The majority of files are from 1939-45 but there are a considerable number from the inter- and post- war periods, dealing with a range of groups and subjects, including: German agents and intelligence officers; Communists; Soviet intelligence agents and officers; right-wing extremists; Italian espionage activities and suspected agents; Czech refugees; and others.
Of the personal files in this release, the most notable include those relating to the Czechoslovak president Eduard Benes; brother of Lord Haw-Haw Quentin Joyce; James Lonsdale-Bryans, supposed envoy from Lord Halifax to the German hierarchy; British “Scarlet Pimpernel” escaper from Nazi custody Francis Mumme; head of post-Second World War West German intelligence Reinhard von Gehlen; Communist Cambridge scientist and contact of Guy Burgess, Peter Astbury.
I haven’t had the time to go through this release, but there are some big names in here that will certainly ensure I *do* go through it.
Guy Burgess and Reinhard von Gehlen in particular. The other biggie for me is the further release of information on the Soviet defector Alexander Orlov.
I love the internet! Also, many thanks to MI5 for this ongoing initiative. Hopefully they serve as an example to other intelligence agencies when it comes to the release of this type of information.