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Can someone list me any German intelligence coup's of WW2?

Discussion in 'Codes, Cyphers & Spies' started by JTF-2, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    I always enjoy a cute blond story, but the Germans at Narvik didn't defeat the Allies; indeed they were not even very successful in delaying their advance. The Allied high command decided to evacuate northern Norway on May 24 because of the ongoing debacle in France and Belgium; and their means of evacuating was to carry on the offensive and capture the port, which they did, and embark from there after doing as much damage as they could to the harbor, railroad, and other facilities.
     
  2. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Since i read "Eye of the the Needle" from Ken Follett as a young man i always wondered if there were german spies in Great Britain. I can hardly believe that there was not a single person corrupt enough to do everything for money.
     
  3. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Oh come on, NORDPOL can be a bit hard to turn up these days under that name ;)

    It's the one other biggie to rack up as a German success though - Hermann Giskes' legendary "Englandspiel" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englandspiel

    There is actually quite a number of small, "tactical" level intel successes too - like turning up Mussolini's location and the intel preparation for Skorzeny's Gran Sasso raid.

    The problem with determining German intelligence' success is that it's SO hard to pin down to just one agency - the Abwehr was divided into a number of separate offices in separate locations, all with a greater degree of independence and freedom of action that seems counter-intuitive to good intelligence. THEN you had the early-war Gestapo operations...they had a BIG part in the Venlo snatch though it's often racked up to the Abwehr...and after mid-war the RHSA. The problem with the Gestapo and RHSA's activities of course is that they usually don't get classed as classical "intelligence" ops given that they ALSO covered what we'd call "counter-intelligence", counter insurgency, and all the appapratus of the Jewish roundups in occupied countries. THEN you had classic Special Forces' ops like Peiper's undercover activities during the Bulge....

    And of course then you often had the various organisations COMPETING with each other - like the Abwher's failures in contacting and coordinating with the IRA in the Irish Free State...whereas the Gestapo seem to have run a now very shadowy but successful operation with the IRA north of the border in Northern Ireland.

    And that's before you reckon in "diplomatic" intelligence, and Ribbentrop's information-gathering activities and dalliances in the field into the whole confused mix..

    But it's all "intelligence" ;)
     
  4. harolds

    harolds Member

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    One small success for German spies was the delivery of the design plans for the Norden bomb sight to Germany. Also, for the first part of the war they were reading the codes of the British merchant marine.
     
  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I've read there were quite a few. The problem for the Germans was that they were essentially all identified and either became double agents or were incarcerated.
     
  6. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    Do you know, how spies in the UK did deliver informations? I mean, it wasn't too difficult to see, what was happening at the harbours or how many US-soldiers already crossed the Atlantic. But how to deliver all these informations across the channel?
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    ...and let's not forget hung. The four "Dutchmen" who came ashore in August in Kent with a couple of days radio, officers' uniforms, and short range radios were hung in Dover Castle IIRC.
     
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    IIRC a few were given access to radios so their "fist" would be recognisable by their assigned operator back at the Abwehr. Every Morse Code sender has/had a "fist", a particular way THEY transmitted - fast on some combinations, slow and unsteady on others, or particular ways of boiling down data into the minimum number of words etc. - and the operator who worked with them most in training would get to know it.

    I think a few were allowed to use drop boxes for messages to be collected by Spanish and Portuguese "diplomatic attaches". And occasionally there were personal messages in the classified ads of British newspapers that would eventually find their way to Germany via Spain/Portugal, Switzerland etc..

    Whatever method was used, there was only a minimal timelag between reports in late 1944 and early 1945 regarding the accuracy of V1s and particularly V2s.
     
  9. OhneGewehr

    OhneGewehr New Member

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    So there were some Nazi-spies in South-England? Maybe they just payed spanish diplomats or from any other country enough money to report them the damages of the V-weapons.
     
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    No, it was the turned agents of the XX Committee that were drafting/sending the reports. This was one of the great BRITISH intelligence coups of the war - they used their turned agents, plus intentionally mis-reported details of V2 impacts on the capital released to the press, to encourage the Germans to slowly move the targeting point for the V2 out of the centre of the city to the south-west!

    Basically - they made sure everything that reached the Germans by whatever means showed that their V2s were impacting further north/north-east than they should be...and in turn the Germans compensated by "correcting" their aim/guidance to the south-west :)
     
  11. Danny 21

    Danny 21 New Member

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    Why did the Germans,never mount any “commando raids”on the U.K,,,,they did have specialist troops,,,,Brandenburg Regt,,,,,Skorzeny,,
     
  12. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Because they were kind of busy elsewhere, dealing with more urgent and pertinent tasks. Why weren't the allies doing more "commando raids" in '45?
     
  13. Danny 21

    Danny 21 New Member

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    Makes sense,,, thanks,,
     
  14. Danny 21

    Danny 21 New Member

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    Can anyone tell me how easy as it to travel from Europe,to the U.K,if you were a National from a neutral country,,,,,,,how was the diplomatic pouch,delivered from somewhere like Switzerland,land locked and surrounded,on all sides by Axis countries,,
     
  15. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Interesting that Franco took Money from WC and Hitler and practically gave both very little and as a fascist leader was Never arrested... kph
     
  16. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Travel went through one of the other neutral countries, as there were no direct flights from the allies to Switzerland. There were flights from the UK to Portugal, Spain, and Sweden. Naturally, you could travel to Switzerland by train or any other means once on the continent, providing you weren't a belligerent national.
     
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  17. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    Here are some German intelligence successes

    #1 The Germans cracked the allied merchant shipping codes which helped direct U Boats to convoys.

    #2 The Germans made good use of low level tactical radio interceptions in the Western Desert, to out-manoeuvre the British and in Normandy to avoid the worst of allied firepower..
     
  18. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    I remember reading that a scheduled flight from Geneva to Lisbon was conducted nearly every day. The plane could carry diplomats, mail, pouches, etc and the Axis and Allies knew it's schedule and markings. Foreign soldiers, mainly airmen, could not leave . Spain did have flights to Switzerland as did Sweden as mentioned by Green Slime but Portugal and Spain had access to the Atlantic whereas Sweden had a more difficult route out of the Baltic. I presume in reasonable weather one could take a Northen route to Russian or fly over occupied Denmark or Norway at night. I know some allied airmen ended up in Sweden and perhaps a few sailors. Were they interned or were they "allowed" to escape?
     
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  19. green slime

    green slime Member

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    The first foreign soldiers interred in Sweden during WWII were probably 200 Polish sailors.

    Sweden opened the secret Främby PoW camp near Falun shortly after the German attack on Denmark and Norway. It could house around 500 men, and was initially guarded by 20 soldiers. It's exact location has remained a secret until very recently.

    In late July 1943 there were around 50 men in Främby - British RAF crews, French Foreign Legion soldiers (? I can only assume some remnant of the expedition at Narvik) and Polish submariners. Over time the size of the guard was decreased, and the internees were allowed to move around more and more free in the area. From the summer of 1944 there were not many restrictions.

    On 24 July 1943 "Georgia Rebel" landed in Sweden, the first war plane from the USA that made an emergency landing in Sweden. The B-17 had been damaged during an air raid on factories on Herrøya in Norway.

    Planes and crews that landed in Sweden were detained. However, the type of "detention," varied:

    The Americans were well paid compared to the others - a corporal had a higher salary than a Swedish wing commander. The Poles had to get a job to get some extra money. Thiscaused some "tension" and on 1 October the Americans were moved from the camp. The Poles had to stay in the camp until the end of WWII.

    British and USA plane crews were then housed in hotels and pensions in and near Falun. As more and more emergency landings took place, more and more places around Sweden were used.

    In total, 129 heavy bombers landed in Sweden, and 1 200 Americans were kept in Swedish detention centers in Falun, Gränna and Västerås until the end of the war. They could live remarkably freely, with visits to restaurants. A few airmen were moved to Stockholm and worked at the US embassy.

    A British bomber crashed into a mountain in the north of Sweden, at 1800 metres height. Two people (Lieutenant David Evans and Corpral Bernard Sowerby) survived and managed to reach the (relatively) nearby town Kvikkjokk (waaayy up North. No further. Like real North). The plane and remnants were found in 1976, after 32 years. It took three days for the people that found it to hike to Kvikkjokk to report it. Small wonder then, that it had taken Evans and Sowerby 7 days to get to civilization, and they'd not seen a soul on their journey. The three other occupants (Flight Officer Henry William Bowler, Flight Sgt Parker John Campbell, Flight Sgt Steven James Jewett, all from Canada) that didn't survive the crash are buried in Gothenburg's Kviberg cemetery, together with other allied dead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
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  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My uncles last two "combat" flights were a flight to and a flight from Sweden. He met up with a buddy of his who was interned there. He said the Swedes were pretty strict about not letting allied fliers "escape". On the other hand the allied planes were parked at one end of the runway. At that end, separated by a single strand of barbed wire, was a Norwegian internment camp. They were told before they left not to look into the Bombay (where there were now bench seats) until after they took off from Sweden. Imagine their "surprise" when they found the bench seats full of Norwegians.

    This would have been fairly late in the war by the way
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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