SOE WAR DIARIES JULY 1944 - SEPTEMBER 1944 PART IA.
I - GENERAL
A THIRD MISSION TO THE FIELD
Since the beginning of 1944 information had been accumulating in London concerning an organization known as the LO (Landelijke Organisatie) which had started in 1940 as a group aiding escaped prisoners of war, and as there were available in London three men who had been working for the RVV in touch with the LO, a third mission was prepared to contact this side of the RVV and at the same time establish a link with the Dutch underground press (1).
State of the underground movement in the summer of 1944.
In spite of the high level penetration of the OD (Orde Dienst) in 1941 and 1942, this organization continued to function in various towns during the following years. Although its original purpose was the establishment of a secret army, it later developed into a more passive organization drawn from the intellectuals and ex-Army officers. Its objectives were to embarrass the enemy during their retreat and to establish order during the transition period which would follow.
The RVV had expanded and developed during the winter of 1943-1944 and it was in contact with the OD and also with the Centrum Sabotage 6 (CS-6) - a small but active sabotage organization of which little has been heard since the middle of 1944.The RVV was also in touch with the LO. In Addition it had connections with another indigenous sabotage organization known as the KP (Knok Ploeg).
Quite independently of these organizations, the Dutch underground press “Trouw” and “Vrij Nederland” had been functioning throughout the early years of the occupation, but by 1944 had been approached by the other resistance groups, who were of assistance in supplying money in return for co-operation.
Departure of the third mission.
It was in this intermingled complex of underground movements that the three SOE agents, Known as PODEX (Mulholland), RUMMY (de Goede) and CRIBBAGE (van Duyn), were infiltrated in August 1944. This third mission found on arrival a fairly extensive organization in the west and south-west of Holland, and they therefore set about re-organizing it to fit with Allied plans. The leader of the team was RUMMY, a young man who, before escaping from Holland in February 1944, had been in touch with underground press organizations in Rotterdam and The Hague. PODEX, before escaping from Holland had been in touch with the KP in Holland and through them with the RVV. The three agents were therefore instructed to contact the RVV in the Rotterdam area.
(1) Security report on SOE organizations in Holland, August 1944 - February 194
Achievement of unified control.
In view of the considerable uncertainty which existed in London concerning German knowledge of Dutch resistance, the mission was dropped blind at Ede near RUMMY’s home. During September PODEX successfully set up his link with the RVV and saw that RUMMY would serve a more useful purpose in Rotterdam as a KP liaison officer, as it was clear that from SOE’s point of view the KP would produce the most valuable dividend.
Their W/T operator, CRIBBAGE (van Duyn), was therefore recalled from The Hague and was almost immediately placed in contact with FRANK (Johannes van Beijnen), who was the leader of the KP. RUMMY (de Goede) discovered that the three organizations were functioning in Rotterdam; - the OD, which still existed rather passively under the charge of VAN SANTEN ( J.P. Six); the RVV which was better organized, but ill-led by a person named LANGE JAN (Jan Thijssen); and the KP which under FRANK’s leadership was well organized and had among its members a number of able enthusiasts who were, however, more men of action than of brains. To this, however, FRANK was an exception. He realized that to undertake any co-ordinated effort the three organizations should be amalgamated. At meetings between the three bodies, attended by RUMMY and CRIBBAGE, a provisional agreement for a merger was formulated, but owing to intense internal rivalry no decision was reached as to who should be the leader.
Finally, at the end of September, courier was sent to PRINCE BERNHARD, who was established as head of the NORTHAW mission in liberated Holland, setting out the results of the discussions. The courier was WITTE PIET ( Piet de Beer, SNOOKER). Almost immediately a reply was received from the Prince authorizing FRANK to be the joint leader. This however was not acceptable either to the RVV or the OD, and the latter organization, probably because of its higher intellectual character, won the day and themselves chose a leader, a man of military experience named VAN DEN OEVER (Henri Koot). Both LANGE JAN (Thijssen) and FRANK (van Beijnen) agreed to this nomination and VAN DEN OEVER, under the title of Delta C, established himself in Amsterdam. He renamed the combined movement the “Nederlandse Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten” (the NBS), but his amalgamation did not prevent each group retaining its individuality at low levels, or reduce jealousy.
THE UNDERGROUND MOVEMENT APPEALS FOR ARMS
The following telegram was received from the field through SIS (BI) channels: -
“OD KP AND RVV AGAIN PRESS THE URGENCY OF SENDING WEAPONS ON ACCOUNT OF THE TOTAL ABSENCE OF SUITABLE WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION STOP ALSO TO PREVENT THE CATASTROHICAL DESTRUCTION PREPARED BY THE ENEMY AND IN ADDITION FOR THE EXECUTION OF SABOTAGE PROJECTS HIGH COMMAND IT IS VITAL WE RECEIVE WEAPONS NOW STOP WE COLLECTIVELY PASS TO THE GOVERNMENT THIS GREAT RESPONSEBILITY”
Arrangements were made (2) to supply arms to Dutch resistance by means of normal air operations, and by special landing operations to Brussels.
(2) MG/4057 of 21.9.44
Normal air operations were limited, since for various reasons Bomber Command was unable to agree to aircraft based at Tempsford operating to Holland during the non-moon period, and 38 Group was available only to a very limited extend owing to Airborne commitments. Nevertheless it was expected that 30 sorties per week would be carried out to Holland. Arrangements had been made for two tons of stores a day to be sent to Army Maintenance depots at Brussels, commencing on September 23rd, 1944 By this means Dutch resistance groups, when overrun, could be supplied from these forward dumps and would then be able to assist the Army in guarding its flanks or its lines of communications. It was hoped to increase the rate of supply of these arms. Even if unlimited aircraft were available to supply resistance in Holland these could not be use owing to limitations of reception. In the whole of Holland reception would limit operations to some 80 sorties per week, of which, in the area of Rotterdam, sorties would be limited to 16 per week. Thus, were the aircraft available, it would still be impossible to send sufficient arms to Dutch resistance to enable it to prevent the catastrophical destruction prepared by the enemy, either in Rotterdam or in the remainder of Holland.
Weekly reports for the period July - September give the following record of stores deliveries to the field: July - nil, August - nil. Weeks ending September 4th 36 containers, 7 packages - September 12th 60 containers, 8 packages - September 18th 42 containers, 3 packages (3) - September 25th 213 containers, 7 packages.
RETURNED FRENCH AGENT IDENTIFIES DUTCH PRISONERS IN SILESIAN CAMP.
CAPTAIN ROUSSET, a French agent who had been confined in a prison camp at Rawicz, in Selesia, from April 19th to May 12th, 1944, was interviewed in London by CAPTAIN MILLS of the Dutch Country Section on September 12th, 1944 (4). During the time he was in the camp, CAPTAIN ROUSSET saw at least 50 Dutchmen who were imprisoned there together with French, British and Polish agents. Although imprisonment involved almost solitary confinement, there were occasions when prisoners were marched round a square for 15 minutes exercise and ROUSSET, apart from recognizing several Dutchmen whom he had met at training schools here, was able to identify several more from photographs shown to him by MILLS. Conditions in the camp, which was an old penitentiary building, were very bad. For some reason the Dutch were treated better than the others, whilst, as usual, the Poles were treated worst. The Dutch seemed to be in reasonably good spirits, though naturally ROUSSET never had any opportunity of conversing with them freely.
(1) 18 containers and 2 packages were later reported by Rummy to have fallen into German hands.
(2) N/KU/1083 of 6.10.44
It is of interest to note that all prisoners were dressed alike, irrespective of nationality or rank. Their dress was blue, consisting of a sort of blouse and throusers, vaguely similar to a battle dress. On the right arm there was a large ”I” whilst on the back of the blouse was shown the prisoner’s number. Prisoners were told that, so far as status was concerned they could expect to be treated as prisoners of war, but ROUSSET very much doubted whether this convention would be observed. From the photographs shown him - which covered all SOE Dutch agents, apart from those too recently sent to be of any possible interest - ROUSSET identified the following as being at this camp Rawicz:
| Andringa, L.
| Arendse, P.A.
| Beukema toe Water, K.W.A.
| Boogaard, P.C.
| Buizer, J.J.C.
| Dane, J.C.
|| CUCUMBER A
| Drooglever-Fortuyn, C.
| Grün, J.
| Hofstede, J.
|| TOMATO A
| Jambroes, G.L.
| Kist, J.
| Koolstra, M
|| CELERY A
| Lauwers, H.M.G.
| Macare, H.M.
|| CELERY C
| Mink, A.B.
| Os, van G.
|| van Oostrom
| Pals, M
| Rouwerd, F.W.
| Ruseler, G.L.
| Steeksma, H.R.
|| CELERY B
| Steen, van
|| van Sittard
|Wilden, van der P.
|Wilden, van der W.
In concentration camp Mauthausen in Austria the following agents arrived on September 7th 1944.
This according to the Konzentrationslager Mauthausen Schutshaftlinglagerschreibstube:
|| RAS, Gozewindt
|| ANDRINGA, Leo
|| TACONIS, Thijs
|| JAMBROES, Georg
|| MINK, Anton
|| OS van, Heyrard
|| STEEKSMA, Horst Reinhold
|| UYTVANCK van, Ivo
|| RUSSELER, George
|| SEBES, Hendrik
|| KAMPHORST, Pieter
|| KOOLSTRA, Meindert
|| BOOGEART, Peter
|| EMMER, Jan
|| HAAS de, Johannes
|| DROOGLEVER-FORTYUN, Cornelis
|| BUKKENS, Joseph
|| BUIZER, Johannes
|| PALS, Michel
|| DANE, Johannes
|| WILDEN van der, Willem
|| KLOOSS, Barend
|| PUNT, Lorenz
|| BAATSEN, Arnoldus
|| HULSTEYN van, Cornelis
|| BEUKEMA toe WATER, Karl
|| ARENDSE, Pieter Arnoldus
|| JONGELIE, Roelof Christiaan
|| BOR van der, Klaas
|| WEGNER, Antonius
|| BRAGGAAR, Cornelis Carel
|| HOFSTEDE, Jan
|| KRUYFF de, Ari Johannes
|| WILDEN van der, Pieter
|| BREY de, Georges
When the group arrived at Mauthausen, they had to write these numbers on torso, legs and arms, they did't know why at the time.
This became very clear after the first part of the group had been executed by machine-gun fire.
II - RESISTANCE GROUPS
CRICKET - GERMAN OPERATED Cricket& Curling were arrested on the 19th May, 1944
London reminded CRICKET (Tony Cnoops) (5) that his contact address was still awaited. As a special exception would he have any objection to seeing a Russian officer who was serving with the German forces? London believed him to be trustworthy but CRICKET would have to take extra precaution in case of trickery by the Gestapo. The Russian would give the password “Baku” and CRICKET would reply “Birmingham”. The Russian would explain everything.
(1) 24 to Cricket via Swale of 4.7.44
CRICKET (Tony Cnoops) must ensure (6) that his operator (Huub Sanders, CURLING, plan Swale) did not handle too much traffic. His dropping grounds were now being considered and details of operations would be sent the following day. What was the condition and morle of the German troops in Holland? London understood from other sources that this was declining rapidly elsewhere. CRICKET sent (7) two dropping points and a contact address in The Hague. HENK (who is he?) understood London’s objections to forming new groups. He would not therefore start anything for the time being but nevertheless he would be in a position to form one or two groups in the coastal area should Headquarters wish this to be done. HENK’s groups were absolutely reliable (8). Those in Leeuwarden en Groningen wished to receive supplies and were many strong patrols and observation posts in the area north and west of Leeuwarden. CRICKET was prepared to follow London’s instructions regarding the Russian officer (9) and would take all necessary precautions. Minefields had been laid recently along both sides of the entrance to IJmuiden Harbor (10), even far out at sea. The mines were carried along the canal in ordinary canal boats. The population of North-Brabant was being forced to erect logs in the province of Zeeland (11). These logs were from ten to twenty five centimeters thick and up to four meters high. They were intended to give protection against landing of planes. The guards on the road between The Hague and Utrecht had been strengthened during the last few days. Soldiers in observation posts continually watched the sky and horizon with field glasses (12). London replied (13) accepting CRICKET’s grounds numbers three and four. The reception committees should stand by from 8th to the 10th July inclusive, from midnight until 2 am CRICKET reported (14) that a special German pioneer section was stationed at Heelsum near Wageningen. The officers had their quarters in the local hotels in one of which a large number of rubber boats was stored.
CRICKET would see (15) that the reception committees were standing by at the appropriate times. A reinforced concrete bunker with walls two meters thick had been build (16) in the vicinity of Driebergen railway station. This was to become the battle headquarters of a general.
London regretted (17) that the stores dropping operation had been cancelled another the crack signal had gone out, owing to weather conditions at base. Another attempt would be made on the next night - the last opportunity in the current moon period. CRICKET (Tony Cnoops) reported (18) “great movements” of troops along the Dutch coast. New forces were being brought up from the Reich. He would not judge whether these were for relief or reinforcement.
(6) 26 to Cricket via Swale of 4.7.44
(7) Cricket via Swale 50 and 51 of 4.7.44
(8) Cricket via Swale 52 of 4.7.44
(9) Cricket via Swale 53 of 4.7.44
(10) Cricket via Swale 54 of 4.7.44
(11) Cricket via Swale 56 of 5.7.44
(12) Cricket via Swale 57 of 5.7.44
(13) 27 to Cricket via Swale of 6.7.44
(14) Cricket via Swale 58 of 7.7.44
(15) Cricket via Swale 59 of 7.7.44
(16) Cricket via Swale 60 of 8.7.44
(17) 29 to Cricket via Swale of 9.7.44
(18) Cricket via Swale 61 of 10.7.44
HENK and his men were rather agitated as weapons were badly needed (19). CRICKET (Tony Cnoops) asked London to do their best for that night. London “regretted” (20) that the aircraft for ground three had been unable to take off at the last minute. The pilot for the ground four operation reported that no lights had been seen. Had the reception committee been there or had something gone wrong? London appreciated HENK’s agitation but arms could not be delivered if his men were not there to receive them. He would now have to wait till the next period. CRICKET was thanked for his news of troops movements but in future he should give their markings whenever possible. CRICKET regretted (21) that he and HENK and his men had again waited in vain. They had expressed great disappointment and marked distrust. To smooth things over he would give to section commanders a course of special instruction in subversive activities until the next moon period. CRICKET reported (22) that the reception committees had been ready on both grounds. He had been on ground four. The agreed signals had been given when he heard aeroplane engines at agreat height. The plane had remained above the clouds so that the pilot had not been able to see the signals (*) CRICKET reported (23) that the following troops could be identified with certainty:- at Leiden the 506th Division; The Hague and Delft, SS forces; in the Dordrecht area, the 719th Division; at Tilburg and Breda, a new tank Division. The Russian officer had not presented himself so far (24) or perhaps he had called when nobody was at home. Could an approximate time for his call be stated so that he could find somebody at the contact address?
The V-1 was a “trump card” for the German soldiers (25) Their morale had not deteriorated and they did not take a critical attitude towards events. German tank crews in the Tilburg-Breda area were well disciplined. London reported (26) that the Russian officer should have contacted CRICKET (Tony Cnoops) by that time. The contact address and password had been sent to him while he was in France. He might have been delayed en route but in any case CRICKET should not contact him personally unless he was satisfied that everything was in order. He should advise London when he had seen the Russian.
CRICKET reported (27) that in the course of his instruction of HENK’s section commanders he had become convinced that it would be useful to place instructors from London at their disposal. Did London consider this a good idea?
(*) The reported presence of a plane above the dropping ground (if true) was naturally a coincidence, since no plane had of course been sent to this German-controlled reception committee.
(19) Cricket via Swale 62 of 10.7.44
(20) 30 to Cricket via Swale of 11.7.44
(21) Cricket via Swale 63 of 11.7.44
(22) Cricket via Swale 64 of 12.7.44
(23) Cricket via Swale 65 of 14.7.44
(24) Cricket via Swale 66 of 16.7.44
(25) Cricket via Swale 67 of 17.7.44
(26) 31 to cricket via Swale of 17.7.44
(27) Cricket via Swale 68 of 17.7.44
London was amazed (28) at CRICKET’s news regarding the German faith in their new toy, but this was understandable in view of the lies that they were told by their “misleaders”. He could truthfully tell his friend and HENK that the Allied war effort was unaffected and the military value of V-1 was nil. CRICKET was thanked for news regarding troop movements. CRICKET (Tony Cnoops) gave three new dropping points in his next two telegrams (29). London cabled (30) that it was obviously necessary for CRICKET to receive instructors in due course. How many did he require and for which areas? His dropping points were being examined and it was hoped to let him have a decision shortly. CRICKET replied (31) that he and his friends never believed that that “toy” had any military value. He was glad that London’s information confirmed theit opinion. HENK and his men could hardly wait for the beginning of the moon period, so eager were they to receive their material. CRICKET reported (32) an extraordinarily strong concentration of troops in the area of the Schelde estuary. He cabled details of troops stationed in the Antwerp area. CRICKET suggested (33) that London should first send four instructors - one for the Leeuwarden and Groningen groups; one for the Biesbosch groups; and two for the remaining areas. Would London let him know as soon as possible whether his pinpoints were suitable? This would leave him time to find others if necessary.
London closed the bluff traffic with the following telegram (34):
“WITH REFERENCE TO YOUR MESSAGE OF APRIL FIRST (35) WE HAVE TRIED YOUR AGENCY ONCE MORE BUT CONSIDER IT TO BE SO TERRIBLE INEFFICIENT AS TO WARRANT OUR CHANGING FOR GOOD STOP PLEASE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT AS THAT MATTER WILL BE IN OUR HANDS AND NOW HAVING A DETAILED LIST OF YOY ALL YOU MAY REST ASSURED THAT IT WILL HARDLY BE PINPOINTS.”
(28) 32 to Cricket via Swale of 17.7.44
(29) Cricket via Swale 69 & 70 of 19.7.44
(30) 33 to Cricket via Swale of 21.7.44
(31) Cricket via Swale 71 of 21.7.44
(32) Cricket via Swale 72 & 73 of 22.7.44
(33) Cricket via Swale 74 of 24.7.44
(34) 34 to Cricket via Swale of 24.7.44
(35) See page 174.
CURLING - GERMAN OPERATED
CURLING (Huub Sanders) complained (36) that the Home Station broadcast transmission was weak, but London replied (37) that this probably due to local disturbance. CURLING reported (38) that TONY (CRICKET - German operated) had waited in vain at the reception ground the previous night and hoped London would carry the operation through that night. CURLING was disappointed (39) that nothing had been done in the current moon period. He had therefore been unable to commence training his new operator.
London hoped (40) for better luck in the next period. CURLING said that the new W/T operator, whom he was training, was a little impatient (41) but otherwise he was ready and keen to start.
(36) Swale 24 of 4.7.44
(37) 17 to Swale of 5.7.44
(38) Swale 26 of 10.7.44
(39) Swale 27 of 14.7.44
(40) 19 to Swale of 15.7.44
(41) Swale 28 of 19.7.44
Huub Sanders (CURLING)
Tony Cnoops (CRICKET) escaped from Sachenhausen 25.04.1945
FIVERS, RAQUETS, BOWLS & HALMA (Contact with RVV)
This agent training name was PIETER KRANT. He would be known in the field as BAREND (42). The RAAD VAN VERZET was an organization which had played an active part in underground activities in Holland. Some of its cells had been penetrated from time to time but it was believed that the main executive was still sound. A mission had been sent to the field on April 1st, 1944 (43) to approach the RVV and give them Allied Commander’s directive for future action. The RVV were very security minded and would not interview our man until they had satisfied themselves that all was well. When they were eventually received by the RVV it was too late, because contrary to instructions, they had contacted several organizations, were known to the Gestapo and were arrested between May 17th and 20th. The RVV had reported the arrests, and had asked for a new man.
FIVES (Pieter Jacob Kwint) would establish contact with the RVV through an address given in his orders. The person at this address would put him in touch with the head s of the RVV. FIVES would inform them that his mission was to act as a saboteur instructor or reception committee leader, depending on their immediate requirements. He would always observe the security instructions given him by the RVV and in no circumstances would he reveal to anyone, other than his contacts, the fact that he had come from England. His cover story could always be that of an “onderduiker” but nothing more. He must never make contacts with other organizations or persons unless these were arranged by the RVV. The men who went to Holland on April 1st had all made these mistakes, hence their arrest. He should be patient, because the RVV would not tolerate mistakes through imprudence to the detriment of hundreds of other men. He would assist the RVV and advise them in all matters on which he had received instructions in this country.
He should insist that the RVV must arrange for his safe house in Holland. He should also see to it that the RVV set up their sabotage organization in such a way that it would never clash with other compromise their other activities. He should not overburden his W/T operator with messages, neither should he pass intelligence reports to London. If such information was required he would be asked for it.
(42) Orders for Fives, dated June 26th, 1944
(43) See page 174
July - September 1944, page 195
On the first favourable night in the July moon period FIVES, RAQUETS, BOWLS & HALMA would be dropped together by parachute in Holland at a point to be explained to them prior to their departure. They would each carry with them 5.000 Guilders for their personal use and als0 2.500 French Francs and 2.500 Belgium Francs for use in case of an emergency. In addition FIVES (Kwint) and RAQUETS (Verhoef) would each carry 25.000 Guilders. This total amount - 50.000 Dutch Guilders - was for the RVV. It would be handed over only when somebody from the RVV asked for it. Although he would be given 50.000 Guilders the man would ask for 50.001. This was simply a check to ensure that the money went to the right person. FIVES would have his own one-time-pad and would do all his encoding and decoding. He would not send his message direct to his W/T operator but would pass them through the RVV. He would never show his codes to anyone else and he would also destroy that part of his one-time-pad which had been used for past messages. If he did not do this and was caught by the Gestapo they would not only be able to decode his past messages but would also find out his correct secret number. Records of messages exchanged with London should not be kept. On the first, second and third days and the two Sundays following his arrival a message known to him would be broadcast by the BBC. This would serve to prove his bona fides. He would take with him a pigeon by which he could send a message advising London of his safe landing.
RAQUETS training name was L. VORSTMAN. He would be known in the field as EITJES (44).
RAQUETS (Pleun Verhoef) would establish contact with the RVV through the address given in his orders. He would then be put in touch with the heads of the RVV to whom he would state that his mission was to act as saboteur instructor, or reception committee leader, according to their immediate requirements. He would be dropped with FIVES (Kwint), BOWLS (Walter) & HALMA (Bockma)on the first favourable night in the July moon period. RAQUETS had been trained in the use of the Eureka set. Two Eureka’s were being dropped to an RVV reception Committee. It would be part of RAQUETS’ mission to claim these two sets from the RVV and put them into operation at pinpoints which would be cabled to him by London. Owing to his other activities it might be impossible for him to operate the sets continually throughout the moon period. He would therefore consult the RVV with a view to recruiting and training two men to do nothing else but operate the sets. The object of this special mission was to assist the RAF in its dropping operations in Holland and bombing operations in Germany. It might be necessary to have the sets switched on during every night of the moon period. Operators would therefore see that they had spare accumulators so that the Eureka’s could be in constant use if necessary.
(44) Orders for Raquets, dated June 6th, 1944
BOWLS’ training name was Johannes Albertus WEES. He would be known in the field as ALBERTUS (45). On establishing contact with the RVV BOWLS (Johannes Albertus Walter) would inform them that his mission was to act as W/T operator for their sabotage organization for all its communication with London. They must not involve him in their other activities and they must use only the special code on the one-time-pad which BOWLS would hand to them and teach them how to use. He must insist that the RVV arrange for his safe houses in Holland and houses from which he could transmit. The RVV were at present sending their messages through a separate organization called the RADIODIENST, but he would inform the RVV that all their messages relating to active resistance and sabotage should come through his channels and not those of the RADIODIENST. He would take with him an extra W/T plan and a small code for the use of a new operator, if either he or the RVV could find a man who was considered to be absolutely trustworthy. BOWLS could train him and advise London when he was ready to operate. BOWLS’ own messages would be confined to technical matters. In addition he would once a week send a short message giving the broadcast numbers of the messages he had received in the previous week. He would keep to his skeds in accordance with his W/T plan and would never ask for more contacts than was necessary. If he felt he was handling too much traffic he would inform the RVV immediately so that they could reduce the number or length of their messages. He would change his houses of transmission as frequently as possible.
(45) Orders for Bowls, date June 27th, 1944
HALMA’s training name was Jan BOREL. BOWLS (Jan Bockma) would be known in the field as HUBERTUS (46). He would inform the RVV that his mission was to act as W/T operator for their sabotage organization in all its communications with London. His own messages would be confined to technical matters. FIVES, RAQUETS, BOWLS & HALMA left for the field on the night of July 5th, 1944 Their aircraft did not return, and the four men were presumed to be dead (47). On July 28th, 1944, a message was received on BOWLS’ code and RIBBLE plan, purporting to be sent clandestinely by an anti-Nazi who had been forced to help the Gestapo in their counter-espionage work. He reported the deaths by drowning of FIVES, BOWLS and HALMA. The traffic was regarded by London (48) to keep it open. Although there was thought to be little chance of the man proving genuine, yet his cables might yield useful information.
BOWLS (? GERMAN OPERATED) - W/T Traffic (the SASKIA Game)
BOWLS cabled (49) as follows: -
“HAVE BEEN OVER 15 YEARS IN ARGENTINA AND USA WAS PRESSED INTO SERVICE WITH THE GESTAPO AT WAR BEGIN WHILE VISITING IN GERMANY AND AMONG OTHERS GOT TO BE ENTRUSTED WITH TRANSLATING YOUR AGRENTS MATERIALS REGISTERING AND FILING PICKED UP AGENTS SENDING SETS STOP HAVE SINCE LEARNED SIGS IN (GABI-THAVILDWU) BEEN LOOKING FOR A CONTCT CHANCE AS I GOT UTMOSTLY DISGUSTED WITH THIS DAMNED HITLERISM AND LIFE AMONGST THESE IDIOTS HAVE JUST BEEN TRANSLATING MATERIAL FROM THREE OF YOUR AGENTS WHO WERE FOUND DROWNED ON JULY 14 AT MAKKUM AM CONSIDERED STUPID ENOUGH TO BE HARMLESS SHALL SHOW THEM WANT TO HELP AND WORK WITH YOU GIVE ME A CHANCE PLEASE I SHALL PROVE MY SINCERITY STOP WHAT MUST YOU KNOW ABOUT ME TP PROVE MYSELF SHALL COME BACK THIRTY FIRST AT PRESCRIBED TIME AND AWAIT YOUR ANSWER THEN”
No checks were used in this message.
London asked (50) the operator of BOWLS’ (Walter) set to supply his full name, date of birth and the dates of his residence in Argentina and the USA. Also required were the identity of the three agents found at Makkum, the number of the set on which he was transmitting, and details of arrested agents sent from England in the last six months. BOWLS should number his messages and keep them short. BOWLS replied (51) giving his name as JOHANN BLANKE. He was born on June 20th, 1904 in Leipzig. He had worked in Buenos Aires from 1922 to 1926 and in New York and Boston from 1926 to 1938. The dead agents were PIETER NIJHOF (FIVES), JOHANNES KAMP (BOWLS) and JAN BOERSMA (HALMA). Crystals but no sets had been found. Could it be arranged for him to send and receive between 13.00 and 15.00 hrs local time every second or third day as this would be more convenient? BOWLS (Johannes Blanke) cabled (52) that since he had been doing translation work he had heard of HENDRIK LETTEBOER (HEINTJE), arrested on February 3rd, 1944; GERARD van BOSSUM-BUISMAN (GERARD) arrested on February 5th; MARTIN VELDKAMP, arrested on May 8th; NICOLAAS CELOSSE (FARO), arrested on May 20th; JOSEPH ADRIAANSE, arrested on July 14th; and MICHEL (?WIDEMAM) arrested on July 18th.
(46) Orders for Halma, dated June 22nd, 1944
(47) BSS/KV/1660 of 4.8.44
(48) CX/22666/E33 of 11.8.44
(49) Bowls srl B2493/1 of 27.7.44
(50) 1 to Bowls via Ribble of 1.8.44
(51) Bowls via Ribble 2 of 1.8.44
(52) Bowls via Ribble 3 of 3.8.44
It was extremely dangerous to continue using his present set and code for any length of time as he would positively get caught at a sudden check up. Was there any chance of obtaining another set, code transmission plan and poem? London thanked (53) him for the names of the arrested men, but his list was not complete and in order to gain London’s confidence he should give particulars or code names of W/T sets working with London and which were known to be in Gestapo hands.
His dangerous position was appreciated and he should keep his transmissions to a minimum. When London was satisfied a scheme would be worked out for delivering new materials.
BOWLS (Johannes Blanke) pointed out (54) that his list was incomplete because he was not the only interpreter engaged on this work; he could name only those agents with whom he had been concerned. Their W/T sets were not being worked with London at the moment, though this had been the case a few months ago with LETTEBOER (survived) and van BORSSUM-BUISMAN. It was intended to work with CELOSSE (executed 5.9.44, Vught), but he proved too difficult. BOWLS would try to get information about other agents. London cabled (55) that recent reports suggested that death sentences had been passed on a large number of Dutch prisoners at Haren. Could he say when these executions were likely to take place and if any of the captives he had mentioned were included? Where did he get the Mark II set number 2838 and to what operator had it belonged? What did he mean when he said he was an interpreter? What did he think of the identity cards found on the man drowned at Makkum? Were there any faults and if so, what were they? BOWLS replied (56) that VAN BORSSUM-BUISMAN (escaped) and TONNET (escaped) had been sentenced to death. ADRIAANSE (executed 5.9.44, Vught) had exposed the agents ( ? ANDRIEKORS) and WEERING. Could he give no further details of three other arrested agents - VAN DER STOK (died in prison), SEIJBEN (PING PONG, survived) and PIET DE JONGE. The set in question belonged to CELOSSE, who stated that his operator (Aart Penning, SKITTLES) did not parachute (57) and that his reports were sent via the RADIODIENST of the RVV. The Gestapo was planning a “clean-up” stroke against this RADIODIENST and its chief JAN KAREL (Jan Thijssen) He would make investigations concerning the identity cards, which were rather damaged by water. London thanked BOWLS (58) for his information concerning the RADIODIENST and asked to be kept informed of ant German measures which might be taken or planned. Information regarding proceedings against the agents he had named would also be welcomed.
BOWLS (Johannes Blanke) stated (59) that the prisoners in Haaren had been removed to Germany on July 1st . He could not establish whether sentences had already been carried out. PIET de JONGE had been sentenced to death. Proceedings against the others had not yet been started. In what proceedings was London interested? He would inform London as soon as he heard of any action by the Gestapo against the RADIODIENST.
(53) 3 to Bowls via Ribble of 4.8.44
(54) Bowls via Ribble 5 of 9.8.44
(55) 4 to Bowls via Ribble of 11.8.44
(56) Bowls via Ribble 6 of 14.8.44
(57) See page
(58) 5 to Bowls via Ribble of 15.8.44
(59) Bowls via Ribble 7 of 19.8.44
London replied (60) that all trials were of interest. Why had proceedings not been taken against those men who had been arrested at the same time as BORSSUM-BUISMAN? With regards to the RADIODIENST he should if possible warn London before any German action was taken. In any case he should cable at once when any member of this organization had been arrested. Why had action not yet been taken against the RADIODIENST? An explanation on this point would be welcome. Had ADRIAANSEN betrayed everything at his interrogation or had information been gathered from the papers found on him?
(61) Bowls via Ribble 9 of 25.8.44
BOWLS (Johannes Blanke) stated (62) that he could give no further information regarding the identity cards found on the men washed up at Makkum. These cards had been so badly damaged by water that even the photographs were only partly recognizable. He had not yet been able to ascertain why no proceedings had been taken against the persons arrested at the time as BORSSUM-BUISMAN. He understood however that proceedings would be instituted in the near future. According to his information the Gestapo had agents in the RADIODIENST who presumably knew nothing about activities of London agents. ADRIAANSEN had betrayed the other agents. How had BOWLS learned to use the code he was now employing (63)? Would he give the name of the firm with which he worked in Buenos Aires? London appreciated his difficulty (63) in regard to the identity cards taken from the men washed up at Makkum. What, however, was his opinion of the identity cards taken out from England by other agents who had since been arrested? Where were the present SD Headquarters and who were the leading personalities of the various SD departments in Holland? BOWLS cabled (64) that he might have to spend about two weeks in Germany in the near future, If so he would get in touch with London again on his return,
(62) 7 to Bowls via Ribble of 28.8.44
(63) 8 to Bowls via Ribble of 28.8.44
(64) Bowls via Ribble 10 of 30.8.44