SOE WAR DIARIES DECEMBER 1944 1A.
I - GENERAL
POSITIONS IN THE FIELD
Success of Rummy’s Mission
Until the end of 1944 LEO (RUMMY) was successful in supplying a considerable quantity of equipment to the KP. His activities were almost entirely restricted to the province of South Holland and Utrecht. The only difficulties encountered by LEO came from the Communist Party, a number of whose members were to be found in the KP. Although courageous and efficient resistance workers, their presence during parachute operations led to undesirable losses in the material dropped, and it became clear that Party members were withholding material for their own private purposes (1). At about the time of FRANK’s (van Beijnen) death in November his chauffeur was arrested in Rotterdam through not having provided himself with a petrol authority, which had that day become necessary for driving a car. He had in his possession a number of ration cards and papers connected with the underground organization. These involved a member of FRANK’s staff called CORNELIS BITTER.
KP Captive Turns Traitor
Within a fortnight BITTER was arrested, and his arrest was almost immediately followed by that of other leading members of the Rotterdam KP. BITTER was released in the middle of December 1944 and interrogated by the Security Section of the KP. It was decided that he was not a traitor and he was permitted to re-join the organization. Shortly afterwards, however there was first hand proof that while under arrest BITTER, dressed in SS uniform, had been assisting the SD in interrogations, and had probably denounced KP members. He was subsequently shot by ROB of Rotterdam.
While this investigation was under way, THEO (CRIBAGGE), RUMMY’s W/T operator was arrested on December 21st . CRIBAGGE (Arie van Duyn) had recently become attached to a courier of the KP named TINE (Janny Sissingh) , who was acting as his look-out when German troops surrounded the block in which he was transmitting. The pair were not unduly alarmed and concealed their W/T set in a secure hiding place under the floor boards and were innocently engaged when an NCO entered the room, saying he was looking for a German officer. Unfortunately there was also present a third person VOLKERT who had recently been released from prison, and his identity card, lying on the table, showed him with a shaven head. The NCO became suspicious and bluffed VOLKERT into producing a second card. The room was then searched and further false ID card were found, as the premises served a dual purpose for W/T transmission and forgeries. The SD were called in and discovering the wireless set, arrested CRIBBAGE, TINE (Didi Gaazenbeek) and VOLKERT (Elsinga).
(This dual purpose of the building was really stupid)
PARR makes a mistake here, CRIBBAGE courier was DIDI GAAZENBEEK and not JANNY SISSINGH, see Attachment XIX.
(1) Security report on SOE organizations in Holland, August 1944 - February 1945.
“Talks” to SD
The following day RUMMY (Bert de Goede), who by a lucky chance had heard of these arrests, received through a post-box known to CRIBBAGE, and not yet closed down, a message from the latter requesting a rendez vous for a meeting. It was clear that CRIBBAGE had started to “talk” to the SD. The KP therefore took the necessary security precautions but in spite of this there were some further arrests.
NEW DIRECTIVE FOR DUTCH RESISTANCE
The following Directive (2) on the employment and development of resistance in Holland during the period following December 1st , 1944 was sent by Brigadier Mockler-Ferryman to the Dutch Section on December 3rd.
Apart from the operation in the Venlo district, the Allied advance into Holland has stabilized, and at present of comparative lull prevails.
Division into zones
For the purpose of developing and executing the plans contained in this Directive unliberated Holland will be divided into six zones as follows:
I. Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe.
II. Overijssel and Achterhoek
III. Veluwe, up to and including River IJssel, province of Utrecht and Het Gooi.
V. Province of South-Holland and the regions of Haarlem and Amsterdam
VI. Holland Noorder Kwartier
Three Phases of Resistance
Phase One - During the Period of Lull
It is essential that resistance should remain clandestine and retain its integrity until the time comes for intensifying activity.
(2) MUS/1802/2205 dated December 3rd , 1944 by Birgadier Mockler-Ferryman
(II) Maintaining order and keeping roads clear;
(III) Repairing war damage;
(IV) Providing labour and technical services;
(V) Providing guides and intelligence.
DELIVERY OF STORES
As the resistance forces had been instructed to reduce activity and the general policy at this time was one of “laying low”, the delivery to the field during
December showed a sharp drop in comparison with the previous month. Two hundred and twenty-one containers and 25 packages were sent to the field.
II - RESISTANCE GROUPS
BOWLS W/T TRAFFIC (GERMAN CONTROLLED)
London was arranging to deliver as soon as possible the material which BOWLS (Blanke) had requested (3). It was suggested that he should work out a plan with his friend in Germany for maintaining contact and passing out intelligence. Had BOWLS heard of any recent arrests?
PODEX, RUMMY & CRIBBAGE (Contact with CS-6 and RVV)
RUMMY (Bert de Goede)
FRANK of KP reported killed
London cabled (4) that Amsterdam had reported the possibility of FRANK (van Beijnen) having been arrested. This was not certain, and RUMMY would be kept advised of the situation. What were the difficulties between WITTE PIET (SNOOKER, Piet de Beer) and the KP? The RAF were keen to keep the SD on the run (5) so RUMMY should inform London as to their movements. It had been reported that FRANK had been killed or wounded while driving between Amersfoort and Apeldoorn. RUMMY confirmed (6) that FRANK had probably been arrested or was dead.
(3) 12 to Bowls of 07.12.44
(4) 177 to Rummy of 01.12.44
(5) 178 to Rummy of 01.12.44
(6) 151 from Rummy of 01.12.44
He (RUMMY) was informed (7) that Queen Wilhelmina had again requested General Eisenhower to warn the Germans that captured members of the NBS (Netherlands Forces of the Interior) must be treated as prisoners of war.
Politics before resistance - Rummy’s report
RUMMY cabled (8): “We are planning to coordinate all resistance groups in Rotterdam. Perhaps you thought this had already been done. Yes indeed in theory but not in practice: At the moment in the whole of Holland, politics come first and resistance second. We want to reverse this order, and put resistance first. Only you can help us to achieve order and co-ordinate. “We want to have one communication with you for the RVV, LO and KP in Rotterdam so that when the time comes you, and nobody else, can give us orders. Therefore, we think it better that you should send us some military person who can co-ordinate our operation and orders. “Sometimes the people here seem to seem to be behaving like little children, all with beautiful ranks. We tried several times to change this chaos, but they did not listen”. RUMMY asked London (9) to tell the RAF that they hit the SD building in Rotterdam only with machinegun fire. One rocket came just in front of the main entrance. The remainder hit houses in the Robert Fruinstraat, behind the SD building.
Threat to send C-in-C
London cabled (10) the following telegram from PRINCE BERNHARD to the Commander of the Zuid-Holland region: “Reports reaching me indicate disunity in resistance owing to questions of political nature. I suggest that this ceased forthwith, and that all groups work together for the common cause. If the present disunity continues, I shall be obliged to send an officer to take command of all active resistance. Please assure me that this will not be necessary and that I may count on your united efforts”. London cabled to the Commander Zuid-Holland (11) details of the scheme to divide unliberated Holland into six zones and outlined the limits of his own zone. Further messages would be sent through RUMMY giving details of special BBC broadcasts and the action to be taken when these were heard. The texts of his action message should not be communicated to other zones, or to personnel from other zones. This was most important in case of penetration.
(7) 179 to Rummy of 01.12.44
(8) 150 from Rummy of 01.12.44
(9) Srl No. B838.710 from Rummy of 04.12.44
(10) 186 to Rummy of 05.12.44
(11) 195 & 196 to Rummy of 10.12.44
V-2 Fuel Report
RUMMY requested (12) the despatch of topical photographs for the underground press. This was important for the morale of the population since “the press was the only thing they saw”. He reported (13) the position of an acid factory near Gorinchem. This factory was producing fuel for V-2 rockets. No news had been received from GERARD (PODEX, Mulholland) (14). He asked whether London was aware that Zuid-Holland was divided into two regions, each with its own commander. He had passed London’s message to the commander of Zuid-Holland Zuid (15). The field needed the following articles very badly (16): Limpits; 100 fillers for Stens; 150 detonators for hand grenades; 1000 sabotage detonators; 200 magazine for Brens; 150 carbines; 500 hand grenades; commando knives; pistols; field dressings; and a few silent Stens for a special operation. Would London drop for the next moon? All grounds were ready to receive.
Dutch Press Calls for Copy
RUMMY (Bert de Goede) cabled a message (17) from the Rotterdam Press asking for recent editions of the “Vliegende Hollander” and the London “Vrij Nederland” and newspapers of liberated Holland. Topical photographs and maps, especially of operations on German territory were badly needed. It took a long time for these things to arrive in any case. Could some help be given? It was quite easy for London to do this. London promised RUMMY (18) the material he has requested. It would go as a special load on the following week. Only the weather was delaying operations at the moment, so they should keep their hearts high.
KP Chief Turns Traitor
On December 19th RUMMY cabled (19) as follows: “URGENT ! The former Chief of Rotterdam Zuid was arrested by the SD. He was now turned traitor and is working for the enemy. He is very dangerous and has himself carried out arrests. At the moment he is on his way to liberated Holland. He started from Rotterdam on the 16th of December. He knows a great many men of the former underground movements in liberated Holland, and they would all trust him.
His field name is KEES ZUID. His real name is CORNELIS BITTER. His father is a post-master”. On the same day RUMMY sent another urgent message (20) asking Prince Bernhard to send PETER (NOORD) to Rotterdam to succeed FRANK. He was badly needed there. At the present PETER was acting as Commander of Stoottroepen ((Shock Troops) in South Rotterdam.
(13) Srl No B1282/10 from Rummy of 13.12.1944
(14) Srl No B1237/50 from Rummy of 12.12.1944
(15) 170 from Rummy of 12,12,1944
(16) 171 from Rummy of 13.12.1944
(17) 177 from Rummy of 15.12.1944
(18) 201 to Rummy of 16.12.1944
(19) Srl No B1554/81 from Rummy of 19.12.1944
(20) 180 from Rummy of 19.12.1944
Rotterdam a Separate Region
RUMMY asked whether Rotterdam and its environment could be regarded as one special region. This would be the safest arrangement from the security point of view in case of penetration. Rotterdam was most important, and for that reason they had to be extra careful. RUMMY was advised (21) that he could split his region into many sub-regions as he liked. It was only essential that the whole region should go into action at the same time. With reference to KEES ZUID, London asked (22) of what resistance organization was he the chief, and when was he arrested?
RUMMY cabled (23): “URGENT. Warn by Radio Oranje underground organizations in some parts of Holland not to lower themselves to the level of Germans or black market men. At the moment you can put a great many persons of the underground on a level with Germans and black market men as regards the food position. It is a big pity but it is the truth. Please ask the men of underground to look at the poor”. He reported that CRIBBAGE (Arie van Duyn) was probably arrested or dead (24). He would send further information as soon as he received it.
RUMMY (Bert de Goede) cabled (25) that either CRIBBAGE (Arie van Duyn) or his courier (Didi Gaazenbeek) were “talking” to the SD. His courier was going with the SD to all addresses she knew. RUMMY would continue his work with TRAPPING (Barme) as his W/T operator.
Commandant Told: “Prepare for Action”
London cabled (26) to the Commandant of Zuid-Holland, via RUMMY, details of “Phase Two” of the new Directive for Resistance. He should arrange at once to put these activities into operation throughout the whole of his zone on receipt of a special BBC message. He should begin at once recruiting
suitable men to be sent with intelligence to the Allied Forces when the time came for action.
Three men should be sent daily from his zone bringing tactical information concerning concentrations of troops, particularly in villages; locations of minefields and field works; areas completely free of enemy troops; and troop movement generally. In addition to this, plans should be made for other men with good local knowledge to remain hidden until overrun by the Allied Forces. They would then give local tactical intelligence and act as guides.
(21) 205 to Rummy of 19.12.1944
(22) 206 to Rummy of 19.12.1944
(23) 183 from Rummy of 19.12.44
(24) B1543/94 of 19.12.44
(25) B1629/43 of 21.12.44
(26) 215-220 to Rummy of 22.12.1944
One-man Torpedoes on the Move
London reported (27) that information had been received that about 60 one-man torpedoes or midget submarines were now being transported by road from Germany, the destination probably being Rotterdam. HQ required the earliest possible information on the location and movement of these midget submarines. Resistance should plan immediately the best method of destruction or sabotage. The Admiralty believed that there was great German Naval activity in Dutch coastal areas, and would greatly appreciate any information which could be sent. RUMMY reported the presence of German paratroops on the Veluwe and at Baarn and Soest. Their targets were Brussels and Antwerp (28).
PODEX reported safe
London cabled (29) that three postcards had been received from Germany via Switzerland signed “LUKE”. It was believed that these had come GERARD (PODEX, Luke Mulholland). There was nothing in the message beyond the indication that he was all right.
The pilot concerned had reported (30) that enemy fighters had been seen over the ground Lafayette on the previous night. Was everything all right there?
Islands Reported Inundated
CRIBBAGE reported (31) that all the Zuid-Holland islands were being evacuated by the Germans, and were probably being inundated. The remainder of CRIBBAGE’s messages, up to the time of his arrest were concerned with the technicalities of transmission.
(27) 221 to Rummy of 23.12.1944
(28) 192 from Rummy of 22.12.1944
(29) 232 to Rummy of 22.11.1944
(30) 233 to Rummy of 29.12.1944
(31) 29 from Cribbage of 2.12.44