Wynne’s story is a remarkable one. He was an electrical engineer recruited to MI5 just before WWII and became an intermediary for high-ranking Soviet spy Penkovsky who was engaged in selling arms and weapons secrets to British intelligence. The two men became pally but when their activities were revealed by a double agent working for the KGB Wynne was arrested and imprisoned in Russia. Penkovsky, who was dubbed by the West as ‘the spy who saved the world’ for providing key intelligence around the Cuban Missile Crisis, wasn’t so lucky: he faced a firing squad (although in his book The Man From Odessa Wynne claimed that Penkovsky committed suicide in prison).Wynne was released in exchange for the spy Gordon Lonsdale in 1964. In what could have been a scene from a John Le Carré’s novel, the two men are said to have walked past each other in the No Man’s Land dividing East and West Berlin in the early hours of the morning of April 22. Wynne would go on to write a series of exposé novels about his experience before passing in 1990 aged 70.
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