The “Englandspiel” Spy Scandal
A penetrating new investigation into the first major spy disaster of World War when fifty-nine SOE agents were captured - 54 of them eventually being murdered- in Nazi occupied Holland in 1942 and 1943. German counter-intelligence had totally penetrated SOE’s Dutch network, fooling London into believing their agents were free and sending thousands of genuine radio messages for 15 months, between March 1942 and June 1943. The Germans dubbed their operation the “Englandspiel” ( the England Game).
But is that the real story? Didn’t anyone in London suspect? Did SOE’s rivals, the Secret Intelligence Service, know what was going on, but fail to let on until too late in the day? And for what reason were so many lives sacrificed? The authors present the case that far from being fooled, those at the very top of Britain’s wartime intelligence allowed the Germans to penetrate SOE as part of a vital deception plan.
The authors present:-
- New evidence from recently released Foreign Office files from 1949 which shows a cover-up of the real story.
- Unpublished letters from former SIS employees which confirm that the fake radio messages were spotted at an early stage, warnings given and ignored.
- A close analysis of surviving SOE records which shows how obstructive SIS became when asked for help to check on the integrity of the Dutch network.
- Portraits of the agents themselves, how they were selected, trained and briefed; especially the most important, “Ebenezer”, who was a personal friend of one of the authors.
- The stories of the brilliant German counter intelligence officers who conceived and worked “Englandspiel.”
- How the “Englandspiel” was connected to even more SOE disasters in France.
Roger Beam became a professional journalist in 1973 on the Lancashire Evening Post. He covered the Middle East war of that year for the LEP and United Newspapers Group and won the IPC National Press award for Young Journalist of the Year. He joined the Daily Mirror in London, 1976, covering home and foreign news, and investigations and won a joint IPC National Press award for Reporter of the Year.In 1986, he became deputy news editor of the London Daily News, and when that folded in 1987, decided to go into television as a self employed producer. Since then he has worked for:- TV...
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