Portland Spy Case
- One of the KGB’s major victories in London was the running of spies within the British Navy antisubmarine research facility in Portland. Harry Houghton, a British civil servant working in the naval attaché’s office, volunteered in 1951 to Polish intelligence. Over the next year, he gave the Poles and their Soviet allies hundreds of pages of classified material and British code books. On his return from Warsaw, Houghton, now working at Portland, was run by the KGB’s London rezidentura and later by an illegal, Konon Molody (Gordon Lonsdale). Houghton, whose KGB code names were “Shah” and “Shahmakht” (Chess and Checkmate), copied thousands of documents on British and NATO policy and technology for the Soviet service. The operation ran until 1961, when Houghton and his lover and associate Ethel Gee were arrested with Molody, along with Morris and Lona Cohen, two illegals sent by Moscow to London to support the operation. Houghton and Gee married after serving their prison sentences.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.
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