Alexander Foote

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Allan Alexander Foote (born April 13, 1905 in Derbyshire , † August 1, 1957 ) was a British radio operator and double agent (code name Jim ) in World War II . He was considered a member of the Soviet spy ring " Red Three ", as the Red Chapel groups are called in Switzerland. He worked for the Soviet military intelligence service GRU and for the British MI6 .


Originally from Yorkshire , England, Foote had initially spent some time in Spain in the 1930s and fought for the Republican side during the Civil War. He then wanted to continue his work for the communist side and volunteered for the underground . He came into contact with Ursula Hamburger in Switzerland and became a radio operator for Sándor Radó , but also worked for Noel Field and Jules Humbert-Droz . Among other things, he was jointly responsible for the radio transmission of information collected by Rudolf Rößler under the nickname Lucy . When the Swiss police paralyzed much of the operation in 1943, Foote was arrested and later deported.

In October 1947, Alexander Foote was sentenced by the Swiss Military Court 1A for espionage to the detriment of a foreign state and other legal violations in absentia to two and a half years in prison, a fine of 800 francs and fifteen years expulsion from the country .

After World War II, Foote spent some time in the Eastern Bloc and then returned to the West where he published his book A Handbook for Spies in 1949 . From 1954 he published the series From the War Diary of a Soviet Spy in Der Spiegel .

Working as a double agent

The almost incredibly fast, extensive and accurate information that the Lucy spy ring had provided aroused the suspicion of everyone involved. Since Foote held a key position in the transmission, the information in his book was conspicuous in some places and he had been able to return to the West so easily, it was partly suspected that he might have been a British double agent, and some or even most of the transmitted information from Great Britain about him to Roessler and then to Moscow. According to various sources, Foote was actually a double agent of MI6, which Rado knew nothing about, since he received these reports from Rößler with the "sources" indication Werther . After Rado's group was exposed and his escape from Switzerland, Rado met Foote in Paris and both received orders to return to Moscow immediately. Both traveled on January 6, 1945 with a Russian military aircraft via Egypt to Moscow. Rado left the plane while refueling in Cairo. In Moscow, Foote was subjected to an intensive interrogation (torture) in order to check his loyalty and to uncover a possible double agent activity. After successfully surviving the questioning, he was given a new identity as Major Granatow . Passing himself off as a German under the name Albert Müller, he initially traveled to post-war Berlin with orders, and later to Argentina, where he penetrated the circles of escaped Nazis.

In March 1947, however, another Soviet agent appeared who was apparently able to uncover Foote's connection to the British. Foote managed to escape Russian control by escaping to the British sector of Berlin.


  • A Handbook for Spies , London 1949, 2nd edition London 1964
    • German: Handbuch für Spione , Leske Darmstadt 1954
  • LUCY CONTRA OKH . In: Der Spiegel . No. 9 , 1954 ( online - Feb. 24, 1954 ).
    • LUCY CONTRA OKH. 1. Continuation . In: Der Spiegel . No. 10 , 1954 ( online - Mar. 3, 1954 ).
    • LUCY CONTRA OKH. 2. Continuation . In: Der Spiegel . No. 11 , 1954 ( online - Mar. 10, 1954 ).
    • LUCY CONTRA OKH. 3. Continuation . In: Der Spiegel . No. 12 , 1954 ( online - Mar. 17, 1954 ).
    • LUCY CONTRA OKH. 4. Continuation . In: Der Spiegel . No. 13 , 1954 ( online - Mar. 24, 1954 ).
    • LUCY CONTRA OKH. 5. Continuation and conclusion . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 1954 ( online - Mar. 31, 1954 ).


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Foote: From the war diary of a Soviet spy , Der Spiegel, February 24, 1954 ff.
  2. UK National Archives, files released in 2004 ( Memento of December 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) ( English )
  3. Léopold Trepper: The truth . Ahriman-Verl., Freiburg (Breisgau) 1995, ISBN 3-89484-554-6 , p. 209 ( limited preview in Google Book Search [accessed September 16, 2010]).
  4. SWISS CONFEDERATION CONTRA "LUCY" . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 1954 ( online ).
  5. "LUCY" CONTRA OKH ff. In: Der Spiegel . No. 9 , 1954 ( online ).
  6. ^ Anthony Read, David Fisher: Operation Lucy: Most secret spy ring of the Second World War , Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1981, ISBN 0-698-11079-X