Norway was abuzz with talk about a shocking case: the 32-year-old son of the commander in chief of the Norwegian navy was in jail, charged with being a Russian agent.

During World War II, Lieut. Per Edvard Danielsen's swashbuckling sea-raids against the Nazis made him something of a national hero. In 1941, as skipper of a motor torpedo boat, he helped strike one of the first blows against the Quisling government, in a Commando raid from Britain against Norway's Nazi-occupied island base of Maaloy.

But ashore, Sailor Danielsen lost his sealegs, wavered into trouble. On a spree in London one night,...

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