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Not that it matters, but a great deal of the background to this story is accurate. SMERSH, a contraction of Smiert Spionam–Death to Spies–exists and remains today the most secret department of the Soviet government. At the beginning of 1956, when this book was written, the strength of SMERSH at home and abroad was about 40,000 and General Grubozaboyschikov was its chief. My description of his appearance is correct. Today, the headquarters of SMERSH are where, in Chapter 4, I have placed them–at No. 13 Stretenka Ulitsa, Moscow. The Conference Room is faithfully described and the Intelligence chiefs who meet round the table are real officials who are frequently summoned to that room for purposes similar to those I have recounted.