SOE WAR DIARIES MARCH 1945 PART IA.
I - GENERAL
POSITION IN THE FIELD
Efforts had been made to locate DRAUGHTS 1 as a preliminary to an attempt to free him, but without success. In the meantime his successor Dr. ARENT, or “Dr.X” had taken up his work after some initial friction with ROWING (Frank Hamilton) who wanted this job for himself, and had a great dislike for the DOCTOR (Henk Veeneklaas).
Difficulties were being experienced in the Friesland area, where the Germans appeared to be making a determined attempt to stamp out resistance. NECKING (Peter Tazelaar) therefore proceeded with caution. He reported that there were still over 2000 armed partisans in his area.
Resistance in Utrecht was being reorganized, with sabotage teams kept quiet apart from the remainder of the resistance organization.
The situation in Rotterdam was not so bad as had been expected. Reports of complete disunity and chaotic conditions in the underground movement appeared to have been exaggerated, for SCRAPE (Marinus van der Stoep), on his arrival, reported that the morale of the KP was good.
On March 24th BBC action messages were broadcast to the field calling for:
(1) Railway and road sabotage
(2) Passing of military intelligence
(3) Protection of technical personnel
Detailed orders in this connection had already been sent to the field
Very strong protests were received from our agents against the catastrophic bombing of The Hague by Allied aircraft on March 3rd . V-2 installations were the target but reports show that not one of these had been hit. On the other hand hundreds of Dutch civilians had been killed and many thousands made
Very strong protests were received from our agents against the catastrophic bombing of The Hague by Allied aircraft on March 3rd. V-2 installations were the target but reports showed that not one of these had been hit. On the other hand hundreds of Dutch civilians had been killed and many thousands made
DUDLEY (Henk Brinkgreve) was arrested and killed on March 5th while trying to escape.
WHIMPER (Rein Bangma) and SNORT (Jan Lodewijk van der Weijden, W/T operator) were dropped in the Veluwe area to arrange a supply of arms to the resistance forces there.
RUMBLE (Wouter Pleijsier, W/T operator) and GRUNT (Tom Gehrels) were sent to the Achterhoek area of Overijssel to assist in the reception of arms and instruct resistance personnel in their use.
SWISH (Peter Zuid, Peter Borghouts) was sent to the Commander of the Netherlands Forces of the Interior (Prince Bernhard) to act as his first assistant. He was to assume control in the event of the Commander being arrested or killed.
PING (Bobby ten Broek, W/T operator) was sent to the KP in the Rotterdam area to replace TRAPPING (Richard Barme), who had been arrested.
HOOT (Johan Weve) was sent to the Rotterdam area. He later replace SCRAPE (Marinus van der Stoep), who was killed on April 11th.
During this month 514 containers and 92 packages were dropped to the fields.
II - RESISTANCE GROUPS
SHOOTING (Joop Luijkenaar) escaped through the lines on March 16th (2).
(2) Weekly Sitrep No.74 of March 19th , 1945
CHARADES (Jaap Beekman) resumed his communication with HQ and reported that he was in a village 15 kms north-east of Deventer (3) He was working for HERMAN (Herman Doppen), successor of EVERT (Kapitein Lancker) (4).
Grunt and Rumble safe
CHARADES cabled (5) that GRUNT (Pleijsier) , the organizer for the Achterhoek, and RUMBLE (Gehrels), his W/T operator, who were sent to the field on the night of March 17th, had arrived safely.
(3) Daily Summary No.192 of March 16th, 1945
From Charades via Wesum.
101 stop Woon thans in Heeten stop Ontving broadcast nrs tot en met zeven een stop
(4) Daily Summary No.193 of March 17th, 1945
(5) Daily Summary No. 198 of March 22nd , 1945
Hunting in danger
He (Beekman) reported (6) that the SD had a photograph of HUNTING (Hinderink), who was a brigade instructor under EDUARD (Hotz). HERMAN (Doppen) cabled (7) that there were no large forces in Overijssel, with the exception of Zwolle and Deventer.
CHARADES wired (8) that the NBS in Deventer was at last organized and could munster 200 men. He said the main traffic bridge could be saved and asked for supplies of arms to be dropped immediately. The plan for holding the bridge was being sent through the Allied lines by courier.
(6) Daily Summary No. 201 of March 25th, 1945
From Charades via Rother.
Schuilnaam Maurits veranderd in Pieter stop Nul zes stop Sicherheitsdienst heeft een foto van Kris;
(7) Srl. A3482 from Charades of 29.03.45
From Charades via Rother.
Van HERMAN stop NBS actief in heel Salland stop Nul acht stop Vooral BANLEN (banden) bommen veel succes stop Behalve in Zwolle en Deventer geen Duitsche troepen van Beteekenis stop Eerste inlichters vertrekken heden stop
(8) Daily Summary No. 206 of 30th March, 1945
DOCTOR X (Contact with RVV and OD)
DOCTOR X reported (9) that several hundred prisoners in Holland, including more than a hundred in Amsterdam, among whom were many women, were shot publicly during the last week as a reprisal for the attack on RAUTER. He further reported (10) that as a result of the arrest of DRAUGHTS 1 (Biallosterski), a regional medical officer and a regional transport officer and about 20 others were arrested. As a reprisal for an abortive attempt to free these people, about 30 men were murdered. Two members of the DOCTOR’s staff, of whom one was a girl, were shot as a reprisal for the RAUTER attack.
(This was Anita, she was not shot but stayed for the remainder of the war in the Weteringschans Prison in Amsterdam)
He cabled (11) that he was doing his utmost to find out exactly where DRAUGHTS was, and would do what he could for him. DOCTOR X asked London (12) not to drop on the ground HUDSON until further notice, as the Germans were searching for a fighter pilot who had bailed out above this area.
German D/F active
He explained that owing to strong German interference on all home and outstation frequencies, W/T contact had been impossible for several days. Moreover, his operators had been “all but caught” by German Direction Finders (13). He pointed out (14) that resistance forces in important areas in Holland such as Haarlem and Gooi were practically unarmed. He would, therefore, be giving a lot of new grounds on which weapons should be dropped as soon as possible.
(9) 12 from Dr X of 14.03.45
From Doctor-X via Towy of 14.3.1945
12 stop Several hundred prisoners in whole country more than one hundred in Amsterdam among many women were shot publicly during past week as reprisal for attacks Rauter stop
(10) 13 from Dr X of 14.03.45
From Doctor-X via Towy of 14.3.1945
13 stop Consequently IAN … LRQ arrest regional medical officer and principle transport officer and about twenty others were arrested stop Former two died of wounds stop As reprisal for abortive attempt to set them free about thirty men were m… op subsequently one girl member of Hans’s staff arrested in Amsterdam stop Two members of our staff of whom one girl recently incidentally arrested were shot as reprisal ref my twelve stop
(11) 23 from Dr X of 17.03.45
From Doctor-X via Towy of 17.3.1945
23 stop Will you tell Hans’ wife we are doing utmost to find out exactly where and how he is and what we can do for him stop
(12) 31 from Dr X of 21.03.45
From Doctor-X via Towy of 21.3.1945
31 stop Please do not drop on Hudson until further notice as Germans searching for fighter pilot who parachuted on Hudson area stop
(13) 33 from Dr X of 30.03.45
From Doctor-X via Thurso of 2.4.1945
33 stop My three three of twenty first stop Because of strong German interference on all your and our frequencies stop Contact was impossible for several days stop Moreover DF all but got operators stop Please understand this explains postponement traffic and misunderstandings stop
(14) Srl. A3678/51 from Dr X of 30.03.45
From Doctor-X via Thurso of 30.3.1945
51 stop Important areas as Haarlem and Gooi practically unarmed stop Noord Holland only slightly armed stop Therefore giving you a lot of new grounds asking urgently on grounds which are ready and anxious to receive soonest stop
Long transmissions: London’s warning
London cabled (15) that he (Backgammon) and DOUWE (BOATING) must not transmit for seventy-five minutes as they had done on the previous day. They knew the danger not only to themselves but to others. If they did this again London would be obliged to cut contact with them. If their traffic was heavy then they should ask for additional skeds, and vary their sked times.
BACKGAMMON cabled some days later (16) that the direction finders had nearly “got him” that week. He had great difficulties hearing the Home Station signals, which had been very weak for the last fortnight. If the Home Station did not immediately increase its power then he and DOUWE (BOATING) could not work any longer.
(15) 36 to Backgammon of 06.03.45
36 to Backgammon via night Elan of 6.3.1945
For you and DOUWE stop You must not transmit for seventy five (75) minutes as you did yesterday stop You know the danger not only for yourself but to others stop If you do this again we shall obliged to close down on you stop Ask for additional skeds if your traffic is heavy and vary your sked times stop
(16) 58 from Backgammon of 17.03.45
From Backgammon via Towy.
58 stop DF nearly got us this week several times after being FETIITGTES in the air stop We hardly heard you because your signals very weak since two weeks stop If you do not immediately increase your power we cannot work any longer stop Send also immediately two new plans for each of us to Sally
MONOPOLY, CUBBING, COURSING & BOATING (Contact with DRIEHOEK)
New set-up in Utrecht
CUBBING (Maarten Cieremans) reported (17) that resistance in Utrecht was being reorganized. The good work of the sabotage teams would be continued. These teams were organized quite separately from the NBS and would be supplied with the best material which the NBS had. This would result in the NBS becoming practically unarmed in several zones. The teams would act under the regional sabotage command which in turn would be under the general control of the NBS regional Command.
London cabled (18) that an attempt had been made to drop supplies on the ground “MAAS” on the previous night, but the pilot had reported that the reception lights were suddenly extinguished and not re-light. Would CUBBING please report? He replied (19) that the reception arrangements were quite in order but that in turning, the plane probably got out of range of the lights and thought they were put out.
The German direction finders were very active in his area (20).
Armenians ready to revolt
CUBBING cabled (21) that about 2400 Armenians who had been pressed into the German Army were willing to work under resistance orders. Would HQ give instructions? Was HQ interested in the exact numbers and particulars of German troops in the region of Utrecht, and the exact position of the German Naval HQ (22)?
With regard to the Armenians, London suggested (23) broadcasting a special action message in German on the BBC European programme. Would CUBBING advise if this arrangement was suitable. What language did they understand? London asked (24) whether CUBBING could receive a W/T operator on one of his grounds and look after him until he received instructions to proceed to The Veluwe.
(17) 2 from Cubbing of 02.03.45
(18) 37 to Cubbing of 09.03.45
(19) 6 from Cubbing of 12.03.45
(20) 7 from Cubbing of 12.03.45
(21) 11 from Cubbing of 17.03.45
(22) 10 from Cubbing of 17.03.45
(23) 81 to Cubbing of 19.03.45
(24) 87 to Cubbing of 22.03.45
Military intelligence needed
The following cable (25) was sent via CUBBING to the resistance commandant of Utrecht, Betuwe and Veluwe:
“Keep us advised of German Reactions to the present Allied attack and in particular the following:
“Direction of movement and identification of bodies of troops of 500 men or more; concentration of large bodies of troops not easily visible from the air; areas evacuated by the Germans; important defence systems being prepared by the Germans; The origin, time, date and pinpoints of locations should be given in all cases. These intelligence reports should not interfere with normal operations traffic”
Fierce German reprisals
CUBBING reported (26) that the following on the attempt on the life of RAUTER, Chief of the SS in Holland, about 400 people had been murdered by the Germans. RAUTER was now at Apeldoorn with a bullet in his lung.
Bridge protection plan
London cabled (27) to the commander of Utrecht, Betuwe and Veluwe:
“Most important that the resistance forces should plan immediately to protect such bridges over the rivers and canals which the Germans may try to destroy in order to prevent rapid Allied advances.
“You should aim at preserving some bridges on each main waterway strong enough to bear forward Allied vehicles. It is not necessary that these should be on main routes.
“You should listen carefully to the BBC and Allied war news reports which will be some indication to you as to which direction Allied advances are taking.
“You should watch the bridges which you intend to protect in case you may have to act on your own initiative. If time allows a special BBC action message will be broadcast.
“You must arrange to have guides to direct advancing troops to bridges which have been saved. As operations develop we will try to give you more precise directions.”
Germans prepare demolitions
London advised the Commandant of Utrecht (28) that it was believed that the great road bridges around Utrecht and Amsterdam were being charged with explosives. What method were the Germans using and what were his eventual plans for prevention of demolition?
Suggested plan of action
London cabled (29) the Commander of Utrecht, Betuwe and Veluwe:
“Re protection of bridges, the following suggestion is offered for your pans - Try to kill German demolition personnel at the last moment and then destroy charges. This will prevent loss of life through premature action in the event of no Allied troops being near to give assistance.
“Resistance should try, by clandestine means, to prevent the removal to Germany or motor and inland water transport and railway stock by removing vital parts, which could be replaced after the liberation”.
London pointed out (30) that if resistance forces could collect any documents or parts of rocket bombs and hide them until after the liberation, this would be much appreciated by the Allies.
(25) 91 to Cubbing of 24.03.45
(26) Srl. A3320 from Cubbing of 25.03.45
(27) 94 and 95 to Cubbing of 27.03.45
(28) 95 to Cubbing of 27.03.45
(29) 98 to Cubbing of 28.03.45
(30) 104 to Cubbing of 31.03.45
BOATING (Paul Polak) cabled (31) that he preferred not to work for ROWING (Frank Hamilton). Would London please appoint somebody immediately as the situation was becoming unbearable. He considered ROWING “utterly incapable”, and if London wanted their work to go on and their agents to come
back alive, then they should appoint the DOCTOR “pretty damn quick”. London replied (32) that this matter had now been settled and there was no need for BOATING to worry about it. BOATING regretted (33) that W/T contact had been interrupted recently. They had been traced down by direction finders regularly and had a narrow escape. On most occasions he did not hear London calling on his skeds, and blind sending was too risky. London should send him reserve sets, plans and crystals for such emergencies. If possible the power of the Home Station should be increased, or frequencies changed.
(31) 46 from Boating of 07.03.45
From Boating via Elan.
46 stop Prefer not to work for GUUS stop Appoint someone immediately as situation before unbearable stop Consider GUUS utterly incapable and if you want work to go on and us to come back sometime appoint DOC pretty damn quick stop Zero
(32) 37 to Boating of 08.03.45
37 To Boating via night Elan.
Your message received stop Matter settled with DC and there is no need for you to worry stop
(33) 50 from Boating of 21.03.45
From Boating via Thurso.
50 stop As are tracked down by DF rpt DF regularly and both had narrow escape and most times do not hear you calling on our skeds and blind sending too risky contact was interrupted sorry stop Important you send us reserve sets plans and crystals for such emergencies stop Increase your power if possible or change your frequencies stop Please advise stop Zero
NECKING & BOBSLEIGH (Resistance in Friesland)
Agents on the run
NECKING apologized (34) for not keeping regular contact. For the last three weeks they had been chased across the country “like rats”. A small number of hand grenades and Sten guns were in German hands, but the rest of their weapons were safely hidden away.
Threats to Frieland
He reported (35) that unrest in Friesland was growing on account of recent arrests. German troops and police movements seemed to indicate their intention to liquidate the underground movement in Friesland. The same German commandos who had repeatedly wiped out resistance in Groningen and Drenthe were coming to Friesland.
Difference with Commander
NECKING cabled (36) that a difference of opinion had arisen between the Commander of Friesland and himself. He felt it was best to await a full report on the situation in Friesland and then decide whether the Germans really intended to stamp out resistance there. If that was the case then he wished to take particular care not to endanger the supplies which had already been built up, and be cautious about submitting new grounds. The Commander, on the other hand, wanted to submit new dropping grounds and asked for operations in spite of NECKING’s opinion. NECKING was informed (37) that in order to avoid unnecessary friction with the Commander, he should send HQ any new dropping grounds which the Commander might give him, stating at the same time his own opinion of such grounds. HQ would then arrange droppings according to the situation and to NECKING’s report. He later wired (38) that his difference of opinion with the Commander of Friesland had been satisfactorily settled.
He reported (39) that 200 workers had been called up at Leeuwarden, but only 50 had reported. It was presumed that V-2 sites were to be erected. It was said that V-2 personnel were coming from The Hague. The number of armed men in Friesland was now 2100 (40) He had been getting a mass of military information during the last few days, since his Intelligence Branch got to work.
(34) 40 from Necking of 4.3.1945
(35) 42 from Necking of 9.3.1945
(36) 43 from Necking of 9.3.1945
(37) 67 to Necking of 10.3.1945
(38) 47 from Necking of 17.3.1945
(39) Srl No 2568A from Necking of 18.3.1945
(40) 52 from Necking 0f 24.3.1945
DUDLEY was arrested, and killed on March 5th while trying to escape.
EDUARD (Provincial Commandant for Overijssel)
Electricity to be Cut Off
EDUARD (Hotz) requested that at the next dropping operation some miniature radio receiving sets should be dropped as all electricity was to be cut off during the following week, and without these sets his sub-commanders would be unable to hear the BBC action messages (41).
(41) 55 from Eduard of 1.3.1945
SQUEAK (W/T for EDUARD)
SQUEAK (Sjoerdsma) complained (42) that his “bloody small W/T key” spoiled his hand and made erase dangerously. Would London please send him carefully-packed big keys in each package in the next dropping operation?
Dudley Killed in SD Attack
He reported (43) that on the previous Monday afternoon the SD had attacked EDUARD’s new HQ. As far as was known DUDLEY (Henk Brinkgreve) was killed, but that other three men with him had escaped. It was possible that important papers and one-time-pads had been captured. London should send all messages in SQUEAK’s code until they were sure about EDUARD’s one-time-pad. He later reported (44) that it now appeared that EDUARD’s one-time-pad had not been captured.
(42) 21 from Squeak of 2.3.1945
From Squeak via Erme of 2.3.1945
21 stop This bloody small key spoils my hand and makes me erase dangerously much stop Please send carefully packed big keys in each package of next drop in this province and advise me when and where this will be stop Seven
(43) 23 from Squeak of 6.3.1945
From Squeak via Erme of 6.3.1945
23 stop Monday afternoon SD attacked Eduard’s new HQ the same farm which was my last base half way between Losser and Gronau stop As far as we know Major Henk Dudley was killed stop The other three escaped stop Probably important papers and pads have been captured stop Send all messages in my code until we are sure about Edwards pad stop
(44) 24 from Squeak of 9.3.1945
From Squeak via Erme of 9.3.1945
24 stop From Eduard stop SD do not know action messages stop My chance code books have not been captured either so you can send all messages to me in my code again stop