Bletchley Park presents Victor Madeira

  |  Published: Mar 3rd 2015
Victor Madeira speaks

Russian and British espionage

Victor Madeira will talk about his book, Britannia and the Bear - The Anglo-Russian Intelligence Wars 1917-1929, as part of the prestigious and popular Bletchley Park Presents lecture series.


On Sunday 19 April at 2pm, Victor will delve into his book which examines Russian and British espionage in those critical interwar years.


Decades before the Berlin Wall went up, a Cold War had already begun raging. But for Bolshevik Russia, Great Britain - not America - was the enemy. Now, for the first time, Victor Madeira tells a story that has been hidden away for nearly a century. Drawing on over 60 Russian, British and French archival collections, Britannia and the Bear offers a compelling new narrative about how two great powers of the time did battle, both openly and in the shadows.


And where cryptology was concerned, one man held the key to British successes: Ernst C. Vetterlein. Aside from breaking enemy communications, he mentored future luminaries like John Tiltman, who in 1942 became Chief Cryptographer at the Government Code & Cypher School. Yet despite 25 years of Crown service, Vetterlein remains largely a mystery, even to many former colleagues. Now, for the first time, comprehensive research drawing on Russian and Western sources sheds light on this enigmatic but gifted man.


Britannia and the Bear tells the story of Russian and British espionage in those critical interwar years, revealing how British Government identified crucial lessons but failed to learn many of them. The book underscores the importance of the "first" Cold War in understanding not just the second one but also events in places like Ukraine today.


Victor Madeira

Our speaker is a Lecturer in National Security & Intelligence Studies at the University of Buckingham. He has 15 years' experience in international security affairs, and his work has appeared in leading publications such as Intelligence and National Security and The Historical Journal. He completed his doctorate in Modern International History at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and is a Friend of Bletchley Park.


The Bletchley Park Presents lecture series continues throughout 2015, with Jerry White, Taylor Downing, and Sinclair Mackay.

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