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SIS, Grigori Tokaev, and the London Controlling Section: New perspectives on a Cold War defector and Cold War deception

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-538
Number of pages22
JournalWar in History
Issue number4
Early online date16 May 2018
Accepted/In press4 Aug 2017
E-pub ahead of print16 May 2018
Published13 Sep 2019


King's Authors


This article examines British deception during the early years of the Cold War, and how a Soviet defector named Grigori Tokaev contributed to British plans and operations. Tokaev provided valuable insights into the Soviet Union, allowing British intelligence to craft more intricate deception operations, political and military. The manner in which he was used, and the extent to which his idiosyncrasies were tolerated, underline the difficulties the British authorities faced as they attempted to apply the lessons of the Second World War deception to the Cold War environment. The case offers new perspectives on both the relatively under-examined subject British deception operations against the USSR, and the history of one of the most prominent Cold War defectors.

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