Sharing Secrets with Stalin

How the Allies Traded Intelligence, 1941-1945

Bradley F. Smith

Bestselling author Bradley Smith reveals the surprisingly rich exchange of wartime intelligence between the Anglo-American allies and the Soviet Union, as well as the procedures and politics that made such an exchange possible.

Between the late 1930s and 1945, allied intelligence organizations expanded at an enormous rate in order to acquire the secret information their governments needed to win the war. But, as Smith demonstrates, the demand for intelligence far outpaced the ability of any one ally to produce it. For that reason, Washington, London, and Moscow were compelled to share some of their most sensitive secrets.

“This is a very impressive and important work that should be read by all World War II diplomatic and military as well as intelligence scholars.

—Journal of Military History

“This highly readable, impeccably researched, and brilliant book casts fascinating new light on the tense relations between the Americans, British, and Soviets during the war.

—International History Review
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Historians have long known about the close Anglo-American intelligence collaboration, but until now the Soviet connection has been largely unexplored. Smith contends that Cold War animosities helped keep this story from a public that might have found it hard to believe that such cooperation was ever possible. In fact, official denials—from such illustrious Cold Warriors as Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell and the CIA's Sherman Kent—continued well into the late 1980s.

Smith argues that, contrary to the official story, Soviet-American intelligence exchanges were both extensive and successful. He shows that East and West were not as hostile to each other during the war or as determined to march right off into the Cold War as many have suggested. Among other things, he provides convincing evidence that the U.S. Army gave the Soviets its highest-grade ULTRA intelligence in August 1945 to speed up the Soviet advances in the Far East.

Based on interviews and enormous research in Anglo-American archives and despite limited access to tenaciously guarded Soviet documents, Smith's book persuasively demonstrates how reluctant and suspicious allies, driven by the harsh realities of total war, finally set aside their ideological differences to work closely with people they neither trusted nor particularly liked.

About the Author

Bradley Smith, a resident of both the U.S. and U.K., was for thirty years a professor of history at Cabrillo College in California. His many books include Reaching Judgment at Nuremberg; The Shadow Warriors: OSS and the Origins of the CIA; The Road to Nuremberg; Operation Sunrise, the Secret Surrender; The ULTRA-MAGIC Deals; The War's Long Shadow; and Adolph Hitler: His Family, Childhood, and Youth.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series