Title: The Blue List
Author: Nigel West
West, Nigel (1989). The Blue List. London: Secker & Warburg, 1989
Date Updated: June 28, 2015
This espionage story culminates in the war-time bunker built in the uncompleted tunnels of North End station, although this is incorrectly identified as Paddock, a separate bunker in Dollis Hill. It is a work of fiction.
Nigel West is a prolific writer on espionage, and his research is as complete as one could demand of any scholar. Nigel West is a pseudonym for Rupert Allason. As an historian, West has concentrated on security and intelligence issues and Nigel West’s controversial books have frequently made headlines. He was voted “The Experts’ Expert” by a panel of other spy writers in The Observer in November 1989. In 1984 The Sunday Times commented: “His information is so precise that many people believe he is the unofficial historian of the secret services. West’s sources are undoubtedly excellent. His books are peppered with deliberate clues to potential front-page stories.”
West has been a frequent speaker at intelligence seminars and has lectured at both the KGB headquarters in Dzerzhinsky Square, Moscow and at the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, where he once addressed an audience that included the Soviet spy Aldrich Ames. He continues to lecture to members of the intelligence community at the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies in Washington, DC.
His special contribution to the study of modern historical espionage has been in tracking down former agents and persuading them to tell their stories. He traced the wartime double agent GARBO, who was reported to have died in Africa in 1949. However, Allason found him in Venezuela, and they collaborated on the book Operation Garbo, published in 1985. He was also the first person to identify and interview the mistress of Admiral Canaris, the German intelligence chief who headed the Abwehr, and he was responsible for the exposure of Leo Long and Edward Scott as Soviet spies.
His titles include The Crown Jewels, based on files made available to him by the KGB archives in Moscow; VENONA, which disclosed the existence of a GRU spy-ring operating in London throughout the war, headed by Professor JBS Haldane and the Hon. Ivor Montagu; and The Third Secret, an account of the CIA’s intervention in Afghanistan. Mortal Crimes, published in September 2004, investigates the scale of soviet espionage in the Manhattan Project, the Anglo-American development of an atomic bomb.
In 2005 he edited The Guy Liddell Diaries, a daily journal of the wartime work of MI5’s Director of Counter-Espionage. He also published a study of the Comintern’s secret wireless traffic, MASK: MI5’s Penetration of the Communist Party of Great Britain, and the first of a series of counter-intelligence textbooks, Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence, Historical Dictionary of International Intelligence, and The Historical Dictionary of Cold War Counterintelligence. A recent publication(2012) is Historical Dictionary of Chinese Intelligence.