SOE WAR DIARIES NOVEMBER 1944 part 1A.
I - GENERAL
POSITIONS IN THE FIELD
Bernhard Condemns Underground Rivalry
In November, SNOOKER (WITTE PIET, Piet de Beer) who had been brought to England and given parachute training, was dropped in Holland with a message
(1) from PRINCE BERNHARD for FRANK (van Beijnen) of the KP. It was in the following terms:-
“I strongly condemn the endless reproaches and accusations among resistance groups. As far as I am concerned there is no difference in patriotic feeling or will to resistance, but only in a suitability for organization and for the execution of different tasks. It is only on this basis that there should be any
differentiation in leadership. I have, therefore, decided that:
1) The Chief of Staff of the OD, FRANK of the KP and KAREL ( Jan Thijssen) of the RVV will personally sit on the Delta Centrum instead of sending
2) The Commandant of the Delta Centrum will not act as military adviser, but will have a decisive vote in case of disagreement among the Delta
members. All decisions on operational and organizational matters must be made in consultation and co-operation, and personal or group interests
must be placed to one side;
3) The preparation and execution of specific sabotage and guerrilla work on a smaller scale must be left in the hands of the KP and RVV, assisted if
necessary by suitable volunteers from the OD. Experienced leaders must be allotted for these special operations;
4) The preparation and execution of armed operations on a larger scale, which I may order in support of Allied Army operations, must be placed in the
hands of the armed section of the Forces of the Interior under the leadership of the best men of the OD with military experience, whatever their rank
or their age;
5) The Delta Centrum must take steps to eradicate local rivalries and to this end, should if necessary, change the local leadership.”
From this time onwards the DRIEHOEK or TRIANGLE was no longer a mere liaison between the KP, RVV and OD, but Nominally at least, a personal triumvirate of the three leaders under command of VAN OEVER (Henri Koot).
(1) Appendix to Orders for Snooker, undated.
KP distrust new ‘Driehoek’
FRANK (van Beijnen) of the KP was suspicious of the reorganization, and in no way inclined to accept the authority of the Delta Centrum. He particularly disliked the arrangement whereby a liaison officer (DRAUGHTS) and his W/T operator had been dropped to Delta C at the beginning of September as liaison to Prince Bernhard. FRANK therefore, asked LEO (RUMMY) (Bert de Goede) to move with him to Amsterdam, solely in the purpose of having an independent channel of communication to London. This, however, LEO (Bert de Goede) refused to do, remaining in Rotterdam to carry out his proper function of the supply of arms and explosives to the KP.
Further difficulties arose through the fact that Delta C, through DRAUGHTS, was responsible to the Prince in Belgium, whose instructions on more than one occasion were contrary to those received by RUMMY in Rotterdam from London (2).
By the end of the month the KP had in fact divorced itself from both Delta Centrum and the two organizations and was carrying out its own plan of action from Rotterdam through RUMMY.
Change in the RVV leadership
The RVV although nominally commanded by LANGE JAN (Jan Thijssen) was in reality organized by his assistant FREEK (Gerben Wagenaar), a far less impetuous and more intelligent man. At the beginning of November differences broke out in the Triumvirate which ended in the dismissal of LANGE JAN and
his replacement by FREEK.
Podex caught in German razzias
On November the 14th PODEX (Mulholland) in Rotterdam was picked up in a razzia and subsequently deported to Germany for forced labour. His real identity, however was not discovered by the Germans, but his loss necessitated his replacement by his former courier TILLY, who had acted as RVV liaison to PODEX’s operator CRIBBAGE (van Duyn).
Towards the end of the month, the SD were successful in arresting eight prominent members of the NBS (Dutch Forces of the Interior) in the province of Utrecht. They were subsequently taken to Amersfoort Prison. This prison now held a number of prominent members of the NBS.
On November 27th FRANK (van Beijnen), together with a certain PAUL (Samuel Esmeijer), who was then Commander of the underground forces in Rotterdam, reconnoitred the Prison in person to attempt a liberation. Unfortunately FRANK and PAUL were surprised by a patrol and in the ensuing fight PAUL was killed and FRANK was so badly wounded that the later died. The Germans realizing that an attempt against the prison was envisaged, immediately shot 21 underground members who were in captivity there.
This strange, the whole thing took place in Apeldoorn and not in Amersfoort. Not only FRANK and PAUL lost their lives, SCULLING (Sjeerp Postma) was one among the 21 who were executed.
As a result of FRANK’s death, PETER NOORD took FRANK’s place as KP representative on the Triumvirate or ‘Driehoek’. At the same time further recruits received from London were becoming active. An organiser WITTE DIRK (SCULLING) (Postma) who was later to replace PETER NOORD, was working as liaison officer to the Utrecht area.
(2) Security report on SOE organizations in Holland, August 1944 - February 1945.
During November EDU (TRAPPING) (Richard Barme) was sent to Rotterdam to act as a second W/T operator to RUMMY (Bert de Goede). NECKING (Peter Tazelaar) and his W/T operator BOBSLEIGH (Faber) were dropped in NE Holland to build up resistance groups in Friesland. WITTE PIET (SNOOKER, Piet de Beer), who had come out of Holland through the lines, was dropped on the night of November 10th to a KP reception committee north of Rotterdam with special instructions from Prince Bernhard and with a wireless plan for direct contact between Rotterdam and Prince Bernhard’s HQ, to be used only in connection with an Allied advance in that direction.
Delivery of stores
During this month 841 containers and 91 packages were successfully dropped (3).
II - RESISTANCE GROUPS
BOWLS ** (GERMAN CONTROLLED)
London asked “BLANKE” to confirm whether his contact address in The Hague was still safe (4). London had not been communicating with him because of the security difficulties to which he had referred. He should not be discouraged, as it was fully intended that his services should be used at the earliest possible opportunity.
** Johan Blanke, the self styled German renegade operating on Bowl’s set.
(1) Montly review, December 4th 1944
(2) Srl No BB 797 to Bowls of 25.11.1944
PODEX, RUMMT & CRIBBAGE (Contact with CS-6 and RVV)
Plan to Protect Bridges
PODEX (Mulholland), referring to a message sent on October 31st asking for bridges to be protected, reported (5) that his men had been arranging for the protection of several bridges in Rotterdam, including railway bridges providing eastward communications. He was asked (6) to advise London as soon as possible of the number of armed men in the main centres of Holland or in areas with which he was in contact. HO wish to give the Allied Command a description of the present situation. He should indicate where possible whether the men belonged to the RVV or OD.
RAF Miss Target
PODEX cabled (7) that the General Staff of the German 15th Army were in a fortification in the Oranje Park, Dordrecht. He later reported (8) that the 15th
Army HQ had been bombed, but the fortification in which the General Staff were lodged had not been damaged.
PODEX CAUGHT IN RAZZIA
The last message to be received from PODEX read (9) : “WILL PROBABLY BE CAUGHT BY THE GERMANS TO-DAY FOR LABOUR WORK. IMPOSSIBLE TO GET OUT OF IT. DO NOT WORRY, SHALL TRY TO COME OUT OF IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. MESSAGES CAN STILL BE SENT BECAUSE MY WORK WILL BE IN THE HANDS OF A RILIABLE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN HELPING ME ALL THE TIME. IF THERE ARE URGENT MESSAGES SHE WILL SEND THEM TO YOU”
London replied (10) : “SORRY ABOUT GERARD (PODEX, Mulholland). TELL US WHETHER YOU STILL HAVE CONTACT WITH HIM. ALSO, WHETHER YOU ARE IN TOUCH WITH RVV. WHAT IS YOUR NAME
Tilly Takes Over
PODEX’s assistant replied (11) that she was in touch with RUMMY’s contacts. She had heard nothing about GERARD (Mulholland). Her name was TILLY.
Tilly was Jantje Sissingh, in 1948 she married Maarten Cieremans.
PODEX’s contact reported (12) that GERARD had still not returned to Rotterdam. Dropping operations could be resumed and for this purpose a new ground was submitted. They especially required hand-grenades, tyre bursters, an old black coat and remedies for bronchial asthma.
London acknowledged this message (13) stating that in view of Gestapo activity, it was thought advisable not to carry out any dropping operations for a short time, at least until things quietened down. TILLY was asked to indicate with which organizations she was working, and to what extent the razzia had affected her organization.
(3) Srl No B 3794/90 from Podex of 1.11.1944
(4) 117 to Podex of 4.11.1944
(5) Srl No B 4064/100 from Podex of 5.11.1944
(6) Srl No B 4329 from Podex of 10.11.1944
(7) Srl No B 530/99 FROM Podex of 13.11.44
(8) 131 to Podex of 14.11.1944
(9) 17 from Podex of 16.11.1944
(10) 19 from Podex of 28.11.1944
(11) 132 to Podex of 28.11.1944
TRAPPING’s Safe Arrival
RUMMY (Bert de Goede) reported (14) that the new operator EDU (Richard Barme) TRAPPING was safe in Rotterdam. London was delighted with the news (15). EDU would give RUMMY a new list of reception conventions which he could commence using at once.
Officer to Infiltrate Allied Troops
RUMMY reported (16) that the resistance groups in the Biesbosch and in Dordrecht could assist from 2000 to 3000 Allied troops to infiltrate from Drimmelenacross the Brabantsche Biesbosch to the Zuid Hollandsche Biesbosch where they could stay for some days unobserved. Transport by river craft could be arranged to carry the troops from the Zuid Hollandsche Biesbosch across the Nieuwemerwede to Tongeplaat, south of Dubbeldam. He could provide further detailed information if required. He was asked (17) to confirm the position of the Brabantsche Biesbosch and the Zuid Hollandsche Biesbosch.
SD and TRAPPING
In an obscure message dated November 4th (18) he (Rummy) asked for an attack on the Sicherheitsdienst building, but did not give its location. It was presumed to be in Rotterdam. A repeat was requested, and in reply he stated (19) that the SD had arrested men of the underground movement, and he feared that they had a photograph of TRAPPING. RUMMY was asked (20) to give the location and details of the SD building.
With regard to the proposal to ferry Allied troops to the Zuid Hollandsche Biesbosch, RUMMY was asked (21) to indicate as soon as possible at what pinpoint he proposed to pick up the troops, and what route they would take to the Tongeplaat. Did he propose to do this at night, and also, what flash signal would he give? How many men could he ferry at a time?
Maas Tunnel Scheme
RUMMY (Bert de Goede) reported (22) that he no longer had any contact with the Biesbosch groups. The Biesbosch was now a prohibited area, and it was impossible for RUMMY and his men to get out of Rotterdam owing to large-scale German razzias. He had completed a plan for the protection of the Maas Tunnel. His groups would remove the charges laid by the enemy. He had no plan ready for the protection of the Maas bridges. This was impossible owing to the number of German troops in Rotterdam. They would do their best but this would depend on the situation when the Allied army approached Rotterdam.
(14) 95 from Rummy of 2.11.1944
(15) 119 to Rummy of 2.11.1944
(16) 100 from Rummy of 4.11.1944
(17) 137 to Rummy of 6.11.1944
(18) Daily summary No 65 of 8.11.1944
(19) 103 from Rummy of 6.11.1944
(20) 140 to Rummy of 6.11.1944
(21) 143 to Rummy of 6.11.1944
(22) Srl No B 4487/76 from Rummy of 12.11.1944
Rummy Non-Committel on Tilly
London cabled (23) that the last message received from GERARD (PODEX) (Mulholland) stated that he expected to be deported, and was giving his codes to TILLY (Jantje Sissingh). Did RUMMY know her, and was it worth while putting her in touch with GERARD’s contacts? RUMMY replied (24) that TILLY had been a courier for the KP but had agreed to work for GERARD (Mulholland). London could judge her W/T work better than he could. He did not know anything about her contacts with the RVV.
Proposed move to Amsterdam
RUMMY reported (25) that he had been asked by FRANK to go with him to Amsterdam. RUMMY was not anxious to do this as “ he did not like their politics their”. RUMMY reported (26) that he was moving the following week to Amsterdam . He stated that HQ would be kept in touch with the KP and OD groups in Rotterdam by COURSING (Hoogewerff ) and with the RVV groups by TILLY (Jantje Sissingh). He believed that the RVV in Rotterdam had been broken up. The enemy had found their arms dumps. Several men had been arrested or deported, and the SD was now looking for the commanders. The RVV operation centre was no longer in Rotterdam.
Decline to “Lie-Low”
RUMMY was advised (27) to keep quiet and give the Germans the impression that the razzias had broken the resistance forces. RUMMY reported (28) that he tried several times to sink the Westerdam but without success. Although HQ had asked him to lie low for a while, he could not cease to work hard for he now had opportunities for sabotage which might not occur later.
(23) 154 to Rummy of 16.11.1944
(24) 124 from Rummy of 18.11.1944
(25) 116 from Rummy of 18.11.44
(26) 129 from Rummy of 21.11.44
(27) 160 to Rummy of 20.11.1944
(28) Srl No B 274/31 from Rummy of 25.11.1944
Mystery of the Polish Courier
RUMMY reported (29) that a man had arrived in Rotterdam who claimed to be a special courier from the Polish Division at Moerdijk. He wanted to know the number of resistance groups, their plans and other details. They did not trust this man and had arrested him. Would London reply as soon as possible? London replied (30) that they had no knowledge of such a courier from the Polish Division. Investigations would be made, but in the meantime RUMMY should cut contact, since this might well be a German attempt at penetration.
Rummy to stay in Rotterdam: London’s Praise
London cabled (31) that since razzias were expected to take place in Amsterdam, it was considered that he and THEODORE (Arie van Duyn) should remain in Rotterdam for the time being unless they considered themselves to be in danger. RUMMY replied (32) that he had discussed the matter with THEODORE
(CRIBBAGE) (van Duyn) and that they both had decided not to go to Amsterdam in view of the forthcoming razzias. They considered they could do better by remaining in Rotterdam and continuing their work with the local resistance groups. They were working hard and were fighting for their Queen and country rather than thinking about a good job after the war. (This is quite a statement !!) London was glad (33) that RUMMY had decided to remain in Rotterdam and appreciated his loyalty and that of his commanders. It would not be forgotten. RUMMY cabled (34) that WITTE PIET (SNOOKER) (de Beer) was no longer working for the KP. They did not like him, or his ideas. He was now working for RUMMY. Would London please order him to remain in Rotterdam?
Big round-up in Rotterdam
CRIBBAGE (van Duyn) reported (35) that the Germans were taking all men from the ages of 17 to 40 in house-to-house searches in Rotterdam. He himself had a narrow escape. GERARD (PODEX) (Mulholland) had been taken by the Germans, but was doing his best to escape. The captured men were being driven by his house like cattle. He added (36) that the Germans had netted over 50.000 men in Rotterdam. On November 4th CRIBBAGE cabled (37): “GERARD SAFE, NOT KNOW WHERE HE IS” CRIBBAGE had refused to go to Amsterdam, and asked London’s opinion (38) London replied (39) that since large razzias were expected in Amsterdam any day, it was agreed that he should remain where he was.
(30) 170 to Rummy of 25.11.1944
(31) 171 to Rummy of 25.11.1944
(32) 143 from Rummy of 27.11.44
(33) 172 to Rummy of 27.11.1944
(34) 148 from Rummy of 30.11.1944
(35) 12 from Cribbage of 12.11.1944
(36) 14 from Cribbage of 126.96.36.199
(37) 2 from Cribbage of 23.11.1944
(38) 23 from Cribbage of 25.11.1944
(39) 30 to Cribbage of 25.11.1944