This is the fifteenth release of Security Service records and the fourth since the full implementation of the Freedom of Information Act in January 2005. Though exempt from the Act, the Security Service will continue to make its records available to researchers. This release contains 214 files, bringing the total number of Security Service records in the public domain to well over 3,000.
As with previous releases some three-quarters of the records are personal files relating to individuals (KV 2), with a small number of subject files (KV 3), policy files (KV 4), organisation files (KV 5) and list files (KV 6).
The majority of files are from 1939-45 but there are a considerable number from the inter- and post- war periods, dealing with a range of groups and subjects, including: double agent operations; right-wing extremists and the British Union of Fascists; German and Japanese agents and intelligence officers; British and European Communists and suspected Communists; Soviet intelligence agents and intelligence officers; and the International Brigade.
Of the personal files in this release, the most notable include those relating to: the writers Margaret Storm Jameson, Sylvia Townsend-Warner and Valentine Ackland; White Russian leader in London Count Paul Ignatieff; Invergordon mutineer Fred Copeman; Austrian Communist spy Engelbert Broda (who is believed to have recruited the atom spy Alan Nunn May); society intelligence agent Lady Howard of Effingham; the Polish leader General Sikorski and the supposed sabotage attempt on his plane; and the British military theoretician Basil Liddell-Hart, whose ideas are credited with leading to the development of Blitzkreig theory in Germany..
The personal files are listed under the following categories:
Double agents (KV 2/2267-2276)
Communist and Suspected Communists, including Russian and Communist Sympathisers (KV 2/2317-2374)
Soviet Intelligence Agents and Suspected Agents (KV 2/2376-2393)
Soviet Intelligence Officers (KV 2/2394-2406)
German Intelligence Agents and Suspected Agents (KV 2/2277-2289)
German Intelligence Officers (KV 2/2290-2304)
Japanese Intelligence Officers, Agents and Suspected Agents (KV 2/2305-2306)
Right wing extremists (KV 2/2307-2316)
Terrorists (KV 2/2375)
Other subjects of Security Service inquiries (KV 2/2407-2418)
There are also a number of 'untitled' personal files (KV 2/2419-2424), that is files relating to individuals or topics that do not fit squarely into the above categories, mostly relating to anti-Nazi refugees from Germany or occupied Europe.
The subject files (KV 3/269-286) contain papers on: German Intelligence Service activities in Spain; the investigation into the supposed sabotage attempt on a plane carrying General Sikorski in 1942; COMINTERN (Communist International, also known as the Third International) and the activities of the British Union of Fascists after it was banned in 1940.
This release includes policy files (KV 4/331-353) dealing with a wide range of matters, including censorship and the handling of internees and aliens.
The organisation files (KV 5/42-58) include files on the British branch of the International Brigade.
Most personal files include a minute sheet attached to the inside cover, providing a useful index to the file.
Highlights of the release include:
Double agent run against the Japanese JOSEF
Lady Howard of Effingham
The supposed sabotage attempt against the Polish wartime leader General Sikorski
British Union of Fascists local councillor Charles Bentinck-Budd
Fred Copeman, a leading figure in the Invergordon Mutiny
Nuclear scientists Engelbert Broda and Otto Frisch
White Russian leader in London Paul Ignatieff
Czarist Russian intelligence officer Alexander Abaza
Writers Sylvia Townsend-Warner, Valentine Ackland and Storm Jameson
Pioneering thinker of tank warfare and military historian Basil Lidell-Hart
The British International Brigade Association
Examples of German Second World War plain language codes