Professor Christopher Andrew is Britain’s foremost intelligence historian and an official historian of MI5, the security service. An emeritus professor of modern history at the University of Cambridge and Former President of Corpus Christi College Cambridge.

His previous books have included a book on the KGB which was co-written with Oleg Gordievsky.  Andrew brought Oleg Gordievsky in from the cold, and he encouraged him to address carefully vetted audiences. Gordievsky was the outstanding intelligence officer at the head of the KGB whilst for fifteen years an agent for MI6.Some of those as head of station in London. Gordievsky could hold an audience spell-bound and silent for seventy five minutes whilst he told of the pre-arranged escape plan to get out of the Soviet Union with the active participation of MI6. That was the eighties.

Colonel Penkovsky was head of the nuclear arsenal of the USSR in 1962 and betrayed out of conviction, not for personal gain, the entire nuclear order of battle, to MI6 and CIA jointly. Both these men prevented war between the USSR and the West. The latter over the Cuba-confrontation. The former over US training exercise Able-Archer in 1984.

Yet Bletchley Park in the forties was only the end of a code-breaking tradition that included the 1790’s, Napoleonic Wars. It also went back to Lord Walsingham in the 1580’s, against the Spanish King Philip II, intent upon invasion and conversion of the people to Roman Catholicism.

Professor Andrew will speak on the history of the use of spies and code breaking to avoid war.

Chairman – Savilian Arnold Rosen