Tag Archives: WWII

Tampering with Nature as weapon

“That iconic atomic bomb mushroom cloud image could have been a towering tsunami wave. According to archival military records uncovered by author and filmmaker Ray Waru, a 1944 top-secret operation, code-named Project Seal, planned to hijack nature’s wrath by creating 33-foot tsunami waves capable of destroying coastal cities. How? Simply detonate 2 million tons of explosives as a series of 10 blasts about five miles from shore. “If the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people,” says Waru. But while a tsunami bomb was deemed totally feasible after about 3,700 bombs were exploded off New Caledonia and near Auckland, plans for a pseudo-natural doomsday device were abandoned in 1945.”

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/9774217/Tsunami-bomb-tested-off-New-Zealand-coast.html

http://m.now.msn.com/tsunami-weapon-tests-carried-out-in-wwii

SpyWriter Jack King “A new King of thrillers on the horizon” http://www.SpyWriter.com

Spying, it’s a women’s world

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“On a moonlit night in June 1943, Noor, fresh from spy school at Beaulieu, was the first female radio operator ever to be dropped into Nazi-occupied France. As part of a network of agents responsible for sending intelligence back to England, “Madeleine” was equipped with a transmitter/receiver device, weighing about 30 pounds and fitting into an ordinary suitcase. With German wireless direction-finding vehicles — typically disguised as laundry and baker’s vans — regularly circling round, she had to be constantly vigilant, always finding surreptitious new locations and never staying on air for long. It was also crucial that she gave the unwavering impression of being completely French, never uttering a word or displaying a gesture that might give her away. For emergencies, she had four pills: Benzedrine, in case she needed to stay awake for a long spell; a sleeping pill, to drop in an enemy’s drink in a tight spot; a drug to induce stomach disturbance; and of course cyanide, to be bitten if she chose to die rather than endure torture or interrogation.”

More: http://www.salon.com/2012/11/08/the_spy_game_no_men_need_apply/?mobile.html

Jack King “A new King of thrillers”: http://www.SpyWriter.com

Espionage Monopoly

“In WWII, agents of the British secret service unit MI9 oversaw the development and distribution of special-edition versions of the board game Monopoly to British POWS held in German camps. These boxes were secretly packed with maps, compasses and other tools that would be helpful to a solider who wanted to escape. The games were one of the items that were permitted by the Germans from humanitarian groups like the Red Cross. Each of the special-edition games concealed silk maps of the areas around known German POW camps, compasses, and real bank notes mixed in with the game money. British pilots were told to look for the games in the event of their capture, and some estimate that the games’ secret tools were used by thousands of POWs over the course of the war. Sadly, all the special edition sets known to exist were destroyed after the war.”

More: http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-electronics/stories/4-unbelievable-spy-gadgets

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Concentration Camps

On this day in 1945 the Nazis began to evacuate the Auschwitz concentration camp, ten days later liberated by the advancing Soviet troops. Let’s remember the horrors instituted by blind militarization, homophobia, and nationalism, not least because of my grandfather who was imprisoned for 5 years in Auschwitz and Mauthausen.

According to Jesuit sources (Malachi Martin, The Keys of His Blood) the Nazis “established some 8,500 concentration camps on occupied Polish soil, and organized them into a brutal industry divided into 13 administrative districts. Of the some 18 million Europeans who were imprisoned in concentration camps, some 11 million were killed – of those 3.5 million were Poles, and 7.5 million other nationals”. Why such a high number of Poles? It was a part of the plan that was hatched on January 25, 1940, in “a secret circular” drafted by Hermann Göring. According to Hans Frank (the Governor-general of the General Government of occupied Poland) the circular was a handbook for “making certain that not one Polish man, woman, or child, was left alive to soil the territories now and forever part of the Third Reich“.

Concentration camps were set up for political enemies, prisoners of war, foreigners, criminals, etc. My grandfather spent over five years in Auschwitz and Mauthausen (survived a death march) simply because he was born Polish.

What were concentration camps?

“After 1945 the term concentration camp was almost completely associated with the German dictatorship; the dictionary definition of ‘concentration camp’ in English describes them as German and locates them firmly in the brief twelve years of the Third Reich. This focus on the concentration camp as a German phenomenon entirely distorts the historical reality, not only because it ignores the long history of concentration camps in other geographical locations.

[…] the concentration camp is essentially a product of the First World War and its immediate aftermath. This was the period in which what might be described as a ‘camp culture’ developed, encouraged by the growth of a large camp structure for prisoners-of-war and refugees, but more specifically the camps set up for enemy aliens. These camps concentrated the targeted group, created the physical pattern of future camps, and bred a crude popular culture of exclusion.” Source

What was Auschwitz?

“Auschwitz? That was a real Tower of Babel. But, what does it mean to be Polish? What does it mean to be a Slav? The French wore the same numbers on their forearms, and were beaten all the same, and the Gypsies were beaten even more. We [concentration camp survivors] know something that you cannot, because you could’ve been killed by bombs or soldiers, whereas we were beaten and beaten by wardens and could not be killed, because as long as you have respect for yourself you cannot be killed, only murdered. And if you survive, and continue to have respect for yourself, you will respect others, whether Poles, or French, or some other. We learned in Auschwitz that there is only one difference – a human, and an inhuman.” Maria Kuncewiczowa, in The Phantoms (my translation).

What was it like to be imprisoned inside a concentration camp? Look up Smoke over Birkenau, a first-hand witness account by Seweryna Szmaglewska.

Amir, the legendary Soviet spy

“One of the legendary Soviet agents of World War II who infiltrated a British spy school and assisted in the Tehran conference has died aged 87 …

Gevork Vartanyan, working under the codename Amir, famously in 1942 managed to attend an entire course at a British training course for spies in Tehran who Britain then wanted to send all over the Soviet Union.

According to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) – the successor to the Soviet KGB – his work helped expose the British network which existed despite London’s wartime alliance with Moscow.”

More: http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/World/Legendary-Soviet-WWII-spy-dies-at-87-Official/Article1-795558.aspx

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The double agent spy who came back from the dead

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Juan Pujol “Garcia, code-named “Garbo” by his MI5 handlers because he was “the world’s best actor,” was the man who more than anyone else convinced Hitler that the Normandy landings were a mere diversionary attack, a feint to distract the Wehrmacht from the real assault that was about to take place 150 miles to the north in the Pas de Calais. So successful was Garbo that the Germans were continuing to reinforce the Pas de Calais even after D-Day, and not committing their full resources to countering the Normandy landings. Although the story of the success of the Operation Overlord deception plans are well known, and Garbo’s vital role well established in history, what is not much known about is what Garbo did after the war”.

[…] the story of Garcia’s life of deception did not end with VE Day. After visiting his Abwehr case officer in Spain—who apologized that the Nazis had lost the war and gave him a huge golden handshake in cash, the Iron Cross, and the thanks of the now-defunct Reich—MI5 unsuccessfully tried to recruit Garcia for service against the Russians in the Cold War. The next that anyone ever heard of him was that he had tragically died of a snake bite in Angola in 1949.”

Or, did he?

Read More: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/11/27/garbo-the-spy-documentary-on-the-double-agent-who-helped-defeat-hitler.html

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Spies you don’t hear about

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“Born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1894, Eugene Jacques Bullard stowed away to Europe as a teenager, earning money as a prizefighter and interpreter. When World War I erupted he joined the French army and ultimately became the world’s first black fighter pilot. He later married the daughter of a French countess, opened a nightclub in Paris and hobnobbed with the likes of Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong and Ernest Hemingway.

Bullard served France once again during World War II, joining the resistance movement and using his fluency in German to spy on Nazi troops who frequented his establishment. (His German clients apparently spoke freely in front of him, believing that nonwhites were incapable of understanding their language.)

Bullard later helped defend the city of Orléans, sustained debilitating injuries and was medically evacuated along with his two daughters to the United States. A hero in his adoptive country, Bullard had to rebuild his life in his homeland, where he worked for many years as an elevator operator in New York City. He died at age 67 in 1961, two years after France named him a Knight of the Legion of Honor.”

More spies: http://www.history.com/news/2011/12/01/10-spies-who-arent-household-names/

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Camp 020, MI5’s secret interrogation center

“The silence […] gave little indication of the intensity and importance of the work being done in the building known as Camp 020, MI5’s secret interrogation center. Within those walls, captured German agents were questioned under the command of a ferociously tempered British officer named Lieutenant Colonel Robin Stephens. Boorish, disdainful of the non-English but half-German himself, Stephens was nicknamed “Tin Eye” for the monocle he was said to wear even when he slept. He had a record of breaking down even the most hardened of German spies.

“Figuratively, a spy in war should be at the points of a bayonet,” wrote Stephens, who insisted that he be addressed as the “commandant.” Yet he was adamant about one thing at Camp 020. “Violence is taboo,” he wrote, “for not only does it produce answers to please, but it lowers the standard of information.” In his instructions for interrogators, Stephens wrote, “Never strike a man.  In the first place it is an act of cowardice. In the second place, it is not intelligent. A prisoner will lie to avoid further punishment and everything he says thereafter will be based on a false premise.”

Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2011/11/the-monocled-world-war-ii-interrogator/

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The largest Nazi espionage operation in North America

“Bermuda proved a geographically convenient location for the scrutiny of mail exchanged between North America and Europe. All correspondence sent to or from Europe was examined by Imperial Censorship staff based at the Hamilton Princess Hotel, and suspect items were intercepted and photographed.

“This led to the identification of several German spies, among them George Nicolaus and Joachim Ruge.”

But its most celebrated case involved the Bermuda censorship operations playing a key role in the uncovering of the largest Nazi espionage operation in America.

It was operated by Kurt Frederick Ludwig in 1940-41 and the network became known as the “Joe K” spy ring because it was the code name used in letters sent to Berlin addresses giving information on Allied shipping in New York Harbour and other sensitive military information. Details of the ship movements the ring provided were passed on to Nazi submarines operating in the Atlantic and a number of UK-bound vessels were torpedoed as a result.”

More: http://bernews.com/2011/11/bermudas-second-world-war-espionage-role/

Royal secret agent

Margaret Rhodes, the first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, was employed as a secretary to the head of MI6.

“The daughter of the 16th Lord Elphinstone, who was a bridesmaid at the Queen’s wedding and still regularly receives visits from Her Majesty, was tasked with reading messages sent from British spies across the globe, narrowly avoided being killed by a V1 rocket, and had her London landlord arrested on suspicion of being a Nazi spy.

She recalled: “I wanted do my bit and went to join the Women’s Royal Naval Service, but found myself in MI6. It was dreadfully hush-hush and, for an impressionable 18-year-old, terribly mysterious.

“I reported each day to a disguised office near St James’s Park underground station. It was ‘Passport Control’ on the ground floor, but upstairs we were MI6.”

The teenager, who had spent her childhood summers playing with Princess Elizabeth at Balmoral, said the structure of the secret department closely mirrored that of the fictional Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) created by Ian Fleming.

She said: “The big chief, ‘M’ to James Bond fans, hid behind the letter ‘C’.

“He wrote in green ink and God-like powers were attributed to him by us underlings.

“One of my daily tasks was to read every single message transmitted by our spies all over the world.

It was fascinating, but frightening too.”

From: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Royal-secret-agent-breaks-her.6846175.jp