World War II Russian Spy Richard Sorge

About the World War II spy Richard Sorge, biography and history of the Russian spy who infiltrated Japan.

Richard Sorge. Russian. Worked for: Russia, W.W. II.

Richard Sorge, one of the great master spies of all time, grew up in Germany and fought in the German Army in W.W. I. At the war's end, he became a communist, and he moved to Russia in 1925. Sorge established spy rings in Germany and China, but his network in Japan proved to be his greatest success. Posing as a German newspaper correspondent and Nazi party member, he was admitted to all of the elite political circles in Tokyo. In 1941 Sorge informed Moscow that Germany would invade Russia on June 22. Stalin ignored Sorge's warning, and as a result, the Russians suffered near-catastrophic losses. Chastened, Moscow leaders pressed Sorge for the answer to a crucial question: Would Japan invade Russia? With the aid of his contact in Japan's Imperial Cabinet, Sorge conclusively answered, No. Stalin quickly ordered the 250,000 troops stationed in Siberia to return to the western front. This maneuver saved Moscow from the advancing Germans, and Sorge is credited with "changing the course of history." Sorge "supposedly" was hanged by the Japanese in 1944. Many believe, however, that he escaped and returned to Russia where he continued his work. Stalin refused to acknowledge him as a hero, probably due to Stalin's embarrassment over the successful German attack in 1941. However, the Russian people proclaimed Sorge a "Hero of the Soviet Union," named a Moscow street in his memory, and put his picture on a Russian postage stamp.

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