Real stories from the world of espionage and special operations

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    Ben Macintyre's documentaries (and the books they are based on) are always brilliant. This time it's about MI5's double-cross system and their involvement in D-Day.

    Video: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=real+stories+from+espionage&&view=detail&mid=1D2F1E6CEB4D673694181D2F1E6CEB4D67369418&&FORM=VDRVRV


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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited November 2019
    Return to the Reich

    This is a exciting podcast is about a Frederick Mayer. He was a German Jew who escaped the Holcaust, became a agent in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), jumped into the mountains of Alps, organized a spy ring in nazi Austria, infiltrated an officers club and even sabotaged German jet fighter planes.


    Podcast: https://www.spymuseum.org/multimedia/spycast/episode/return-to-the-reich-a-conversation-with-eric-lichtblau/

    Here is 11 minutes from a documentary "The real Inglorious Basterds". Mayer died the day after he was interviewed:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=gIDGIjqFP38&feature=emb_logo

    More from the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=147&v=uDMoLmuxjQY&feature=emb_logo



    His story has more than a touch of Where Eagles Dare to it:

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    Almost lmost singlehandidly Fred Mayer made the overwhelmingly nazi city Innsbruck surrender to the Americans:

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  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 3,090MI6 Agent
    Really interesting N24. Thanks for posting. (And you even managed to slip in a picture of Ingrid :x )
    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited March 2020
    I'm listening to a podcast about Arne Treholdt, a Norwegian politician and diplomat who was arrested for spying for the Soviet Union and Iraq in 1984. A former KGB agent rates Arne Treholt as one of the top ten KGB informants in the West at the time.
    This is a photo of Treholt (to the left) and two senior KGB taken in Wienna in 1983. After his arrest Treholt threw up when he was presented with this evidence.


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    The photo was taken by a male and a female Norwegian agent who had a camera in the baby carriage. How on earth did Treholt and two experienced agents not see the gigant hole in the carriage? Spy tec has really developed since the early 1980's :))


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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited November 2019
    U-864 and Operation Ceasar


    (I posted this story years ago, but I think it's a good idea to gather up these stories in one thread. That way it's easier to find them)



    I would like to tell a remarkable story from WWII. Near the end of the war nazi Germany sent the submarine U 864 to Japan. The cargo was very special: more than 6o tons of murcury for making explosives, prototypes and engineering drawings for the revolutionary German jet fighter Me-262, German and Japanese experts (on jet engines, torpedoes and fuel) and possibly uranium. The mission was called Operation Ceasar and was top secret.

    u.jpg


    U-864 needed to follow the Norwegian coastline north and then cross the North Sea and slip into the Atlantic north of Scotland.
    The u-boat had to change snorkles in Horten in Norway and had an accident near Bergen, forcing the submarine to use the radio. The radio communications were sendt using the Ultra codes not knowing the allies could read them. In Bergen the U-864 was repaired in the huge u-boat dry-docks with room for nine submarines. British bombers attacked the dry docks during that time and U-864 was mildly damaged.

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    By the time U-864 left Bergen the Royal Navy was hunting for it. On the 9th of February 1945, just off the coast, the British sub "HMS Venturer" discovered U-864 because it heard the noice of U-864 engine because it wasn't completely repaired. After a tense battle HMS Venturer managed to sink the German sub. This was the only time during WWII a submerged submarine sunk another submerged submarine!

    In 2003 local fishermen contacted the Norwegian navy and the wreckage of U-864 was found near the smal island community of Fedje. So far 4 kg of mercury is leaking into the ocean. The 1 875 steel bottles filled with mercury remain a danger to the environment and a worry to the local population. Fishing is forbidden in the area and there are plans to entomb the wreckage of U-864.

    The remains of U-864:

    U_864_Wreck.jpg


    u-864.jpg
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    Operation Odin

    (I posted this story long ago, but I think it's a good idea to gather up these stories in one thread. That way it's easier to find them)



    I just watched a documentary that might be of interest. A journalist (Morten Jentoft, we actually E-mailed a couple of years ago. I had some info for him regarding a different matter) was contacted by a Paul Smith. Smith is a very spry 90-year old with a story to tell. He had been a business man who was contacted by an army buddy from WWII. His friend turned out to work for the Secret Service of Norway, and he asked Smith to help him a bit. It was 1959 and Paul Smith and a man named Arild were asked to pose as tourists and drive to Finland to the USSR (stopping in Leningrad, Moscow and many other places) and then to Poland and DDR. The mission was named "Operation Odin". Smith was told to buy a Mercedes 180. The car was fitted with a hidden geiger counter, a device to monitor radio activity and other gadgets. They were told to follow a certain route and switch the gadgets on by turning the heating and cold air on at certain times and places.


    Paul Smith waiting to get on the boat to Finland:
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    A guide from Intertourist who had learned Danish at the University of Leningrad was assigned to them. Her name was Tamara and she was 23 years old. The Norwegians had been told to use the best hotels and restaurants, because the CIA would pay them back. In Moscow they visited the Bolshoj Theatre where the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrutshchev was feet away from giving them a hand shake, but his bodyguards whisked him away at the last moment.


    Many Russians were interested in the car:
    2R0CDDmda1NwiM5JVsAgfgZQw0c-eRoggRjUKYWVwrLw


    Paul and Arvid got back to Norway, handed over the car and most of the photos and kept quiet.
    Paul Smith broke silence to Morten Jentoft this year and the journalist took him back to Russia.
    They met with Tamara. They had written letters to each other after his journey in 1959, but she had stopped writing him without any warning. In the documentary she revealed how the KGB had tried to force her to spy for them. She refused and the KGB banned her from any contact with Westerners in spite of her exellent Danish. Tamara never suspected the Norwegian "tourists" were spies. The journalist quipped: "You were like a Bond girl!" She laughed and nodded.



    Paul and the Intertourist guide Tamara in 1959:
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    Tamara and Paul in 2018:
    ZeAJAG2uQ1iwpHODGf2Vlgqy0Vx-NSH6bUYI4sNZwpEQ
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited November 2021
    Ian Fleming planned underwater sabotage in WWII?

    (I posted this story long ago, but I think it's a good idea to gather up these stories in one thread. That way it's easier to find them)



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    Photos from the Måløy raid (Operation Archery)

    Today I visited a museum dedicated to the Måløy raid (Operation Archery), Kompani Linge and the Shetland Gang (the two Norwegian Special Operations Executive units during WWII. For more info see the SOE thread). The museum was opened today by the crown prince and princess. Three former SOE agents were also there, but I didn't get there in time to see them. The crowd would have prevented me from getting more than a glimpse anyway.
    It's worth mentioning that the commandoes managed to captured documents and maps of all the German coastal fortifications in Europe and a Kriegsmarine Enigma machine during the Måløy raid on the 27th December 1941. One of the Commando units were tasked with capturing useful information. Even though Operation Archery pre-dates 30 Assault Unit this is straight up Ian Fleming's alley.

    What should interest to many of you is that Ian Fleming featured in the exhibition. The museum claims he was he one of the planners of Operation Archery, and he also helped plan two SOE operations called Salamander.


    Operation Salamander II
    This was a British operation by the Special Operations Executive using a four-man party (F. Kayser, S. Synnes, A. Trønnes and K. Karlsen) to attack U-boats, depot ships and other vessels in the Måløy area of German-occupied Norway using four ‘Sleeping Beauty’ motorised submersible canoes to approach the targets and attach limpet mines (9/18 September 1944).
    The party and its equipment were landed by submarine chaser on 9 September but returned on 18 September without achieving any success.


    (Fredrik Kayser had earlier taken part in the Heavy Water sabotage in Vemork)

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    This is all very James Bond :007)
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    There was of course a "Operation Salamander I" too.

    Operation Salamander I
    This was a British unrealised operation by the Special Operations Executive to use a four-man party, led by R. Ulstein, to attack shipping in the Nordgulen and Florø area of German-occupied Norway using four ‘Sleeping Beauty’ motorised submersible canoes (September 1944).
    The operation was cancelled as a result of objections by the Special Intelligence Service that it would threaten the security of its station near Florø.


    Ragnar Ulstein is still alive and took part in the opening of the Måløy Raid museum. He is essentially the official historian of the Norwegian Branch of SOE and he has written many books on the subject and WWII in general. There is probably no-one who's spoken to and interviewed more members of the resistance than this man.

    Other than the info in the Måløy museum I haven't been able to tie Ian Fleming to this mission, but the idea of the creator of James Bond planning real underwater sabotage missions is exiting.



    Ragnar Ulstein (99) talking about the Salamander mission to young navy special operations operators (MJK)

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited May 2022
    Real-life inspirations for James Bond's second kill?


    (I posted this story long ago, but I think it's a good idea to gather up these stories in one thread. That way it's easier to find them)


    In Casino Royale Bond tells Vesper Lynd he got the 00-status after killing a Japanese in New York and a Norwegian double-agent in Stockholm. Ian Fleming knew more than most about covert ops during WWII. Is it possible this story was based on real events?

    There is the case of Kai Holst. He was a regional commander in the Norwegian resistance, then he became a member of the military resistance's (Milorg) central comitee. They held meeting wearing face masks to avoid revealing other members if one of them got caught and were tortured. Holst was also key in picking snitches, torturers and Gestapo agents for assassinations.

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    Kai Holst had to escape to Sweden because the Gestapo were getting too close. He continued working for the resistance in neutral Sweden. Stockholm, like Zürich in Switzerland and Casablanca in Marocco, was full of spies working for all the major players. Kai Holst was very much involved in this. Was he "suicided" just after the war? At the time the Swedish inteligence agency C-byrån ("C-agency" , named after the first letter of the commanding officer's first name) and OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the US inteligence service during the war) were running an operation called "Claw" in Lillehammer, Norway. 35 German experts on signals inteligence were imprisoned in Lillehammer. These German inteligence officers had spent the war listening in on the soviets and now the Swedish and the Americans were planning to get them out so they could work for the West. At the same time Kai Holst was searching for German war criminals in POW camps in Norway in a joint operation between MI6 and Norwegian inteligence. One theory is that Holst was planning to go public about Operation Claw, so C-agency and OSS murdered him. People who later tried to find more about Kai holst's demise recived death-threats and Kai Holst's file in Säpo (Swedish police inteligence, their MI5) has mysteriously vanished. This looks a lot like what Fleming wrote about in CR, other than the fact that Kai Holst wasn't a double-agent.

    The photo is restaging of Kai holst as he was found dead:

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    There is another case, and this time the victim really was a double agent. Instead of an embassy the Norwegian exile government in London had a Legation in Stockholm. On the 29th of July 1944 the Swede Claes Bertil Warholm was shot in the military office in the Norwegian Legation. The killers were Arthur Pevik and Odd Sørli, both Norwegian Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents. They had worked in nazi-occupied Norway, mostly with training guerillas. The victim Warholm probably worked as a secret agent for several of the sides in the war. For a period he worked in Trondheim in Norway for the resistance, but he was turned by the Gestapo. A short time after the resistance in the region around Trondheim was hit hard, with many members killed or arrested and tortured. An organisation called Sonderabteilung Lola "Special Unit Lola" , led by Oliver Rinnan (a man who could be a good model for a Bond villan) was behind it. Arthur Pevik's brother was arrested, horribly tortured and hanged in his cell. Family members of Odd Sørli were also arrested and tortured. Odd got away, but two members of Sonderabteilung Lola moved into the family home.

    The two SOE-agents had lured Warholm to the Legation to get him on Norwegian territory, because a legation is like an embassy or consulate. It was probably not a sanctioned killing since Sørli later critizised Pevik for shooting. After killing Warholm they rolled him into a carpet and drove to the British Legation where the body was dumped. The British understood the Norwegians were behind the killing and asked them to sort out the mess. They sent Ida Lindebrække to make the body ready. She was the secretary at the SOE office at the Norwegian Legation. Her normal duties involved wining and dining agents returning agents from missions at the best restaurants in the city. When their R&R was over she issued them with suicide pils and other equipment before going to the next mission in occupied Norway. Sometimes she also handed the assassination orders from London. She was basically "Miss Moneypenny". After the war she married SOE-agent Max Manus (the movie "Man of War" is about him), and became known as "Tikken" Manus. Then someone drove the body outside the city and dumped it in a bog.

    Both Sørlie and Pevik returned to Norway where they worked for the SOE for the rest of the war. Odd Sørli worked for the Oslo Gang, an outfit led by Gunnar "Number 24" Sønsteby and considered to be the best sabotage unit in Europe by the SOE. Rolf Larsen, Bond's target in "Forever and a day" was also described as a member of the group. The Oslo Gang were the personal bodyguard of crown prince Olav when he returned to Norway weeks after the war ended. The German soldiers were still armed, but Sørlie drowe the crown prince's car calmly in the welcoming parade. Odd Sørli led the group that shot Oliver Rinnan after he got the death penalty after the war. It wasn't Odd Sørli who asked for the job - he was leading the executioners on Rinnan's request.


    SOE-agent Odd Sørli driving the crown prince's car during the freedom parade in 1945

    [img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/21/Kronprins_Olav_i_åpen_bil,_Mai_1945_(3610415183).jpg/220px-Kronprins_Olav_i_åpen_bil,_Mai_1945_(3610415183).jpg[/img]


    SOE-agent Arthur Pevik, who shot Claes-Bertil Warholm

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    Ida Lindebrække/"Tikken" Manus

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    Oliver Rinnan (in the middle) while he was in prison after the war. The officer with his back to the camera is the SOE agent Tormod Morset. Morset's exact words to Rinnan when the photo was taken were: "Rinnan, you killed my brother". The entire Morset family had to escape from the Trondheim region over the mountain to Sweden after Rinnan's Sonderabteilung Lola exposed them as pathfinders for refugees across the border to Sweden. My father knew one of the younger brothers when they were both students. The younger brother was missing an arm after getting shot during the escape to Sweden. My father knew him when they were students.

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    The restaurant in Grand Hotel in Stockholm. This place was a favourite for diplomats, spies and SOE-agents during WWII.

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited November 2019
    Double post
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited November 2019
    When Sean Connery went to Norway and saw a secret cold war arms cashe.


    (I posted this story long ago, but I think it's a good idea to gather up these stories in one thread. That way it's easier to find them)




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    In 1974 Sean Connery was shooting the airplane hijack thriller "Ransom" in Norway. It was released as "the Terrorist" in the US. He played the anti-terror chief in the country "Scandinavia" and Ian McShane played the leader of the terrorists. Financing the movie had been difficult, but the Norwegian shipping magnate and business man Hans Otto Meyer (1925-2002) stepped in. At the time he had his own airplane company called Mey-Air and he could lend the production a Boeing 737. He also had a colourful past. He had been a navy officer working from London with covert operations during the war. In 1948 he joined the Military Inteligence and became the leader of their Sixth Office to build a Norwegian Stay Behind organisation.

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    During the production the main cast and crew of the movie were invited to Meyer's villa. After dinner everyone was shown downstairs for the "entertainment". To everyone's surprise Meyer moved a wardrobe cupboard away from the wall. He then pressed two hidden buttons triggering a microwave mechanism that made the wall slide away revealing a bunker with an armoured door. It was marked "Danger - High voltage!". The door was protected by a surveilance camera and a hidden submachinegun that would fire automaticaly if someone tried to open without pressing the buttons first. The guests stepped into the bunker and saw a large weapons storage. It contained weapons and ammunition enough for 100 men. Rifles, machine guns, SMG's, handguns, bazookas, granades, silenced guns and advanced communication equipment. According to McShane the shipping magnate told them: "We were caught napping in 1940 by the Germans. We won't be caught napping again! I have two tanks out in the country too..."
    (he had several field guns on his private island, but tanks were never found.)

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    Here is a video of Ian McShane telling the story at AFI Life Achievement galla for Sean Connery in 2006:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtHYAgOTIwU


    The trailer for Ransom:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-wMmnmwMLY



    But that isn't the end of the story. Four years later, in 1978, the police suspected Meyer had an illegal moonshine factory under his villa. Water containers marked "Norwegian Water Company" (one of Meyer's companies) had been found containing illegal booze. It was later found that a handyman on his island made some moonshine, but there was no factory and Meyer knew nothing about it. In recent years it has been revealed that rumours had reached the police that there was a weapons cache on his property, but we don't know their source.
    The police did find moonshine on Meyer's property and he was arrested. By phone the police asked him where the secret room in his cellar was and he chose to tell them, fearing they would set off the trap and get shot by the submachine gun.
    He told them he was involved in the secret service and asked them to phone his contact in military inteligence.
    The police tried to find the contact, but he was away on holliday. It was obvious to the police that what was in the bunker was linked to the secret services and /or the military, but The Inteligence Service of the Defence denied any knowledge. The reply was that Meyer wasn't working for them and they knew nothing about the weapons in his bunker. Meyer was arrested and the whole story blew up in the press.


    Part of what was found in the bunker:

    images?imageId=8752502&x=1.5691868758916&y=0&cropw=88.017118402282&croph=100&width=617&height=1025&compression=75


    As a result of this scandal the existence of the Stay Behind network in Norway was revealed to the public. During the cold war NATO and CIA set up secret armies in all NATO member states and some neutral counties such as Sweden and Austria. They were ment to fill the same role as the resistence movements of WWII had in case of a Soviet occupation: Guerilla warfare, spying, sabotage, setting up networks to help pilots, governments, royal families escape to safety etc.

    Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stay-behind

    When Norway joined NATO in 1949 and the CIA wanted to set up a Stay Behind network here, they were surprised to hear that we already had such an organisation. His ships were used to photograph harbours and the coast in Warsaw Pact nations. According to the government the weapons were simply not moved from his villa when he quit. It took the government many years to admit this and Meyer became a bitter and scandalized man.

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited December 2019
    This is a photo of a US Air Force SR-71 strategic reconnaisance plane (spy plane) flying over Murmansk in Russia/USSR.
    The SR-71 flew from 1964 to 1998 and I don't know when this photo was taken. The plane is the fastest plane ever flown (Mach 3+) and their defence from missile attacks was simply to accelerate and outfly the incoming missile.


    Unstart-1200_480.jpg


    The alleged successor of SR-71 is SR-72. It's belived the plane has flown at least since 2007 and does not have a pilot. SR-72 flies at Mach 6! It would be cool if one of these planes/UAVs could be part of the plot of a Bond movie. This is an artist's rendition:

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited December 2019
    Number24 wrote:
    Gangster, secret agent, murderer and the king's friend.



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    Norwegian Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents were usually young men from good family backgrounds. Johannes Andersen was different. He was born in 1898 in Oslo in a poor family. His father was often away at work. His mother suffered from physical and mental illness and took refuge in religion. When she discovered Johannes was swearing, playing poker and perhaps stealing offerings in the church she sent him to a youth correction center to «drive the devil out of him».
    Johannes spent most of his childhood and youth in orphanages and youth correction centers, a very unhappy experience. He called it "pre-school for prison". Conditions were harsh. He was sent to Bastøy island in the Oslo fjord. People who have seen Michael Moore's «Where to invade next» know the place as perhaps the most humane prison in the world, but back then it was one of the most brutal youth correctional facilities in the country. They called it Devil's Island.


    [img]https://www.fabelaktigformidling.no/artikkel/en-gutt-med-kallenavn-gulosten/_/image/0930c847-0e03-4f99-b6a7-2922edab2560:55363cf6db4aa6a71ff3963336425d6861a8a00f/full/Fra Bastøy guttehjem, foto Berg & Høeg.jpg[/img]


    When one of the boys broke the rules he was punished by having to stand naked in the hallway all night. The hallway was unheated and the temperature outside was -25 celsius, -13 Fahrenheit. The boy cought tuberculosis and died within a few days. One of the few things Johannes had to look forward to was the packages his mother sent him. The packages contained white cheese, a favourite of his. In eastern Norway they call white cheese "Gulost" ("Yellow cheese") so his friends called him "Gulosten". The name stuck and he was known as Gulosten the rest of his life. It was while he was at Bastøy he was called to the director's office who bluntly told the boy: «Your mother died a week ago and was buried two days ago.» Johannes reacted by trashing the office. He was placed in the dark cellar and told he wouldn't get any food until he said sorry. Johannes was burning with sorrow and rage, and after a week the director had to give in and give Gulosten food and a bed.


    A typical smuggler's boat from the time of the prohibition

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    "Gulosten" still on the run!"

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    Johannes Andersen was twenty uears old in 1918 when the sale of strong alcohol was outlawed. He became a smuggler and ran fast boats from Germany to Norway filled with booze and sometimes cocaine. The price of alcohol in Norway could be twenty times the cost of buying it in Germany, so they made a lot of money. Johannes got caught several times, but his reputation grew among criminals and in the press. When prohibition ended in 1923 he became a burglar. Gulosten took many chances, made money, got caught and broke out again. He became a celebrity criminal and the headline "Gulosten escapes again!" was often used. One he escaped from the courtroom because everyone focused on the judge reading his sentence!
    In 1936 he met Ruth Johanne Nilsen and married her. Ruth was the great love of his life.

    In 1940 Germany invaded Norway. The resistance contacted Johannes early on because of his experience in smuggling and hiding from the police. He said yes, and again he was willing to take risks. Once he stole classified papers by turning up at the police station and claiming he was the messenger. The police chief put the documents in his hands with the words "Take care, those are important papers!" In spite of this work people started gossiping that Johannes Andersen was a nazi. This rumour really got to him, so much that he put an advert in a nazi newspaper saying that he was «a sinner, but not a nazi!"

    In 1941 the Gestapo found illegal newspapers and a pistol in his carpenter's shop. Raymond Colberg, a fellow smuggler from the prohibition had turned informant and betrayed Andersen. Gulosten got several of his teeth knocked out during the «interrogation» before spending year in prison in Germany.
    When he was released from prison Gulosten had the Gestapo after him, so it was decided he had to be evacuated to Sweden. But the resistance had decided Colberg was too dangerous to live, and Andersen was the obvious person to assassinate Colberg.
    Gulosten asked his attorney,of all people, to get him a gun. The attorney had a Colt 45 that had belonged to the famous polar explorer, scientist, diplomat, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fridtjof_Nansen). The gun was handed in over to the career criminal by the wife of one of Oslo's best known attorneys in a dark street


    Reenactment of the assassination of Raymond Colberg

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    Ruth lured the informant into a trap and Gulosten shot him. The resistance leadership criticised him for not pulling the teeth and gutting the corpse to avoid identification and make sure it sank in the fjord, as if they spoke from experience. But this was actually the first ever assassination the resistance ordered, sources don't list any other assassinations until the next year. Now Johannes Andersen had to flee the country. He escaped to Sweden and was allowed to jump the queue to get a seat on the very sought-after Stockholm-London flights. In the UK he joined Company Linge, the main Norwegian SOE unit. While most Linge-men were in their twenties or even younger, Andersen was 44 years old. He was noticed for his age as well as his reputation as a notorious criminal, some of his fellow agents didn't even know his name and just called him Gulosten for the rest of the war.

    Again his criminal background became an asset. After the training was over Andersen parachuted back into Norway with three other agents. Operation Bittern was meant to help train and equip a resistance group, but mainly it was an assassination squad. Gulosten was meant to be the main hit man because of his background and ruthlessness. Andersen was given a list of 62 targets. The Bittern team was also given some unusual equipment including morphine syringes, fifteen bottles of poison, three boxes filled with rags soaked in ether, eight poisonous pills, a burglary kit and handcuffs. There is some controversy about the Bettern operastion. The 62 names on the hit list were cleared by SOE, but not by the resistance in occupied Norway. The list included informers and torturers, but also famous nazis such as members of Quisling's "cabinet". The resistance felt killing some of those people would lead to brutal reprisals against the civilian population. There is some controversy on how many on that list, if any at all, were actually killed. A few years ago I was at a birthday party and I made conversation with the woman sitting next to me. I don't remember how the topic came up, but she told me Gulosten assassinated her grandfather, dismembered him and threw the body parts in the river. Strange table talk, I know.

    Missions were hightly prized among Company Linge members. Most of the time they trained and presented plans for possible missions to the SOE leadership only to be rejected, so many were envious of the old celebrity criminal who got a job in Norway right after basic training. There was also a conflict of interest between SOE and the Norwegian resistance. The SOE was created to, in Churchill's words, "set Europe ablaze". The resistance wanted to gather intelligence and build an underground army to be ready for when the Germans surrendered or they had to be thrown out by the allies. The resistance really didn't like assassinations and sabotage bombings that lead to a backlash against them or even executions of civilian hostages. As a result of this Operation Bittern was canceled and Andersen had to return to Britain.

    In the article in this link you can see the first page of the report written about Operation Bittern. "Finally, they were to likvidate several prominent Quislings and retire to Sweden":
    http://www.elg-johansen.com/Krigsside/Bittern.htm

    There he made a new and unlkely friend, the exiled Norwegian King Håkon VII. The king liked to meet people who were different, and Gulosten was about as different you could get from the king's normal circle. Johannes Andersen had been a die hard monarchist since when he was just seven years old and his father took him to see the the royal family arrive for the first time to the recently independent Norway. This was one of the few happy childhood memories he had of his father.

    Gulosten didn't settle in company Linge and was moved to the exiled Norwegian Navy's motor torpedo boat (MTB) unit on Shetland. MTBs were small, fast boats armed to the teeth with torpedoes.
    Their job was to cross the North Sea at night, hide under a camouflage net next to an island and scout for enemy ships from land. Torpedoes were used to sink the enemy ship and sometimes survivors were killed with a machine gun, something Andersen disliked. Then the MTB had to find somewhere else along the coast to hide or return to Britain. Mine fields were sometimes crossed by going full speed Ahead right through them and hoping the boat was past them by the time the mine exploded or the MTB simply jumped over the mines. This was a fast-packed and rough service that fitted Andersen well. During his service on the MTB Gulosten got word that his wife Ruth had been arrested for her part in the assassination of the informant back in 1942. Ruth had been tortured to death by the Germans.


    9c4bc978f876d72abb2e1f48c659a47a.jpg




    MTB crewmen on the lookout for German ships to sink.

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    Andersen behind a gun on the MTB.

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    Two MTBs hiding under camouflage nets somewhere on the Norwegian coast.

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    After the war ended the Norwegian forces in Britain were tasked with demobilizing the German forces in Norway. The crew of his MTB were ordered to a small village on the west coast to guard the German POWs there. One evening Gulosten got drunk and barged into a room where German officers were held. He started yelling at them, clearly agitated after five years of war and particularly the brutal murder of his wife. Gulosten ended up killing two officers with his submachine gun. Naturally he was arrested for killing prisoners, but in spite of strong evidence he wasn't charged. Why was he released? Gulosten was a man with many dark secrets, including assassinations ordered by Norwegian authorities. He also got backing from the royal family. They couldn't interfere officially, but Queen Maud's lady-in-waiting sent a letter to Gulosten's lawyer.

    After his release he lived a quiet life as a carpenter. Gulosten was invited to the castle many times, he was on King Haalon's Christmas gift list and he was asked to make several pieces of furniture for his majesty. Johannes Andersen died in 1970.



    The aging Johannes Andersen reading his biography in front of a portrait of King Haakon.

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    Number24 wrote:
    I've wondered if the woman I spoke to was the grandaughter of Raymond Colberg? I don't remember her name and I didn't know the story in any detail at the time, but she was roughtly the right age. The resistance's comment's about cutting the body up could have merged into family legend and the fjord could have merged into a river in the same way.

    At the moment I'm reading one book about WWII assassinations and one about Gulosten. I'm suspecting more and more that the woman I met was Colberg's granddaughter. Colberg's dead body was thrown in a river and found in the Oslo fjord, fitting with what she said about her grandfather being thrown in the river. For years there was a rumour that Colberg was viciously tortured and cut into bits, a story that originated in a newspaper for old nazis and has been repeated in at least one book. In fact his autopsy shows Colberg was shot twice in the head and there are no signs of torture. Her story fits the the assassination of Raymond Colberg.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited March 2022
    An assassination in wartime Norway


    I'm reading a book about assassinations during the German occupation. It's very interesting. I'll give you an example. One of the worst Gestapo infomers was Ivar Grande. He was second in command in the most infamous informer group in the country, both he and his wife had informed on and tortured viciously many members of the resitance. After surviving six of attempts on his life (including getting mailed two hand grenades) he took some precautions. These precautions included bodyguards, changing his clothes and travel routines often and even carrying a backpack with a metal plate. When he started infiltrating the resistance in the region around the town of Ålesund where the illegal traffic via boats to Britain was centered, the resistance decided to make another attempt atkilling him. Earlier in the war this kind of "rat-work" was done by SOE agents or communist resitance groups. The communist groups were behind most sabotage missions early in the war and had instructors who had been trained by Soviet secret services in the Spanish civil war. But this was 1944 and the local resitance group had the people and equipment to do it themselves.
    The pulled special weapons from their hidden stores, including a suppressed Stengun submachine gun and a Welrod, probably the most silent pistol in WWII. The hit squad decided to shoot him with a submachine gun from a moving car. The plan was to get out of the car and get hold of any sensitive papers Grande may have, but onlookers gathered almost at once, so the three hit men decided to just drive away. Instead they drove to an area outside the town where they dumped the car. They returned the silenced weapons and two of them walked away. The driver took another car and returned to the scene of the hit to observe the aftermath. A message was sent from "Antram", the secret radio operator in the town, to London:
    "Grande assassinated 11.12.44 at 15.00 hours after orders from London"


    Ivar Grande
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    Old Ålesund
    [img]https://i1.wp.com/www.norske-kirker.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Ålesund-før-brannen.jpg?resize=840,641&ssl=1[/img]



    Suppressed Stengun
    silenced-sten-1.JPG



    A Welrod pistol
    welrod3.jpg
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    "Undercover: how to operate behind enenmy lines" is a 1943 training film made for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime US inteligence organisation. . The director is John Ford, best known for westerns like "Rio Grande", "The Searchers", My darling Clementine" and "The man who shot Libery Valence". Ford even acts in the film.

    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=PEIhzbpEwlY&feature=emb_logo


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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 35,974Chief of Staff
    Great thread, N24.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    Thank you. :)

    Anyone is encouraged to post in this thread. The reason so many of the stories I write about are from Norway is because most of those stories are unknown to other members while the sources are easily available to me. If stories that happened outside of this country I usually just link to the sources.
    I'm sure there are many such interesting and exciting stories in countries like Germany, France, Finland, Poland and the Philippines etc. that most of us don't know. Contributions are welcome!


    A note about Joh Ford's WWII service from IMDB:
    While he produced a number of documentaries and training films for the OSS, perhaps one of his more notable achievements was a one-hour compilation of films which had been produced by order of Gen. (and future President) Dwight D. Eisenhower, showing liberated concentration camps. The film, Nazi Concentration Camps (1945), was entered as evidence at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials.
  • carnwennancarnwennan FrancePosts: 26MI6 Agent
    Juan Pujol Garcia, a.k.a "Garbo" or "Alaric"

    I shamelessly took this from wikipedia, but I thought this man's life was quite extraordinary.
    If you understand French (there are English subtitles if you don't), there's a short video that summarises his life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGPYqrXIL4Q

    Joan-pujol-garcia.jpg

    Juan Pujol García MBE (1912–1988) was a Spanish double agent against Nazi Germany during World War II, when he relocated to Britain to carry out fictitious spying activities for the Germans. He was given the codename Garbo by the British; their German counterparts codenamed him Alaric and referred to his non-existent spy network as "Arabal".

    Early life

    Pujol was born in Barcelona. The third of four children, Pujol was sent at age seven to the Valldemia boarding school run by the Marist Brothers in Mataró, twenty miles from Barcelona; he remained there for the next four years. The students were only allowed out of the school on Sundays if they had a visitor, so his father made the trip every week.

    His mother came from a strict Roman Catholic family and took communion every day, but his father was much more secular and had liberal political beliefs. At age thirteen, he was transferred to a school in Barcelona run by his father's card-playing friend Father Mossen Josep, where he remained for three years. After an argument with a teacher, he decided that he no longer wished to remain at the school, and became an apprentice at a hardware store.

    Pujol engaged in a variety of occupations prior to and after the Spanish Civil War, such as studying animal husbandry at the Royal Poultry School in Arenys de Mar and managing various businesses, including a cinema.

    His father died a few months after the Second Republic's establishment in 1931, while Pujol was completing his education as a poultry farmer. Pujol's father left his family well-provided for, until his father's factory was taken over by the workers in the run-up to the Spanish Civil War.

    Spanish Civil War

    Joan-Pujol-7th-Light-Infantry.jpg

    In 1931, Pujol did his six months of compulsory military service in a cavalry unit, the 7th Regiment of Light Artillery. He knew he was unsuited for a military career, hating horse-riding and claiming to lack the "essential qualities of loyalty, generosity, and honor".[18] Pujol was managing a poultry farm north of Barcelona in 1936 when the Spanish Civil War began. His sister Elana's fiancé was taken by Republican forces, and later she and his mother were arrested and charged with being counter-revolutionaries. A relative in a trade union was able to rescue them from captivity.

    He was called up for service on the Republican side but opposed the Republican government due to their treatment of his family. He hid at his girlfriend's home until he was captured in a police raid and imprisoned for a week, before being freed via the Traditionalist resistance group Socorro Blanco. They hid him until they could produce fake identity papers that showed him to be too old for military service.

    He started managing a poultry farm that had been requisitioned by the local Republican government, but it was not economically viable. The experience with rule by committee intensified his antipathy towards Communism.

    He re-joined the Republican side using the false papers with the intention to desert as soon as possible, volunteering to lay telegraph cables near the front lines. He managed to desert to the Nationalist side during the Battle of the Ebro in September 1938. However, he was equally ill-treated by the Nationalist side, disliking their fascist influences and being struck and imprisoned by his colonel upon Pujol's expressing sympathy with the monarchy.

    His experience with both sides left him with a deep loathing of both fascism and Communism, and by extension Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. He was proud that he had managed to serve both sides without firing a single bullet for either. After his discharge from the Nationalist army, he met his future first wife, Araceli Gonzalez, in Burgos and married her in Madrid; they had one child, Joan Fernando.

    World War II

    Independent spying


    In 1939, during the early days of World War ll, Pujol decided that he must make a contribution "for the good of humanity" (and to oppose the Franco regime) by helping Britain – which, with its empire, was Germany's only adversary at the time.

    He initially approached the British three different times, including through his wife (though Pujol edited her participation out of his memoirs), but they showed no interest in employing him as a spy. Therefore, he resolved to establish himself as a German agent before approaching the British again to offer his services as a double-agent.

    Pujol created an identity as a fanatically pro-Nazi Spanish government official who could travel to London on official business; he also obtained a fake Spanish diplomatic passport by fooling a printer into thinking Pujol worked for the Spanish embassy in Lisbon. He contacted Friedrich Knappe-Ratey, an Abwehr agent in Madrid, codenamed "Frederico". The Abwehr accepted Pujol and gave him a crash course in espionage (including secret writing), a bottle of invisible ink, a codebook, and £600 for expenses. His instructions were to move to Britain and recruit a network of British agents.

    He moved instead to Lisbon, and – using a tourist's guide to Britain, reference books, and magazines from the Lisbon Public Library, and newsreel reports he saw in cinemas – created seemingly credible reports that appeared to come from London. He claimed to be travelling around Britain and submitted his travel expenses based on fares listed in a British railway guide. Pujol's unfamiliarity with the pre-decimal system of currency used in Britain was a slight difficulty. At this time Great Britain used a duodecimal system of exchange expressed in pounds, shillings and pence. Because of the different rules of addition in a duodecimal system he was unable to total his expenses. Instead, he simply itemised them, and said that he would send the total later.

    During this time he created an extensive network of fictitious sub-agents living in different parts of Britain. Because he had never actually visited the UK, he made several mistakes, such as claiming that his alleged contact in Glasgow "would do anything for a litre of wine", unaware of Scottish drinking habits or that the UK did not use the metric system. His reports were intercepted via the Ultra programme, and seemed so credible that the British counter-intelligence service MI5 launched a full-scale spy hunt.

    In February 1942, either he or his wife (accounts differ) approached the United States after it had entered the war, contacting U.S. Navy Lieutenant Patrick Demorest in the naval attache's office in Lisbon, who recognised Pujol's potential. Demorest contacted his British counterparts.

    Work with MI5

    The British had become aware that someone had been misinforming the Germans, and realised the value of this after the Kriegsmarine wasted resources attempting to hunt down a non-existent convoy reported to them by Pujol. He was moved to Britain on 24 April 1942 and given the code name "Bovril", after the drink concentrate. However, after he passed the security check conducted by MI6 Officer Desmond Bristow, Bristow suggested that he be accompanied by MI5 officer Tomás Harris (a fluent Spanish speaker) to brief Pujol on how he and Harris should work together. Pujol's wife and child were later moved to Britain.

    Pujol operated as a double agent under the XX Committee's aegis; Cyril Mills was initially Bovril's case officer; but he spoke no Spanish and quickly dropped out of the picture. His main contribution was to suggest, after the truly extraordinary dimensions of Pujol's imagination and accomplishments had become apparent, that his code name should be changed as befitted 'the best actor in the world'; and Bovril became "Garbo", after Greta Garbo. Mills passed his case over to the Spanish-speaking officer Harris.

    Together, Harris and Pujol wrote 315 letters, averaging 2,000 words, addressed to a post-office box in Lisbon supplied by the Germans. His fictitious spy network was so efficient and verbose that his German handlers were overwhelmed and made no further attempts to recruit any additional spies in the UK, according to the Official History of British Intelligence in World War II.
    Pujol's case officer at MI5, Tomás Harris

    Garbo was unique among Britain's double-agents, having deliberately set out to become one. The rest were enemy agents who had been discovered and turned, which required that they work under guard.

    The information supplied to German intelligence was a mixture of complete fiction, genuine information of little military value, and valuable military intelligence artificially delayed. In November 1942, just before the Operation Torch landings in North Africa, Garbo's agent on the River Clyde reported that a convoy of troopships and warships had left port, painted in Mediterranean camouflage. The letter was postmarked before the landings and sent via airmail, but was artificially delayed by British Intelligence in order to arrive too late to be useful. Pujol received a reply stating "we are sorry they arrived too late but your last reports were magnificent."

    Pujol had been supposedly communicating with the Germans via a courier, a Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) pilot willing to carry messages to and from Lisbon for cash. This meant that message deliveries were limited to the KLM flight schedule. In 1943, responding to German requests for speedier communication, Pujol and Harris created a fictitious radio operator. Radio became the preferred method of communication.

    On occasion, he had to invent reasons why his agents had failed to report easily available information that the Germans would eventually know about. For example, he reported that his (fabricated) Liverpool agent had fallen ill just before a major fleet movement from that port, and so was unable to report the event. To support this story, the agent eventually 'died' and an obituary was placed in the local newspaper as further evidence to convince the Germans. The Germans were also persuaded to pay a pension to the agent's widow.

    For radio communication, "Alaric" needed the strongest hand encryption the Germans had. The Germans provided Garbo with this system, which was in turn supplied to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Garbo's encrypted messages were to be received in Madrid, manually decrypted, and re-encrypted with an Enigma machine for transmission to Berlin. This gave the codebreakers the best possible source material for a chosen-plaintext attack on the Enigma key used for the second leg, namely the original text.

    Operation Fortitude

    In January 1944, the Germans told Pujol that they believed a large-scale invasion in Europe was imminent and asked to be kept informed. This invasion was Operation Overlord, and Pujol played a leading role in Operation Fortitude, the deception campaign to conceal Overlord. He sent over 500 radio messages between January 1944 and D-Day, at times more than twenty messages per day. During planning for the Normandy beach invasion, the Allies decided that it was vitally important that the German leaders be misled into believing that the landing would happen at the Strait of Dover.

    In order to maintain his credibility, it was decided that Garbo (or one of his agents) should forewarn the Germans of the timing and some details of the actual invasion of Normandy, although sending it too late for them to take effective action. Special arrangements were made with the German radio operators to be listening to Garbo through the night of 5/6 June 1944, using the story that a sub-agent was about to arrive with important information. However, when the call was made at 3 AM, no reply was received from the German operators until 8 AM. Turning this piece of bad luck on its head, Garbo was able to add more operational details to the message when finally sent and thus increase his standing with the Germans. Garbo told his German contacts that he was disgusted that his first message was missed, saying "I cannot accept excuses or negligence. Were it not for my ideals I would abandon the work."
    An inflatable M4 Sherman tank of the First U.S. Army Group

    On 9 June—three days after D-day—Garbo sent a message to German intelligence that was passed to Adolf Hitler and the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW; German High Command). Garbo said that he had conferred with his top agents and developed an order of battle showing 75 divisions in Britain; in reality, there were only about 50. Part of the "Fortitude" plan was to convince the Germans that a fictitious formation—First U.S. Army Group, comprising 11 divisions (150,000 men), commanded by General George Patton—was stationed in the south and east of Britain.

    The deception was supported by fake planes, inflatable tanks, and vans travelling about the area transmitting bogus radio chatter. Garbo's message pointed out that units from this formation had not participated in the invasion, and therefore the first landing should be considered a diversion. A German message to Madrid sent two days later said "all reports received in the last week from Arabel [spy network codename] undertaking have been confirmed without exception and are to be described as especially valuable."A post-war examination of German records found that, during Operation Fortitude, no fewer than sixty-two of Pujol's reports were included in OKW intelligence summaries.

    OKW accepted Garbo's reports so completely that they kept two armoured divisions and 19 infantry divisions in the Pas de Calais waiting for a second invasion through July and August 1944. The German Commander-in-Chief in the west, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, refused to allow General Erwin Rommel to move these divisions to Normandy. There were more German troops in the Pas de Calais region two months after the Normandy invasion than there had been on D-Day.

    In late June, Garbo was instructed by the Germans to report on the falling of V-1 flying bombs. Finding no way of giving false information without arousing suspicion, and being unwilling to give correct information, Harris arranged for Garbo to be "arrested". He returned to duty a few days later, now having a "need" to avoid London, and forwarded an "official" letter of apology from the Home Secretary for his unlawful detention.

    The Germans paid Pujol US$340,000 to support his network of agents, which at one point totaled 27 fabricated characters.

    Honours

    As Alaric, he was awarded the Iron Cross Second Class on 29 July 1944, for his services to the German war effort. The award was normally reserved for front-line fighting men and required Hitler's personal authorisation. The Iron Cross was presented via radio, and Pujol received the physical medal from one of his German handlers after the war had ended.

    As Garbo, he received an MBE from King George VI, on 25 November 1944. The Nazis never realised they had been fooled, and thus Pujol earned the distinction of being one of the few – if not the only one – to receive decorations from both sides during World War II.
    "Luck was a servant and not a master." - Ian Fleming, Casino Royale
  • carnwennancarnwennan FrancePosts: 26MI6 Agent
    (I'll probably add more pictures in the near future in order to make it more readable)
    "Luck was a servant and not a master." - Ian Fleming, Casino Royale
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    That's great, Carnwennan! I agree more photos woud be good, but Garbo's story is fantastic. I've read Ben MacIntyre's book about the double cross system, but I learned new things about Garbo from your post.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited December 2019
    Here is a short documentary about Italian frogmen in WWII. The unit Decemia MAS pioneered the use of combat divers, only the Soviets and the Italians had this kind of troops at the start of the war. German, British and US combat divers learnt from the Italians about this type of warfare. It can be argued that Decemia MAS was the most elite unit in WWII, at least in the early part of the war.


    Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=319&v=0uwPH3uRhM4&feature=emb_logo


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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited September 2022
    Number24 wrote:
    Selmer Nilsen and the U2 spy plane



    U-2.bmp


    Before spy satellites became available it was very difficult to get photos taken from the air of the USSR. The American solution was the U2 plane, an unarmed plane that was able to fly above any enemy fighter jets and ground-to-air misslies. The plane was not a part of the US Air Force because flying a military airplane over USSR air space could be considered an act of war. Instead the U2 operated for the CIA. Most of you know a U2 plane was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960, causing a major crisis between NATO and the USSR.


    Some of you know the final mission was ment to be from Pashawar in Pakistan to Bodø in Norway. These flights were called Operation Grand Slam! Bodø is a town placed only slightly north of the Arctic circle and had been used many times before by U2 planes. It's been discussed how many in Norway knew this, but it's unlikely the Prime Minister was briefed. U2 landed at night and was hidden in a designated hangar as quickly as possible. Locals who got a glimpse of the plane called it "the black lady". The hangar was guarded and operated by American CIA personel who were armed with sidearms in shoulder holsters. Norwegian Air Force personell weren't allowed near the hangar even though it was on a Norwegian base.



    bKjlIi_LAZMgS_ReUQX9aAVKcA2iDujVd2RXxXdciTrQ



    Now we intruduce Selmer Nilsen to the story. He was born in 1931 in Bakfjord, pretty much as far north you can get in Norway or Europe. About as far north as northern Alaska. During WWII his family worked for the Soviet secret service against the Germans, probably mainly because the USSR was by far the nearest ally. Two of his older brothers got training in the Soviet Union. Selmer was just a boy, but he remembered being punched in the face by a Gestapo officer. This area was an important part of the world during the war. It's worth mentioning that the German battleship Tirpitz was hiding in a narrow fjord close to their home.



    gallthemetirkaafjord05.jpg


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    In the fall of 1944 the Soviet army started moving into northern Norway and Hitler ordered the region to be burnt completely to the ground, the so-called "scorched earth" strategy. An area the size of Denmark was torched, 200,000 German soldiers were evacuated along with 50 000 civilians who were moved against their will. 25,000 civilians decided to stay against the German orders. They hid for months in caves, under upturned rowboats and other hiding places for months while German units hunted them.



    Civilians finally leaving the cave after being liberated by Soviet forces
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    The Nilsen family fled across the border to the USSR. After the war they returned and rebuilt their farm. In 1947 a Soviet intelligence officer knocked on their door. Sources sometimes say this was a GRU operation, other say it was the KGB. The intelligence officer said the Nilsen family had to give them one of the sons or they would return, an obvious threat. The sixteen year old Selmer was chosen and taken back to the USSR. There he was given radio and morse training and "ideological instruction".
    He returned to Norway under orders to get a military career or marry into an officer family. He joined the army for National Service, but due to severe asthma he did not finish his training. He hoped he was off the hook, but around 1956 the Soviet secret service returned and ordered him to continue spying for them. Selmer traveled in northern Norway as a fisherman and he even started his own little traveling amusement park as cover. He mainly looked out for ships, especially NATO navy ships. He visited the USSR several times in the following years. Usually by sea using his fishing boat (not unusual back during the war), but once he simply walked across the border on foot. There he got additional training, payment for his services and sometimes new equipment.



    Selmer Nilsen
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    His radio set issued by the Soviets:
    img_2934.jpg?w=1075



    In 1960 he was ordered to do surveillance of Bodø Main Air Station to look if he could see the U2 plane. He hid in one of the bunkers near the air force base made by the Germans during WWII. He observed the plane and reported back to the Soviets. Francis Gary Powers was shot down not very long after Selmer Nilsen had made his reports. The next time he visited the USSR he was told two agents had placed a bomb with a timer on the plane while it was on the ground in Pakistan, but it's more likely the Soviet ground-to-air missiles Technology had finally caught up with the plane and they got their chance when they knew the approximate route.


    The control tower of Bodø air station is now a museum
    [img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Old_Bodø_control_tower.jpg[/img]



    The wreckage of the U2

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    The (very optimistic) survival equipment Francis Gary Powers was issued with
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    Selmer Nilsen was finally caught in 1967, after being an agent for twenty years. He felt relieved. He only served seven and a half years in prison because of his health problems, then he returned to his family farm. In 1971 a long TV interview was made of him, but it wasn't aired until 2007. Selmer Nilsen died in 1991.

    New information has surfaced about Selmer Nilsen. After he was arrested for espionage in 1967 the Norwegian governemnt was worried would try to assassinate him to keep him quiet. They also wanted to check if Selmer had any radios or other sensitive equipment hiddden near his house in Bakfjord. The solution was using a motor torpedo boat (MTB). MTBs are small, but very agile, quick and heavily armed naval boats. Norway produced some of the best MTBs in the cold war period and the desiger was the son of Martin Linge, the man who created and commanded the main Norwegian SOE unit in WWII. The job of the MTBs was to sink landing ships in a Soviet amphibios landing in northern Norway. The MTBs had a very high leel of readiness and there were plans to evacuate and hide the families of the crew to avoid attacks by spetsnaz hit squads prior to or during a war.



    012uN1wXvZUt?dimension=1200x1200


    One of these boats was given secret orders to the Arctic town Bodø. The there commander Prytz who was the CO of the boat had a meeting with staff officers who told him: "Prytz, you're going on a special mission further north. It's top secret. Leave as soon as possible, and the boat has to be combat ready when you sail." Next stop was in Tromsø where two military inteligence officers had a meeting with Prytz in his locked cabin. He was told the mission was for the Police Surveilance Service (POT). As they sailed even further north the markings on the boat were covered in paint, the canon was test-fired and the crew was ready for combat at all times. In the town of Hammerfest two police officers and a civilian cameon board the MTB. The civilian was Selmer Nilsen, a man the crew knew nothing about since his arrest was still a secret. Selmer looked nervous and under a lot of stress. From then on Selmer Nilsen was guarded by armed soldiers. There is very little space on an MTB, sothe prisoner slept in the top bunk in the captain's cabin. The captain and Nilsen spent a lot of time together and had long talks. At first Nilsen was still in spy mode and tried to get as much information as he could from the captain and his surroundings, but gradually they developed a kind of friendship. Finally they arrived in Bakfjord, a small community without roads to the outside world. This is pretty much as far north you can get in mainland Europe.


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    At this time no civilians lived in Bakfjord any more. The navy knew a civilian ship from the USSR had visited Bakfjord recently and someone had tried burning down the houses and the pier. The MTB was under radio silence and armed crew members in plain clothes guarded the hills. The boat was ready to confront any ship entering the fjord. The crew also helped the police searching for any hidden equipment Flame throwers with napalm were used to melt the snow.

    One day a small seaplane turned up and started circling above the unmarked MTB. "Now they're comming!" said Selmer Nilsen. "Who?" asked the captain. "The Russians …" replied the terrified spy. The MTB sent up a flare to warn off the plane. When it still didn't leave the cannon was aimed at the floats under the fuselage. The seaplane finally left. The plane was really hired by a journalist in the national newspaper Dagbladet. A few days later a photo taken from the seaplane was on the front page of the newspaper; "MOTOR TORPEDO BOAT, PLANE AND HELICOPTER TO THE SPY NEST. Cannon aimed at Dagbladet - leave the area immediately! Wild theories about secret submarine base." The arrest of Selmer Nilsen had to be made public after the printing of that article.
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited December 2019
    Whiskey on the Rocks and other secrets



    In 1981 a Soviet submarine a Soviet submarine ran aground in the Stockholm archepilago, near a major Swedish navy base. The submarine was of the Whiskey class, so the incident became known as "Whiskey on the rocks".


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    In recent years it's been revealed that the Soviets were very close to attacking the area to tow the sub back to the USSR because they didn't want the Swedes to search their submarine. A full company of Baltic Fleet Spetsnaz were to spearhead the attack, beliveing the Swedes wouldn't have the backbone to resist such a raid. It wasn't unitil the Swedes switch on active targeting for their coastal artillery the Soviets had to think twice and turn back.


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    What is less known is that the Soviet union directed amphibious covert missions in Norway too in the final years of the USSR.
    We knew our navy tried to lock off fjords and make foreign submarines surface, but we never managed to catch them in the act.
    Sports divers found tracks on the bottom of the sea near many strategically important places. One of these locations was Jarfjord, only about nine miles from the Soviet border. Jarfjord also had military instalations that was NATO's very first line of defence against an attack form the east. The military inteligence service decided to keep the discovery a secret and check again in a few months using Mindedykkere, our version of Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT). They found even more tracks at the bottom of the fjord.
    A four-man patrol of MJK, the navy special forces combat divers were sent in October to observe the fjord. The recce was done in complete secrecy and was planned to go on for three months. Very few were informed of the operation. The MJK were officially training somewhere else and radio traffic was kept at a bare minimum. This was less than a year before the fall of the Soviet Union and around the time the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Mikhail Gorbacow.



    Example of a Soviet midget submarine:

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    MJK members on a winter recon:

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    In late November the combat divers hear a sound from the fjord. They focused their binoculars and see bubbles in the sea. A small vessel surfaced. The midget submarine was visible for several minutes before it dived again.
    The soldier who commanded the patrol and made the observation was Trond Bolle. Later in the same recce food got scarce, but he caught and slaughtered a seal for his patrol. After the New Year the Military Inteligence asked the General Staff for permision to attack the midget submarine and any enemy personel next time it turned up. permision was given, but all foreign activity in the area stopped right after the General Staff heard of the special forces surveilance in Jarfjord. Makes one wonder ….

    Bolle later became a squadron leader and was awarded more medals than any other Norwegian soldier since WWII. For years he was a member of E14, a secret espionage group that worked all over the Middle East, some African countries and the Balkans. E14 usually operated in groups of three: one special forces soldier, one member with academic background and an interpretor. Sometimes E14 recruited beautiful women because they could trick powerful men to give away secret information.
    Trond bolle was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2010. It was an IED delibrerately set off to kill him, a dangerous enemy. .


    Trond Bolle with other E14 members and local assets in the Khyber Pass:

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited December 2019
    I really like these WWII posters about spies and intelligence.


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    Some of these posters were horribly racist:

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    Netherlands;

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    [img]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/83/DB_Museum_Nürnberg_-_Feind_hört_mit!_(Eisenbahn).jpg[/img]


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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited January 2020
    Photos from Stasi's (East German secret police) secret archive.



    Surveilance of a post box

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    A photo taken by a Stasi agent of a Western agent photographing him

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    Another example of spies taking photos of each other

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    Learning to use disguises

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    Learning how to put on a fake mustache

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    Surveilance of an underground blues consert

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    Hand-to-hand fight training

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    Dissident forced to re-inact his own arrest for training purposes.

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    Member of Stasi's phone tapping unit is honoured in a humourous ritual.

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    Stasi agents on surveilance duty.

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    Surveillance photos taken by the Czechoslovakian secret police in the late cold war.


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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited January 2020
    Death in Ice Valley


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    This is a podcast in English made by the BBC and NRK: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p064322t

    In November 1970 a burnt body of a woman was found in Isdalen ("Ice Valley") near Bergen in Norway. The dead woman carried no ID and all identifying markings were removed or cut off her clothes. The police found her locker in Bergen belonging to her. They found elegant clothes, wigs and glasses not corrected for eyesight. A notebook with a list of her travel destinations written in code was also found. Further investigation showed that she had traveled a lot between the largest cities in southern Norway. She used eight different passports, all fake, changing her name and ID almost every time she changed hotels. Who was she? Was she a spy? If so, for whom?

    The code from her notebook:

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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    edited January 2020
    Project Acoustic Kitty


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    In the 1960's the CIA spent 20 million $ to turn a cat into spy. The Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology implanted a microphone in the cat's ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull and a thin wire into its fur. The goal was to eavesdrop on secret conversations in Soviet embassies and in the Kremlin itself. Since the cat was hard to train like all cats are, and a major problem was the feline's tendency to abort mission if it got hungry. The solution was a second operation where the cat's sense of hunger was removed. Electrical prodding was also used to train the poor animal. When finally the 20 million dollar spy was ready for its first mission nearby the Soviet embassy in Washington DC, the cat was imediately ……… run over by a cab.


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  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    Espionage in the age of terror


    A very interesting podcast on modern espionage: https://player.fm/series/america-abroad-1340011/espionage-in-the-age-of-terror


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  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,792MI6 Agent
    edited January 2021
    .
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 21,610MI6 Agent
    This is a video about Italian combat divers (also the topic of post post #81) and their daring operations against Gibraltar in WWII.

    (Lionel "Buster" Crabb was the diver in charge of the British unit defending Gibraltar harbour against these attacks. Crabb went missing when he dived to the Soviet navy ship in Porthsmoth in 1965 in a MI6 mission.)



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vu0HYW3F8Io&list=PLx2GRxi-rDiHAzLBUfXrbg5AM3PYPk3c2&index=36&t=0s


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