The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Efforts of secret defense and political police in fight against the German spies under cover of diplomatic, Commerce and industry and insurance activity (on the example of the Russian capital)


Century O. of stars erev ________________________________________________________________________________

From the moment of establishment of offices of army counterintelligence in St. Petersburg and its district (1911

>) the qualified work on the organization of fight against the military intelligence which was carrying out collecting defensive and industrial data in favor of the largest powers of the world began. At the same time identification and elimination of an agency of member countries of the Tripartite alliance was considered as the most important aspect of activity of capital offices.

Counterprospecting development of the German agency was conducted in two directions. The first consisted in the organization of secret observation of its leading center - Embassy of Germany in St. Petersburg. The second, the material about reconnaissance activity of boards of the commerce and industry, insurance companies and its suppression assembled compromising.

At the end of 1911, being guided by manuals "Instructions to chiefs of counterprospecting offices" (further - KRO) counterspies broke to holding actions within the first direction of the activity, namely, to introduction of confidential employees ("a consular agency") in Embassy of Germany in St. Petersburg and its mission in the St. Petersburg military district for "internal illumination" of illegal trends.

However, soon, the organization of "a consular agency" was temporarily complicated because in December at the initiative of Foreign Ministry of Germany official Russia recognized the right of "vnezemelnost" (exterritoriality) of office personnel of its diplomatic missions in the territory [1, t. 1276. op. 7. 473. l. 15].

However this diplomatic demarche did not prevent to establish external observation of key diplomatic figures and, first of all, heads of embassy - F. a background Purtales and G. von Luezius suspected by city counterintelligence of military-industrial espionage [2, t. 2000. op. 14. 74. l. 1, 3, 8, 11, 23, 132-138. 23. l. 11, 42].

Daily shadowing allowed counterspies to fix in the chronological sequence, both places of their stay, and a circle russkopoddanny, entering with them direct contact (or communication).

In 1910, apparently from the letter of the chief of security office to the prosecutor of the St. Petersburg trial chamber, the capital police on suspicion of espionage in favor of Austria-Hungary and Germany arrested the baron E.P. Ungern-Shternberg, a retired cornet 8 Dragoon Smolensk regiments. As a result of the search conducted on its apartment were withdrawn: the financial statements and "The confidential report of the Commission on defense on the size of recruits in an appeal of 1910" exposing the detainee in reconnaissance activity.

During preliminary investigation it was established that E.P. Ungern-Shternberg consisted in connection with F. Von-Purtalesom and other German diplomats. These and other facts allowed the investigation to accuse it of sale to agents of Austria-Hungary and Germany of the classified information concerning external defense of Russia. These actions were qualified as high treason and got under action of Article 111 of the Criminal Code of 1903 [2, t. 1351. op. 8. 2. l. 2, 17, 19-20, 249].

In 1911 already external service of counterintelligence recorded attempt of the introduction in contact with G. von Luezius of the resident of St. Petersburg E.S. Polisadov with offer of services on military-industrial espionage. During the search "An explanation to the drawing of a shell for firing at airships and airplanes" [2, t was withdrawn from the detainee. 2000. op. 15. 155. l. 1, 2, 4].

Same year at the station Beloostrov of the Finnish railroad was detained the captain of artillery A.A. Postnikov following to Sweden. During inquiry it was established that during 1910-1911. A.A. Postnikov reported to the military attache of the German government "data

about abolition of fortresses, about alleged change of serf garrisons, about development of strengthenings in the Nikolaev fortress which obviously have to in types of external safety of Russia be stored unknown to the foreign states" [2, t. 1351. op. 8. 5. l. 7, 80-81, 86-87].

At the end of 1912 the city counterintelligence was come into the view by the director of Special office of a credit part of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation L.F. Davydov. Along with the external observation informing on its intensive contacts with G. von Luezius, interesting results were brought by opening of diplomatic mail. They allowed to suspect the high-ranking official of participation in military and espionage activity in favor of Germany.

In F.'s letter to Purtales G. von Luezius pointed a background to expediency of further use of L.F. Davydov for the benefit of secret-service investigation: "Your Excellency knows what valuable data we have thanks to it, ordinary such closed

to the person. Possibly, Davydov will be appointed the director of Russian for foreign trade of bank and thus will leave for some time public service, - but nevertheless it will remain the man of weight and sometime will be the Minister of Finance" [2, 67. l. 337. 74. l. 242].

For several months prior to World War I the agency of KRO established the fact of transfer by L.F. Davydov of G. von Lueziussu in the German Embassy of the confidential edition "To a question of the Russian gold reserves abroad. Ministry of Finance. Special Office by a credit part. Printing house of the headquarters of the corps of frontier guards. 1914" [2, t. 2000. op. 15. 427. l. 53.], having removed all doubts in its not office communications with Germans.

Degree of the importance of this document for accumulation of military-economic power of Germany emphasizes Wilhelm II's order on "tightening of a maximum of gold cash to the country" given for several months prior to fights on East front in which implementation the German bankers participated in Russia and domestic financiers [3, page 202].

Despite so strong compromising case, the counterintelligence could not bring to L.F. Davydov charge of assistance to military plans of the potential opponent. The large representatives of the financial and industrial bourgeoisie of the country certain from which were interested in his viability considered favorable "to pay a million salary to the director of credit office and to draw to itself his osvedomitelnost and communications" [4, page 361].

On July 27, 1914 addressed to V.A. Erandakov the message from the chief of capital provincial gendarme management that in Astoria hotel the former German consul who illegally arrived in the city in Kovno the captain of Prussian guard G.M. fon Lerhenfeld accommodated arrived. The obtained additional data from KRO of the Vilensky military district on its espionage activity specified that this visit was also accompanied by the solution of prospecting tasks [5, t. 2000. op. 15. 87. l. 1, 3, 83, 84].

Considering become complicated political the relations between Russia and Germany, three days later in the building of Finland railway station the police arrested G.M. fon Lerchenfelda and his deputy for diplomatic work in Kowno R.A. von Buelowa [6, l. 90, 97-98, 116].

However the overwhelming number of heads of the German diplomatic missions in the St. Petersburg military district and the naval attache who was in development of political police and KRO managed freely and on quite legal bases to leave borders of the Russian Empire, both before war, and after its announcement.

Disclosure of a criminal role of performers of instructions of diplomatic corps of Germany, - the representatives of the German commerce and industry estate (including, Russified Germans) who were carrying out collection of information of defensive value by means of investigation of private and state sectors of military economy of the capital and also some Russian partners rendering them assistance in it became the second direction of fight against espionage.

At the beginning of 1912 the city counterintelligence received the secret-service reports indicating the blasting nature of activity of "Shimmelpfenga Institute" by help office. Investigation of the headquarters of the Kiev military district reported that Germany in the territory of Russia conducts military espionage under the guise of business activity of five offices of the above-stated firm [6, t. 1343. op. 8. 247. l. 15, 18; t. 2000. op. 14. 69. l. 136, 610-611].

As a result of operational actions of city and district KRO it was established that the capital help office is the central reconnaissance body under which supervision offices in Moscow, Odessa, Riga and Warsaw are. Having at the order informers from among employees of "artillery, small-arms, shipbuilding plants and the insurance companies" [6, op. 15. 247. l. 40, 57] and also post and cable offices she studied defensive objects of the capital, receiving on it from the German government regular subsidies.

The found facts allowed to incriminate to its administration participation in military-industrial espionage in favor of Germany. July 21, 1914. Special office-work of the general quartermaster of Head department of the General Staff (central office of investigation/counterintelligence) of the Ministry of Defence distributed the order on closing of all branches of help office on solvency of "Shimmelpfenga Institute" in Russia. Having got documentary permission, the chief of district KRO transferred to the city's mayor of the capital the order about its urgent closing [6, t. 1343. op. 8. 523. l. 363, 375, 376].

In 1913 the list of the private commerce and industry enterprises of the capital suspected of espionage was replenished with new joint-stock companies (further - the joint-stock company) in the leading posts along with which citizens of Germany were held by the known figures of the Russian business world. At the head of "Society of the Tula copper rolling and cartridge plants" there was outdoor adviser E.G. Shaykevich, "Society of the mechanical, gilzovy and pipe plants" managed V.P. Baranovsky and O.O. Brunstr, JSC The Connected Cable Plants - the privy councilor K.L. Vakhter and E.G. Shaykevich [6, t. 2000. op. 14. 88. l. 16, 106, 188].

However the secret-service material collected by counterintelligence confirming connection of some of large industrialists (K.L. Vakhtera, O.O. Brunstrema) with the German intelligence was not sold.

In order to avoid undesirable excesses the state represented by its supreme authority did not hurry to authorize arrests of the heads suspected of espionage and suspension of activity of their enterprises. Similar actions against the background of more and more aggravating chauvinistic sentiments of separate population groups in the conditions of pre-war time, undoubtedly, would gain universal, uncontrollable and illegal character. It inevitably would entail disorganization of objects of military and civil production of the capital. And, considering that the large businessmen who were in secret-service development were also co-owners of the joint-stock company located across all Russia it is possible to assume that global military-industrial (economic) crisis in scales of the whole country could become result of unreasoned and hasty policy of the tsarist government.

And, nevertheless, as approaching world war, the number of the criminals revealed and taken on operational accounting, became more and more. If in 1910 the reconnaissance office of the headquarters of troops of the St. Petersburg military district for suspicion of espionage registered 5 German citizens, then by September 1, 1912 on accounting of district counterintelligence 59 Germans, "subject to personal search, search of all apartment where live also to administrative expulsion" during the premobilization period [6, op were already registered. 15. 111. l. 5. 226. l. 115, 122].

four months Later their quantity was
111 people (of them - 20 abroad) that more total number of the exposed agents of Sweden (12 people), Austria-Hungary (9 people) and Japan (7 people) operating in St. Petersburg [6, t was incommensurable. 1343. op. 8. 258. l. 2-5].
7 July, 1914 addressed to the general quartermaster of the headquarters of troops of the St. Petersburg military district the urgent message from Head department of the General Staff arrived, about what employees of the Zinger and Co trading company receive from the Bremen bureau of Supplier of the International News of the letter with offers to report the data concerning armed forces of Russia [6, 529. l. 40 a].

As a result of joint actions of district counterintelligence and ranks of police the wide informative network of commercial representatives of firm in counties of the St. Petersburg province was revealed and the technique of their reconnaissance activity is established.

And, after all, the counterintelligence did not dispose data on espionage of administration of Zinger and Co for involvement of her employees to criminal liability to the beginning of war. Only a year later after the beginning of fighting the secret-service actions of military came to the end with success. The intercepted circular of the associate director of the company O.O. Calvin addressed to all managers of its shops in Petrograd with the instruction to collect data of military and technical character at the defense enterprises of the city became an incontestable proof. - to O.O. Calvin and T.R. Grasgofu (managing director of the Helsingfors office of the company) on preliminary investigation the participation "before war in community for assistance of Germany in her military against Russia plans was incriminated to the detained agents of the German intelligence by all means including by espionage" [7, t. 102 DPOO. op. 307. 190. l. 2-3].

Along with it, in the conditions of arms race and modernization of Baltic Fleet, effort of KRO and political police were concentrated on suppression of attempts of penetration of the German intelligence into the field of military shipbuilding of the capital. Meanwhile, based on I.K. Grigorovich's letter to the Minister of War A.A. Polivanov (1915) in which the sea minister proved expediency of strengthening of safety of the country due to creation of sea counterintelligence A.A. Zdanovich claims that military and police officers did not manage to organize counterprospecting cover of the shipbuilding program of 1912-1916 [8, t. 2000. op. 16. 633. l. 1; page 34-40].

Introduction to a scientific turn of new archive materials allows not to agree with the point of view of the historian.

After plunder by Germans in 1907. "The small ship-building program" of Russia the special attention of special divisions of the Ministry of Defence and Department of police was concentrated on statement and optimization of an internal agency by the ships of the Baltic Fleet and in institutions of Sea department and also abroad.

At the end of 1913. The head department of the General Staff received the intelligence according to which on November 16 in Vienna the meeting of the highest representatives of the Defense Ministry of Austria-Hungary took place. On it "the note with the short description of methods of the German naval intelligence" from which followed that efforts to get confidential data, "concerning the Russian Baltic Fleet, remained still almost ineffectual, owing to impossibility to stick necessary communications in the respective naval spheres" [9, t was heard. 2000. op. 14. 10. l. 120; t. 418. op. 2. 61. l. 15].

On the one hand, this document confirms I.K. Grigorovich's words that Germans and the Austrians since 1912 showed keen interest in naval forces of Russia, with another, calls into question A.A. Zdanovich's position about incompetence of the bodies which were responsible for ensuring external safety of the state in questions of the organization of protection of its naval secrets.

Moreover, since February, 1914 KRO started implementation of the order of the Minister of War about strengthening of fight against espionage "concerning the fleet and the plants servicing Sea Department" [9, 115. l. 2].

The certificate to that is the productive operation of capital counterspies, their Far East colleagues and police on detention of the director of "Putilovsky shipyards" K.A. Orbanovsky which is carried out in July-September, 1914. As the compromising materials were withdrawn from it:

"ship-building program from 1912 to 1930 years... specifications for delivery of objects from steel, endurance of specifications of the Russian sea ministry for 1913, the list of materials necessary for Izhora Plant, specifications for delivery of a metal antimon to the St. Petersburg cartridge plant, specifications for delivery of objects from the forged steel and t.

>" [10, t. 1343. op. 8. 533. l. 8; page 61].

Documents as it became clear during inquiry, were intended for transfer to the guide of the largest in Primorsk the region of residency, - Kunst and Albers trading company.

Along with private and the KRO state military enterprises the large insurance companies of the capital came into the view. For verification of the arriving secret-service data by the management of city counterintelligence the decision on intra secret-service development of these societies was made.

As a result of "internal publicizing" of activity of the Russian society "Zhizn" the circumstantial evidences confirming participation in espionage of his employees were received. For example, the son of the director of society, the assistant to the managing director B.B. Glazov, the former gunner of the German army, consisted the member Pan-German "The main union of the German naval society abroad" (which members were suspected of cooperation with the German intelligence); F.K. Adam was a member of the similar organization Palma; To O.G. Zeyma was in close acquaintance with the German naval agent Pozadovsky-Verner [11, t. 2000. op. 14. 94. l. 15, 178-209. op. 16. 109. l. 23].

Activity of directors (members) of society in "the highest degree was secret" and, nevertheless, the confidential staff of counterintelligence tried to extract the material exposing them in espionage. One of informers reported to the curator: "They had our agent Yanovsky who convicted them of a shpionstvo, but they learned about it (probably revealed the agent - V.Z.) and anticipated events, having accused him of fraud, and he, apparently, still pines in corrective prisoner companies" [11, l. 3].

Detention and expulsion administratively of B.B. Glazov to the Vyatka province became one of the corrective actions directed to localization of activity "unreliable in the sense of a shpionstvo" societies "Zhizn".

The Russia insurance company was other enterprise which staff was suspected of belonging to military espionage in favor of Germany. Before war in the secret-service way connection of its chairman with the German diplomatic mission in St. Petersburg was established. Fillers of city office informed that to the address belonging to the director of the Russia insurance company the officer of a reykhsver suspected of espionage, the vice-consul of the German Embassy in the capital E. Ferster [11, op lives. 14. 15. l. 320. 23. l. 80, 82].

With war approach, according to the major general N.S. Batyushin, "the headquarters of the Northern front started a question of the beginning of preliminary investigation" concerning the chairman of society "Russia" A.I. Guchkov accused "of assistance to the opponent through reinsurance offices". Nevertheless, "infected with revolutionary promotion" the Petrograd justice did not manage to finish criminal case. However, despite unfortunate attempt of prosecution of A.I. Guchkov, activity of the Russia insurance company nevertheless was suspended.

Unlike KRO actions for suppression of reconnaissance activity of the German diplomats and businessmen (including, russkopoddanny) who were going over with variable success considered above, counterprospecting control over activity of private banks of St. Petersburg on the eve of war did not manage to be established. Some of large bankers (E.G. Shaykevich, A.I. Vyshnegradsky, A.A. Davidov, etc.), suspected of espionage, had "the state immunity" that in no small measure was explained by a role of the banks in credit policy of autocracy designed to invest the capitals in state programs of rearmament and modernization of navy and ground forces.

Summarizing activities of institutes for fight against the German agency on the eve of World War I, it would be expedient to carry out comparison of its results with effectiveness of other districts of Russia and also counterintelligence services of the states of the Tripartite alliance. Such approach will allow to give a full and objective assessment to indicators of work of the St. Petersburg KRO.

However at all desire, we cannot look at exhaustive data on quantity registered, arrested and convicts on "espionage affairs" of persons in St. Petersburg. The cause is - revolutionary shocks during which many documentary evidences about merits of city counterintelligence were irrevocably lost.

At the same time indicators of KRO of the St. Petersburg military district more found the reflection in the documents of the annual reporting which survived in the February revolution of 1917. From dozens of persons registered on suspicion of espionage by it it was arrested: in 1911 1 people, 1912 - 2, 1913 - 6 people, for the first half of the year 1914 the data are absent. From the total number of the brought criminal cases on espionage in favor of Germany to judicial review it was brought only two [12, op. 15. 297. l. 9; page 179, 188; page 9].

Thus, fuller statistical data on the capital district allow to carry out some comparison them with counterprospecting indicators of three neighboring districts - "rear" Moscow and also "Western European" Vilensky and Warsaw.

In the territory of the state of the Moscow Military District, remote from boundaries, which number of inhabitants almost on 9 million exceeded the population of the St. Petersburg district 4 persons were arrested for the pre-war period on suspicion of military espionage. And, any of them was not punished according to the court verdict. The opposite geographic location was occupied by the Vilensky military district which had the general border with the German empire (375 versts of overland and 600 miles of sea border) where from 27 arrested 8 suspects were condemned for espionage. And, at last, in the Warsaw military district from 61 arrested on suspicion of military espionage in favor of Germany 6 people [13, t were condemned. 2000. op. 15. 297. l. 9; page 29].

From this it follows that from all specified districts, on a final indicator of collaboration of bodies of counterintelligence, preliminary investigation and military district courts the St. Petersburg military district, remote from the western border, took the penultimate place.

If to estimate the annual reporting of KRO in terms of the percentage of number of the arrested criminals to the number of the criminal cases brought to court it is possible to claim that before war the office of the headquarters of the capital district took the leading place in the system of counterprospecting bodies of Russia. On this position the St. Petersburg district had higher rate (45%) not only in comparison with the integrated result of the Moscow, Vilensky and Warsaw military districts (43.9%), but also in relation to total results of activity of all offices of counterintelligence of the empire.

At the same time, comparing results of work of counterprospecting bodies with indicators of the border similar services with Russia of the European powers, it is possible to note that the coefficient of solvability of espionage in St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg military district was very low. For example, in Germany which area in was almost three times less than the territory of the St. Petersburg district during the period from 1910 to 1914 on suspicion of espionage 943 people were arrested, from them it is condemned - 117, and in Austria-Hungary only in 1913 from 560 arrested - 80 people appeared before the court [14, page 106; page 51].

And, nevertheless, giving a certain assessment to activity of capital counterprospecting offices and its results, we will notice that

>- counterspies managed to define unmistakably a subject of interest of the German intelligence, methods of its work and the direction of counterreaction. However because of the insufficient opportunities (small number, low financing, etc.) separate of the measures taken by them were limited, untimely and, therefore, and ineffective;

>- in view of absence of divisions of sea counterintelligence, having a weak idea of the organization and specifics of naval service, nature of work of ship-building shipyards, and, so methods of naval reconnaissance of Germans and features of the qualified maintenance of naval secrets of the state, counterspies nevertheless could maintain development and industrial realization of superdreadnoughts of the Baltic navy unknown to the opponent;

>- counterspies acted lawfully, in accurate compliance with the existing norms international and law of criminal procedure and also departmental instructions, subjecting to arrests and expulsion only of those diplomats (who lost diplomatic immunity), heads (members) of the pro-German commerce and industry and insurance companies and also traitors of the Homeland against whom there were incontestable bases of criminal activity.

Taking into account told, it is possible to note that on the eve of World War I the St. Petersburg offices of secret defense in the territory subordinated to them localized activity of the German agency only owing to own opportunities.


1. Russian state historical archive.
2. The Russian state military and historical archive (further - RGVIA).
3. See: A.S. Rezanov. The German shpionstvo (the book is made according to judicial practice and to other sources). - M, 1915.
4. See: M. Mitelman, B. Glebov, Ulyansky A. Istoriya Putilovskogo of the plant. - M.-L., 1939.
6. In September, 1915 the arrested G.M. von-Lerhenfeld was exchanged for 29 Russian prisoners of war. See: In the same place.
7. State archive of the Russian Federation.
8. RGVIA; A.A. Zdanovich. For fight against a naval shpionstvo//the Military and historical magazine. - 1999. - No. 6.
9. State archive of navy.
10. RGVIA; I.I. Nikitinsky, P. Sofinov. The German espionage in Russia during the war 1914-1918 - Tbilisi, 1942.
11. RGVIA.
12. N.V. Grekov. The Russian counterintelligence in 1905-1917: shpionomaniye and real problems. - M, 2000; The Report of the Head military and judgment department for 1912 / the Vsepoddanneyshy report on actions of the Ministry of Defence for 1912 - Pg., 1916.
13. RGVIA; The Report of the Head military and judgment department for 1912 / the Vsepoddanneyshy report on actions of the Ministry of Defence for 1912 - Pg., 1916.
14. M.A. Alekseev. Military intelligence of Russia from Rurik to Nicholas II. - M, 1998. - In 2 princes, Book II; M. Ronge. War and industry of espionage. - M, 2000.
Charles Hunt
Other scientific works: