The first sign of the German High Command's intention to engage
in sabotage activities in the United States was disclosed by the
apprehension of eight trained German saboteurs by Special Agents
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation within two weeks after they
had landed in the country from German submarines. These eight saboteurs
had been thoroughly trained by the High Command of the German Army
in the most modern methods of destruction and had been sent to this
country for the specific purpose of interfering with the US war
effort with particular emphasis being placed on interrupting production
at aluminum and magnesium plants.
One group of these saboteurs landed on the beach at Amagansett,
Long Island, on the night of June 13, 1942. The second group of
four men was landed on a beach a few miles below Jacksonville, Florida,
on June 17, 1942. After their landings, these men dispersed to various
parts of the United States but they were all in federal custody
by June 27, 1942. The saboteurs were Ernest Peter Burger, age 36,
George John Dasch, age 39, Herbert Hans Haupt, age 22, Edward John
Kerling, age 34, Richard Quirin, age 34, Hermann Otto Neubauer,
age 32, Werner Thiel, age 35, and Heinrich Harm Heinch, age 35.
All of these men had been born in Germany and at one time or another
had spent a portion of their lives in the United States, during
which time they learned the English language and became acquainted
with American customs. All of these men with the exception of Burger
had returned to Germany since the outbreak of the present conflict.
Burger had returned to Germany in 1933, after living in the United
States for a period of six years.
Recruitment of Saboteurs
The German saboteurs who were sent to the United States were recruited
for this work by one Lt. Walter Kappe who was attached to Abwehr
2 (Intelligence-2) of the German High Command and in charge of German
sabotage in the United States. In addition to his connection with
the German Army, Kappe was also an official in the Ausland Institute
at Stuttgart, Germany; prior to the war, this organization was engaged
in organizing Germans abroad into the Nazi Party and had the function
of obtaining through Germans living in foreign countries various
types of military, economic, political, and similar information.
Kappe had lived in the United States from 1925 to 1937, during which
time he took part in the organizing of the first Nazi organization
in this country at Chicago known as Teutonia. He later was one of
the principal organizers and an officer in the Friends of New Germany,
which subsequently became the German-American Bund. In the latter
organization, Kappe was press agent and in charge of propaganda
and was editor of official Bund paper in the United States. Fritz
Kuhn ousted him from the German-American Bund as a result of some
inner-circle rivalries, after which time Kappe returned to Germany
where he was placed in charge of the American section of the Ausland
Institute at Stuttgart, Germany.
It is known that periodic meetings were held in Berlin and in other
cities throughout Germany of those Germans who had formerly lived
in the United States. These groups were known by the name Comradeship
U.S.A. Walter Kappe was one of the officials in charge of these
meetings, which, it is believed, were held for the purpose of keeping
up the morale of these Germans because they were accustomed to a
higher standard of living in the United States than that which they
had in Germany at that time. Kappe recruited several of the saboteurs
from these groups. The Ausland organization also maintained a list
of all Germans who returned to that country from the United States
and was advised on all current arrivals. As a result of this information,
Kappe was also able to keep in touch with all returning Germans
and consider them for sabotage activities.
Another source of recruits for sabotage missions to the United
States is the Germany Army. In three instances, Kappe was able to
arrange the transfer of Germans who had been in the United States
from the German Army into the sabotage organization. No information
has been received to indicate that any of the saboteurs were coerced
in any way to engage in sabotage activities in this country. It
is known, however, that the German High Command thoroughly investigated
the background of the individuals proposed for sabotage training,
and it is interesting note that the German Government placed a high
value on an individual who had belonged to the German-American Bund
or a similar organization while residing in the United States. It
was stated that this indicated to the German Government the definite
German sympathies of the individuals involved. The inducement to
these recruits to engage in sabotage activities was the fact that
they would be fulfilling their duty to their country. They also
were promised good positions in Germany and other rewards upon their
return to that country after their mission had been completed. Each
saboteur signed a contract with the German Government whereby they
were to receive to their credit certain sums each month.
The saboteurs were trained for this mission in a school specifically
used for the training of sabotage agents by the German High Command.
This training school was located on what had formerly been a private
estate belonging to a Jewish family on Quentz Lake, Bradenburg,
near Berlin, Germany. The buildings on this estate had been remodeled
to accommodate the instructors and students and one building was
equipped as a laboratory. Accommo-dations were available at this
school for approxi-mately sixteen to twenty students, and it is
known that this school had been used to train German sabotage agents
for some time. The saboteurs received three weeks of intensive sabotage
training and were instructed in the manufacture and use of explosives,
incendiary material and various forms of mechanical, chemical, and
electrical delayed timing devices. This training was both theoretical
and practical. Considerable time was spent by the instructors with
the saboteurs in developing complete background histories which
they were expected to use in the United States. They were encouraged
to converse together in the English language and to read American
newspapers and magazines in order that no suspicion would be directed
to them in the event they were interrogated while in this country.
The following is an outline of the subjects in which the saboteurs
Easily ignited incendiaries
Methods of igniting the above type of incendiary
Incendiaries difficult to ignite
Methods of igniting these incendiaries
Explosives, detonators and primers
Mechanical, chemical and electrical timing devices
Study on concealing identity in the United States,
adoption of appropriate background, personal history, etc.
Practical sabotage training
(After preparing incendiaries or explosives, the saboteurs
were obliged to use them under realistic conditions)
After the completion of the training school, the saboteurs were
taken on a three-day tour of aluminum and magnesium plants, railroad
shops, canals and river locks, and other facilities for additional
instructions as to the most vital spots to be sabotaged, as well
as to learn the vulnerability of these facilities to various types
Lt. Walter Kappe was in charge of this school. Two professors who
were attached to the Technical Section of Abwehr 2, however, gave
the technical training. The saboteurs were not permitted to make
any permanent notes, which they could bring with them to the United
States. All of their instructions had to be memorized. While at
the school, maps of the United States were exhibited to them showing
the important railroads and the places where sabotage would be most
likely to cause a serious interruption in the transportation of
raw material. They were also shown maps on which were located the
principal aluminum and magnesium plants, as well as the locations
of other important war industries. Similar maps outlining the important
canals and waterways and the location of the important locks were
also called to the attention of the saboteurs.
Each group of saboteurs brought with them to the United States four
waterproof cases containing a large quantity of high explosives,
bombs which were disguised to look like large pieces of coal, a
considerable number and type of fuses, detonators and primers, as
well as mechanical and chemical timing devices. One of the groups
was also supplied with a considerable quantity of abrasive material
for use in destroying railroad engines and other machinery. It was
estimated that the explosives and other equipment furnished these
men when utilized in connection with their training in preparing
additional explosives and incendiary material would last the saboteurs
two years. It is noted that no incendiary material of any kind was
brought to the United States. It was expected that the saboteurs
would be able to purchase in this country the necessary ingredients
to prepare their own incendiary material.
The saboteurs were supplied with large sums of money in American
currency that was to be used by them for their expenses in carrying
out their work of destruction. The Technical Section of Abwehr 2
placed most of this money in secret compartments of small bags and
pieces of luggage. Smaller amounts were given to each saboteur in
money belts. The leader of each group was furnished with the sum
of $50,000 as a general fund. Each saboteur was given $4,000 in
his money belt and in addition, approximately $400 in small bills
for immediate use after his or her landing in the United States.
The sum of $5,000 was also given to the group leader for each man
in his group. This sum was to be turned over to the individual saboteurs
as required. Practically all of this money was in $50 bills, none
of which was counterfeit. At the time the saboteurs were apprehended
by the FBI, $174,588.62 of their funds was seized.
Equipment buried by the German
landed in Florida on June 17, 1942.
In connection with the money furnished to the saboteurs, it is
interesting to note that the German High Command made two errors.
They included in the sum of money furnished to the individual saboteurs
American gold notes that were no longer in circulation in the United
States. They also were furnished some bills on which Japanese letters
had been placed or other foreign markings, which would have aroused
suspicion if they had been tendered in this country.
In addition to the above equipment and money, the saboteurs wee
also furnished with forged Selective Service cards and Social Security
cards made out in the names of the aliases they expected to use.
Those saboteurs who did not possess American made clothing were
furnished clothing by the German High Command from a storehouse
where the Germans had accumulated a large stock of clothing manufactured
in various countries foreign to Germany.
As previously stated, the saboteurs were brought to this country
on two German submarines. These submarines departed during the early
evening of May 26, and May 28, 1942, from a submarine base at Lorient,
France. This method of travel was selected by the German High Command,
who first considered sending these saboteurs to the United States
in a sailing vessel. The saboteurs themselves had no choice as to
their method of entry into this country, but the places of landing
were selected in areas familiar to the leaders of the two groups.
The landings by the saboteurs were made at night after the submarine
had approached as close to the shore as possible. In one instance,
one of the submarines actually touched bottom in approaching the
shore. The landings were made from the submarines in small collapsible
rubber boats. Sailors from the submarines accompanied the saboteurs
to the shore and after the landing, returned to the submarines with
The saboteurs who landed in Long Island were fully attired in German
Marine uniforms. The uniforms were worn in order that these men
would be considered prisoners of war and not as spies in the event
their landing was discovered and they were prisoners. Immediately
upon landing, they changed into the civilian clothes that they had
brought with them and buried the uniforms on the beach with the
other sabotage equipment they had brought with them. The men landing
in Florida wore bathing suits and the only military equipment they
wore was a German soldier's cap. The cap was worn for the same reason
that the saboteurs in Long Island wore the entire uniform.
There had been no previous arrangements made by the German High
Command with anyone in the United States to assist in the landing
of these saboteurs, and, in view of the magnitude of the undertaking
and the extensive training and preparations for this sabotage mission,
it is believed that the Germans would have had someone assisting
these landings if they had any sabotage organization whatsoever
in the United States at the time.
The German saboteurs had been instructed by Lt. Walter Kappe, who
appears to have been in complete charge in the recruitment, training,
and preparation of this sabotage mission, not to commit any acts
of sabotage until they had fully reestablished themselves in this
country. They were advised, however, that there would be no objection
if these men committed minor acts of sabotage such as placing explosives
in locker boxes in department stores and railroads stations in order
to affect the morale of the American people.
In accordance with their instructions, immediately upon landing
in the United States the saboteurs buried the boxes of explosives
and other equipment that they brought to this country with them.
Small trench-type shovels were brought with them from the submarine
to assist them in burying their equipment in the sand. All of this
equipment was recovered, either prior to or subsequent to their
A Coast Guardsman who was on patrol discovered the group of saboteurs
who landed on the beach at Amagansett, Long Island, immediately
after their landing. The Coast Guardsman at the time was unarmed,
as were the saboteurs. The leader of the group of saboteurs attempted
to bribe the Coast Guardsman to forget what he had seen and pressed
upon him the sum of $260. After indicating that he would accept
the bribe, the Coast Guardsman returned to his station and spread
the alarm, realizing that something unusual had occurred as he had
heard one of the saboteurs speak in a foreign language, which he
could not understand. Members of the Coast Guard station returned
to the beach where the saboteurs had landed, but they had disappeared.
The submarine could still be heard off shore at the time the Coast
Guardsmen returned to the beach. The saboteurs in the meantime had
left the beach and proceeded to the nearby railroad station where
they caught the first westbound train for New York City.
One of the team members, George Dasch, telephoned the New York
office of the FBI. Dasch told the FBI agent that he had important
information for J. Edgar Hoover and that he, Dasch, was going to
Washington to talk with Hoover. The next day Dasch took the train
to Washington, spent the night at a local hotel, and the following
morning walked into FBI Headquarters. Dasch provided the details
of the saboteurs' training, their targets and turned over the substantial
US currency provided by the German High Command to support their
work in the United States. Based on Dasch's information, the FBI
was able to arrest all the saboteurs in a few days.
Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested
two of the saboteurs, Heinrich Harm Heinck and Richard Quirin, in
New York on June 20, 1942. Ernest Peter Burger was arrested on the
same day, and, on June 22, George John Dasch, the leader of the
group was also arrested in New York City.
The second group of saboteurs landed in Florida without anyone
observing them. Shortly after landing, they changed into their civilian
clothes and thereafter made their way to Jacksonville, Florida,
where they remained for a short time, after which they dispersed
to various parts of the United States. Two of the group, Herbert
Hans Haupt and Hermann Otto Neubauer, proceeded to Cincinnati and
then to Chicago. Edward John Kerling, the leader of this group together
with Werner Thiel, proceeded to New York City from Jacksonville
via Cincinnati. Kerling and Thiel were arrested on June 24, 1942,
in New York. Haupt and Neubauer were apprehended on June 27, 1942,
Sabotage Objectives in the United States
The importance of the aluminum and magnesium industries, the
so-called "light-metal" industry, to our war effort was
emphasized to the saboteurs, and these industries were the primary
objectives of the two groups of saboteurs. The saboteurs had received
special training with respect to the destruction of this type of
plant. The saboteurs were informed that if the production of aluminum
and magnesium could be interrupted, it would have a serious effect
on the number of military aircraft produced by the United States,
which would have a definite effect upon the outcome of the war.
In addition to the aluminum and magnesium industries, certain other
objectives were suggested to the saboteurs. A list of the objectives
of the saboteurs is set forth hereinafter, but it is pointed out
that this list was not expected to be all-inclusive, and the leaders
of the two sabotage groups were instructed to use their discretion
as to the places where their acts of sabotage should be committed,
always keeping in mind, however, that they should endeavor to commit
sabotage at such vital places as would seriously retard the production
of transportation of war materials:
Aluminum Company of America, Alcoa, Tennessee
Aluminum Company of America, Massena, New York
Aluminum Company of America, East St. Louis, Illinois
Cryolite Plant (Philadelphia Salt Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (vulnerable spots along right-of-way
such as bridges and tunnels)
Pennsylvania Railroad Depot, Newark, New Jersey
The Hell Gate Bridge, New York City
Locks on the Ohio River between Cincinnati and St. Louis
Horseshoe Curve, Pennsylvania Railroad, Altoona, Pennsylvania
Miscellaneous placing of bombs in locker rooms of railroad stations
and in department stores
After the capture of both groups of saboteurs, the German Government
made an effort via Swiss diplomatic channels to have the saboteurs
treated as prisoners of war, which meant that they would be imprisoned
until the end of the war, under the Hague Convention of 1907. The
United States replied that the captured individuals were not soldiers
but spies and could be executed without a trial. President Franklin
D. Roosevelt ordered that the captured Nazis be tried by a secret
military tribunal which would issue its findings without any appeal.
Pursuant to an Executive Order of the President of the United States,
the eight saboteurs were tried before a Military Commission composed
of seven United States Army Officers appointed by the President.
Trial was held in the Department of Justice Building, Washington,
D.C. from July 8, 1942, until August 4, 1942. The saboteurs were
prosecuted by the Honorable Francis Biddle, the Attorney General
of the United States and by Maj. Gen. Myron C. Cramer, the Judge
Advocate General of the War Department. During the trial, a petition
of Habeas Corpus seeking trial by jury before a civilian court was
On August 8, 1942, the President as indicted hereinafter confirmed
the conviction and sentences of each of the saboteurs:
|Edward John Kerling
|Heinrich Harm Heinck
|Hermann Otto Neubauer
|Herbert Hans Haupt
|Ernest Peter Burger
|George John Dasch
||30 years imprisonment
All the individuals sentenced to death in the electric chair were
executed at noon the next day. The executed men were buried in unmarked
graves on a government reservation in Washington, D.C. In 1948,
President Truman commuted the prison terms of George John Dasch
and Ernest Peter Burger. On April 26, 1948, George Dasch and Ernest
Peter Burger were flown to the American sector of occupied Germany
and turned over to American military representatives, who freed
them him on parole to return to their native land.
There is attached hereto a brief biographic sketch of the German
Re: George John Dasch
George John Dasch was the leader of the group of German saboteurs
who landed from a submarine at Amagansett, Long Island, on the morning
of June 13, 1942. Dasch was subsequently apprehended by Special
Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tried before a Military
Commission in Washington, D.C., and upon his conviction was sentenced
to thirty years' imprisonment.
Dasch is a German citizen, having been born on February 7, 1903,
in Speyer-on-the-Rhine in Germany. Dasch entered a convent to study
for the priesthood when thirteen years of age and in 1917, at the
age of fourteen, enlisted in the German Army, serving in Northern
France for eleven months. Dasch illegally entered the United States
on October 4, 1922, as a stowaway on an American ship. He returned
to Germany in October 1923, in order to legally enter the United
States, returning to the United States on the same vessel upon which
he sailed to Hamburg. Between 1923 and 1941, Dasch returned to Germany
on two short visits.
Dasch enlisted as a private in the US Army and served slightly
more than one year, at which time he purchased himself out of the
Army and received an honorable discharge.
On September 18, 1930, Dasch married Rose Marie Guille, a native
American. While Dasch was in the United States he was engaged in
various occupations but for the most part he worked as a waiter
in various hotels and restaurants in the New York area. Dasch filed
a declaration of intention to become a citizen but never applied
for his final citizenship papers.
On March 22, 1941, Dasch left New York City to return to Germany
by way of Japan. The expenses of his trip were by paid by the German
Consulate in New York City. He arrived in Berlin on May 13, 1941.
He was eventually employed by the German Foreign Office as a monitor
of foreign-language broadcasts. While serving in this capacity,
Lt. Walter Kappe of Abwehr 2 recruited him, and he returned to the
United States as a member of a group of German sabotage agents.
Kappe first approached Dasch for this mission in November or December
1941. His employment with the radio listening stations was terminated
on February 27, 1942. Dasch entered the sabotage school at Quentz
Lake on April 10, 1942.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for George John Dasch.
Re: Ernest Peter Burger
Ernest Peter Burger was a member of the group of German saboteurs
who were landed by submarine near Amagansett, Long Island, on the
early morning of June 13, 1942. Burger was subsequently taken into
custody by Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tried
before a military commission in Washington, D.C., and sentenced
to life imprisonment after his conviction.
Burger was born on September 1, 1906, at Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany.
He received an elementary and technical education. Upon completing
his technical training in 1926, he worked as a machinist for one
year. Burger arrived in the United States on February 26, 1927,
on an immigrant quota visa. While in this country Burger worked
in various machine shops in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Detroit, Michigan,
and became a naturalized citizen on February 14, 1933, at Milwaukee,
Burger left the United States on a visit to Germany on July 27,
1929, and returned to this country on October 27, 1929. Burger returned
to Germany in the summer of 1933 where he remained until 1942, when
he came to this country aboard a German submarine on a sabotage
Burger became a member of the National Socialist Party in Germany
in 1923 at Augsburg. There was some indication that his first trip
to the United States was as a result of his activities with this
political party, which was not then in power in Germany. Upon returning
to Germany in 1933, Burger was readmitted to the Party and because
of his previous membership, obtained employment with the Party in
the political division of the Reichsleitungen, in which position
he engaged in propaganda and journalism for internal consumption.
At the time of Hitler's blood purge within the Nazi Party, including
the execution of Ernest Roehm, Burger was attached to Roehm's staff.
Although Burger escaped the purge, the Gestapo arrested him in March
1940 for his criticism of certain Party politics and activities.
He then spent seventeen months in a concentration camp. After Burger's
release from the concentration camp, he was drafted into the German
Army as a private. He then sought a different assignment and by
reason of his friendship with certain old Nazi Party members, became
acquainted with Lt. Walter Kappe of Abwehr 2 who subsequently recruited
him for service as a saboteur in the United States.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Ernest Peter Burger.
Re: Heinrich Harm Heinck
Heinrich Harm Heinck was a member of the group of German saboteurs
who were landed by submarine near Amagansett, Long Island, on the
morning of June 13, 1942. Heinck was subsequently taken into custody
by Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tried before a
military commission in Washington, D.C., and upon his conviction
Heinck was born on June 27, 1907, at Hamburg, Germany. Heinck was
educated in the public schools in that city and served as machinist's
apprentice in the machine shop of the Hamburg-American Lines. He
then became employed as machinist's help and oiler on vessels of
his employer and after making several trips to the United States,
jumped ship at the Port of New York during the summer of 1926. Heinck
resided in New York City from 1926 until March 1939, during which
time he married his German-born wife.
Heinck obtained employment in various machine shops in the New
York area. During 1934 and 1935, he was a member of the German-American
Bund and the O.D. (Ordungs Dienst). While a member of the Bund in
New York, Heinck became acquainted with Walter Kappe, who at that
time was editor of the German-American Bund news publication "Weckruf"
and "Beobachter." Heinck eventually left the
Bund when it was ordered that only American citizens could be members
of the Bund. At that time, he joined the DAB (German-American Vocational
Heinck returned to Germany in March 1939, after an official of
the German Labor Front in New York had urged his return. Through
this official, the German Consulate in New York arranged for Heinck's
return to Germany at a reduced fare.
Upon his arrival in Germany, Heinck obtained a position through
the German Labor Front in a branch of the Volkswagenwerk plant in
Braunschweig, which is owned by the German Labor Front. During this
employment, Heinck met Richard Quirin, who was employed at this
plant and who later returned to the United States with Heinck as
a saboteur. During Heinck's employment at this plant, he attempted
to join the German Army but was rejected due to his employment as
an expert tool and die maker in an essential war industry.
In January 1942, at a meeting of persons in Braunschweig who had
formally lived in the United States, Heinck again met Walter Kappe,
who was a speaker representing the Ausland Institute. At this meeting,
Heinck and Kappe renewed their New York acquaintanceship. A short
time thereafter, Heinck and Quirin were recruited by Kappe to return
to the United States on a secret mission and after which, they received
training at the sabotage school at Brandenberg.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Heinrich Harm Heinck.
Re: Richard Quirin
Richard Quirin was a member of the group of German saboteurs who
were landed by submarine on the morning of June 13, 1942, near Amagansett,
Long Island. Quirin was subsequently taken into custody by Agents
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tried before a military
commission in Washington, D.C., and upon his conviction was executed.
Quirin was born in Berlin, Germany, on April 26, 1908. He attended
public schools in Germany and was thereafter employed as a machinist's
help at Hanover, Germany, until 1927, when he immigrated to the
United States arriving at the Port of New York on October 17, 1927.
Quirin remained in the United States until 1939, during which time
he married a German-born girl and obtained employment at various
places as a machinist and during the depression worked at odd jobs.
He joined the Friends of New Germany about 1933 and was a member
of the O.D. (Ordungs Dienst) group. He resigned from this organization
sometime in 1934 at the direction of the German Consulate. The German
Consulate enrolled him at that time as a member of the NSDAP.
In 1939, after learning that the German Government was paying the
passage of any mechanics desiring to return to Germany, he contacted
the German Consulate in New York City. The German Consulate paid
his passage back to Germany, and Quirin departed from the United
States in July 1939. Prior to leaving the United States, Quirin
purchased Rueckwanderer marks with the money he had saved while
he was in the United States.
Upon his arrival in Germany, he was met by a representative of
the German Labor Front who questioned him concerning his trade and
where he desired to work. He was thereafter assigned to work at
the Volkswagenwerk at Braunschweig, Germany. While employed at this
plant, Quirin became acquainted with Heinrich Harm Heinck.
In February 1942, Walter Kappe spoke to a meeting of persons living
in Braunschweig who had previously resided in the United States.
Heinck, thereafter, received a letter asking both him and Quirin
to go on a trip to America to engage in some work for the German
Government. This they agreed to and so advised Kappe. A short time
later, they were instructed to proceed directly to Quentz Lake,
Brandenberg, where they met Walter Kappe and other members of the
group who went through the sabotage school with them.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Richard Quirin.
Re: Werner Thiel
Werner Thiel was a member of the group of German saboteurs who were
landed by submarine near Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on the early
morning of June 17, 1942. Thiel was subsequently taken into custody
by Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tried before a
military commission in Washington, D.C., and executed upon his conviction.
Thiel was born on March 29, 1907, at Dortmund, Germany, where he
was educated, receiving the equivalent of a high school education.
Thiel was employed by German railroads as an apprentice machinist
and as a machinist in a bicycle factory.
Thiel arrived in the United States from Germany on April 26, 1927,
on a German immigrant quota visa. On April 30, 1927, Thiel filed
a declaration of intention to become a citizen but made no further
effort in this regard. Thiel remained in the United States until
1941, being employed at various occupations, principally at his
trade as a machinist in the state of New York and the Middle West.
Thiel joined the Friends of New Germany in 1933 and continued as
a member of this organization and the German-American Bund until
1936. He joined the NSDAP in 1939. Thiel returned to Germany on
March 27, 1941, on a German passport, departing from San Francisco,
California, on a Japanese liner proceeding to Germany via Japan,
Manchuria, and Russia. The German Consulate in New York City financed
Thiel's transportation to Germany on this trip.
Upon arrival in Germany, Thiel first visited his home and then
sought employment in Berlin where he obtained a position at the
Feilers Feinmechanic. In March, 1942, Thiel attended a social gathering
of the Ausland group at which time he met Walter Kappe whom he had
known in Chicago, Illinois, and also George John Dasch who had returned
to Germany in the same group as Thiel. Shortly thereafter, Thiel
was recruited by both Kappe and Dasch to return to the United States
on a mission for the German Government. The nature of the mission
was not explained to Thiel until after he had arrived at the sabotage
school at Brandenberg.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Werner Thiel.
Re: Hermann Otto Neubauer
Hermann Otto Neubauer was a member of the group of German saboteurs
who were landed by a German submarine on the morning of June 17,
1942 near Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Neubauer was subsequently
taken into custody by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
tried before a military commission in Washington, D.C., and upon
his conviction was executed.
Neubauer was born in Fuhlsbuttl, Hamburg, Germany, on February
6, 1910. He attended public school in Germany and became an apprentice
cook. Thereafter, while serving as a cook on the SS Hamburg
of the Hamburg-American Lines, he jumped his ship in New York City
in July 1931, at which time he obtained employment as a cook on
the SS Leviathan of the United States Lines. Neubauer, thereafter,
entered the United States for permanent residence under an immigrant
quota visa on November 23, 1931. Neubauer then remained in the United
States working at his occupation as a cook in various hotels and
restaurants and occasionally obtaining employment on an oceangoing
vessel. Neubauer made a short visit to Germany in 1936. He married
a native American on June 10, 1940.
Neubauer was a member of the German-American Bund in Chicago in
1935, but resigned because he was not a citizen of the United States.
He thereafter became a member of the NSDAP in Chicago and remained
a member of that organization until his return to Germany. In July
1938, Neubauer applied for and purchased one thousand dollars worth
of Rueckwanderer marks.
Neubauer was a friend of Edward Kerling and joined with him and
several others in purchasing the yacht Lekala in September
1939 in order to return to Germany and assist country in its war
effort. The US Coast Guard did not permit the departure of this
vessel, and the vessel was subsequently sold in the spring of 1940
at Miami, Florida. While Neubauer was in the United States, he applied
for his first citizenship papers but thereafter did not make further
effort to obtain his final naturalization papers.
Neubauer left New York on July 11, 1940 and returned to Germany
via Lisbon, $50.00 of his passage having been paid by the German
Consulate in New York City. The Germany Consulates in Lisbon and
Rome paid his passage from Lisbon to Germany. Upon his return to
Germany, Neubauer was drafted in the Germany Army in November 1940
and received military training at Magdburg, Germany, until May 1941,
when his outfit was sent to Poland. Neubauer was seriously wounded
by shrapnel three days after the declaration of war between Germany
and Russia. He was hospitalized at Stuttgart, Germany, for six months.
While convalescing at an Army Medical Center near Vienna,
Austria, he received a letter from Lt. Walter Kappe of the German
Army inquiring if he would be willing to go on a secret assignment
to a foreign country where he had once lived. He agreed to accept
such an assignment and during the latter part of March, 1942, he
was called to his company office and furnished a railroad ticket
to Berlin and an address, No. 6 Rankestrasse, where he was to report
in civilian clothes. It was not until after he had proceeded to
Lt. Kappe's office that he learned the nature of his mission to
the United States and learned that his friend, Edward Kerling, was
also to go on this mission.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Hermann Otto Neubauer.
Re: Herbert Hans Haupt
Herbert Hans Haupt was a member of the group of German saboteurs
who were landed by a German submarine on the morning of June 17,
1942, near Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Haupt was subsequently taken into custody by Agents of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, tried before a military commission in Washington,
D.C., and upon his conviction was executed.
Haupt was born on December 21, 1919, at Stettin, Germany. His father,
Hans Max Haupt, was a soldier in the German Army during the First
World War and came to the United States in 1923. Haupt entered the
United States with his mother in March 1925. Herbert Haupt derived
American citizenship during the naturalization of his father who
became a citizen on January 7, 1930.
Haupt was educated in the public schools of Chicago, Illinois,
where his family had settled. He left high school during his third
year in 1936 and obtained employment as an apprentice optician.
Haupt was a member of the German-American Bund in Chicago.
On June 16, 1941, Haupt, accompanied by two friends, left Chicago
for Mexico City. One of his friends was not allowed to enter Mexico,
as he was
an alien. Haupt and his second friend, Wolfgang Wergin, after their
arrival at Mexico City, went to the German Consulate where arrangements
were made for Haupt and Wergin to return to Germany via Japan. The
German Consulate furnished the expenses of this transportation and
a German passport. The voyage to Japan was made in company with
other Germans leaving Mexico. A short time after their arrival in
Japan they went aboard a freighter, which, after evading the British
blockade, arrived at Bordeaux, France.
Haupt thereafter visited relatives in Germany. He was unable to
obtain employment and was eventually recruited by Lt. Walter Kappe
to return to the United States on a secret mission on behalf of
the German Government. He was then sent to the sabotage school at
Quentz Lake where he first learned the nature of the mission he
was to engage in. Wolfgang Wergin also arrived in Germany with Haupt.
He obtained employment in Germany and is believed to be in that
country at the present time.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Herbert Hans Haupt.
Re: Edward John Kerling
Edward John Kerling was the leader of a group of German saboteurs
who landed on the coast of Florida near Jacksonville from a German
submarine on June 17, 1942. Kerling was born in Wiesbaden, Germany,
on June 12, 1909. He entered the United States on March 5, 1929,
under an immigrant quota visa and remained in the United States
until 1940. He returned to Germany on two short visits in 1933 and
1936. He returned to Germany on two short visits in 1933 and 1936.
During this period Kerling married his German- born wife and worked
at various fields of employment, most of the time being spent working
as a chauffeur and a domestic. Kerling was an active member of the
German-American Bund and was also a member of the National Socialist
Party, and he made no effort to become an American citizen.
In September, 1939, after the outbreak of the war, Kerling, with
a number of his friends who were active in the Bund, purchased the
yacht Lekala aboard which they intended to return to Germany
to assist Germany in the war. This yacht excited the suspicion of
the US Coast Guard, and it was stopped on two occasions. The yacht
was finally sailed to Miami, Florida, where it was disposed of in
the spring of 1940.
Kerling returned to Germany in June 1940, by way of Lisbon, Portugal.
The German Government paid a portion of his fare to Germany. In
August 1940, he obtained a position as a civilian employee of the
German Army to monitor English radio broadcasts and translate the
programs into German. After three months at this work, he obtained
a position with the Propaganda Ministry in Berlin. In April 1942,
Kerling was interviewed by Lt. Walter Kappe who inquired as to his
experiences in the United States and whether he would be willing
to return to the United States on a secret mission. Kerling agreed
to return to the United States, although he was not informed of
the nature of this mission until just before he entered sabotage
school at Quentz Lake.
The files of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fail to indicate
any prior criminal record for Edward John Kerling.
Overall Deception Policy for the War Against Germany__Intentions
of This Paper
1. The intention of this paper is to formulate an overall deception
policy for the war against Germany in accordance with CCS 426/1
of 6 December 1943, paragraph 9(e).
2. To induce the enemy to make faulty strategic dispositions in
relation to operations by the United Nations against Germany agreed
upon at EUREKA.
3. The German General Staff will this winter be considering the
strategic disposition of their forces to meet offensive operations
by the United Nations in 1944. Though they will be forced to maintain
the bulk of their forces on the Russian front, they already suspect
that large-scale Anglo-American operations will be undertaken in
Western Europe sometime in 1944. It is, however, doubtful whether
they have at present sufficient information regarding the timing
and scope of this threat to justify any immediate changes in their
4. At a later stage, however, preparations for "OVERLORD"
and to a lesser degree for "ANVIL" will be on such a scale
and of such a type that the enemy cannot fail to appreciate our
intention to carry out a cross-channel operation and an amphibious
operation in the Western Mediterranean.
5. The problem to be solved is twofold-
a. Overall Problem
We must persuade the enemy to dispose his forces in areas where
they can cause the least interference with operations "OVERLORD"
and "ANVIL" and with operations on the Russian Front.
b. Tactical Problem
As soon as our preparations for "OVERLORD" and "ANVIL"
clearly indicate to the enemy our intention to undertake a cross-channel
operation and an amphibious operation in the Western Mediterranean,
Theatre Commanders concerned must implement their tactical cover
plans to deceive the enemy as to the strength, objective and timing
of "OVERLORD" and "AVIL."
Choice of Areas in Which to Contain Enemy Forces
6. In View of SEXTENT decisions our overall deception policy
should be to contain enemy forces in areas where they will interfere
as little as possible with operations on the Russian Front and with
"OVERLORD" and "ANVIL." Such areas are-
a. Northern Italy and Southern Germany
It should be possible by means of real operations and feints to
contain a number of first quality divisions in this area.
"POINTBLANK" operations from Italy should also help to
contain enemy fighter forces.
b. South East Europe
The JIC appreciate that the enemy will do his utmost to hold South
East Europe, though limited withdrawals from the islands and Southern
Greece might be undertaken. Provided that we can persuade the enemy
to believe that considerable forces and landing craft are being
concentrated in the Eastern Mediterranean it should be possible
to contain enemy forces in the Balkans. Our chances of success would
be increased if Turkey joined the Allies, but even if she refused
we might still induce the enemy to fear the results of our continued
infiltration. The deception plan would be assisted to a marked degree
if the Russian General Staff staged an amphibious threat to the
Bulgarian-Roumanian coasts across the Black Sea.
A threatened attack against Scandinavia should also help to contain
some first-quality divisions and limited naval air forces. Such
a deception plan would be assisted if the Germans were induced to
believe that Sweden was prepared to co-operate with the Allies and
if the Russians mounted a threat against enemy occupied territory
in the Arctic.
Allied Preparation for "OVERLORD" and "ANVIL"
7. a. "OVERLORD"
It will be impossible wholly to conceal the gradual build up of
Allied forces and other preparations in the United Kingdom during
the next few months. In addition the enemy will appreciate that
considerable American forces in the USA are available for transfer
In these circumstances our best chance of deceiving the enemy would
be to indicate that Anglo-American strategy is dictated by caution
and that we have no intention of undertaking the invasion of the
Continent until we had assembled an overwhelming force and the necessary
landing craft; these would not be available until the late Summer.
To support this story we must try to indicate that the assault and
follow-up forces at present available in the United Kingdom are
less than they in fact are, and that during the next few months
we could only re-enter the Continent against little or no opposition.
Preparations and the build up for "ANVIL" should no be
so apparent in the early stages, therefore the tactical cover plan
eventually put into operation by Allied Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean
Theatre, should suffice to cover this assault.
In the Mediterranean theatre the enemy has in the past been induced
to overestimate Allied forces by 20 to 30 per cent. It would be
an advantage if such exaggeration could be maintained especially
in the Eastern Mediterranean.
8. The Russian offensive will presumably be continued during the
next few months but it would be of assistance to our plans if we
could lead the enemy to believe that the Russian main Summer offensive
would not start before the end of June.
It would be plausible that this operations should thus precede
"OVERLORD" and "ANVIL" thereby rendering the
maximum assistance to these far more hazardous seaborne assaults.
Factors Against the Achievement of the Object
9. a. Preparations for "OVERLORD" during the next few
months and any announcements of the appointment of prominent commanders
in the United Kingdom will indicate to the enemy that our main strategy
is switching from the Mediterranean to North Western Europe.
b. Statements both in the press and on the radio and the platform
may continue to emphasize the likelihood of operations in 1944 from
the United Kingdom against North Western Europe.
c. "POINTBLANK" operations from the United Kingdom will
compel the enemy to keep strong GAF fighter forces in North Western
Factors for the Achievement of the Object
10. a. Germany's armed forces are dangerously stretched by current
operations and provided we can induce her to retain surplus forces
in Scandinavia, Italy and the Balkans, she will find it difficult
simultaneously to provide adequate forces for Russia, France and
the Low Countries.
b. Germany's defensive commitments are likely to be increased since-
i. The political and economic situation in Germany and occupied
countries is deteriorating and may necessitate the maintenance of
strong garrison forces in these areas.
ii. The attitude of neutrals and satellites may move further in
favour of the Allies and compel Germany to dispose reserves to meet
c. The assembly of the Rosyth force in NE Scotland will reinforce
the threat to Scandinavia.
Overall Deception Policy
11. The following Overall Deception Policy is based upon the considerations
12. Allied Intentions
We should induce the enemy to believe that the following is the
Allied plan for 1944.
a. "POINTBLANK" operations were seriously affecting the
enemy's war potential and, if continued and increased, might well
bring about his total collapse. Consequently, reinforcement of the
United Kingdom and the Mediterranean by long-range American bombers
has been given such a high priority that the ground forces build-up
in the United Kingdom has been delayed.
b. The Allies must be prepared to take advantage of any serious
German weakening or withdrawal in Western Europe and preparations
to this end must be put in hand forthwith.
c. To concert in Spring an attack on Northern Norway with Russia
with the immediate object of opening up a supply route to Sweden.
Thereafter to enlist the active co-operation of Sweden for the establishment
of air bases in Southern Sweden to supplement "POINTBLANK"
with fighter bomber operations and to cover an amphibious assault
on Denmark from the United Kingdom in the summer.
d. Since no large-scale cross-channel operation would be possible
till late summer, the main Allied effort in the Spring of 1944 should
be against the Balkans, by means of-
i. An Anglo-American assault against the Dalmatian coast.
ii. A British assault against Greece.
iii. A Russian amphibious operations against the Bulgarian-Roumanian
iv. In addition Turkey will be invited to join the Allies to provide
operation facilities including aerodromes to cover operations against
the Aegean Islands as a prerequisite to the invasion of Greece.
Her refusal would not materially modify the Allied intentions.
v. Pressure against the satellites to induce them to abandon Germany.
e. Anglo-American operations in Italy would be continued, and in
order to hasten their progress, amphibious operations against the
north-west and north-east coast of Italy would be carried out. Provided
these were successful, 15 Army Group would later advance eastward
through Istria in support of the operations mentioned in d. above.
Note: The operations in c. d. and e. above would enable us to employ
our amphibious forces and retain the initiative until preparations
for the final assault in the late summer were completed.
f. Though Russian operations would presumably be continued this
winter it would not be possible for them to launch their summer
offensive before the end of June.
g. In view of the formidable character of German coastal defenses
and the present enemy strength in France and the Low Countries,
possibly as many as twelve Anglo-American Divisions afloat in the
initial assault and a total force of about fifty divisions would
be required for a cross-channel assault. This operation would not
be launched until the late summer (i.e. after the opening of the
Russian summer offensive).
13. Allied strength and dispositions
We should induce the enemy to believe the following information
regarding Allied strength and dispositions-
a. United Kingdom
i. Shortage of manpower has obliged the British Army in the United
Kingdom to resort to cannibalization, while several of their formations
are on a lower establishment, or still lack their administrative
and supply units. The number of Anglo-American Divisions in the
United Kingdom available for offensive operations is less that is,
in fact, the case. Some United States Divisions arriving in the
United Kingdom have not yet completed their training.
ii. Personnel of certain Anglo-American Divisions in the Mediterranean
with long service overseas are being relieved by fresh divisions
from the USA. British troops will, on relief, return to the United
Kingdom where they will re-form and be utilized for training inexperienced
iii. Invasion craft remains the principal bottleneck due to operations
in the Pacific and the full number required for the initial assault
cannot be made available from home production and the USA before
i. Anglo-American forces in the Mediterranean, especially in the
Eastern Mediterranean, are greater than is, in fact, the case.
ii. French forces are taking over responsibility for the defense
of North Africa, thus leaving Anglo-American forces free for offensive
operations elsewhere in the Spring of 1944.
iii. Certain British Divisions and landing craft are being transferred
from India to the Middle East.
iv. Fresh Divisions from the United States of America are expected
to arrive in the Mediterranean.
Tactical Cover Plans
14. a. The United Kingdom
When the enemy realizes that cross-channel operations are imminent,
the story indicating that no cross-channel attack will occur until
late summer, will tend to lose plausibility. At this juncture the
tactical cover plan prepared by Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary
Force will come into force with a view to deceiving the enemy as
to the timing, direction and weight of "OVERLORD."
In due course the enemy will probably appreciate, especially from
air reconnaissance, that an amphibious operation is being mounted
in North African ports and Western Mediterranean Islands. At this
stage, a tactical cover plan prepared by Allied Commander-in-Chief,
Mediterranean Theatre will come into force with a view to deceiving
the enemy as regards the timing, direction and weight of "Anvil."
15. The selection of a D day of all cover and deception plans mentioned
above is a question to be decided by Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary
Force. In this connection, it is recommended that the dates chosen
should, in each case, be later than "OVERLORD" or "ANVIL
D days, with a view to delaying the dispatch of enemy reinforcements
for as long as possible.
The Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force after consultations
with Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Theatre and the Controlling
Officer will decide the tempo of the "OVERLORD" and "ANVIL"
tactical cover plans.
Means of Implementation
16. a. Physical Means
Implementation by means of movements of forces, camouflage devices,
W/T deception and other activities will be carried out in accordance
with detailed plans prepared by Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary
Force and Allied Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Threatre.
b. Diplomatic Means
Genuine diplomatic approaches will be required to lead the enemy
to believe that we intend persuading Sweden to join the Allies and
assist us in operations in Scandinavia.
Even if Turkey refuses to join the Allies in the near future, the
enemy should be led to believe that our continued infiltration may
give the Allies important opportunities in connection with a Balkan
c. Special Means
Implementation by means of leakage and rumors in support of plans
prepared by Theatre Commanders will be co-ordinated by the London
d. Political Warfare
The Political Warfare plan while not departing from its main purpose,
should conform to the above general policy.
Plan "BODYGUARD" cannot succeed unless the strictest
security precautions are taken to conceal the true name of "OVERLORD"
and "ANVIL" preparations.
The GARBO Operation
To support "Plan Bodyguard" the British used a double-agent
operation, codenamed GARBO. GARBO was Juan Pujol Garcia who convinced
German intelligence that he could provide them with information
on the United Kingdom. He told the Abwehr that he was on his way
to London to check on a currency racket there for the Spanish security
services. German intelligence bought his story and recruited him.
They gave Pujol secret ink to communicate with them via an accommodation
address in Madrid. In reality, Pujol did not go to London but traveled
as far as Lisbon where he began to send his reports to the Germans.
He had no access to any information but created much of his information
from his incredible imagination and old maps and timetables from
England. For ten months, between July 1941 and April 1942, he authored
40 long reports for German intelligence.
Pujol had offered his services to British intelligence in Madrid
in January 1941 but was turned aside. It was not until Bletchley
Park began deciphering the Enigma messages between Abwehr Headquarters
in Berlin and its station in Madrid in 1942 that British intelligence
decided to locate a "new German spy" in the United Kingdom
that was providing outlandish British military information to the
Germans. An investigation determined that this German agent was
not operating in Great Britain but British intelligence could not
provide any additional information as to his identity or location.
Through a fortunate set of circumstances, the British were able
to learned of Pujol's existence. MI5 learned about Pujol from its
Lisbon representative who was visiting London at the time. MI5 informed
MI6 about Pujol. MI6 was able to arrange contact with Pujol through
the US Naval Attaché in Lisbon. After contact was made, MI6
recruited Pujol and brought him to London in April 1942. He was
given the codename GARBO.
This is the story of GARBO and his network of agents, which helped
set the stage for the success of the Normandy Invasion on D-day.
On 24 April 1942, GARBO reached England from Spain and began work
for British intelligence under the guidance of his case officer,
who was bilingual in Spanish and English, and in peacetime specialized
in the collection and sale of works of art. It was to prove one
of those rare partnerships between two exceptional gifted men whose
inventive genius inspired and complemented one another.
GARBO was a man of phenomenal industry. For the first year of his
stay in England he communicated with his control in Madrid entirely
by letter; messages in secret ink with covering letters written
over them, notionally carried to Portugal by the employee of an
airline running a regular service between London and Lisbon (the
COURIER), who posted them to Abwehr accommodation addresses in Lisbon
and collected the replies from a safe deposit box in a Lisbon bank.
In fact, delivery and collection was arranged by MI6. GARBO wrote
altogether 315 such letters, their length averaging 2,000 words,
as well as the equally garrulous covering letters that concealed
them. After March 1943 he was able to supplement these by radio
messages, notionally transmitted by a radio "ham" of leftwing
sympathies who had built his own set and who believed that the ciphered
messages he transmitted were the communications of a group of leftwing
Spanish exiles with their comrades at home. A total of 1,200 messages
were passed over this channel before the end of the war.
GARBO began to operate before there was a coherent deception policy
for him to implement; so, for lack of anything better to do, as
his case officer put it, "we tried to report in as much confusing
bulk as possible and, in the absence of another objective, to increase
our network of notional agents." The "confusing bulk"
was highly effective in that the Madrid Stelle of the Abwehr became
so glutted with information that it made no further attempt to infiltrate
agents into the United Kingdom. It became entirely dependent on
GARBO, regarding him as a sensitive quarrelsome genius of priceless
value who had at all cost to be humored and satisfied. By the end,
GARBO and his British case officer were able to treat his German
case officer as a temperamental mistress might treat an elderly
and besotted lover, no assertion that GARBO made would be questioned,
no demand went unmet.
By 1944, GARBO and his British case officer had between them built
up a notional network of some 27 agents. In the first place there
were five immediate contacts, labeled J1 to J5. J1 was the courier
who carried the letters to Lisbon. He was himself involved in a
smuggling racket and believed that GARBO was also. J2 was a Royal
Air Force (RAF) officer employed at Fighter Command Headquarters,
a casual acquaintance who unwittingly occasionally let slip important
information. J3 was a most useful friend, an official in the Spanish
section of the Ministry of Information, where he occasionally saw
interesting policy documents. J4 was another official he met at
the Ministry, a man of extreme leftwing views who worked in the
censorship department. J5 was a girl secretary in the "Ministry
of War" (sic) who was a little in love with GARBO and who could
be relied upon for the occasional silly indiscretion.
Then there were the agents themselves. The first two had been notionally
recruited even before GARBO actually arrived in England, while he
was writing his hilariously inaccurate letters from Lisbon. Agent
1 was a Portuguese commercial traveler named Carvalho, based at
Newport, Monmouthshire; well placed to observe traffic in the Bristol
Channel and, as it turned out, to make contact with dissident Nationalist
elements in south Wales. Agent 2 was a German-Swiss businessman
named Gerbers, domiciled in Bootle, who reported on traffic in the
Mersey. Tragically, it became necessary for Gerbers to die of cancer
during the autumn of 1942 before he could observe the assembly,
in the Mersey estuary, of the convoys for TORCH (the invasion of
North Africa by the allied forces). But, his unfortunate widow proved
willing to carry on the activities of her deceased husband. She
was recruited as Agent 2(1) (though usually referred to simply as
"the Widow") and became virtually GARBO's personal assistant.
Agent 3 was a Venezuelan based in Glasgow, who observed traffic
on the Clyde. A man of enthusiasm and efficiency, he became second
in command of the network and took it over after GARBO had been
notionally "blown" in 1944. He had three subagents of
his own; an NCO in the RAF (3(1)); a talkative lieutenant in the
notional 49th Infantry Division (3(2)); and a useful
Greek sailor who operated on the east coast of Scotland (3(3)).
The first two were unconscious agents, the last a Communist who
believed that he was working for the Soviet Union. This network
received from the Germans the codename BENEDICT.
Agent 4 was a Gibraltese, "Fred," who originally worked
as a waiter in Soho, where he put GARBO in touch with the radio
operator already referred to. He was then directed by the Ministry
of Labour, first to employment in a subterranean munitions deport
in the Chislehurst caves, about which GARBO and his British case
officer wove a rich fantasy for the benefit of the Abwehr; then
to work in military canteens, where he picked up much useful information;
and finally to one of the sealed military camps in the region of
Southampton where he was able to observe the final concentrations
for OVERLORD. Strict security precautions prevented him from leaving
his camp to report on these in detail until he broke out, as will
be recalled, on the very eve of the operation with the news which
GARBO transmitted to his control in Madrid; just too late to be
of any value.
In addition to the Radio Operator (Agent 4(1)), "Fred"
recruited a guard in the Chislehurst caves (4(2)) and, much more
usefully, an American sergeant who worked in London for the US Service
of Supply (4(3)). This man was a particularly valuable source. Not
only was he well informed about the movements and constitution of
the 1st US Army Group, but he was the son of a senior
American officer on Eisenhower's staff who was ferociously anti-British
and passed on to his son all the gossip about high-level disagreements
that came his way. The Patton deception owed much to the information
he so indiscreetly communicated.
Agent 5 was the brother of the Venezuelan, Agent 3, and was eventually
dispatched to Canada to observe matters there. He had a colleague,
an American commercial traveler (5(1)) who filled in with information
about the United States. Agent 6 was an anti-British South African
whose linguistic skills gained him employment with the War Office.
He was posted to North Africa, where he collected much high-level
and accurate information but since he could transmit it only by
letter to GARBO, who then had to forward it to Lisbon, by the time
it reached the Germans it was very out of date. He died, unfortunately,
in an air crash in July 1943.
Finally there was a group of eight agents of whom the leader "Stanley"
(7), was an anti-British Welsh nationalist, a seaman operating in
Swansea. His network, known to the Germans as DAGOBERT, was recruited
largely from Welsh dissidents like himself. It contained two rather
curious characters: an Indian poet known as "Rags," who
although he was recruited in Swansea lived in Brighton, where he
was well placed to observe troop movements, and his mistress, Theresa
Jardine, in the Women's Royal Naval Service. A little later this
lady was posted to Ceylon and passed under the control of "D"
Division in the Far East. (Comment: The reader should bear in
mind that none of these people actually existed.)
By the summer of 1943, the existence of these networks was well
established, and COCKADE (Diversionary operations in 1943 to pin
down German Forces in the West) gave GARBO and his British case
officer valuable practice in using them. A procedure was established
by the London Controlling Section, which was to become the regular
pattern by the time of OVERLORD. The cover story was broken down
into a number of serials. Each serial contained a story to be passed
to the enemy, the date by which it had to be in his possession,
and the factual evidence for it. The evidence was then compared
and collated with the observing capacity of the GARBO network, and
appropriate messages were devised for the agents which, after clearance
with the Service authorities (at first through the Twenty Committee
but increasingly direct) were then passed on to Madrid in GARBO's
inimitably florid style. From Madrid, as SIGINT revealed, these
were sent directly to Berlin, where they made an excellent impression.
After STARKEY (a notional attack by 14 British and Canadian divisions
to establish a bridgehead on either side of Boulogne between 8 and
14 September) had passed its climax on 8 September 1943, his Abwehr
case officer wrote enthusiastically to GARBO on 18 September: "Your
activity and that of your informants gave us a perfect idea of what
is taking place over there; these reports, as you can imagine, have
an incalculable value and for this reason I beg of you to proceed
with the greatest care so as not to endanger in these momentous
times either yourself or your organization."
Four months later, in early January, his Abwehr case officer warned
GARBO once more to prepare for action. German intelligence, he informed
him on 5 January 1944, had learned that preparations were far advanced
for a major operation based on the United States, which might materialize
at a very early date. GARBO was therefore to find out everything
he could about Allied military intentions, the dates of forthcoming
operations, and the locations and strength of all land, sea, air,
and amphibious forces that might be employed. This, he was told,
included possible operations against Norway and Denmark, as well
as those against the Channel coast.
To tackle this new assignment, GARBO redeployed his agents. Fortitude
North was covered basically by the Venezuelan (3) in Glasgow and
by the Greek sailor (3(3)) on the Scottish east coast. "Fred"
from Gibraltar had, as we have seen, insulated himself into the
heart of the Allied concentration around Southampton, while the
DAGOBERT network covered the rest of the south coast, with agents
in Harwich, Dover, Brighton, and the west country and south Wales.
GARBO's informants in Whitehall had only to keep their eyes and
ears open, and he himself picked up a lot of useful news and one
or two documents in his capacity as part-time employee in the Ministry
of Information. The agents sent their messages to him in secret
ink, but GARBO now communicated with Madrid very largely by radio,
sending an average of five or six messages a day. The information
in GARBO's reports now found its way into the daily situation reports
of Fremde Heere West (Army High Command Foreign Armies West); in
particular, the Order of Battle projected by him and by BRUTUS (a
Polish Air Force officer recruited by the Germans and sent to England
via the French resistance in 1942, but who turned himself over to
the British and was doubled back at the Germans-now established
at First United States Army Croup (FUSAG) HQS was accepted without
question. All was carefully coordinated directly with Ops B at Supreme
Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and a great deal
of accurate information was included about the 21st Army
Group. When the formations specified by GARBO as belonging to this
Army Group were identified in Normandy, it made his further information
about FUSAG all the more credible.
As part of the deception plan, GARBO was given permission to warn
the Germans of the attack at Normandy. He did so at 3:00 A.M. on
6 June. The message to his controller in Madrid was timed to arrive
too late to be of any value to the Germans. GARBO waited for a response,
which never came. He again sent a second message at 6:08 A.M. Again
in the evening he sent a third message, this time bitterly complaining
of the German failure to respond to him. After his fourth message
the next day, his controller finally responded, adding that the
work GARBO did over the "past few weeks has made it possible
for our command to be completely forewarned and prepared, and the
message of Four would have influenced but little had it arrived
three or four hours earlier." Undeterred by this setback, GARBO
summoned a meeting of all available agents, as a result of which
he transmitted a long report, on the night of 8 June about the existing
"From the reports mentioned it is perfectly clear that the
present attack is a large-scale operation but diversionary in character
for the purpose of establishing a strong bridgehead in order to
draw the maximum of our reserves to the area of operations to retain
them there so as to be able to strike a blow somewhere else with
the fact that these concentrations which are
in the east and southeast of the island are now inactive means that
they must be held in reserve to be employed in the other large-scale
operations. The constant aerial bombardment which the area of the
Pas de Calais has suffered and the strategic disposition of these
forces give reason to suspect an attack in that region of France
which at the same time offers the shortest route for the final objective
of their illusions, which is to say, Berlin
I learned yesterday
that here were 75 divisions in this country before the present assault
commenced. Suppose they would use a maximum of 20-25 divisions they
would be left with some 50 divisions with which to attempt a second
All this his Abwehr case officer acknowledged gratefully on 10
June. "With reference to your extensive information of the
8th on the concentrations still existing in the southeast
of the Island, I am interested in the transmission with the maximum
urgency of as much news as you can obtain of the embarkation and
destination of these forces." At the same time Bletchley Park
decrypted the congratulatory messages to GARBO's German case officer
from Berlin. "In the name of Fremde Heere West, stated one
on 9 June, "I express appreciation of previous work in the
last week from CATO (GARBO's German codename) have been confirmed
almost without exception and are to be described as especially valuable."
The Germans now began to press GARBO embarrassingly closely for
information about the fall of V rockets on London. To deter them
from this undesirable practice, British intelligence arranged to
have GARBO notionally arrested on 3 July while he was making indiscreet
inquiries about V-bomb damage in Bethnal Green. Nothing could be
proved against him, and he was eventually released with an official
apology, which was duly transmitted to Madrid. When his Abwehr case
officer congratulated GARBO on his release, he informed him also
that the Fuhrer had been graciously pleased to bestow on him the
order of the Iron Cross Class II. But the lesson had been learned.
GARBO was asked no further questions about V-weapons, and he continued
to put across prolific information about the reconstruction of FUSAG.
This elicited from his Abwehr case officer the further message on
21 August: "Headquarters entrust me with the mission which
I fulfill with the greatest satisfaction of again expressing to
you our special recognition for the results achieved by you and
your organization. They also made reference in this connection to
the information which you have supplied to us since the invasion
of France__news which has been of the greatest value to them
By the end of August, MI5 had begun to fear that GARBO's cover
could not be preserved for very much longer. The growing number
of Abwehr defectors in neutral countries must, MI5 thought, lead
the Germans to assume that the Allies would by now have been informed
of the existence of this network operating so effectively in their
midst, and it would look very odd if it continued to operate undisturbed.
In the middle of August, a Spanish informant did in fact tell MI6
about GARBO, and this was taken as the excuse for sending GARBO
into notional retirement. GARBO informed his Abwehr case officer
on 12 September that he had been warned of his betrayal by friends
in Spain and was going to ground. The network would henceforth be
operated by his Venezuelan Lieutenant GARBO himself would still
mastermind operations from a cottage in Wales, but the British would
be led to believe, by a forlorn and distraught Mrs. GARBO, that
he had returned to Spain.
It was a neat solution. GARBO's deputy could not be blown, since
his name had never been revealed to the Germans. An even more important
guarantee of his security was that he did not exist. Communications
ceased to be written in GARBO's inimitably baroque style, but they
still continued, now, conducted directly by MI5. For the last six
months of the war, therefore, the British security services were
in direct radio communication with German intelligence, keeping
it supplied with a stream of misinformation to which the latter
attached the highest degree of credibility.
The Abwehr paid good money for their informa-tion. GARBO's notional
expenses, partly to an address in Lisbon where the money was notionally
collected by "the Courier," in fact picked up by MI6,
and partly by a transfer of funds effected through a nominee of
GARBO in Spain who held a sterling balance in London.