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The Russian Agent (Hardback)

A Secret Mission To Penetrate the Russian Liberation Army

WWII Russia & the Eastern Front Frontline Books Frontline: WWII Military

By Franz Taut, Translated by Graham Harris
Frontline Books
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781526748607
Published: 30th August 2022


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RRP £19.99

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Lieutenant General Andrey Andreyevich Wlassow (or Vlasov) was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, the Soviet Union’s first, and at the time highest, military decoration. This was in recognition of his handling of the 37th Army when Hitler’s forces invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, and for his efforts in the defence of Moscow. But during the siege of Leningrad in 1942 he was taken prisoner.

During his time in captivity, Wlassow defected to the Germans. He went on to establish the Russian Liberation Army, a movement to support the Germans in defeating Stalin’s Bolshevism. Stalin’s intelligence services would undoubtedly sought to have disrupted and infiltered the RLA.

In this book, the author Franz Taut reveals one plausible, but fictious, attempt to infiltrate Wlassow’s organisation and report back to Moscow on those ‘traitors’ who sought the collapse of the communist regime. The agent in question Taut has named Lieutenant Sonja Rasumowa.

Adopting a different persona for each situation, this former employee of the Soviet embassy in Berlin was able to make her way back into the German capital. She was soon approached by a member of the Russian Liberation Army – though there were those in Wlassow’s group who were highly suspicious of this clearly highly intelligent and well-informed young woman.

How would Rasumowa gain their trust, and once fully accepted into the treacherous group how could she transmit their subversive intentions back to Mother Russia?

Though the activities of Sonja Rasumowa are entirely fictitious, the story of Wlassow’s Russian Liberation Army is a factual one. In The Russian Agent, the complexities of the political situation are revealed as the German armies in Russia crumbled and the fear of reprisals for those who had turned against the country of their birth became more acute with the passing of each week. This is a story that explores an intriguing element of the Second World War, one that is little known of outside Russia and Germany.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

An highly enjoyable read! The story will grab and hold your interest. The characters are well done and you can picture yourself in the middle of the story. A great read for all.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

About Franz Taut

The son of an army officer, FRANZ TAUT grew up in Munich. Having graduated from high school, he joined the Reichswehr, which he left in 1928. Franz then travelled to South Africa, Venezuela, Columbia and the West Indies. He returned to Germany in 1933 and worked as a journalist for such newspapers as the Berliner Tageblatt and the Berliner Lokai-Anzeiger. Taut was drafted into the Wehrmacht, as an officer and war correspondent, in August 1939. Having participated in the fighting on the Eastern Front, he was captured by American troops in the Ruhr in April 1945. After his release in 1946, he settled in Wolfratshausen as a freelance writer and once again took up writing.

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