SOE WAR DIARIES APRIL 1945 PART IA.
I - GENERAL
POSITIONS IN THE FIELD
The Canadian forces advanced westwards and consolidated themselves east of the Grebbe line. Activities in the field were mainly confined to the sabotage of German communications and prevention of enemy demolitions in areas still unoccupied, and provisioning of guides and intelligence in those zones which had been newly liberated.
Beginning of the end
Direct talks between Allied and German commanders in Holland were opened towards the end of the month. Arrangements were made and put into effect to drop food to the Dutch population. All droppings of arms and explosives ceased on April 24th in order to avoid clashes between Germans and members of the resistance and to ensure the smooth operation of the food droppings.
SQUEAK (Sjoerdsma) and WHIMPER (Bangma) were liberated as the Allied forces advanced.
SCRAPE (van der Stoep) was killed during an attack on the SD HQ in Rotterdam of April 11th.
DOCTOR X (Veeneklaas) reported that DRAUGHTS-1 (Biallosterski) had died of his wounds while in custody.
HISS (Christiaansen) and RAP (den Dekker) were dropped in Western Holland to organize the reception of arms. By the time they had made their contacts the food dropping operations were well underway and it was too late to send them stores.
JINGLE (Greidanus) and WHISTLE (Dekker) were sent to contact SWISH (Borghouts) of Rotterdam to assist him in the sabotage and weapon training.
JINGLE (Greidanus) feel into a lake and drowned, WHISTLE (Dekker) contacted SWISH (Borghouts) but lost his equipment and was able to send only a few messages.
SCREAM (Geijssen) and HOWL (Bisschop) were sent to Rotterdam as sabotage instructors. They remained in the area until liberated the following month.
SQUEAK (Sjoerdsma) (second mission) was sent to the Rotterdam area as W/T operator
GRUNT (Gehrels) (second mission) and FIZZ (Stuvel) (organisor and W/T operator) were sent to The Hague area, but were unable to make any progress before the German capitulation.
RUMBLE (Pleijsier)(second mission), GURGLE (Bouma), GRIND (Dinger), SPLASH (van der Putt) and YELP (Nijdam) were sent to assist resistance in the Gooi and Amsterdam area, but owing to the food droppings and German capitulation their missions were also short-lived.
During this month 1179 containers and 190 packages were sent to the field.
II - RESISTANCE GROUPS
SHOOTING, HUNTING & CHARADES
Bid to Save Bridges
The commander of Overijssel and Achterhoek (Hotz) was instructed (2) to take immediate steps to safe bridges in his area from demolition from the enemy. He should not, however, attempt to seize bridges against enemy forces unless he was certain that the bridges in question would be overrun by the Allies before the enemy could counter attack. CHARADES (Beekman) reported (3) the sabotaging of the railway lines between Zwolle and Almelo. The viaduct had been blown up and this had caused the derailment of a train. As a result traffic was interrupted for several days.
He later reported (4) that the Germans were withdrawing to the north and north-east, mainly towards Coevorden. Their morale was bad and they were requisitioning horses and bicycles for transport. In a message to HERMAN (Doppen) London reported (5) that since EDUARD (Hotz) had been overrun and liberated, he (HERMAN) was now the only remaining contact in occupied Overijssel. It was considered that the moment had not yet arrived for resistance to come out into the open in his area. He (Doppen) could, however, attack isolated Germans or small parties of Germans in open country, but not in towns or villages. If German counter measurements become too strong, then he should cease those attacks in order to avoid German reprisals.
Treat to N.O. Polder
HERMAN was asked (6) whether his resistance forces could do anything to prevent the destruction of the dyke of the North-East Polder. If the Germans succeeded in destroying this then the whole polder would be ruined.
London warned CHARADES (7) that a German agent provocateur called HUSKA had been responsible for the death of 10 Dutchmen on the night of the liberation at Enschede. HUSKA had now gone to Zwolle to penetrate intelligence and resistance groups.
(1) Weekly sitreps for April, 1945
(2) 10 to Charades of 1.4.1945
From Charades via Rother of 2.4.1945 Monday
010 stop Plan brug Deventer stop Duitsche demolitien ploeg is twintig man Onmiddellijk na vernietiging hiervan moeten parachutisten gedropt worden ter versterking NBS op Bergweide Teuge stop X
(3) Srl A 3834 from Charades of 2.4.1945
From Charades via Rother of 1.4.1945 Sunday
014 stop Sterk NBS Salland zes vijf nul (650) stop Successvolle aanslag op spoorrlijn Zwolle Almelo nabij Nijverdal stop Opblazen kleine viaducten gevolgd door ontspooring trein verkeer meerdere dagen onderbroken stop
(4) Srl A 3901 from Charades of 2.4.1945
From Charades via Rother of 2.4.1945 Monday
015 Terugtocht Duitsche troepen noord en noord oost stop Moreel slecht stop Hoofdmacht in Coevorden stop Vorderingen op groote schaal van paarden vervoermiddelen en rijwielen stop Wachten met ongeduld op slagzin De wekker loopt af stop
(5) 14 to Charades of 4.4.1945
11 to Charades via day Rother of 4.4.1945 Wednesday
For HERMAN stop EDUARD has been overrun and liberated stop You are the only remaining contact we have in occupied Overijssel stop Consider the moment has not arrived for resistance to come out into the open in your area stop You may however attack isolated Germans or small parties of Germans in open country but not in towns or villages stop If Germans countermeasures become too strong you must stop these attacks in order to avoid German reprisals stop
(6) 1 to Charades of 4.4.1945
1 to Charades via day Rother of 4.4.1945 Wednesday
Voor Herman stop Kan verzetsorganisatie iets doen om vernietiging van dijk Noord Oost Polder te voorkomen deze dijk is drie honderd meter ten zuiden van gemaal Lemmer gemijnd stop Vernietiging moet voorkomen worden anders geheele polder geruineerd stop
(7) 20 to Charades of 8.4.1945
20 to Charades via day Rother of 8.4.1945 Sunday
A German agent provocateur called HUSKA was responsible for the death of ten Dutchmen on the night of liberation at Enschede stop HUSKA has gone to Zwolle to penetrate intelligence and resistance stop He has gone with a certain NAUTA who is supposed to be good stop
DOCTOR X reported (8) that on the last operation the aircraft dropped its contents down-wind. Six containers had been lost and the money which had been sent for him was missing.
London informed DOCTOR X (9) that a parcel for him had been “inadvertently dropped on a ground of the Commandant of Utrecht”. They had asked him to send the parcel to the NBS in Amsterdam.
London transmitted (10) a message from BOATING (Paul Polak) reporting his safe arrival in liberated territory. DOCTOR X complained (11) that one container had arrived filled with stones. What was the meaning of this?
Death of Draughts-1
He (Veeneklaas) reported (12) that an SD contact had told him that DRAUGHTS-1 (Biallosterski) had died of his wounds several weeks ago. The Germans seemed to have treated him respectfully and several German doctors had looked after him.
(8) 58 from Doctor-X of 01.04.45
From Dr X via Sil
Re Hudson stop Many thanks for medical supplies stop Money and MAWM missing stop Aircraft dropping down the wind six containers smashed stop
(9) 28 to Doctor-X of 13.04.45
(10) 33 to Doctor-X of 13.04.45
T o Dr X via night Elan.
From Douwe stop Arrived safely Thursday stop Sorry for delay hope be in London Friday stop
(11) 99 from Doctor-X of 15.04.45
(12) 124 from Doctor-X of 19.04.45
Nr one two four stop SD rpt SD contact told us HANS died of his wounds several weeks ago stop Germans seem to have treated him respectfully and
several German doctors looked after him stop Please express our sympathies to his wife stop
Germans to blow Utrecht bridges
CUBBING (Cieremans) reported (13) that the main charges for the demolitions of bridges around Utrecht were contained in small rail cars placed 50 yards from each bridge. The NBS were considered what action to take.
RAF raid fails
He wired on April 3rd (14) that the bridges at Wiendertsebrug, which was important for all railway traffic from Amersfoort to the East, had been unsuccessfully attacked by the RAF on several occasions. Sabotage teams had, however prevented all railway traffic for two nights, but a strong railway guard now made further action difficult. Long trains with troops and material were trying to leave Holland.
CUBBING reported (15) that on the last dropping operation the bottom s had dropped out of the containers in the air; sections of one “H” container had come apart; one container parachute had failed to open; two containers had collided in the air; and several packages, being too light; had drifted miles away. This happened on most operations. In addition HQ should make sure of indicating the total number of containers on each container. The greater part of the medicines had been ruined. He asked London (16) to stop sending incendiaries and explosives, but to deliver instead about 500 detonators for Mills grenades and a good supply of .32 pistols with ammunition.
He wired (17) that for security reasons he would like to know whether VAN KLEFFENS had been in Holland.
British officers seemed to prepare dropping operations in his area without his knowledge. If this were a military necessity he would agree immediately, but in the case of ordinary dropping operations, he opposed this because it would cause confusing in the distribution of arms and endanger the security of reception work. Furthermore, newcomers could not judge local and regional conditions.
Action messages broadcast
In a message (18) to the commandant of the Utrecht area via CUBBING, London confirmed that BBC action messages for the dispatch of intelligence couriers and for the concealment of technical personnel had been broadcast. The commandant of the Veluwe region had been instructed to come into action from daylight Thursday, April 12th . He would help the Allied advance in every way possible and would carry out harassing attacks on enemy communications. He would preserve bridges, provide guides, and prevent enemy demolitions and sabotage, particularly on roads. He would also provide information on enemy movement and dispositions. It was emphasized that these orders were for the Veluwe region only. HQ would try to advise the commandant of the Utrecht area in good time when he should take similar action. The above explained the question of the activities of British officers in arranging dropping operations in the Veluwe area.
Germans open tide locks
In a separate message to CUBBING (19) it was confirmed that VAN KLEFFENS had visited liberated, but not occupied territory. The explanations of the activities of British officers in the Veluwe was also givent to CUBBING (Cieremans). CUBBING reported (20) that the Germans had opened the tide locks at Vreeswijk and Wijk bij Duurstede. They were preparing a water defense line but they were not yet ready. Speedy liberations could prevent much damage, including the demolitions of the tide locks.
VAN KLEFFENS: a fantastic story
CUBBING threw further light on his question regarding VAN KLEFFENS when he cabled (21) that a man calling himself VAN KLEFFENS had visited the house of one of his colleagues in occupied territory. He claimed to have contact with 37 English officers at Rotterdam. He was given the location of one of their new dropping grounds, and he said he would return in a day or two to arrange operations. London replied (22) that the whole story about VAN KLEFFENS was fantastic.
The minister was now in England and nothing was known about 37 English officers in Rotterdam. His colleague must change his address immediately and have nothing to do with dropping operations until he was given instructions by London. CUBBING replied (23) that he had warned his colleague in time, and would let London know “how the story ended”.
Utrecht weapon dump taken
CUBBING was sorry to report (24) that on April 12th the Germans found a weapon depot in Utrecht with about 150 Sten guns and 6 Bren guns and 100lbs of high explosives. All these sores had just arrived and were ready to be distributed. One German was killed. Resistance forces suffered no losses. The Germans had not found any clues so his organization was safe and was continuing its work. The last few dropping operations had been excellent, but the planes had come over pretty high, so that the containers sometimes drifted a long way off.
Allies to drop food
The commandant of the Utrecht area was informed (25) that a message had been sent to the Commandant of the Netherlands Forces of the Interior that the Allies planned to drop small quantities of food immediately after liberation. The food would be packed in sacks and dropped by parachute in daylight to the NBS who should ensure reception and distribution. CUBBING reported (26) that four of his men were killed near Utrecht on April 17th when their car was attacked by Allied aircraft while transporting a full load of arms. Everything was blown up.
“Lie Low” order to Utrecht
On April 26th London cabled (27) to the Commandant of the Utrecht and Betuwe that resistance forces in his zone should cease their sabotage activities and take no further offensive action, but confine themselves to the transmission of intelligence, unless instructed to do otherwise. They should keep quiet and remain underground. CUBBING was informed (28) that immediately after liberation, he should report to the Allied authorities. Ant transmitting which he subsequently required to do would be done with their authorities only.
(13) Srl. A3878 from Cubbing of 02.04.45
(14) Srl. A3879 from Cubbing of 03.04.45
(15) 7 from Cubbing of 07.04.45
(16) 8 from Cubbing of 07.04.45
(17) 10 from Cubbing of 10.04.45
(18) 115-116 to Cubbing of 11.4.5
(19) 117 to Cubbing of 11.04.45
(20) Srl. A211 from Cubbing of 15.04.45
(21) 15 from Cubbing of 12.04.45
(22) 118 to Cubbing of 12.04.45
(23) 16 from Cubbing of 14.04.45
(24) 16 from Cubbing of 14.04.45
(25) 124 to Cubbing of 16.04.45
(26) 21 from Cubbing of 18.04.45
(27) 137 to Cubbing of 26.04.45
(28) 140 to Cubbing of 30.04.45
NECKING & BOBLEIGH (Resistance in Friesland)
NECKING (Tazelaar) reported (29) that conditions were such that no-one over 50 could show his face on the streets with safety. In a message via NECKING to the commandant of the Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe areas (30), London confirmed having broadcast action messages for road and railway sabotage, and also for passing of intelligence and the concealment of technical personnel. NECKING was asked (31) to instruct the commandant of the Groningen area to take immediate action to help the Allied advance in every possible way.
More Action Messages
On April 15th London confirmed (32) that action messages for harassing attacks and the prevention of demolitions in the whole zone 1 had been broadcast that day.
(29) 71 from Necking of 6.4.1945
(30) 100 to Necking of 8.4.1945
(31) 105 to Necking of 12.4.1945
(32) 109 to Necking of 15.4.1945
SQUEAK (W/T to EDUARD)
W/T aerial “shelled down”
SQUEAK (Sjoerdsma) congratulated HQ (33) on “marvelous ground strafing” in his area. There had been direct hit on many German cars. Would London please give pilots strict orders to keep clear of aerials of out stations as they shelled down his aerial during his broadcast on the previous Friday. He could keep transmitting for hours with this fighter umbrella overhead. The Huns were now blowing up bridges, airfields and ammunition dumps.
On April 2nd SQUEAK reported (34) that he had been suddenly liberated that morning. They had been unable to keep behind the German lines, for the Allies had been too fast. Would London please give him further instruction? He was keen to do another job before the rest of Holland was freed.
(33) 36 from Squeak of 02.04.45
(34) 37 from Squeak of 02.04.45
From Squeak via Erme.
Nr three seven stop Were liberated suddenly on Whit Monday stop All very glad stop Where unable to stay behind Hun lines as Allies too fast stop What have I to do now stop Return to Britain IMI stop Please advise me of your orders at Whit Monday fixed sked at sixteen hundred fifteen hours GMT stop Also tell me soonest when broadcasts to me will finish stop Am keen to do another job until North Holland is freed stop Two
To Squeak via day Erme of 02.04.45
Good work and congratulations stop Where is Eduard please advise soonest stop After replying try to contact Special Forces liaison officer through brigades intelligence officer and await instructions through them stop
SCRAPE (KP Commandant for Rotterdam)
Rotterdam Police Ready to Fight
According to SCRAPE (van der Stoep) (35), about 100 Rotterdam police were preparing to fight with the resistance forces and together they would patrol the streets after liberation. London cabled (36) that the Rhine Traffic Committee reported that the majority of tugs used for the Antwerp - Rhine traffic were moored at Rotterdam with demolition charges already placed on board. It was required that resistance should do everything possible for their preservation.
(35) 62 from Scrape of 3.4.1945
(36) 5 to Scrape of 5.4.1945
COMMANDANT OF THE NBS
The Commandant (Koot) reported (37) that 26 vans were said to have arrived at the aerodrome at Twente. These vans contained thousands of glass bulbs 30 cms in diameter and without any opening. There were said to be three quarters full with a blue-green petrol like liquid. They were supposed to be bacillus bombs.
“Stay put” order for Dutch Civilians
London informed the commandant (38) that in connection with the danger of large-scale movements of the civil population before, during and after liberation, and also with the probable movement of 1,5 million possibly infected persons on the European frontier, the Chief of Staff of the Dutch Militair Gezag (military Authority) had issued an order forbidding all citizens to move outside their own municipality. London informed the commandant (39) that the Admiralty would be obliged if he would keep HQ advised of port demolitions carried out by the Germans, and also the location of such quays and harbours accessible and undamaged in Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Amsterdam, IJmuiden and Den Helder.
Mongolians revolt on Texel
The Commandant (Koot) reported (40) that the Mongolians were refusing to leave (island) Texel. They had imprisoned their German garrisons on the morning of April 7th. Batteries in Den Helder were in action against the island.
RAF Attack Gun Batteries
London cabled (41) two days later that the RAF had attacked the gun batteries at Den Helder. Would the commandant please give the results of the bombing? The commandant requested (42) that the water level of the Rhine at Cologne should be broadcast daily over Radio Orange to assist counter measures by Dutch technicians against possible German inundations.
Russians still fighting
The Commandant reported (43) that according to his German contact the fighting in Texel continued. The Russians and resistance forces were defending themselves behind minefields.
Food dropping begins
In a message (44) cabled on April 30th, the Commandant expressed in the name of the Dutch people his gratitude to HQ and to the Allies for the food dropping which had begun that day.
(37) Srl. A3831 from DC dated 02.04.45
(38) 32 to DC of 2.4.1945
(39) 47 to DC of 2.4.1945
(40) 82 from DC of 13.4.1945
(41) 54 to DC of 15.4.1945
(42) 103 from DC of 16.4.1945
(43) 134 from DC of 30.4.1945
(44) 169 from DC of 30.4.1945
WHIMPER & SNORT (Liaison in Veluwe)
WHIMPER (Bangma) reported (45) that he was in Elburg and asked whether he could go to Utrecht or Amsterdam. Could London give him contact addresses at these places? London replied (46) that in view of the great risks of moving to the west from his area at that moment, it was considered that he could remain where he was until overrun by Allied troops. He reported (47) that W/T contact was good, but that he had only one accumulator and there was no wind to charge his windmill dynamo.
On April 18th WHIMPER reported (48) that they were awaiting instructions because the Germans had gone, and they were liberated. Would London be arranging any more dropping operations? In reply London cabled (49) that if he was in contact with Allied troops then he should report to SF Detachment No.22 through the local brigade intelligence officer. Unless it was absolutely necessary it was considered there was no point in arranging dropping operations after liberation. London congratulated him on the good work he had done.
(45) 1 from Whimper of 15.4.1945
(46) 10 to Whimper of 16.4.1945
(47) 4 from Whimper of 17.04.45
(48) 7 from Whimper of 18.04.45
(49) 13 to Whimper of 18.04.45
SWISH (Assistant to Commandant of NBS)
Germans Undermine Lek Dyke
SWISH (Borghouts) reported on April 12th (50) that the position very very critical. The Germans were undermining the Lek dyke west of Wijk bij Duurstede. The execution of this plan would mean that the whole of the west of Holland would be flooded. The only possible chance would be to drop parachutists “on a large
General’s Surrender Offer
Later the same day (51) he reported that General VON ARNAU, Commandant of Artillery, was willing to surrender to the Netherlands Forces of the Interior. The German General asked that he should be sent to London to speak on the radio.
A German Trap ?
London asked (52) whether this was a personal surrender or did the General’s man also wish to capitulate? How did SWISH propose to exfiltrate him? Could he send him to the Veluwe under escort to be overrun by Allied troops? If this could be arranged then he should give a password. SWISH should be careful in case this was a trap.
Serious Security Offence
London cabled (53) that HQ were “horrified” to learn from BOATING (Polak) that since the arrest of DRAUGHTS-1 (Biallosterski) he and BACKGAMMON (de Vos) were doing all the coding and decoding. This was against all security regulations. It was suggested that the Commandant of the NBS (Koot) and DOCTOR-X (Veeneklaas) should make other arrangements.
(50) Srl A 4934/5/6/7 from Swish of 12.4.1945
(51) Srl A 4858-4861 from Swish of 12.4.1945
(52) 4 to Swish of 12.4.1945
(53) 5 to Swish of 18.4.1945
PING (W/T with Rotterdam KP)
London pointed out (54) that PING’s messages were almost unreadable. Could he transmit a little slower to avoid ‘clipping’? PING (ten Broek) apologized (55) for his bad sending, but he had sprained his wrist a fortnight ago. He would do his best to improve his key work.
(54) 12 to Ping of 18.4.1945
(55) 77 from Ping of 20.4.1945
HOOT (Liaison with Rotterdam KP)
Treat to Kill 9000
HOOT (Weve) quoted (56) a report by a German officer who had gone underground that 9000 prisoners would be shot at the concentration camp at Amersfoort when the 21st Army Group approached. 700 Germans occupied the camp. He reported (57) that Unteroffizier LEHMANN from Freibug was willing to save the bridges at Barendrecht on condition that when he was captured by the Allies, he should not be deported to Russia. He was not a war criminal.
HOOT was informed (58) that two agents and their packages had been dropped on one of his grounds by mistake. He should put them in touch with the commandant of the NBS at The Haque. He cabled (59) that the food rations for the next three weeks in occupied would be 14 ozs of bread per week and 125 grams of margarine for three weeks. Potato stocks were exhausted.
(56) Srl A 428 from Hoot of 19.4.1945
(57) 18 from Hoot of 22.4.1945
(58) 29 to Hoot of 26.4.1945
(59) Srl. A1331 from Hoot of 27.04.45
HISS & RAP (Sabotage instructors in Overijssel)
HISS training name was CHRISTIAANSEN (Johannes Maria Christiaansen) . He would be known in the field as MARIA.
RAP’s training name was DEN DEKKER (Cornelis den Dekker). He would be known in the field as CORNELIUS.
Large quantities of arms and explosives had been dropped to the NBS in Overijssel. These troops, under command od EDUARD (Hotz), had now been called upon to carry out in a clandestine manner the sabotage of German railway communications, and the overhead lines and cables of the telecommunications system used by the Wehrmacht. HISS and RAP would be dropped to an NBS reception committee who would look after them and put them in touch with EDUARD or one of his regional commanders. The two agents would take all their instructions from him, and assist with such action as was necessary. It would be their duty to advise the regional commander on all matters of sabotage and weapon training. HISS and RAP were dropped in Western (?) Holland on the night of April 3rd. They contacted the resistance forces safely but by the time W/T contact had been made the food-dropping plan was well under way, and it became too late to send them stores. They were both liberated when the Germans capitulated.
JINGLE & WHISTLE (Instructor & W/T for Rotterdam KP)
JINGLE’s training name was GREYDANUS (Johan Greidanus). He would be known in the field as BERNARD. The NBS in Zuid and Noord Holland had large quantities of arms and explosives, and had already been requested to sabotage German telecommunications. JINGLE would be dropped to an NBS reception committee who would look after him and put him in touch with PETER-ZUID (SWISH, Borghouts). JINGLE would take all his instructions for him or from the regional commander, with whom he would be put in contact. He would advise his regional commanders on all matters of sabotage and weapon training.
WHISTLE’s training name was DEKKER (Frans Dekker). He would be known in the field as FLUIT. PETER-ZUID had arrived safely in occupied Holland and had asked that WHISTLE should proceed to the field as soon as possible. PETER (Borghouts) was working for the NBS and the messages which WHISTLE would be required to receive and transmit would be vitally important to the success of the future activities of the NBS in conjunction with the Allied Army. WHISTLE would be dropped to an NBS reception committee who would look after him and put him in touch with PETER-ZUID. He would take all his instructions from PETER who would arrange for safe houses from which WHISTLE could transmit.
WHISTLE and JINGLE were dropped together south of Hilversum on the night of April 11th. Unfortunately, JINGLE fell in the lake at Loosdrecht and was drowned. WHISTLE was dropped on the edge of the lake and was rescued by the reception committee. He contacted SWISH (Borghouts) but owing to loss
of his equipment he had to wait until further apparatus was supplied, and was able to transmit only a few messages at a later date.
SCREAM & HOWL (Sabotage instructors for Rotterdam)
SCREAM’s training name was GERRITZOON (Hendrik Geijssen). He would be known in the field as HEIN. HOWL’s training name was HENDRIKSEN (Wijtze Sietze Bisschop). He would be known in the field as ROLF. In view of the important operational tasks which they had undertaken, the resistance forces in Rotterdam and Zuid-Holland had urgent need of instructors who had been trained in the use of arms and of reception committees. SCREAM and HOWL would be sent to act as instructors under the orders of VICTOR, the commander of the KP in Rotterdam, or any such other person he might appoint. They had received special training in sabotage, weapons and reception committee work and they would advise and instruct on these matters. SCREAM and HOWL were dropped in the Rotterdam area on the night of April 11th. They remained until liberated in May.