SOE WAR DIARIES MARCH 1945 PART IB.
SCRAPE (KP Commandant for Rotterdam)
Morale Good in Rotterdam
SCRAPE (van der Stoep) reported his safe arrival (48). The morale of the leaders and “the boys” of the KP in Rotterdam was just as good as when he left them. Many of the internal difficulties were due to the food situation. This was slowly improving but was still very bad. London later cabled (46) that an attempt had been made to drop containers on one of his grounds on the previous Saturday. The pilot had seen “lots of car lights” but these were not set out according to the correct lighting system and the load, therefore, was not dropped.
US Airman for W/T
SCRAPE (van der Stoep) requested (47) that London should send fresh W/T sets on the next operation. At present he was using an American W/T operator from a crashed Fortress to work his damaged set. He reported (48) that the German General Staff and SD were now arriving in Rotterdam from The Hague. He suggested bombing their HQ in the Citadel of Rotterdam. London replied (49) that this attack was under consideration.
Arm-Bands for Overt Action
SCRAPE (van der Stoep) asked (50) that at the next dropping operation London should deliver Bren guns, if possible cleaned and ready for use, and ammunition, together with 10.000 arm-bands for use when resistance forces came out into the open. He cabled later on the same day (51) that V-2 were being sent up from the Sunlight Soap factory at Vlaardingen. He further reported that the B.I.M. (Bataafsche Import Maatschappij) building in The Hague housed V-1 and V-2 experts, and was also used for assembling certain V-2 parts.
Swish and Ping Safe
He reported (52) the safe arrival of SWISH (Peter Borghouts) and PING (Bobby ten Broek) who had been sent to the field on the night of March 17th . SCRAPE was requested to inform regional commanders in his zone that the functions of the Netherlands Forces of the Interior would not end with the liberation. Its members would be employed to guard prisoners, to form security battalions, to join the Netherlands regular army and to perform such other tasks as might later be notified.
Starvation in Rotterdam
This might necessitate a redistribution of arms, as it would be impossible to supply much during the early phase of liberation. It was therefore important that regional commanders should be made responsible for the maintenance of arms and should know how they were allocated, so that a speedy redistribution could be effected when necessary. SCRAPE undertook (53) to send photographs of Rotterdam people who had died of hunger. The number of these cases in Rotterdam was now reaching about 1200 a month.
London cabled (54) a further order to be transmitted to local commanders to the effect that as and when towns and villages were liberated, the local resistance leader or his representative should be present at the town hall to meet the Allied representatives and give the all necessary contacts and assistance. Only the leader or his representative should attend. SCRAPE reported (55) that Communist activity in Rotterdam was increasing. They were issuing pamphlets and were generally active. The Grünepolizei were very busy with street razzias in Rotterdam. Everyone was being searched for arms (56).
London cabled (57) that it had been reported from liberated Holland that certain people had arrived there with papers of recommendation from resistance organizations stating that the holders had penetrated the SD on behalf of the underground movement. An extensive cross-examination of these people revealed that they had worked for the SD only. It therefore followed that they had penetrated the underground organizations. SCRAPE should be extremely careful with such persons and recommendations.
(46) 2 to Scrape of 11.3.1945
(47) 12 from Scrape of 14.3.1945
(48) Srl A2580 from Scrape of 18.3.1945
(49) 6 to Scrape of 18.3.1945
(50) 11 from Scrape of 18.3.1945
(51) Srl 2603 from Scrape of 18.3.1945
(52) 14 from Scrape of 19.3.1945
(53) Srl A2930/64 from Scrape of 18.3.1945
(54) 15 to Scrape of 22.3.1945
(55) 16 from Scrape of 22.3.1945
(56) 20 from Scrape of 23.3.1945
(57) 44 to Scrape of 30.3.1945
COMMANDANT OF THE NBS
“V-2 Expert” was SD Agent
London warned the Commandant of the DRIEHOEK (Koot) (58) that ARIE van RYNSBERGEN, the V-2 expert who had been sheltered by the underground movement until being sent across the lines in January, had brought some very good information, but had not told the true story of his past. He had now confessed to being an ardent collaborator. In addition to his work for the SS he also worked for the SD at The Hague, where he had the highest contacts. Would the Commandant please inform London of RYNSBERGEN’s contacts with resistance and take every precaution in the treatment?
Germans Ready to Disobey?
The DC (Koot) reported (59) that some of the leading men of the Spreng Commando (German demolition troops) did not sympathise with their instructions and would be inclined to disregard them.
Radio Warnings Suggested
It was suggested that London should make repeated broadcasts in German and Dutch, warning all those, on the German withdrawal from Holland, took part in demolitions of absolutely no military interest, that they would be held personally responsible for their actions after the war.
London Prefers Bribers
London replied (60) that if these men were already sympathetic it would be wrong to make broadcasts which would only provoke extra SD vigilance. London was prepared to consider bribery if the most important targets could be saved or if only superficial damage was to be done.
New Oath Unnecessary
With regards to the proposed new oath of allegiance for members of the resistance forces the Commandant of the DRIEHOEK expressed the view (61) that asking an oath of persons who had for some time taken great risks and thereby proved their fidelity, would in his opinion be undesirable.
(58) 8 to DC of 13.3.1945
(59) 15 from DC of 14.3.1945
(60) 9 to DC of 14.3.1945
(61) 21 from DC of 17.3.1945