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Kidnap Queen Wilhelmina: Was The Order Of Hitler

Discussion in 'History of Holland and Belgium during World War I' started by Jim, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    A flight of Luftwaffe transport planes carrying Lieutenant General Hans Graf von Sponeck and elements of his German 22nd Air Landing Division was winging over eastern Holland and approaching The Hague, the seat of the Netherlands government and the official residence of Queen Wilhelmina. The historic city lies on the southwestern coast, about three miles inland from the North Sea. It was the first day of the German invasion.

    Adolf Hitler had assigned a special mission to General von Sponeck. After he and his paratroopers had landed, they were to charge into The Hague and kidnap Wilhelmina. The Führer issued strict orders that “no harm be done to the queen.” At this stage of the war, Nazi Germany was playing a “correct” role. Hitler did not need a dead sixty-year-old queen on his hands. Sponeck was conspicuous among the paratroopers who landed with him. In anticipation of being “received” by Wilhelmina, the general was wearing a dress uniform, complete with a large array of decorations. His men were clad in combat garb. Even before the Wehrmacht charged into the Netherlands, the British secret service had learned of Hitler’s scheme to “take Queen Wilhelmina into protective custody.” The source of this electrifying intelligence was codenamed Franta, and he was a senior official in the Abwehr, Germany’s intelligence agency.

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    For four years, Franta had been passing along Hitler’s top-secret plans to Major Josef Bartik, chief of the counterintelligence section of the Czech secret service. Bartik, in turn, had been shuttling this high-grade information to Major Harold L. Gibson, chief of the British secret service in Prague. After the German military juggernaut occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939, Franta apparently established another secret contact to get his information to the British. It was the mysterious Franta (his true identity would never be known) who had warned of Hitler’s scheme to kidnap Wilhelmina. Consequently, even while General von Sponeck was having his boots shined for an anticipated audience with the queen, British secret service agents arranged to escort Wilhelmina to a waiting British destroyer that took her across the English Channel to Great Britain. In London, the queen set up a Dutch government-in-exile and continued the struggle against Nazi Germany.
     
  2. warhistory

    warhistory New Member

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    I heard about the Anton Mussert and his followers and the whole kidnapping was at first planned by Mussert's followers. News broken by Vladimir Poliakov from New York Times.
     
  3. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Member

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    Fascinated by this. Was the kidnap of Queen Wilhelmina planned as an attempted coup on the part of the NSB to pave the way for a German invasion ?

     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    The Nazis were wrong by thinking they could turn the Queen. She was old schood and not a puppet that could be easily manipulated. Maybe that holding her would be something to step forward with negociations. Good show the British were swift to help her, five days isn't a long delay.
     
  5. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Member

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    Indeed, from my reading so far on the history of Occupied Netherlands, get the impression that Queen Wilhelmina was very anti- Nazi. I have read Eric Hazlehoff's 'Soldier of Orange' and seen 'Soldaat Van Oranje ' ( 'Survival Run') . The Queen comes across as being determined to encourage the resistance and to despise collaborators . Have seen nothing to the contrary.

     
  6. Highway70

    Highway70 Member

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    Were there headlines in Germany

    "Queen Wilhelmina kidnapped by British - German rescue party too late"
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    or the Dutch version: Queen chooses tea , not Bratwurst.
     
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  8. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Member

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    In the current musical 'Soldaat Van Oranje' Queen Wilhelmina sings a song about 'Thee'. !

    Found some great You Tube footage about Wilhelmina's return to The Netherlands in 1945 . Some of the shots with the welcoming crowds set against the ruins of houses about 5 minutes in, are superb.





     
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  9. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    Thanks for the video.

    I really like seeing that the Queen could walk around without some kind of ninja security team surrounding her, a more innocent time.

    KTK
     
  10. MichaelBully

    MichaelBully Member

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    Indeed Ken. From looking at Erik Hazelhoff's biography 'Soldier of Orange' , when returning to The Netherlands, Queen Wilhemina was accompanied by Hazelhoff, Peter Tazelaar ( another famous 'Engelandvaarder' ) along with some British Military Police . So not a massive security presence !
    Regards

     

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