The book I read to research this post was Operation Kronstadt by Harry Ferguson which is a very good book which I borrowed from the library. This is the true story of how Mi6 rescued one of its spies who was held prisoner at Russia’s most secure naval base in 1919 just after the Russian Revolution. It also tells of how Mi6 tried to start a counter revolution & start a war between Finland & the Russians. The author is an ex Mi6 spy so I think he’s quite equipped to tell this story. The Finn’s let Mi6 use one of their naval bases for the raid. They used a kind of giant motorised canoe which was built for speed hence it was made of plywood. This meant if a bullet even came close to it the plywood would shatter. The spies mostly used side arms as these canoes wouldn’t carry much weight. At the time of this story the spy network had been compromised to such an extent that there wasn’t a single active Mi6 agent in Russia. They were very aware of the fact that Britain wanted to start a coup & some of the Tsars supporters were still fighting. Britain knew there was a narrow window of opportunity in deposing the communists. The head of the Cheka or Soviet Secret Police was assinated & there was an attempt on Lenins life & most people thought he was going to die from his injuries. The 2 main members of the rescue team were Paul Dukes the only member of Mi6 to win a knighthood for work in the field & Gus Agar who won a Victoria Cross for his achievement. They sneaked in & out of the base & opened fire on the Finnish navy in an attempt to get them to attack the Russian Navy but that didn’t work completely. This story is probably nonetheless Mi6′s finest hour.