Baltic Episode

Title:                      Baltic Episode

Author:                 Augustus Agar

Agar, Augustus (1963). Baltic Episode: A Classic of Secret Service in Russian Waters. London: Hodder and Stoughton

LCCN:    63024442

DK265.3 .A63


Date Updated:  November 1, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Agar was commanding officer of British navy coastal motor boats (CMBs) in Finnish waters in 1919. This book is the absorbing account of his actions and activities in these waters while on secret assignment to the British SIS during this period, an account he compiled between 1928 and 1935 but could not publish then because the British Admiralty objected and had the authority to stop publication while Agar was on active duty.

Not only is the account absorbing, it is incredible and instructive at the same time. Agar was assigned secretly to Finland to provide communications links using the CMBs with Sir Paul Dukes, chief of British intelligence in Russia acting as an illegal and dodging the Cheka. Despite this and without specific orders, Agar attacked and sank a Soviet cruiser, for which he subsequently received the V.C.; later he participated in naval attacks against Kronstadt. From an intelligence point of view, his actions were questionable though admittedly brave. He was aware that his military activities jeopardized the security of his primary mission—that of running couriers in and out of Russia and of eventually extricating Dukes. His account leaves no doubt that he sank the Russian cruiser two weeks before the British cabinet approved any naval action other than blockade against the Bolshevik regime. See also his Footprints in the Sea.[2] Sir Paul Dukes’ memoirs[3] are a necessary complement to this book.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

An account of the rescue of “ST 25,” that is, Sir Paul Dukes, a British intelligence agent active in Russia before and during the period of Allied intervention.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 54-55

[2] Agar, Augustus (1959). Footprints in the Sea. London: Evans Bros.

[3] Dukes, Sir Paul (1938). The Story of “St25”: Adventure And Romance In The Secret Intelligence Service In Red Russia. London: Cassell

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 164


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3 Responses to Baltic Episode

  1. Pingback: Footprints In The Sea | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: The Secret Wars, A Guide to Sources in English | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  3. Pingback: Espionage and Counterespionage, Chapter 14 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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