This is the true story of a remarkable man who pulled off a seemingly impossible espionage mission in Tokyo, before and during World War II. Richard Sorge, born to a Russian mother and a German father, ran a network of Japanese and Europeans under the noses of Japan's dreaded secret police. From 1933 until he was caught in late 1941, he transmitted priceless secrets to Red Army intelligence. Sorge's espionage group - perhaps the most successful operating in this critical period - kept the Russians informed about Japanese and German intentions, and also helped influence decisions made by these governments.; Sorge's biggest coup was to inform Stalin of the German attack on Russia in 1941, weeks before it occurred - with details of troop deployments, movement of armaments and the actual date of the attack. Abandoned to his fate by Stalin, Sorge became the first European sentenced to death by a Japanese court. After a prolonged ordeal, he was executed in Sugamo prison in 1944.
Robert Whymant covered East Asia for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph from 1972 to 1993 when he became Tokyo Correspondent of The Times. Whymant was tragically killed in the 2004 tsunami while on holiday in Sri Lanka.