- Discover essay samples

Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky

4.9 of 5.0 (100 reviews)

1501 words

Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky Page 1
Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky Page 2
Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky Page 3
Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky Page 4
Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky Page 5
The above thumbnails are of reduced quality. To view the work in full quality, click download.

Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky

Glenn Harding


Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky

Colonel Oleg Vladmirovich Penkovsky is a name that doesn't ring a bell for most people. However, for many in the intelligence community this name is as about household as you can get. He is a legend in his own right. Those who lived during and through the Cuban missile crisis actually benefited from this man's activities. Colonel Penkovsky was a joint spy for the United States and England. He is often thought of as the highest ranking, most damaging person to spy on the Soviet Union. While most everybody is thankful for the information he provided there are questions to be brought to light. For example, why did such a devoted officer turn on his own country and spy for the west? What were the motives to keep him doing such a thing? To try to answer these various and complex inquiries one must start at the beginning.

Oleg Penkovsky was born in a small town on the 23rd of April in 1919. By 1939 he had graduated from a Soviet military school and had been part of a group called Komosomol, meaning "young communists." He also went to war serving as a unit commander of an artillery unit. Penkovsky was decorated four times during his 1939-1940 tour of duty. After that tour he was injured and spent most of his time doing various assignments that took him between Moscow and the Ukrainian front for the rest of the Second World War. When the war was over, Penkovsky attended two military academies. One of the academies was the Frunze Military Academy and the other was the Military Diplomatic Academy. By 1950 he had married a woman who was the daughter of a fairly important general in the Soviet army. At this time he was also promoted to the rank of Colonel and was a member of the Soviet military intelligence agency, also known as the GRU. He was given various foreign assignments, Ankara, Turkey being the last location of these assignments (Richelson 274).

While in Turkey Penkovsky was noticed by the British intelligence agency known as Military Intelligence department 6 (MI6), more precisely a man named Greville Maynard Wynne. Wynne felt that they could possibly use Penkovsky since he showed dissatisfaction in the Soviet Union's communist system of government (Volkman, Warriors 98). When Penkovsky returned to Moscow in 1956 his military career came to a screeching halt. By 1960 he had had enough and decided to take matters into his own hands (Richelson 275).

On August 12, 1960, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky approached two Americans on a bridge. The two Americans were Elden Ray Cox and Henry Lee Cobb (Shecter, Deriabin 5). The two men were unsure about Penkovsky's motives since they had been warned about how the KGB (Soviet intelligence agency) tried to entrap people for spying (Volkman, Spies 23). Cox decided to go to the U.S. embassy where the diplomat on duty looked at the information Penkovsky had handed over. There was a letter written by Penkovsky indicating his desire to provide the U.S. with vital information. The second item was a detailed description of how the CIA could contact him (Volkman, Spies 23). The information was dismissed as purely provocation from the KGB. This was believed to be the case on more than one occasion. He had tried to get the Canadian embassy as well as the U.S. embassy to listen to him. They were suspicious because of his impeccable record and he was too obvious about offering his services (Pincher, Too Secret 264). He did not fit the profile of a traitor. Eventually, England took notice of Colonel Penkovsky and felt that he was genuine. The CIA decided to join England's secret service in a joint venture and see if Penkovsky was genuine.

It was the before mentioned Greville Maynard Wynne who finally contacted Penkovsky. Greville Wynne was a businessman who was trying to make a business arrangement with the Soviet Union. He represented several companies involved in the steel and electrical machine making industry. Wynne was also a secret agent of the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service for England). More accurately he worked in the MI6 (Richelson 275). Secretly, Wynne had been conducting one of the most successful covert operations against the Soviet Union (Volkman, Warriors 99). Wynne set up a delegation from the Soviet Union to come to London to learn more about some of the companies he represented. Penkovsky was in this delegation that was bound for London (Richelson 276). Once in England, the delegation was kept busy by a rigorous schedule to tour several plants. While this was transpiring, Colonel Penkovsky was unloading vast amounts of information including 78 pages of confidential material (Richelson 275). Examples of the information include missile technology, construction areas, launch sites, and even information on GRU operatives stationed around the world (Volkman, Warriors 102).

Initially the CIA and the SIS were both awestruck and suspicious of the information that they received. There were some who felt that Penkovsky knew too much and acquired information to effortlessly to be legitimate (Knightly 320). Eventually, "Many of the doubts - but not all - about his bona fides faded in the light of one intelligence maxim." That maxim or fact was that he had to be a genuine based on the information he was providing. It was inconceivable that the Soviet's would willingly give up this kind of delicate information just to get a plant in place. Eventually most everyone accepted Penkovsky as genuine because of this very fact (Knightly 320).

For approximately three years Colonel Penkovsky provided some of the Soviet Union's most sensitive military secrets using a Minox camera (Costello 581). The camera used microfilm, which he would give to the west to decipher. At the debriefings Penkovsky provided the United States and England with over 140 hours of taped debriefing, roughly 1200 pages of transcripts from the debriefings, and at least 11 roles of microfilm. This operation produced approximately 10,000 pages of intelligence information (Richelson 278). Later on, the CIA produced the Penkovsky's "memoirs" from these debriefing tapes (Pincher, Traitors 221).

Back in Moscow he continued gathering information and passing it on to a woman named Janet Chisolm by dead drops and meetings. She was the wife of a man named Raury Chisolm. Raury Chisolm worked at the English embassy as a diplomat and secretly as an agent of the MI6. Raury Chisolm, however was known to be an agent of the SIS by the KGB. They acquired this information from one of their own operatives by the name of George Blake who worked in the MI6 and exposed many of England's agents (Volkman, Spies 29). With this information in hand the KGB would routinely monitor the Chisolm family. It was in this way that it is believed that the KGB became suspicious of Colonel Penkovsky (Volkman, Spies 29). Penkovsky on occasion would meet Janet Chisolm in a park. Penkovsky would bring a box of candies that had microfilm in the box. He would give Mrs. Chisolm's children a couple of pieces of candy and then they would go off and play. At this time he would give her the film (Volkman, Warriors 210). Many feel that she must have been under surveillance and the two were seen together. In addition to this Colonel Penkovsky was also seen with Raury Chisolm (Lloyd 116).

Once the KGB made the connection they moved quickly. On October 22,1962 Penkovsky was arrested for treason (Knightly 315). In November of that same year

Greville Wynne was also arrested in Budapest (Pincher, Too Secret 265). Wynne was in the process of trying to get Penkovsky out of the Soviet Union. His plan was to use a van with secret compartments and hide the Colonel in it. This plan did not come to fruition because the KGB found Wynne and the van. The KGB stripped the van and arrested Wynne (Pincher, Traitors 206). There were several factors that may have lead to the arrest of Colonel Penkovsky. Many speculate that it was his out right disregard for being discreet. For example, on occasion he passed information at a diplomatic party where the KGB was usually surveilling. He also demanded that he receive a large amount of money so that he could spend it in London even after the MI6 warned him that the KGB would wonder about where he got the money to buy such expensive things (Pincher, Traitors 258). Some analysts believe that an inside agent working in the MI5 blew Penkovsky's cover. There is some evidence to support this idea. When the MI5 was supporting the MI6 when debriefing Penkovsky, a man by the name of Roger Hollis asked for Penkovsky's real name. Roger Hollis was the head of the MI5 and is now believed to have been a spy against England (Pincher, Too Secret 265). In any case, Colonel Penkovsky had been captured and arrested. Penkovsky and Wynne both stood trial together before the ...

You are currently seeing 50% of this paper.

You're seeing 1501 words of 3001.

Keywords: oleg vladimirovich penkovsky, oleg vladimirovich penkovsky family, oleg vladimirovich penkovsky daughter, oleg vladimirovich penkovsky wife, who is oleg penkovsky, what happened to oleg penkovsky

Similar essays

Henry adams

The Education of the Henry Adams reviews Adams?s and the United States?s education and growth during the 19th century. Adams was an old man who had Puritan beliefs about sex and religion. In this autobiography, Adams voices his skepticism about man?s newfound power to control the direction of history, in particular, the exploding world of sci...

58 reviews
Charles Lindbergh

One of the greatest heroes the world has ever known Charles Augustus Lindbergh. He is most famous for his transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. Lindbergh acquired great fame for doing "good will" tours in Latin America. Other than politicians and war heroes no one has yet quite matched his fame. He was a genus when it came to aviation an...

114 reviews
John dalton 2

John Dalton (1766 - 1844) Around September 2, 1766 John Dalton was born. He was born in Eaglesfield, England. Dalton was most known for the development of the modern atomic theory. Dalton was taught at his early ages of learning by his father and a Quaker teacher whom in 1778 Dalton would replace him after he retired. He quit that j...

51 reviews
Ozzy Osbourne

's music is liked by so many people because of how his lyrics deal with real life experiences. Ozzy writes a lot about what feels or what he has done. Something that has made Ozzy so popular was the fact that he doesn't care what people think. He always has done what ever he wants. These two characteristics have made a very popular m...

192 reviews
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (spanis

By: Paul Phoenix E-mail: Nacio el 6 de marzo de 1928 en Aracataca, Columbia , en el hogar de Gabriel Eligio Garcia, telegrafista y de Luisa Santiaga Marquez Iguaran. Siendo muy ni'o fue dejado al cuidado de sus abuelos maternos, el Coronel Nicolas Marquez Iguaran -su idolo de toda la vida- y Tranquilina Iguaran Corte...

63 reviews
Atsisiųsti šį darbą