepted correspondence highlighting Thompson and Hilton's loss of confidence in the Party which ultimately led to their resignation.

This is the 33rd file release and contains a total of 132 files bringing the total number of MI5 records held at The National Archives to 5,581.

For more information, please see The National Archives press release.

28 September 2016


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