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Did Penkovsky save the world from Nuclear war?

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Did Penkovsky save the world from Nuclear war?

Post by 9K116 on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 6:19 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Penkovsky
Prior to Cuban missile crysis, colonel of GRU (Soviet Military Intelligence) Oleg Penkovsky made contact with CIA and MI-6 and, eventually, provided them data on capabilities of Soviet nuclear armament.

It is proven fact, that in late 50-ies and early 60-ies Soviet nuclear weapons were inferior to those of USA and their Allies. Not the bombs themselves but technologies of ICBMs, strategic bombers and ICBMs on submarines. Generally, USA were capable to perform a nuclear strike on the territory of USSR and still avoid responsive strike during said period.

Knowing their problems with range of ICBMs, long preparation times, problems with air defence, Soviets performed desinformation campaigns to ensure USA and other world that they are much stronger than they actually were. Part of this campaign was mentioned as factor, leading to the death of hikers on the Dyatlov's pass (see a according topic in very this forum).

It is stated, that Penkovsky transferred actual data of Soviet nuclear missiles and other stuff to the West thus eliminating the results of desinformation campaigns. And there are claims, that he saved the world from the nuclear war in that way. 

Am I only one, who can't see any logic in how sharing the secret Soviet information really saved the world? For me, it seems even inversed: if in the government of USA in the said period were group of people, interested in the nuclear war and, as the result of it, total destruction of USSR, than receiving info on Soviet nuclear (in)capability could allow them to decide to perform first nuclear strike on USSR immediately!

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Re: Did Penkovsky save the world from Nuclear war?

Post by greg parker on Tue 25 Jun 2013, 10:12 pm

I agree with you fully. It sounds like CIA disinformation. Penkovsky was most likely a double agent - and if so - his eventual capture, trial and execution were pure theater.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: Did Penkovsky save the world from Nuclear war?

Post by 9K116 on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 5:03 am

greg parker wrote:I agree with you fully. It sounds like CIA disinformation. Penkovsky was most likely a double agent - and if so - his eventual capture, trial and execution were pure theater.
Well, the problem is in difference in messages of Soviet disinformation campaign and what Penkovsky provided to West.

Disinformation campaign stated: we have lot of missiles, they are reliable and powerful enough, so in case of American nuclear attack we can surely answer with the same power or even more.

What Penkovsky told: most powerful Soviet missiles are still in testing and are, actually, experimental, and are produced in very few numbers, but that model which is fully operation at the moment, requires an oxygen factory nearby and 24 hours to prepare the launch.

We know Penkovsky told truth now. If he was double agent indeed, I hardly imagine how his shared information was benefitial for Soviets. Because, if the Hawks were those who received intel from Penkovsky on the US side, they could made radically different decision - to take the chance the Soviets can't retaliate! So, for me it seems as madness from Soviet side, if we assume Penkovsky was double agent and acted according to plans of KGB.

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Re: Did Penkovsky save the world from Nuclear war?

Post by greg parker on Wed 26 Jun 2013, 7:58 am

9K116 wrote:
greg parker wrote:I agree with you fully. It sounds like CIA disinformation. Penkovsky was most likely a double agent - and if so - his eventual capture, trial and execution were pure theater.
Well, the problem is in difference in messages of Soviet disinformation campaign and what Penkovsky provided to West.

Disinformation campaign stated: we have lot of missiles, they are reliable and powerful enough, so in case of American nuclear attack we can surely answer with the same power or even more.

What Penkovsky told: most powerful Soviet missiles are still in testing and are, actually, experimental, and are produced in very few numbers, but that model which is fully operation at the moment, requires an oxygen factory nearby and 24 hours to prepare the launch.

We know Penkovsky told truth now. If he was double agent indeed, I hardly imagine how his shared information was benefitial for Soviets. Because, if the Hawks were those who received intel from Penkovsky on the US side, they could made radically different decision - to take the chance the Soviets can't retaliate! So, for me it seems as madness from Soviet side, if we assume Penkovsky was double agent and acted according to plans of KGB.
This is what I was thinking of when I suggested CIA disinformation. It comes from the CIA website:

Penkovsky was a colonel in the GRU — Soviet military intelligence — and the highest level Soviet officer to spy for the United States or Great Britain up to that time. During his time in the military, Penkovsky grew disillusioned with the Soviet regime. He felt that Nikita Krushchev was leading the Soviet Union down the path to destruction with his relentless pursuit of spreading Communism throughout the world. Penkovsky wanted to help prevent a nuclear war between the superpowers, so he volunteered to spy for the United States and the United Kingdom.
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/2010-featured-story-archive/colonel-penkovsky.html


Khrushchev repudiated Stalinism and relaxed Soviet hold over East European countries - at least until the CIA took advantage and fomented rebellion.   


While on the face of it, it may seem odd to suggest Penkovsky was a double-agent, Spy Catcher by Peter Wriight puts forward that very argument.

That said, I do see your arguments, and you may well be right.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

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Re: Did Penkovsky save the world from Nuclear war?

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