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Joost Blanket

The flight of Rudolf Hess

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Hi all,

Anybody have any ideas about Rudolf Hess flight to Brittain?

Was it a desparate attempt to regain the Fuhrers symphaty? Or lured in by the Brittish intelligence? Or was there really a Brittish peace-group wanting peace with Germany and get ridd of Churchill?

I think he was not the nutt he's made to be by many historiens. It's seems that there is a cover-up that's still going on.

Anybody interested in discussing this?

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Hi all,

Anybody have any ideas about Rudolf Hess flight to Brittain?

Was it a desparate attempt to regain the Fuhrers symphaty? Or lured in by the Brittish intelligence? Or was there really a British peace-group wanting peace with Germany and get rid of Churchill?

I think he was not the nutt he's made to be by many historiens. It's seems that there is a cover-up that's still going on.

Anybody interested in discussing this?

I do not believe that there was a right-wing conspiracy against Winston Churchill? In fact, the cover-up is an attempt to protect the reputation of Churchill. He is portrayed in the history books as a successful warrior against fascism. That although the government of Neville Chamberlain was willing to do deals with Hitler, Churchill insisted on fighting Nazi Germany to the death. In reality, Churchill continued to negotiate with Hitler until 1941. This is why Hitler did not invade France until the summer of 1940. It was why Hitler did not bomb Britain until 1940. This period is rightly known as the "phoney war". It is generally believed that all attempts at a negotiated peace ended with the invasion of France. In fact, it was the bombing of Pearl Harbour that brought the secret talks to an end. It was only with the entry of the United States that Churchill gave up on negotiating a peace deal with Germany. You can't blame Churchill for behaving in this way. His prime concern was the protection of Britain. During the period 1939-41 it seemed certain that Britain would lose the war against Germany.

It also has to remembered that a large part of the British establishment supported what Nazi Germany did in the 1930s. Conservatives saw Hitler as the man who was going to destroy communism in Europe. Churchill also held these views in the early years of Hitler's rule. For example, why did Churchill remain silent about Hitler's intervention in the Spanish Civil War?

Even after the outbreak of war, a large section of the British establishment supported Nazi Germany. It has recently been revealed that several members of the secret Right Club spied on the UK for Nazi Germany. When they were finally arrested the whole matter was hushed up by holding secret trials. They were also released from prison before the end of the war.

This helps to explain why Rudolf Hess was kept from making any public statements after being captured in Scotland on 10th May, 1941. Hess had been trying to reach the Duke of Hamilton, a member of the Right Club.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERhess.htm

The problem for the British establishment is that the Americans discovered that Tyler Kent, a cypher clerk from the American Embassy, was a spy. He had been recruited by Anna Wolkoff, a member of the Right Club. Wolkoff was the daughter of Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff, the former aide-to-camp to the Nicholas II in London. Wolkoff ran the Russian Tea Room in South Kensington and this eventually became the main meeting place for members of the Right Club.

In the 1930s Anna Wolkoff had meetings with Hans Frank and Rudolf Hess. In 1935 her actions began to be monitored by MI5. Agents warned that Wolkoff had developed a close relationship with Wallis Simpson (the future wife of Edward VIII) and that the two women might be involved in passing state secrets to the German government.

In February 1940, Wolkoff met Tyler Kent. He soon became a regular visitor to the Russian Tea Room where he met other members of the Right Club including Ramsay. Wolkoff, Kent and Ramsay talked about politics and agreed that they all shared the same views on Jews.

Kent was concerned that the American government wanted the United States to join the war against Germany. He said he had evidence of this as he had been making copies of the correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent invited Wolkoff and Ramsay back to his flat to look at these documents. This included secret assurances that the United States would support France if it was invaded by the German Army. Kent later argued that he had shown these documents to Ramsay in the hope that he would pass this information to American politicians hostile to Roosevelt.

On 13th April 1940 Wolkoff went to Kent's flat and made copies of some of these documents. Joan Miller and Marjorie Amor, two MI5 agents who were members of the Right Club, were later to testify that these documents were then passed on to Duco del Monte, Assistant Naval Attaché at the Italian Embassy. Soon afterwards, MI8, the wireless interception service, picked up messages between Rome and Berlin that indicated that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence (Abwehr), had seen the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence.

Soon afterwards Anna Wolkoff asked Joan Miller if she would use her contacts at the Italian Embassy to pass a coded letter to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) in Germany. The letter contained information that he could use in his broadcasts on Radio Hamburg. MI5 still did nothing about this until they received information from sources in the United States.

On 18th May, 1940, Maxwell Knight, a former member of the British Fascist Party, and the head of B5b, a unit that conducted the monitoring of political subversion, was forced to tell Guy Liddell of MI5 about the Right Club spy ring.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SSknightM.htm

Liddell immediately had a meeting with Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in London. Kennedy agreed to waive Kent's diplomatic immunity and on 20th May, 1940, the Special Branch raided his flat. Inside they found the copies of 1,929 classified documents, including the secret correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent was also found in possession of what became known as Ramsay's Red Book. This book had the names and addresses of members of the Right Club and had been given to Kent for safe keeping.

Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act. The trial took place in secret and on 7th November 1940, Wolkoff was sentenced to ten years. Kent, because he was an American citizen, was treated less harshly and received only seven years.

Archibald Ramsay was surprisingly not charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act. Instead he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B. Ramsay now joined other right-wing extremists such as Oswald Mosley and Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff in Brixton Prison.

The government found it difficult to suppress the story and in 1941 the New York Times claimed that Ramsay had been guilty of spying for Nazi Germany: "Before the war he (Ramsay) was strongly anti-Communist, anti-semitic, and pro-Hitler. Though no specific charges were brought against him - Defence Regulations allow that - informed American sources said that he had sent to the German Legation in Dublin treasonable information given to him by Tyler Kent, clerk to the American Embassy in London."

Some left-wing politicians in the House of Commons began demanding the publication of Ramsay's Red Book. They suspected that several senior members of the Conservative Party had been members of the Right Club. Some took the view that Ramsay had done some sort of deal in order to prevent him being charged with treason.

Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary refused to reveal the contents of Ramsay's Red Book. He claimed that it was impossible to know if the names in the book were really members of the Right Club. If this was the case, the publication of the book would unfairly smear innocent people.

Archibald Ramsay sued the owners of the New York Times for libel. In court Ramsay argued that if there had been any evidence of him passing secrets to the Germans he would have been tried under the Official Secrets Act alongside Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent in 1940. The newspaper owners were found guilty of libel but the case became a disaster for Ramsay when he was awarded a farthing in damages. As well as the extremely damaging publicity he endured, Ramsay was forced to pay the costs of the case.

During the summer of 1944 several Conservative Party MPs in the House of Commons called for Ramsay to be released from prison. William Gallacher, a member of the Communist Party, argued that he should remain in detention. He pointed out that Ramsay was "a rabid anti-Semite" and that "anti-Semitism is an incitement to murder." He asked "if the mothers of this country, whose lads are being sacrificed now, are to be informed by him that their sacrifices have enabled him to release this unspeakable blackguard." When Gallacher refused to withdraw these comments he was suspended from the House of Commons.

Ramsay was released from Brixton Prison on 26th September, 1944. He was defeated in the 1945 General Election and in 1955 he published his book The Nameless War.

Ramsay died in 1955 and it was not until 1989 that the Red Book was found in the safe of Ramsay's former solicitors. The book included the names of 235 people. Unfortunately a lot of the names were in code. However, it did contain the names of several senior Tories including a large number of MPs and peers of the realm.

In order to preserve the myth that Churchill was not involved in peace negotiations in 1941 (can you imagine the reaction of the French if this ever came out), Hess had to be kept from speaking. Officially, it was claimed that Hess was suffering from amnesia. He was as a result of the drugs he was given in prison.

Following the 1966 releases of Baldur von Schirach and Albert Speer, Hess was the last remaining inmate of Spandau Prison. It was claimed that this was mainly at the insistence of the Soviets. In reality, it was the British who wanted to stop him telling his story.

On 17 August 1987, at the age of 93, died in Spandau Prison. It is claimed he was found in a "summer house" in a garden located in a secure area of the prison with an electrical cord wrapped around his neck. His death was ruled a suicide by self-asphyxiation, accomplished by tying the cord to a window latch in the summer house. Several books have been written claiming he could not have killed himself. He was in fact murdered to stop him from telling the truth about why he was visiting the Duke of Hamilton on 10th May, 1941.

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Under normal circumstances, someone who, acting under his own volition, sought to negotiate peace is not deemed a 'war criminal'.

IMO, the long term incarceration of Hess (longer than even Sirhan Sirhan, so far...) - was a monumental act of cruelty and cynicism. The episode speaks volumes about how the Second World War has never really ended.

We are consequently still affirming, in protracted action replay, the Allies' war-winning propaganda of that era, which may be summarized in vaguely familiar terms:

Peace is War

Slavery is Freedom

Strength is Ignorance

Speaking of 'Strength', what books or other references have most historians on the Forum used to help form their opinion of Hess and the appropriateness of his treatment after his capture?

Does anyone here have serious criticisms of Irving's book about Hess - or is there just a conspiracy of silence to avoid discussing this rather detailed biography, like one avoids mentioning a cross-dressing uncle at family gatherings?

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Sid,

I agree with you- the treatment of Hess was shameful. If he truly was on a peace mission, then the Allies should have thought of him as a "good" nazi, instead of punishing him in a vicious, unprecedented manner. What other prisoner (outside perhaps the "man in the iron mask") has ever had a prison to himself for several decades, as Hess did at Spandau? As I understand it, the authorities only permitted him a token family visit once per month, and the same person couldn't come twice in a row. They also rotated the guards constantly, who all spoke different languages, in an attempt to limit his ability to form a relationship with anyone. That is cruel and unusual punishment, indeed. Considering that Hess lived to be over 90, it is very, very strange that no one wanted to interview him in depth during all that time. Historians lost a golden opportunity to record the thoughts of one of Hitler's top aides, still alive decades after the end of WWII. What were they afraid he might say? Or were they just ashamed to publicize their disgraceful treatment of this pathetic old man? It's a sad but fascinating story.

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Hess sought 'peace' with the western allies so that Germany wold have time to prepare and launch Operation Barbarossa.

The populations of the western allies were prepared, drawn into the conflict in graduated steps to cooordinate with the complete destruction of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile........

in the far east: http://zhukov.mitsi.com/

"In April 1939 the 23rd Division of the Kwantung Army moved to a new target, Outer Mongolia; with orders to cross into Nomonhan, a deserted and disputed sector on the Manchukuo-Korean-Mongolian border. Japanese tanks, infantry and cavalry directed fierce attacks into this zone from May to July 1939, but were repulsed at all times by the defenders. Operations, on the Khalkan-Gol river, intensified rapidly. From May, Soviet bombers attacked into Manchukuo and Japanese bombers retaliated. The greatest air battles yet seen were taking place, with formations of 150-200 war planes deployed. Soviet anti-aircraft fire was highly effective and the Japanese airforce barely held its own.

Concerned at a possible threat to the Trans-Siberian Railway occasioned by these expanded hostilities, the Soviet Defence Ministry dispatched to the sector its ablest commander, Lieutenant-General Georgi Zhukov, later a Marshal of the USSR and Stalin's most renowned commander in the German war. Zhukov arrived in June 1939. He arrived to find that the Kwantung Army had secured some vital high ground and quickly concluded his need for reinforcements. Before August 1939 he had acquired 550 front line aircraft, 500 state-of-the-art T34 tanks, twenty cavalry squadrons and thirty-five infantry battalions. He outnumbered the Kwantung Army three to two in infantry, by three squadrons in cavalry, and possessed a qualitative edge in armour. But above all, his army was to show a marked superiority in intelligence analysis, command, control and communication.

One of the first commanders to use radio signals intelligence to advantage, Zhukov sowed misinformation with the Japanese by broadcasting fictitious command orders, ciphered in codes he knew the Japanese could break. He led the Kwantung Army to believe that he intended only defensive measures. Richard Sorge, a Soviet agent of German-Russian parentage, the press attaché to the German embassy in Tokyo, also assisted, by providing Zhukov with the Japanese order of battle.

The commanders of the Red Army and the Mongolian forces were well trained and as blooded in battle as were the Japanese. The Mongolian General Choibalson, and Zhukov's Chief of Staff, General Shtern, were superior field officers. Zuhkov's control of preparations for the critical battle was copybook. His battalion and squadron commanders were not made aware that an offensive action was planned until three hours before the units moved out. The Kwantung Army had been misled, and many Japanese officers were away from their units at the time of the attack. A German style communications network assured tight control throughout the battle.

The Red Army's surprise assault began on 20 August 1939, with a thrust across the border into western Manchukuo. Zhukov's blitzkreig combination of armour, artillery, air support, and infantry, broke new ground. A Red Army lightning assault pre-dated the German blitzkreig into Poland by thirty-three days. Captain D.W. Phillis' description of the attack properly identifies the ingredients of a momentous, but largely forgotten, battle:

He launched concentrated air, artillery and armour assaults along the enemy's whole front with the main armoured thrust going to the flank. As a result he was able to encircle the whole army, and settle down to a battle of annihilation, grinding the enemy by continuous assault.At the battle of Khalkin-Gol (sometimes called the Battle of the River Halka, or by the Japanese the Nomonhan incident), Zhukov's force wiped out the Japanese 23rd Division, killing 18,000 Japanese troops. The Red Army and its Mongolian ally then demonstrated its absolute command of the battle by penetrating thirty kilometres further and stopping at the Manchurian frontier.

Russia's air fleet was equally successful. Soviet airforce tactics were superior to the Japanese, with tighter and better controlled air formations, that refused to be tempted into individual dogfights. The Russians employed aerial rockets in this battle, for the first time in air warfare.

The Japanese Kwantung Army commander was now more than ready for a cease-fire, and in Tokyo Japanís political leaders hoped that the Soviet government would be content with a re-drawing of the disputed borders. The war had embarrassed Japan in many ways. Beside a military defeat, where 18,000 of Japan's 60,000 battle force were killed, and probably another 20,000 wounded, the imperial family was mortified by the desertion of Lieutenant Higashikuni, the twenty-three-year-old son of Prince Higashikuni, during the fight, a matter suppressed by Japanís censors.13 Stalin was also happy to call it a day. Zhukov withdrew his force to the Manchurian border on 31 August 1939 and received orders to immediately move his heavy armour to the railhead, for rail transport to Poland. The USSR's slowness in biting off its slice of defeated Poland, a delay of fourteen days, can be explained by Stalin's concern to close hostilities in the east before moving militarily in the west."

"The Nomonhan incident and the preceding borderland fights on the contested Mongolian-Manchurian borders, confirmed that in 1938 and 1939 the "Go North" strategy was highly favoured by elements of the Japanese army. Why then, with Germany invaded by the USSR in June 1941, did Japan not then seize the day and mount an invasion of the Soviet eastern republics? On 28 March 1941 the German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, persuaded Count Oshima, the Japanese ambassador in Berlin, of the merit of joint action to deliver "a crushing blow" on the USSR. Germany sought a Japanese attack on Vladivostok, and into the USSR's central Asiatic republic. Tokyo was not interested.

While the Japanese foreign minister, Matsuoka Yosuke favoured a "Go North" thrust, most civil and military leaders in Tokyo advocated caution. With the Soviet Union now within the Anglo-American camp, albeit with the United States in non-belligerent status, Japan risked attack by the Russians in Manchuria and by the United States at sea. A two front war was undesirable, and likely to be calamitous. The Soviets were well deployed on Manchuria's border, and had shown their determination to fight. In mid-1941 the "Go South" strategy won preference with Japan to secure its needed resources in the south, diplomatically if possible. The Kwantung Army's pride was salved by a reminder that once Japan had secured its goal in the south the contest with the USSR could then be resumed. In any case, it was better to wait until Germany had broken the Red Army and taken Moscow."

Operation Barbarossa

"At 5:30 a.m. on 22 June 1941, the German ambassador met with Molotov to announce a declaration of war on the basis of gross and repeated violations of the Russo-German Pact. The two largest and most powerful armies ever assembled confronted each other along a 3,000 kilometer line from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. While the Russians were well aware of German preparations, and were tipped off to the impending invasion by both their own intelligence, as well foreign sources, the Germans achieved total surprise. The Germans employed three army groups (North commanded by Field Marshal Wilhelm von Leeb, Center commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock, and South commanded by Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt), and planned to destroy all Soviet resistance in swift advances on Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev. Hitler threw 183 divisions into the assault, while the Nazis faced 170 divisions, which represented 54 percent of the Red Army's total strength. Subsequently, the German armies were to occupy a line reaching from Archangel on the White Sea to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea."

"Coupled with the element of surprise, the Germans possessed better training, more extensive experience, and were able to obtain decisive superiority at the points selected for attack. The Russians had large amounts of obsolete equipment, were poorly deployed to meet the attack, and lacked defensive positions. As a result, the Russian frontier was quickly overrun and the Germans achieved penetrations in many places. By 16 July, 1941, the Germans had captured Smolensk, which was less than 250 miles from Moscow, and Army Group Center alone had captured about 600,000 men and 5,000 tanks."

Roughly 18 times the amount of Germany's war effort compared to what it threw west, went east, to take Moscow.

The period in discussion here covers the period during which Germany built a resource/industrial/workforce base to launch Op Barbarossa.

When the Red army was clearly winning and was poised to potentially take all of Germany's occupied territory, it became a race for the western allies to establish frontiers.

They then convinced the Soviet Unions Red army to hold back on resuming the eastern front (Japan) till the A-bomb was finished. Of course they didn't tell the Soviets about the bomb. So after the Japanese sureneder, the next frontier establishment period became the Korean war.

Meanwhile Stalin and his western counterparts divided Europe.

and so on and on and on till today... (for people read 'cannon fodder')

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Hess sought 'peace' with the western allies so that Germany would have time to prepare and launch Operation Barbarossa.

The populations of the western allies were prepared, drawn into the conflict in graduated steps to cooordinate with the complete destruction of the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile........

in the far east: http://zhukov.mitsi.com/

"In April 1939 the 23rd Division of the Kwantung Army moved to a new target, Outer Mongolia; with orders to cross into Nomonhan, a deserted and disputed sector on the Manchukuo-Korean-Mongolian border. Japanese tanks, infantry and cavalry directed fierce attacks into this zone from May to July 1939, but were repulsed at all times by the defenders. Operations, on the Khalkan-Gol river, intensified rapidly. From May, Soviet bombers attacked into Manchukuo and Japanese bombers retaliated. The greatest air battles yet seen were taking place, with formations of 150-200 war planes deployed. Soviet anti-aircraft fire was highly effective and the Japanese airforce barely held its own.

Concerned at a possible threat to the Trans-Siberian Railway occasioned by these expanded hostilities, the Soviet Defence Ministry dispatched to the sector its ablest commander, Lieutenant-General Georgi Zhukov, later a Marshal of the USSR and Stalin's most renowned commander in the German war. Zhukov arrived in June 1939. He arrived to find that the Kwantung Army had secured some vital high ground and quickly concluded his need for reinforcements. Before August 1939 he had acquired 550 front line aircraft, 500 state-of-the-art T34 tanks, twenty cavalry squadrons and thirty-five infantry battalions. He outnumbered the Kwantung Army three to two in infantry, by three squadrons in cavalry, and possessed a qualitative edge in armour. But above all, his army was to show a marked superiority in intelligence analysis, command, control and communication.

One of the first commanders to use radio signals intelligence to advantage, Zhukov sowed misinformation with the Japanese by broadcasting fictitious command orders, ciphered in codes he knew the Japanese could break. He led the Kwantung Army to believe that he intended only defensive measures. Richard Sorge, a Soviet agent of German-Russian parentage, the press attaché to the German embassy in Tokyo, also assisted, by providing Zhukov with the Japanese order of battle.

The commanders of the Red Army and the Mongolian forces were well trained and as blooded in battle as were the Japanese. The Mongolian General Choibalson, and Zhukov's Chief of Staff, General Shtern, were superior field officers. Zuhkov's control of preparations for the critical battle was copybook. His battalion and squadron commanders were not made aware that an offensive action was planned until three hours before the units moved out. The Kwantung Army had been misled, and many Japanese officers were away from their units at the time of the attack. A German style communications network assured tight control throughout the battle.

The Red Army's surprise assault began on 20 August 1939, with a thrust across the border into western Manchukuo. Zhukov's blitzkreig combination of armour, artillery, air support, and infantry, broke new ground. A Red Army lightning assault pre-dated the German blitzkreig into Poland by thirty-three days. Captain D.W. Phillis' description of the attack properly identifies the ingredients of a momentous, but largely forgotten, battle:

He launched concentrated air, artillery and armour assaults along the enemy's whole front with the main armoured thrust going to the flank. As a result he was able to encircle the whole army, and settle down to a battle of annihilation, grinding the enemy by continuous assault.At the battle of Khalkin-Gol (sometimes called the Battle of the River Halka, or by the Japanese the Nomonhan incident), Zhukov's force wiped out the Japanese 23rd Division, killing 18,000 Japanese troops. The Red Army and its Mongolian ally then demonstrated its absolute command of the battle by penetrating thirty kilometres further and stopping at the Manchurian frontier.

Russia's air fleet was equally successful. Soviet airforce tactics were superior to the Japanese, with tighter and better controlled air formations, that refused to be tempted into individual dogfights. The Russians employed aerial rockets in this battle, for the first time in air warfare.

The Japanese Kwantung Army commander was now more than ready for a cease-fire, and in Tokyo Japanís political leaders hoped that the Soviet government would be content with a re-drawing of the disputed borders. The war had embarrassed Japan in many ways. Beside a military defeat, where 18,000 of Japan's 60,000 battle force were killed, and probably another 20,000 wounded, the imperial family was mortified by the desertion of Lieutenant Higashikuni, the twenty-three-year-old son of Prince Higashikuni, during the fight, a matter suppressed by Japanís censors.13 Stalin was also happy to call it a day. Zhukov withdrew his force to the Manchurian border on 31 August 1939 and received orders to immediately move his heavy armour to the railhead, for rail transport to Poland. The USSR's slowness in biting off its slice of defeated Poland, a delay of fourteen days, can be explained by Stalin's concern to close hostilities in the east before moving militarily in the west."

"The Nomonhan incident and the preceding borderland fights on the contested Mongolian-Manchurian borders, confirmed that in 1938 and 1939 the "Go North" strategy was highly favoured by elements of the Japanese army. Why then, with Germany invaded by the USSR in June 1941, did Japan not then seize the day and mount an invasion of the Soviet eastern republics? On 28 March 1941 the German foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, persuaded Count Oshima, the Japanese ambassador in Berlin, of the merit of joint action to deliver "a crushing blow" on the USSR. Germany sought a Japanese attack on Vladivostok, and into the USSR's central Asiatic republic. Tokyo was not interested.

While the Japanese foreign minister, Matsuoka Yosuke favoured a "Go North" thrust, most civil and military leaders in Tokyo advocated caution. With the Soviet Union now within the Anglo-American camp, albeit with the United States in non-belligerent status, Japan risked attack by the Russians in Manchuria and by the United States at sea. A two front war was undesirable, and likely to be calamitous. The Soviets were well deployed on Manchuria's border, and had shown their determination to fight. In mid-1941 the "Go South" strategy won preference with Japan to secure its needed resources in the south, diplomatically if possible. The Kwantung Army's pride was salved by a reminder that once Japan had secured its goal in the south the contest with the USSR could then be resumed. In any case, it was better to wait until Germany had broken the Red Army and taken Moscow."

Operation Barbarossa

"At 5:30 a.m. on 22 June 1941, the German ambassador met with Molotov to announce a declaration of war on the basis of gross and repeated violations of the Russo-German Pact. The two largest and most powerful armies ever assembled confronted each other along a 3,000 kilometer line from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. While the Russians were well aware of German preparations, and were tipped off to the impending invasion by both their own intelligence, as well foreign sources, the Germans achieved total surprise. The Germans employed three army groups (North commanded by Field Marshal Wilhelm von Leeb, Center commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock, and South commanded by Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt), and planned to destroy all Soviet resistance in swift advances on Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev. Hitler threw 183 divisions into the assault, while the Nazis faced 170 divisions, which represented 54 percent of the Red Army's total strength. Subsequently, the German armies were to occupy a line reaching from Archangel on the White Sea to Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea."

"Coupled with the element of surprise, the Germans possessed better training, more extensive experience, and were able to obtain decisive superiority at the points selected for attack. The Russians had large amounts of obsolete equipment, were poorly deployed to meet the attack, and lacked defensive positions. As a result, the Russian frontier was quickly overrun and the Germans achieved penetrations in many places. By 16 July, 1941, the Germans had captured Smolensk, which was less than 250 miles from Moscow, and Army Group Center alone had captured about 600,000 men and 5,000 tanks."

Roughly 18 times the amount of Germany's war effort compared to what it threw west, went east, to take Moscow.

The period in discussion here covers the period during which Germany built a resource/industrial/workforce base to launch Op Barbarossa.

When the Red army was clearly winning and was poised to potentially take all of Germany's occupied territory, it became a race for the western allies to establish frontiers.

They then convinced the Soviet Unions Red army to hold back on resuming the eastern front (Japan) till the A-bomb was finished. Of course they didn't tell the Soviets about the bomb. So after the Japanese sureneder, the next frontier establishment period became the Korean war.

Meanwhile Stalin and his western counterparts divided Europe.

and so on and on and on till today... (for people read 'cannon fodder')

Edited by John Dolva

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My research on this incident shows a very complex series of conspiracies and counterconspiracies [but everyone admits that wars are conspiracies]....a good bood on the subject is The Hitler/Hess Deception by Martin Allen. However, I think there were a few layers more and Hilter and Bormann were long trying to convince the Allies to join in their war against the Bolsheviks. Further, right-wing Allied industrialists and bankers, etc who had had connections before and even at beginning of the War with their 'brother' Oligarchs in the Axis powers wanted to also change the War into one along these lines. Hess had to spend his days in prison so as to never tell what he knew and the truth which would have greatly embarrassed highly placed people in America and England.....who went along to differing extents in these negotiations with Hitler or his minions - officially or exofficio.

The British angle to this story is very interesting. In the late 1920s Anthony Blunt met Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. All of them became secret supporters of the Communist Party.

In the early 1930s Blunt was recruited as a Soviet agent. He was a Fellow of Trinity and in this post worked as a talent-spotter for the Soviet Union. A homosexual, it is claimed he blackmailed other homosexuals into spying for the Soviets.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Blunt joined the British Army. In 1939 he was sent to France where he served with the Army Intelligence Corps. When the German Army invaded in May 1940 Maclean returned to England. Soon afterwards he was recruited by MI5.

Blunt was placed in charge of the section that dealt with examining the communications of foreign embassies. This enabled him to pass valuable information to the Soviet Union. He later became the personal assistant to Guy Liddell, Deputy Director-General of MI5. In 1944 Blunt was responsible for liaison between MI5 and Allied Supreme Headquarters concerning the invasion of Europe.

At the end of the war Blunt was sent to Germany on a secret mission for the Royal family. A few months later Blunt retired from MI5 to become Surveyor of the King's Pictures. He continued to be a member of the spy ring led by Kim Philby and in 1951 helped Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean to defect to the Soviet Union. Blunt, who had been seen in the company of Burgess and Maclean just before they disappeared, was interviewed by eleven times by MI5 but was never charged with spying. Instead, Queen Elizabeth II asked Blunt to become Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures a post he held until his retirement in 1978.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SSblunt.htm

Blunt's role as a Soviet agent was exposed in Andrew Boyle's book, The Climate of Treason in 1979. This resulted in his knighthood, awarded in 1956, being annulled. However, he was never charged with any offence. Why? The fact is that the establishment could not allow Blunt to tell his story in court. This is because he read those documents that he had sent to Germany to collect for the royal family. What did they say that had to remain a secret? Maybe it was something to do with the highly secret fascist group called the Right Club. This pro-Nazi group included Archibald Ramsay, William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, A. K. Chesterton, Francis Yeats-Brown, E. H. Cole, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Duke of Westminster, Aubrey Lees, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Chapman, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Marquess of Graham, Margaret Bothamley, Lord Sempill, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWrightclub.htm

Maxwell Knight, the head of B5b, a unit within MI5 that conducted the monitoring of political subversion, was formerly Director of Intelligence of the British Fascisti (BF). In the 1930s MI5 were very keen to recruit fascists. This is how Kim Philby and Guy Burgess managed to be recruited (they pretended to be fascists by joining the Anglo-German Fellowship, a pro-Nazi pressure group).

After the outbreak of the war several members of the Right Club spied on the UK for Nazi Germany. They also tried to negotiate an end to the war. I believe the Neville Chamberlain government and King George VI were implicated in these secret negotiations. So also was the previous monarch, Edward VIII).

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MONgeorgeVI.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MONedwardVIII.htm

This helps to explain why Rudolf Hess was kept from making any public statements after being captured in Scotland on 10th May, 1941. Hess had been trying to reach the Duke of Hamilton, a member of the Right Club.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERhess.htm

The problem for the British establishment is that the Americans discovered that Tyler Kent, a cypher clerk from the American Embassy, was a spy. He had been recruited by Anna Wolkoff, a member of the Right Club. Wolkoff was the daughter of Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff, the former aide-to-camp to the Nicholas II in London. Wolkoff ran the Russian Tea Room in South Kensington and this eventually became the main meeting place for members of the Right Club.

In the 1930s Anna Wolkoff had meetings with Hans Frank and Rudolf Hess. In 1935 her actions began to be monitored by MI5. Agents warned that Wolkoff had developed a close relationship with Wallis Simpson (the future wife of Edward VIII) and that the two women might be involved in passing state secrets to the German government.

In February 1940, Wolkoff met Tyler Kent. He soon became a regular visitor to the Russian Tea Room where he met other members of the Right Club including Ramsay. Wolkoff, Kent and Ramsay talked about politics and agreed that they all shared the same views on Jews.

Kent was concerned that the American government wanted the United States to join the war against Germany. He said he had evidence of this as he had been making copies of the correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent invited Wolkoff and Ramsay back to his flat to look at these documents. This included secret assurances that the United States would support France if it was invaded by the German Army. Kent later argued that he had shown these documents to Ramsay in the hope that he would pass this information to American politicians hostile to Roosevelt.

On 13th April 1940 Wolkoff went to Kent's flat and made copies of some of these documents. Joan Miller and Marjorie Amor, two MI5 agents who were members of the Right Club, were later to testify that these documents were then passed on to Duco del Monte, Assistant Naval Attaché at the Italian Embassy. Soon afterwards, MI8, the wireless interception service, picked up messages between Rome and Berlin that indicated that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence (Abwehr), had seen the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence.

Soon afterwards Anna Wolkoff asked Joan Miller if she would use her contacts at the Italian Embassy to pass a coded letter to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) in Germany. The letter contained information that he could use in his broadcasts on Radio Hamburg. MI5 still did nothing about this until they received information from sources in the United States.

On 18th May, 1940, Knight was forced to tell Guy Liddell of MI5 about the Right Club spy ring. Liddell immediately had a meeting with Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in London. Kennedy agreed to waive Kent's diplomatic immunity and on 20th May, 1940, the Special Branch raided his flat. Inside they found the copies of 1,929 classified documents, including the secret correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent was also found in possession of what became known as Ramsay's Red Book. This book had the names and addresses of members of the Right Club and had been given to Kent for safe keeping.

Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act. The trial took place in secret and on 7th November 1940, Wolkoff was sentenced to ten years. Kent, because he was an American citizen, was treated less harshly and received only seven years.

Archibald Ramsay was surprisingly not charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act. Instead he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B. Ramsay now joined other right-wing extremists such as Oswald Mosley and Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff in Brixton Prison.

The government found it difficult to suppress the story and in 1941 the New York Times claimed that Ramsay had been guilty of spying for Nazi Germany: "Before the war he (Ramsay) was strongly anti-Communist, anti-semitic, and pro-Hitler. Though no specific charges were brought against him - Defence Regulations allow that - informed American sources said that he had sent to the German Legation in Dublin treasonable information given to him by Tyler Kent, clerk to the American Embassy in London."

Some left-wing politicians in the House of Commons began demanding the publication of Ramsay's Red Book. They suspected that several senior members of the Conservative Party had been members of the Right Club. Some took the view that Ramsay had done some sort of deal in order to prevent him being charged with treason.

Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary refused to reveal the contents of Ramsay's Red Book. He claimed that it was impossible to know if the names in the book were really members of the Right Club. If this was the case, the publication of the book would unfairly smear innocent people.

Archibald Ramsay sued the owners of the New York Times for libel. In court Ramsay argued that if there had been any evidence of him passing secrets to the Germans he would have been tried under the Official Secrets Act alongside Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent in 1940. The newspaper owners were found guilty of libel but the case became a disaster for Ramsay when he was awarded a farthing in damages. As well as the extremely damaging publicity he endured, Ramsay was forced to pay the costs of the case.

During the summer of 1944 several Conservative Party MPs in the House of Commons called for Ramsay to be released from prison. William Gallacher, a member of the Communist Party, argued that he should remain in detention. He pointed out that Ramsay was "a rabid anti-Semite" and that "anti-Semitism is an incitement to murder." He asked "if the mothers of this country, whose lads are being sacrificed now, are to be informed by him that their sacrifices have enabled him to release this unspeakable blackguard." When Gallacher refused to withdraw these comments he was suspended from the House of Commons.

Ramsay was released from Brixton Prison on 26th September, 1944. He was defeated in the 1945 General Election and in 1955 he published his book The Nameless War.

Ramsay died in 1955 and it was not until 1989 that the Red Book was found in the safe of Ramsay's former solicitors. The book included the names of 235 people. Unfortunately a lot of the names were in code. However, it did contain the names of several senior Tories including a large number of MPs and peers of the realm.

To go back to the Anthony Blunt case. His mission was to obtain documents that implicated the British royal family in negotiations that went on with Hitler in the 1930s and the 1940s. As Blunt told friends, the information he found in those documents gave him "protection for life". That is why he got the job of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, a post he held even after MI5 discovered that he was a long-term Soviet spy. It is also the reason why he was never charged with any spying offences. Unlike with Archibald Ramsay, Blunt could not be tried in secret.

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My research on this incident shows a very complex series of conspiracies and counterconspiracies [but everyone admits that wars are conspiracies]....a good bood on the subject is The Hitler/Hess Deception by Martin Allen. However, I think there were a few layers more and Hilter and Bormann were long trying to convince the Allies to join in their war against the Bolsheviks. Further, right-wing Allied industrialists and bankers, etc who had had connections before and even at beginning of the War with their 'brother' Oligarchs in the Axis powers wanted to also change the War into one along these lines. Hess had to spend his days in prison so as to never tell what he knew and the truth which would have greatly embarrassed highly placed people in America and England.....who went along to differing extents in these negotiations with Hitler or his minions - officially or exofficio.

The British angle to this story is very interesting. In the late 1920s Anthony Blunt met Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. All of them became secret supporters of the Communist Party.

In the early 1930s Blunt was recruited as a Soviet agent. He was a Fellow of Trinity and in this post worked as a talent-spotter for the Soviet Union. A homosexual, it is claimed he blackmailed other homosexuals into spying for the Soviets.

On the outbreak of the Second World War Blunt joined the British Army. In 1939 he was sent to France where he served with the Army Intelligence Corps. When the German Army invaded in May 1940 Maclean returned to England. Soon afterwards he was recruited by MI5.

Blunt was placed in charge of the section that dealt with examining the communications of foreign embassies. This enabled him to pass valuable information to the Soviet Union. He later became the personal assistant to Guy Liddell, Deputy Director-General of MI5. In 1944 Blunt was responsible for liaison between MI5 and Allied Supreme Headquarters concerning the invasion of Europe.

At the end of the war Blunt was sent to Germany on a secret mission for the Royal family. A few months later Blunt retired from MI5 to become Surveyor of the King's Pictures. He continued to be a member of the spy ring led by Kim Philby and in 1951 helped Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean to defect to the Soviet Union. Blunt, who had been seen in the company of Burgess and Maclean just before they disappeared, was interviewed by eleven times by MI5 but was never charged with spying. Instead, Queen Elizabeth II asked Blunt to become Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures a post he held until his retirement in 1978.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SSblunt.htm

Blunt's role as a Soviet agent was exposed in Andrew Boyle's book, The Climate of Treason in 1979. This resulted in his knighthood, awarded in 1956, being annulled. However, he was never charged with any offence. Why? The fact is that the establishment could not allow Blunt to tell his story in court. This is because he read those documents that he had sent to Germany to collect for the royal family. What did they say that had to remain a secret? Maybe it was something to do with the highly secret fascist group called the Right Club. This pro-Nazi group included Archibald Ramsay, William Joyce, Anna Wolkoff, A. K. Chesterton, Francis Yeats-Brown, E. H. Cole, Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, Duke of Westminster, Aubrey Lees, John Stourton, Thomas Hunter, Samuel Chapman, Ernest Bennett, Charles Kerr, John MacKie, James Edmondson, Mavis Tate, Marquess of Graham, Margaret Bothamley, Lord Sempill, Earl of Galloway, H. T. Mills, Richard Findlay and Serrocold Skeels.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWrightclub.htm

Maxwell Knight, the head of B5b, a unit within MI5 that conducted the monitoring of political subversion, was formerly Director of Intelligence of the British Fascisti (BF). In the 1930s MI5 were very keen to recruit fascists. This is how Kim Philby and Guy Burgess managed to be recruited (they pretended to be fascists by joining the Anglo-German Fellowship, a pro-Nazi pressure group).

After the outbreak of the war several members of the Right Club spied on the UK for Nazi Germany. They also tried to negotiate an end to the war. I believe the Neville Chamberlain government and King George VI were implicated in these secret negotiations. So also was the previous monarch, Edward VIII).

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MONgeorgeVI.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MONedwardVIII.htm

This helps to explain why Rudolf Hess was kept from making any public statements after being captured in Scotland on 10th May, 1941. Hess had been trying to reach the Duke of Hamilton, a member of the Right Club.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/GERhess.htm

The problem for the British establishment is that the Americans discovered that Tyler Kent, a cypher clerk from the American Embassy, was a spy. He had been recruited by Anna Wolkoff, a member of the Right Club. Wolkoff was the daughter of Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff, the former aide-to-camp to the Nicholas II in London. Wolkoff ran the Russian Tea Room in South Kensington and this eventually became the main meeting place for members of the Right Club.

In the 1930s Anna Wolkoff had meetings with Hans Frank and Rudolf Hess. In 1935 her actions began to be monitored by MI5. Agents warned that Wolkoff had developed a close relationship with Wallis Simpson (the future wife of Edward VIII) and that the two women might be involved in passing state secrets to the German government.

In February 1940, Wolkoff met Tyler Kent. He soon became a regular visitor to the Russian Tea Room where he met other members of the Right Club including Ramsay. Wolkoff, Kent and Ramsay talked about politics and agreed that they all shared the same views on Jews.

Kent was concerned that the American government wanted the United States to join the war against Germany. He said he had evidence of this as he had been making copies of the correspondence between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent invited Wolkoff and Ramsay back to his flat to look at these documents. This included secret assurances that the United States would support France if it was invaded by the German Army. Kent later argued that he had shown these documents to Ramsay in the hope that he would pass this information to American politicians hostile to Roosevelt.

On 13th April 1940 Wolkoff went to Kent's flat and made copies of some of these documents. Joan Miller and Marjorie Amor, two MI5 agents who were members of the Right Club, were later to testify that these documents were then passed on to Duco del Monte, Assistant Naval Attaché at the Italian Embassy. Soon afterwards, MI8, the wireless interception service, picked up messages between Rome and Berlin that indicated that Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence (Abwehr), had seen the Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence.

Soon afterwards Anna Wolkoff asked Joan Miller if she would use her contacts at the Italian Embassy to pass a coded letter to William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) in Germany. The letter contained information that he could use in his broadcasts on Radio Hamburg. MI5 still did nothing about this until they received information from sources in the United States.

On 18th May, 1940, Knight was forced to tell Guy Liddell of MI5 about the Right Club spy ring. Liddell immediately had a meeting with Joseph Kennedy, the American Ambassador in London. Kennedy agreed to waive Kent's diplomatic immunity and on 20th May, 1940, the Special Branch raided his flat. Inside they found the copies of 1,929 classified documents, including the secret correspondence between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Kent was also found in possession of what became known as Ramsay's Red Book. This book had the names and addresses of members of the Right Club and had been given to Kent for safe keeping.

Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested and charged under the Official Secrets Act. The trial took place in secret and on 7th November 1940, Wolkoff was sentenced to ten years. Kent, because he was an American citizen, was treated less harshly and received only seven years.

Archibald Ramsay was surprisingly not charged with breaking the Official Secrets Act. Instead he was interned under Defence Regulation 18B. Ramsay now joined other right-wing extremists such as Oswald Mosley and Admiral Nikolai Wolkoff in Brixton Prison.

The government found it difficult to suppress the story and in 1941 the New York Times claimed that Ramsay had been guilty of spying for Nazi Germany: "Before the war he (Ramsay) was strongly anti-Communist, anti-semitic, and pro-Hitler. Though no specific charges were brought against him - Defence Regulations allow that - informed American sources said that he had sent to the German Legation in Dublin treasonable information given to him by Tyler Kent, clerk to the American Embassy in London."

Some left-wing politicians in the House of Commons began demanding the publication of Ramsay's Red Book. They suspected that several senior members of the Conservative Party had been members of the Right Club. Some took the view that Ramsay had done some sort of deal in order to prevent him being charged with treason.

Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary refused to reveal the contents of Ramsay's Red Book. He claimed that it was impossible to know if the names in the book were really members of the Right Club. If this was the case, the publication of the book would unfairly smear innocent people.

Archibald Ramsay sued the owners of the New York Times for libel. In court Ramsay argued that if there had been any evidence of him passing secrets to the Germans he would have been tried under the Official Secrets Act alongside Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent in 1940. The newspaper owners were found guilty of libel but the case became a disaster for Ramsay when he was awarded a farthing in damages. As well as the extremely damaging publicity he endured, Ramsay was forced to pay the costs of the case.

During the summer of 1944 several Conservative Party MPs in the House of Commons called for Ramsay to be released from prison. William Gallacher, a member of the Communist Party, argued that he should remain in detention. He pointed out that Ramsay was "a rabid anti-Semite" and that "anti-Semitism is an incitement to murder." He asked "if the mothers of this country, whose lads are being sacrificed now, are to be informed by him that their sacrifices have enabled him to release this unspeakable blackguard." When Gallacher refused to withdraw these comments he was suspended from the House of Commons.

Ramsay was released from Brixton Prison on 26th September, 1944. He was defeated in the 1945 General Election and in 1955 he published his book The Nameless War.

Ramsay died in 1955 and it was not until 1989 that the Red Book was found in the safe of Ramsay's former solicitors. The book included the names of 235 people. Unfortunately a lot of the names were in code. However, it did contain the names of several senior Tories including a large number of MPs and peers of the realm.

To go back to the Anthony Blunt case. His mission was to obtain documents that implicated the British royal family in negotiations that went on with Hitler in the 1930s and the 1940s. As Blunt told friends, the information he found in those documents gave him "protection for life". That is why he got the job of Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, a post he held even after MI5 discovered that he was a long-term Soviet spy. It is also the reason why he was never charged with any spying offences. Unlike with Archibald Ramsay, Blunt could not be tried in secret.

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My research on this incident shows a very complex series of conspiracies and counterconspiracies [but everyone admits that wars are conspiracies]....a good bood on the subject is The Hitler/Hess Deception by Martin Allen. However, I think there were a few layers more and Hilter and Bormann were long trying to convince the Allies to join in their war against the Bolsheviks. Further, right-wing Allied industrialists and bankers, etc who had had connections before and even at beginning of the War with their 'brother' Oligarchs in the Axis powers wanted to also change the War into one along these lines. Hess had to spend his days in prison so as to never tell what he knew and the truth which would have greatly embarrassed highly placed people in America and England.....who went along to differing extents in these negotiations with Hitler or his minions - officially or exofficio.

I found this rather interesting review of the Martin Allen book at Amazon.com:

The Man who knew too much, 26 Aug 2003

Reviewer: Thomas Dunskus (Faleyras Frankreich)

Martin Allen's book „The Hitler/Hess Deception" deals with the fate of Rudolf Hess who had been, at one time, Hitler's deputy and who, in his day, carried the epithet „the conscience of the party". He was condemned to life imprisonment and served time for half a century until he was found hanged in the prison at Spandau whose only remaining prisoner he then was.

He had left Germany in May, 1941, under mysterious circumstances, and was held essentially incommunicado ever after. At that time, the Nazis had instituted a number of antisemitic laws, they had instigated or at least tolerated a pogrom, and were following an expansionist and aggressive policy, but with some hindsight, one wonders why this man had to be shut up for the rest of his life, whereas other figures among Hitler's close associates who had played a more active role for a much longer time, were released from jail after a number of years that appear reasonable under normal legal aspects.

The author has gathered together the shreds of evidence that remained after the British in 1945 had collected and destroyed whatever pertinent files they were able to put their hands on and „neutralized" undesirable witnesses. He shows that the „Hess incident" - Hess' solo flight to Scotland in May, 1941, a month before Germany attacked the Soviet Union - was not at all the feat of a madman decided on at the spur of the moment that it was later made to appear by both the British and the German side. Even (nay, particularly!) Hitler's deputy could not just get into his personal Messerschmitt 110 and take off for the 1000 mile flight to Prestwick without major technical and logistic preparations in Germany, along the way, and at the other end.

The book explains that the flight as such was the result of a sting operation devised by Britain's Strategic Operations staff, aimed at making Hitler believe that the British government could be toppled, peace could be made in the West, and the Germans would be able to affront the Soviets without having to worry about their western flank.

According to Allen, in the year prior to Hess' flight, there had been numerous contacts, mainly in (neutral) Spain and Switzerland, between British representatives and German politicians and intellectuals. The talks in Scotland were to be, as it were, the touchstone of the matter. As time was getting short for the Germans, Hess convinced Hitler that the German delegate should not be a mere emissary acting under orders but a political figure able to take decisions on the spot - Rudolf Hess.

In the end, it makes little difference whether the British were thrown into complete disarray, as Allen asserts, when unexpectedly Hess turned up, or whether a lower-grade delegate would have been able to fly safely back to Germany and report. The British sting operation was effective enough in getting Hitler to continue with his preparations for the war against the Soviet Union and thus remove pressure from Britain. To what extent the British actively encouraged the Germans in their plans, or whether or not they went so far as to promise support cannot be ascertained at the present time - whatever British files still exist seem to be under lock and key for another dozen years or so. Russian sources, on the other hand, may be provide some answers at an earlier date.

What is frightening about the events Allen describes is the apparent lack of scruple with which the British government went about setting the two dictatorships up against each other. The outcome of this duel was not at all certain, for if weather conditions in late 1941 had been just a little more favorable for the German side, the Soviet empire might well have toppled and Britain would then have had to face a Germany extending from the Channel coast to the Urals. This unpleasant but entirely possible risk for Britain is begging the question to what extent Churchill, in order to forestall such a potentially horrifying scenario, did not somehow play a double game by keeping the Soviets informed, and assured of future Allied aid.

Some American, quite a few Russian, and a couple of German historians have recently argued that Stalin, in 1941, was himself preparing to attack Germany. Considering the recent revelations by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin on the activities of the „Cambridge Five", it is entirely conceivable that, officially or unofficially, British sources kept Stalin informed of the negotiations. For a man like Stalin whose distrust was legendary, the obvious reaction would have been to prepare against a German attack, possibly by a pre-emptive strike. It is significant that at the time of the sting operation, Anthony Blunt, a member of the Cambridge Five, occupied a key position within MI5; after the war, he was to be involved in the cover-up operations in Germany.

Regardless of who, Stalin or Hitler, would eventually win that confrontation, the only thing that was certain, even in 1941, is that such a war would spell the end of freedom for most of the still independent states in Central and Eastern Europe. The only foreseeable difference would have been that, under Soviet rule, the Slavic states might fare slightly better, whereas countries like Hungary or Romania would have found Hitler somewhat more accomodating. In any case, the fate of the lands in question should have been clear to the Western world when the Germans discovered, in 1943, the graves of thousands of Polish officers murdered by the Soviets at Katyn two years earlier. However, by then it was too late, the Western powers preferred not to take too close a look at the implications, and chose to abandon those countries to the Soviets for the next half century.

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The British treatment of Hess was always very strange. There was little evidence to connect him with Nazi war-crimes. In fact he was in prison in England when the Holocaust took place. Several Nazi leaders were treated very generously (see the thread on John McCloy) but the British always insisted that Hess should be kept in captivity until he died.

Most experts considered that in accordance with the Geneva and Hague Conventions, Hess was not in a fit state to stand trial. Churchill told Stalin that Hess was mentally ill but this was to be kept secret otherwise – under the terms of the Geneva Convention – he would have to be repatriated.

Hess’s defence counsel requested that he should be examined by a psychiatrist from neutral Switzerland. The request was denied and instead he was examined by psychiatrists from all four victorious countries. He was eventually examined by eight doctors – three British, three Soviets, one American and one French doctor. Seven of the eight said he was fit to stand trial. The eighth, Lord Moran, who was Churchill’s personal doctor, claimed he was too ill to stand trial and should be handed back to the British.

According to Gordon Thomas (Journey into Madness), Allen W. Dulles, had a meeting with Dr. Donald Cameron, the American psychiatrist, before he examined Hess:

“Dulles first swore Dr Cameron to secrecy, and then told him an astounding story. He had reason to believe that the man Dr Cameron was to examine was not Rudolf Hess but an impostor; that the real Deputy Führer had been secretly executed on Churchill’s orders. Dulles had explained that Dr Cameron could prove the point by a simple physical examination of the man’s torso. If he was the genuine Hess, there should be scar tissue over his left lung, a legacy from the day the young Hess had been wounded in the First World War.”

Dr. Hugh Thomas, a British doctor who examined Hess during his tour of duty in Berlin in 1973, later confirmed in his book, The Murder of Rudolf Hess (1979) that he showed no evidence of chest scars from the First World War.

Hess was apparently suffering from amnesia and did not remember the existence of his own son Wolf. Nor did he remember, other leading Nazis he met during the Nuremberg trials. When he met Göring his first response was: “Who are you?”

Göring also said something very interesting about Hess. He was overheard saying to Hess during the recess of the trial: “By the way, Hess, when are you going to let us in on your great secret?”

Of all the prisoners who were sentenced to death, only Göring cheated the hangman by taking poison in his cell, before he could make a final statement to the court. Was Göring murdered as well?

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“For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history myself.” Winston Churchill

“In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Winston Churchill

The authors of Double Standards argue that the Flying Boat flew to Sir Archibald Sinclair’s Baremore Lodge in order to pick up Rudolf Hess. As I pointed out in an earlier posting, one of the surprising things about this story was that Sir Louis Greig was not on board. Greig had been the Duke of Kent’s constant companion over the previous few months. Was Greig spying on the Duke? Is it relevant that he had been the former secretary of Sir Archibald Sinclair and a close confidant of Winston Churchill? Was Greig warned that the aircraft would crash?

The authors argue that the destination was Sweden rather than Iceland. Sweden was a neutral country that had been used before to negotiate between the UK and Germany during the war.

The authors argue that only the British government could have organized the accident and ensured the cover-up. They also point out the similarities with other flying incidents that involved people who were inconvenient to the government.

In November 1942, General Wladyslaw Sikorski, the leader of the Polish government in exile, boarded a Lockhead Hudson at Montreal. On take-off, when the plane was only 30 feet in the air, both engines cut out. The pilot was able to make a successful emergency landing.

In March, 1943, General de Gaulle, needed to visit Glasgow. The General hated flying and intended to take the train from London. Sir Archibald Sinclair persuaded him to change his mind and take a Wellington bomber from RAF Hendon to Abbotsinch near Glasgow. However, the plane’s elevators failed to respond. The pilot was able to make a successful emergency landing. A secret RAF investigation discovered that the control rods had been eaten through with acid and that this was a clear case of sabotage. The investigation blamed German infiltrators but the culprits were never caught. This report was not released until 1967. Other recently released documents show that during this period Churchill was talking about General Charles de Gaulle as being a nuisance that needed to be “eliminated”.

On 4th July 1943, Sikorski was on a Liberator that refuelled in Gibraltar. Within minutes of taking off the plane crashed into the sea. There was only one survivor, the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Edward Prchal. He survived because he was wearing a life-jacket that he had put on before the aircraft had taken off. According to the official inquiry the elevator controls had jammed. Summer Welles, the US Under-Secretary of State, went on record as saying he believed Sikorski had been assassinated. Sikorski’s widow claimed that her husband had been assassinated on the orders of Winston Churchill.

Had the Duke of Kent’s flying boat’s control rods been tampered with? We already know that the S-25 Sunderland Mk III Flying Boat had a major design fault – it was sluggish when climbing – especially when heavily laden, as it was on the Duke of Kent’s flight. This is why its pilots always tried to fly over sea. This would have been the case unless the pilot was asked to pick up a passenger at Baremore Lodge. The authors argue that if the flying boat had picked up a passenger at Braemore it would have needed to pass over Eagle Rock to get back to its original flight plan. It was also at this point when the flying boat would have needed to climb. Something it failed to do.

The authors argue that Winston Churchill ordered the assassination of the Duke of Kent because he was involved in an act of treason. He was negotiating with the Germans about the possible surrender of the UK. It is for this reason that the Royal Family have gone along with the cover-up.

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In his first speech as prime minister (13th May) Winston Churchill said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. You ask, ‘What is our policy?’ I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us… You ask, ‘What is our aim?’ I can answer in one word. Victory – victory at all costs.”

This speech is now seen as a turning point in the war. The appeasement policy of Chamberlain’s government had been completely rejected. Victory over Nazi Germany was the only objective. British people now read this speech with pride. Churchill is seen as a symbol of British grit and determination whereas the photograph of Chamberlain waving his Munich agreement with Hitler leaves us feeling a sense of shame. Churchill enabled the British people to feel good about themselves. By praising Churchill they pat themselves on the back. Churchill showed us that the British people are special. In contrast to those other Western Europeans who quickly surrendered when faced with the military might of the German military machine.

There are good emotional reasons for the British people to believe that Churchill really meant what he was saying on 13th May. However, I believe that Churchill was involved in a public relations exercise and that behind the scenes his representatives were negotiating with Nazi Germany. There is of course documentary evidence that negotiations were taking place between representatives of the two countries. However, virtually all British historians have argued that these talks were taking place without Churchill’s knowledge. In fact, the authors of “Double Standards” even go as far as to say that when Churchill discovered details of these talks he arranged the death of the Duke of Kent.

An objective study of Churchill’s speech would reveal that he could not possibly have been telling the truth when he said that his objective was “victory at all costs”. Victory if it meant placing Britain in pawn to the United States? Victory if it meant giving up the British Empire? Victory if it meant Soviet domination of Eastern Europe? Victory if it meant Britain would no longer be a major economic power? Well, that is what it did mean, even if we did win the war.

Remember, Churchill’s foreign policy for most of the 1930s had been the same as his Conservative colleagues. He had two main objectives: the destruction of communism and the preservation of the British Empire. After the outbreak of the war, he had a third major objective, to keep Britain free from German control. How was Churchill going to achieve these three objectives? One was by negotiating a peace deal with Hitler. The problem for Churchill is that he had achieved power by constantly criticizing Chamberlain for doing just this. He therefore needed an agreement that he could sell to the British people.

Within a month of taking power the situation had got dramatically worse. The day after the speech quoted above, the Netherlands surrendered. It soon became clear that Belgium, Norway and Denmark were in no position to resist the takeover of their countries. On 23rd May, General Gerd von Rundstedt and the German Army pierced the French defences at Sedan and the French and British armies began their retreats. France was clearly close to surrender and the British soldiers were desperately trying to leave mainland Europe.

On 4th June Winston Churchill makes his famous: “We shall fight on the beaches” speech. In a recent article, Simon Schama argues that before this speech Churchill was seen as a politician who was guilty of “showy shallowness, his inconstancy, his addiction to hyperbole.” But according to Sharma, with this speech “a lifetime of rhetorical education and mercurial performance finally paid off.” In fact, the speech showed that nothing had changed. It was a speech that appealed to nationalistic sentiment in order to cover up what, as Churchill later admitted, was the “greatest military disaster in our long history”. This disaster had taken place at a time when Churchill was prime minister. However, Churchill was not about to take any responsibility for this. In the same way as he refused to accept the blame for his disastrous policies in Norway. As A. J. P. Taylor pointed out in “English History: 1914-1945” (pages 574-575), in describing the British defeat in Norway that was to bring down Chamberlain: “The failure had solid technical reasons: inadequate forces, lack of air power. This is not how English people saw it. They blamed the men at the top. Their wrath turned against Chamberlain; their enthusiasm towards Churchill. This was wrongheaded in terms of the immediate past. Churchill had far more to do than Chamberlain with the Norwegian campaign.” It was like Geoff Hoon replacing Tony Blair as prime minister because of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. Of course, Hoon has always been terrible at making speeches.

Winston Churchill was being completely dishonest when he said in his 4th June speech that Britain would achieve “victory at all costs”. He added: “That is the resolve of His Majesty’s government – every man of them.” In reality, the cabinet was discussing the best terms they could get by surrendering to Germany.

In his recent book, “Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World” (2007), the historian, Ian Kershaw, discussed the debate that took place in Churchill’s cabinet in May 1940. He points out that French leaders wanted to approach Mussolini to discover what Hitler’s terms would be. Kershaw provides documentary evidence that the British war cabinet came very close to doing this. Churchill argued that if these negotiations did take place it was vitally important that this information did not enter the public domain. The reason for this was that by asking about the conditions of surrender would undermine attempts to persuade the British people to fight if the terms were unacceptable. Kershaw assumes from these exchanges, that Churchill finally won his war cabinet over to the idea of “victory at all costs”. However, there is evidence that Churchill did use others to carry out negotiations with Hitler. In fact, it would have been irresponsible for Churchill not to have done this. By June, 1940, defeat looked inevitable if Britain decided to carry on the war alone. At the same time, Churchill knew that Hitler had no desire to continue the war with Britain. Both men agreed that the real enemy was the Soviet Union.

Hitler was aware that Germany would suffer heavy casualties if it attempted to invade Britain. He could not use his successful blitzkrieg tactics against an island. Even if Germany eventually subdued the British population (would the British have behaved any differently to the French, Dutch, Norwegians, etc.?) it would have been in no fit state to launch an attack on the Soviet Union. Even worse, Stalin might have taken the opportunity to attack German forces that had been weakened by the invasion of Britain.

It therefore made sense for both Hitler and Churchill to enter into negotiations. Hitler, like Stalin, had studied previous empires. The real problem for anyone who wants to build a large empire concerns the size of your armed forces. How, for example, was it possible for fairly small countries such as Italy and the UK, to control such large areas of the world? The only way this can be done is by recruiting the support of the people that live in the country that has been conquered. In fact, you need to convince the host population to acquiesce to their subjection. The Romans were the first people to show how this was done (it was the model followed by the British in the 18th and 19th centuries).

That was the sensible strategy for Hitler to follow in Western Europe. In fact, that is what he did when he helped create Vichy France. On 22nd June France signed an armistice with Germany. The terms of the agreement divided France into occupied and unoccupied zones, with a rigid demarcation line between the two. The Germans would directly control three-fifths of the country, an area that included northern and western France and the entire Atlantic coast. The remaining section of the country would be administered by the French government at Vichy under Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain. Other provisions of the armistice included the surrender of all Jews living in France to the Germans. The French Army was disbanded except for a force of 100,000 men to maintain domestic order. The 1.5 million French soldiers captured by the Germans were to remain prisoners of war. The French government also agreed to stop members of its armed forces from leaving the country and instructed its citizens not to fight against the Germans. Finally, France had to pay the occupation costs of the German troops.

Over the next four years Henri-Philippe Petain led the neo-fascist government of Vichy France. The famous revolutionary principles of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" were replaced by "Work, Family, Fatherland".

Churchill’s negotiators would have suggested that the “Vichy” model could be spread to other parts of occupied Western Europe. This would have freed up troops for the intended invasion of the Soviet Union. After the arrest and internment of all anti-fascists, removal of the rights of trade unionists, the control of the mass-media, in other words, all the things that had taken place in Nazi Germany, the people of France, Holland, Belgium, etc. could be allowed the freedom to hold elections. The results would have been the same as in Nazi Germany, an elected fascist government.

In return for this agreement, Britain would sign a peace agreement and a non-aggression pact with Germany. The removal of most of the German armed forces from Western Europe would be seen as a “victory” rather than a “betrayal”. Britain would be able to keep her empire but other governments in Western Europe would have to negotiate their own deals.

This kind of deal was popular with the whole of the British establishment. It would achieve all their foreign policy objectives that they had held so passionately in the 1930s.

When Churchill took office he did not sack the arch-appeaser as foreign secretary, Lord Halifax. Instead he was allowed to hold onto his job. This was Churchill’s way of showing Hitler that he was willing to negotiate an end to the war. Churchill nominated Chamberlain as Leader of the House of Commons. Labour members of the war cabinet complained about this decision and so he became Lord President of the Council. However, he still remained in the government. So also did Sir John Simon, the third of the guilty men, who was given the job of Lord Chancellor.

Historians often claim that they only man to lose his job as a result of his appeasement policies was Samuel Hoare. Responsible for the Hoare-Laval Pact in 1935, he was forced to resign when the scheme was widely denounced as appeasement of Italian aggression. Hoare returned to the government under Chamberlain as Secretary of State for the Home Office. On the outbreak of the war in 1939 he joined the War Cabinet as Lord Privy Seal. Hoare lost this post when Churchill took power. However, Churchill sent Hoare to be British ambassador in Madrid. It was here that he carried out negotiations with the Nazis.

Duff Cooper, the man who resigned from the government over Munich only got the Ministry of Information. Yet, Lord Beaverbrook, who had used his newspaper empire to advocate appeasement right up to the outbreak of the war, was brought into the war cabinet as minister of aircraft production. Beaverbrook, who was considered to be Churchill’s most important adviser, was the leading figure, along with Lord Halifax, of what became known as the “Peace Party”. Beaverbook made it clear to friends in 1939 that the “British Jews were pushing the country into an unnecessary war” (Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie, Beaverbrook: A Life, page 347) and that entry into war was “mistaken and unnecessary” (A. J. P. Taylor, Beaverbrook, page 231).

Churchill also allowed Sir Stewart Menzies to remain as head of MI6. Menzies had been a strong advocate of appeasement. Menzies, like others on the far-right, believed the real enemy was communism and argued that Churchill should form a military alliance with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. As head of MI6 Menzies “had the right of access at any time of the day or night to the King, Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, making him the most powerful men in the country.” (Anthony Cave Brown, Bodyguard of Lies, pages 13-14). According to Scott Newton (Profits of Peace: The Political Economy of Anglo-German Appeasement, pages 124-127), Menzies was at the very centre of the peace group in Britain in 1940.

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In his first speech as prime minister (13th May) Winston Churchill said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. You ask, ‘What is our policy?’ I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us… You ask, ‘What is our aim?’ I can answer in one word. Victory – victory at all costs.”

This speech is now seen as a turning point in the war. The appeasement policy of Chamberlain’s government had been completely rejected. Victory over Nazi Germany was the only objective. British people now read this speech with pride. Churchill is seen as a symbol of British grit and determination whereas the photograph of Chamberlain waving his Munich agreement with Hitler leaves us feeling a sense of shame. Churchill enabled the British people to feel good about themselves. By praising Churchill they pat themselves on the back. Churchill showed us that the British people are special. In contrast to those other Western Europeans who quickly surrendered when faced with the military might of the German military machine.

There are good emotional reasons for the British people to believe that Churchill really meant what he was saying on 13th May. However, I believe that Churchill was involved in a public relations exercise and that behind the scenes his representatives were negotiating with Nazi Germany. There is of course documentary evidence that negotiations were taking place between representatives of the two countries. However, virtually all British historians have argued that these talks were taking place without Churchill’s knowledge. In fact, the authors of “Double Standards” even go as far as to say that when Churchill discovered details of these talks he arranged the death of the Duke of Kent.

An objective study of Churchill’s speech would reveal that he could not possibly have been telling the truth when he said that his objective was “victory at all costs”. Victory if it meant placing Britain in pawn to the United States? Victory if it meant giving up the British Empire? Victory if it meant Soviet domination of Eastern Europe? Victory if it meant Britain would no longer be a major economic power? Well, that is what it did mean, even if we did win the war.

Remember, Churchill’s foreign policy for most of the 1930s had been the same as his Conservative colleagues. He had two main objectives: the destruction of communism and the preservation of the British Empire. After the outbreak of the war, he had a third major objective, to keep Britain free from German control. How was Churchill going to achieve these three objectives? One was by negotiating a peace deal with Hitler. The problem for Churchill is that he had achieved power by constantly criticizing Chamberlain for doing just this. He therefore needed an agreement that he could sell to the British people.

Within a month of taking power the situation had got dramatically worse. The day after the speech quoted above, the Netherlands surrendered. It soon became clear that Belgium, Norway and Denmark were in no position to resist the takeover of their countries. On 23rd May, General Gerd von Rundstedt and the German Army pierced the French defences at Sedan and the French and British armies began their retreats. France was clearly close to surrender and the British soldiers were desperately trying to leave mainland Europe.

On 4th June Winston Churchill makes his famous: “We shall fight on the beaches” speech. In a recent article, Simon Schama argues that before this speech Churchill was seen as a politician who was guilty of “showy shallowness, his inconstancy, his addiction to hyperbole.” But according to Sharma, with this speech “a lifetime of rhetorical education and mercurial performance finally paid off.” In fact, the speech showed that nothing had changed. It was a speech that appealed to nationalistic sentiment in order to cover up what, as Churchill later admitted, was the “greatest military disaster in our long history”. This disaster had taken place at a time when Churchill was prime minister. However, Churchill was not about to take any responsibility for this. In the same way as he refused to accept the blame for his disastrous policies in Norway. As A. J. P. Taylor pointed out in “English History: 1914-1945” (pages 574-575), in describing the British defeat in Norway that was to bring down Chamberlain: “The failure had solid technical reasons: inadequate forces, lack of air power. This is not how English people saw it. They blamed the men at the top. Their wrath turned against Chamberlain; their enthusiasm towards Churchill. This was wrongheaded in terms of the immediate past. Churchill had far more to do than Chamberlain with the Norwegian campaign.” It was like Geoff Hoon replacing Tony Blair as prime minister because of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. Of course, Hoon has always been terrible at making speeches.

Winston Churchill was being completely dishonest when he said in his 4th June speech that Britain would achieve “victory at all costs”. He added: “That is the resolve of His Majesty’s government – every man of them.” In reality, the cabinet was discussing the best terms they could get by surrendering to Germany.

In his recent book, “Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World” (2007), the historian, Ian Kershaw, discussed the debate that took place in Churchill’s cabinet in May 1940. He points out that French leaders wanted to approach Mussolini to discover what Hitler’s terms would be. Kershaw provides documentary evidence that the British war cabinet came very close to doing this. Churchill argued that if these negotiations did take place it was vitally important that this information did not enter the public domain. The reason for this was that by asking about the conditions of surrender would undermine attempts to persuade the British people to fight if the terms were unacceptable. Kershaw assumes from these exchanges, that Churchill finally won his war cabinet over to the idea of “victory at all costs”. However, there is evidence that Churchill did use others to carry out negotiations with Hitler. In fact, it would have been irresponsible for Churchill not to have done this. By June, 1940, defeat looked inevitable if Britain decided to carry on the war alone. At the same time, Churchill knew that Hitler had no desire to continue the war with Britain. Both men agreed that the real enemy was the Soviet Union.

Hitler was aware that Germany would suffer heavy casualties if it attempted to invade Britain. He could not use his successful blitzkrieg tactics against an island. Even if Germany eventually subdued the British population (would the British have behaved any differently to the French, Dutch, Norwegians, etc.?) it would have been in no fit state to launch an attack on the Soviet Union. Even worse, Stalin might have taken the opportunity to attack German forces that had been weakened by the invasion of Britain.

It therefore made sense for both Hitler and Churchill to enter into negotiations. Hitler, like Stalin, had studied previous empires. The real problem for anyone who wants to build a large empire concerns the size of your armed forces. How, for example, was it possible for fairly small countries such as Italy and the UK, to control such large areas of the world? The only way this can be done is by recruiting the support of the people that live in the country that has been conquered. In fact, you need to convince the host population to acquiesce to their subjection. The Romans were the first people to show how this was done (it was the model followed by the British in the 18th and 19th centuries).

That was the sensible strategy for Hitler to follow in Western Europe. In fact, that is what he did when he helped create Vichy France. On 22nd June France signed an armistice with Germany. The terms of the agreement divided France into occupied and unoccupied zones, with a rigid demarcation line between the two. The Germans would directly control three-fifths of the country, an area that included northern and western France and the entire Atlantic coast. The remaining section of the country would be administered by the French government at Vichy under Marshal Henri-Philippe Petain. Other provisions of the armistice included the surrender of all Jews living in France to the Germans. The French Army was disbanded except for a force of 100,000 men to maintain domestic order. The 1.5 million French soldiers captured by the Germans were to remain prisoners of war. The French government also agreed to stop members of its armed forces from leaving the country and instructed its citizens not to fight against the Germans. Finally, France had to pay the occupation costs of the German troops.

Over the next four years Henri-Philippe Petain led the neo-fascist government of Vichy France. The famous revolutionary principles of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" were replaced by "Work, Family, Fatherland".

Churchill’s negotiators would have suggested that the “Vichy” model could be spread to other parts of occupied Western Europe. This would have freed up troops for the intended invasion of the Soviet Union. After the arrest and internment of all anti-fascists, removal of the rights of trade unionists, the control of the mass-media, in other words, all the things that had taken place in Nazi Germany, the people of France, Holland, Belgium, etc. could be allowed the freedom to hold elections. The results would have been the same as in Nazi Germany, an elected fascist government.

In return for this agreement, Britain would sign a peace agreement and a non-aggression pact with Germany. The removal of most of the German armed forces from Western Europe would be seen as a “victory” rather than a “betrayal”. Britain would be able to keep her empire but other governments in Western Europe would have to negotiate their own deals.

This kind of deal was popular with the whole of the British establishment. It would achieve all their foreign policy objectives that they had held so passionately in the 1930s.

When Churchill took office he did not sack the arch-appeaser as foreign secretary, Lord Halifax. Instead he was allowed to hold onto his job. This was Churchill’s way of showing Hitler that he was willing to negotiate an end to the war. Churchill nominated Chamberlain as Leader of the House of Commons. Labour members of the war cabinet complained about this decision and so he became Lord President of the Council. However, he still remained in the government. So also did Sir John Simon, the third of the guilty men, who was given the job of Lord Chancellor.

Historians often claim that they only man to lose his job as a result of his appeasement policies was Samuel Hoare. Responsible for the Hoare-Laval Pact in 1935, he was forced to resign when the scheme was widely denounced as appeasement of Italian aggression. Hoare returned to the government under Chamberlain as Secretary of State for the Home Office. On the outbreak of the war in 1939 he joined the War Cabinet as Lord Privy Seal. Hoare lost this post when Churchill took power. However, Churchill sent Hoare to be British ambassador in Madrid. It was here that he carried out negotiations with the Nazis.

Duff Cooper, the man who resigned from the government over Munich only got the Ministry of Information. Yet, Lord Beaverbrook, who had used his newspaper empire to advocate appeasement right up to the outbreak of the war, was brought into the war cabinet as minister of aircraft production. Beaverbrook, who was considered to be Churchill’s most important adviser, was the leading figure, along with Lord Halifax, of what became known as the “Peace Party”. Beaverbook made it clear to friends in 1939 that the “British Jews were pushing the country into an unnecessary war” (Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie, Beaverbrook: A Life, page 347) and that entry into war was “mistaken and unnecessary” (A. J. P. Taylor, Beaverbrook, page 231).

Churchill also allowed Sir Stewart Menzies to remain as head of MI6. Menzies had been a strong advocate of appeasement. Menzies, like others on the far-right, believed the real enemy was communism and argued that Churchill should form a military alliance with Nazi Germany against the Soviet Union. As head of MI6 Menzies “had the right of access at any time of the day or night to the King, Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, making him the most powerful men in the country.” (Anthony Cave Brown, Bodyguard of Lies, pages 13-14). According to Scott Newton (Profits of Peace: The Political Economy of Anglo-German Appeasement, pages 124-127), Menzies was at the very centre of the peace group in Britain in 1940.

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On 22nd May 1940 some 250 German tanks were advancing along the French coast towards Dunkirk, threatening to seal off the British escape route. Then, just six miles from the town, at around 11.30 a.m., they abruptly stopped. Hitler had personally ordered all German forces to hold their positions for three days. This order was uncoded and was picked up by the British. They therefore knew they were going to get away. German generals begged to be able to move forward in order to destroy the British army but Hitler insisted that they held back so that the British troops could leave mainland Europe.

Some historians have argued that this is an example of another tactical error made by Hitler. However, the evidence suggests that this was part of a deal being agreed between Germany and Britain. After the war, General Gunther Blumentritt, the Army Chief of Staff, told military historian Basil Liddell Hart that Hitler had decided that Germany would make peace with Britain. Another German general told Liddell Hart that Hitler aimed to make peace with Britain “on a basis that was compatible with her honour to accept”. (The Other Side of the Hill, pages 139-41)

According to Ilse Hess, her husband was told by Hitler that the massacring of the British army at Dunkirk would humiliate the British government and would make peace negotiations harder because of the bitterness and resentment it would cause.

Goebbels recorded in his diary in June 1940 that Hitler told him that peace talks with Britain were taking place in Sweden. The intermediary was Marcus Wallenberg, a Swedish banker.

We know from other sources that Churchill was under considerable pressure to finish off the peace talks that had been started by Chamberlain. This is why George VI wanted Lord Halifax as prime minister instead of Churchill. There is an intriguing entry into the diary of John Colville, Churchill’s private secretary, on 10th May. In discussing Churchill’s talks with the king about becoming prime minister Colville writes: “Nothing can stop him (Churchill) having his way – because of his powers of blackmail”. What kind of information would Churchill have that could hurt the king?

We know that George VI was bitterly opposed to Churchill becoming prime minister. He tried desperately to persuade Chamberlain to stay on in the job. When he refused he wanted to use his royal prerogative to appoint Lord Halifax as prime minister. Halifax refused as he feared this act would have brought the government down and would put the survival of the monarchy at risk. (John Costello, Ten Days that Saved the West, pages 46-47).

In fact, George VI was playing an important role in preserving the European monarchy. Virtually all the remaining heads of the royal houses were in exile in Britain, including the royal families of Norway, the Netherlands, Albania, Yugoslavia and Luxembourg.

I believe Churchill was blackmailing the king about his dealings with Nazi Germany. I suspect his information came from Major Desmond Morton, who was Churchill’s informant from within MI6. Morton was at the centre of Churchill’s personal spy network, and had been leaking secret MI6 reports to him before he gained power in May 1940.

Sir Stewart Menzies was head of MI6 and the head of the “Peace Party”. Menzies was using Frederick Winterbottom, head of MI6’s Air Intelligence Section, to carry out negotiations with Baron de Ropp. Alfred Rosenberg reported to Hitler that Winterbottom “was entirely convinced that Germany and England must move together to ward off the Bolshevik danger.” (Scott Newton, Profits of Peace, 142-43)

Two of MI6’s agents, Major Richard Stephens and Captain Sigismund Payne-Best, had several secret meetings with the German chief of foreign counter-intelligence in November 1939. Churchill was not the only one to have spies in MI6. The KGB had penetrated MI6 during the 1930s (their agents had first joined far-right groups in Britain before being recruited into MI6). It is there evidence that tells us so much about what MI6 and the royal family were up to in 1939-41.

On 8th June 1940, one Labour MP suggested in the House of Commons that Churchill should instigate an inquiry into the “appeasement” party with a view to prosecuting its members. Churchill replied this would be foolish as “there are too many in it”. That of course included himself.

Churchill was under considerable pressure to do a deal with Hitler in June 1940. Hugh Dalton, Minister of Economic Warfare, recorded in his diary that the “appeasement party” was so powerful within the Conservative Party that Churchill faced the possibility of being removed as prime minister.

On 10th September 1940, Karl Haushofer sent a letter to his son Albrecht. The letter discussed secret peace talks going on with Britain. Karl talked about “middlemen” such as Ian Hamilton (head of the British Legion), the Duke of Hamilton and Violet Roberts, the widow of Walter Roberts. The Roberts were very close to Stewart Menzies (Walter and Stewart had gone to school together). Violet Roberts was living in Lisbon in 1940. Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland were the four main places where these secret negotiations were taking place. Karl and Albrecht Haushofer were close friends of both Rudolf Hess and the Duke of Hamilton.

In 1959, Heinrich Stahmer, Albrecht Haushofer’s agent in Spain, claimed that meetings between Samuel Hoare, Lord Halifax and Rudolf Hess took place in Spain and Portugal between February and April 1941. The Vichy press reported that Hess was in Spain on the weekend of 20/22 of April 1941. The correspondence between British Embassies and the Foreign Office are routinely released to the Public Record Office. However, all documents relating to the weekend of 20/22 April, 1941 at the Madrid Embassy are being held back and will not be released until 2017.

Karl Haushofer was arrested and interrogated by the Allies in October 1945. The British government has never released the documents that include details of these interviews. However, these interviews are in the OSS archive. Karl told his interviewers that Germany was involved in peace negotiations with Britain in 1940-41. In 1941 Albrecht was sent to Switzerland to meet Lord Templewood (Samuel Hoare) the British ambassador to Spain. This peace proposal included a willingness to “relinquish Norway, Denmark and France”. Karl goes onto say: “A larger meeting was to be held in Madrid. When my son returned, he was immediately called to Augsburg by Hess. A few days later Hess flew to England.”

When Hess arrived in Scotland he asked to be taken to the Duke of Hamilton. The “middleman” mentioned in the earlier letter. In fact, Hamilton lived close to where Hess landed.

If Hamilton was the “middleman” who was he acted for. Was it George VI or Winston Churchill? Or were they working together on this? We also know that Samuel Hoare and Lord Halifax acted as middleman in 1940-41. Hoare was Churchill’s ambassador to Spain. Is it possible that Churchill had not given permission for these talks to take place? If not, Hoare and Halifax were guilty of treason. The same claim could be made against the Duke of Hamilton.

According to Lieutenant-Colonel Malcolm Scott, Hess had told one of his guards that “members of the government” had known about his proposed trip to Scotland. Hess also asked to see George VI as he had been assured before he left Germany that he had the “King’s protection”. As I said earlier, according to the authors of “Double Standards” (2001) the Duke of Kent was with Hamilton at his home (Dungavel House) on the night that Hess arrived in Scotland. Was the Duke of Kent acting as the representative of the king or prime minister? The authors of Double Standards, who accept the view that Churchill remained a strong opponent of appeasement, believe the Duke of Kent, the Duke of Hamilton, Samuel Hoare and Lord Halifax, were all working for George VI. They point out that Hamilton, as Keeper of the Royal Household, was very close to the king. However, is it credible that this is the case? For example, Duke of Kent and the Duke of Hamilton both served in the RAF during the war. Churchill arranged for both to be promoted soon after the arrival of Hess. By this time Churchill was either aware that both men were traitors or were acting on behalf of the government. Churchill’s actions following the arrival of Hess suggest the second of these two options.

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Rudolf Hess arrived on 10th May 1941. The timing of this flight is extremely important. I think it tells us that Hitler was now desperate to get an agreement then because he wanted to turn on his real enemy, the Soviet Union. Hitler was understandably concerned that he would be defeated if he fought a war on two major fronts. Hitler also knew that the Soviet Union needed to be defeated before the arrival of winter. He was aware of what happened to Napoleon when he had tried to conqueror Russia.

One source of important information on the reasons for the arrival of Hess is the KGB archives. We now know that Kim Philby was spying on Britain for the Soviets during the Second World War. At the time he was officially working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE). He was also working for Stewart Menzies, Director-General of MI6 and by October 1944 he was placed in charge of Section IX (Soviet Affairs). However, as early as 1941 Philby was sending the Soviet Union detailed reports on what the British government was up to. Soon after the arrival of Hess he sent a report to the Soviets claiming that he had come “to confirm a compromise peace” (John Costello, Ten Days that Saved the West, page 441). This makes it clear that these negotiations had been going on for sometime and suggests the last move in the peace plan rather than the first.

Philby also tells the Soviets that soon after arriving in Scotland, Hess was visited by both Anthony Eden and Lord Beaverbrook. This is highly significant as Eden and Beaverbrook were both members of the war cabinet and spanned the range of views on the subject of appeasement.

We also know that on the 12th May Churchill had meetings with the Duke of Hamilton, Sir Stewart Menzies and Lord Beaverbrook. According to Peter Padfield (Hess, The Fuhrer’s Disciple, page 219), Churchill showed Beaverbrook photographs of the airman that had been given to him by the Duke of Hamilton. Beaverbrook confirmed that the man in the photographs was of Hess (the two men had met several times before the war when Beaverbrook was a staunch appeaser).

Philby was not the only Soviet spy working in London. Colonel Frantisek Moravec, chief of the Czech military intelligence, had also fled to London in 1938. Throughout the war he provided important information to the Soviets. In October 1942 Moravec sent a detailed report on the Hess affair to the NKVD. Lavrenti Beria, chief of NKVD, passed this information onto Stalin and Molotov. Moravec claimed that the Duke of Hamilton had been negotiating with Hitler via Hess for some time before May 1941. Morovec made it clear that the intelligence services were fully aware of these negotiations. (The document is printed in full on page 258 of Double Standards).

This is supported by the account of Sergeant Daniel McBride, the soldier who arrived soon after David McLean, of the Home Guard, detained Hess. McLean later was to claim that Hess’ first words were: “My name is Alfred Horn. Please tell the Duke of Hamilton I have arrived.” Shortly afterwards, Daniel McBride and Emyr Morris, reached the scene and took control of the prisoner. Hess’s first words to them were “Are you friends of the Duke of Hamilton? I have an important message for him.” McBride and Morris had a conversation with Hess until the arrival of Lieutenant John Clarke and Lieutenant A. R. Gibson (who was in civilian clothes). Clarke, who had a revolver in his hand, demanded that he should take control of Hess.

After the war Daniel McBride attempted to tell his story of what had happened when he captured Hess. This story originally appeared in the Hongkong Telegraph (6th March, 1947). “Now that I am under no further obligation to HM Forces and Rudolf Hess has been sentenced at the Nuremberg Trials, the true story of Hess’s apprehension after he landed at Eaglesham, Scotland, can be told for the first time.” McBride then went onto say: “The purpose of the former Deputy Fuhrer’s visit to Britain is still a mystery to the general public, but I can say, and with confidence too, that high-ranking Government officials were aware of his coming.”

The reason that McBride gives for this opinion is that: “No air-raid warning was given that night, although the plane must have been distinguished during his flight over the city of Glasgow. Nor was the plane plotted at the anti-aircraft control room for the west of Scotland.” McBride concludes from this evidence that someone with great power ordered that Hess should be allowed to land in Scotland. This story was picked up by the German press but went unreported in the rest of the world.

It is also possible that Hess said something to McBride that convinced him that the government knew about his arrival. McBride died on 7th March 1978. His papers were passed to his daughter, Daniella Royland. In 1996 these were sold by the Royland family at Bonham’s, the London auctioneers. These were purchased by the authors of Double Standards. His papers included a letter from W. B. Howieson, McBride’s superior officer in May 1941. Dated 8th May 1974, Howieson tells McBride to “drop this Hess business”. He adds that “we know what really happened” but if this information became public knowledge it would “stir up a hornets’ nest.” Howieson ends his letter by reminding McBride that he was “still subject to the Official Secrets Act”.

Understandably, the war cabinet wanted to exploit the propaganda value of Hess arriving in the UK to carry out peace negotiations. Churchill refused and the only member of the cabinet who supported him on this was Sir Archibald Sinclair.

It was not until 27th January 1942 that Winston Churchill made a statement in the House of Commons about the arrival of Hess. Churchill claimed it was part of a plot to oust him from power and “for a government to be set up with which Hitler could negotiate a magnanimous peace”. If that was the case, were the Duke of Hamilton and the Duke of Kent part of this plot?

In September, 1943, Anthony Eden, the foreign secretary, admitted in the House of Commons that Hess had indeed arrived in Scotland to negotiate a peace settlement. However, Eden claimed that the British government had been unaware of these negotiations. In fact, he added, Hess had refused to negotiate with Churchill. Eden failed to say who Hess was negotiating with. Nor did he explain why Hess (Hitler) was willing to negotiate with someone other than the British government. The authors of Double Standards accept that Eden is telling the truth and that Hess was negotiating with Hamilton and the royal family, via the Duke of Kent. As we have seen, Hamilton had a meeting with Churchill and Menzies two days after Hess arrived in Scotland. We also know that MI6 was monitoring these negotiations.

If Hamilton was truly a traitor, surely Churchill would have punished him. Instead, along with the Duke of Kent, who were both in the RAF, were promoted by Churchill. In July 1941 Hamilton became a Group Captain and Kent became an Air Commodore.

This did not stop journalists speculating that the Duke of Hamilton was a traitor. In February 1942, Hamilton sued the London District Committee of the Communist Party for an article that appeared in their journal, World News and Views. The article claimed that Hamilton had been involved in negotiating with Nazi Germany and knew that Hess was flying to Scotland. Had this information come from Kim Philby? The case was settled when the Communist Party issued a public apology. Clearly, they could not say where this information came from.

Later that year Hamilton sued Pierre van Paassen, who in his book, That Day Alone, described Hamilton as a “British Fascist” who had plotted with Hess. The case was settled out of court in Hamilton’s favour. Sir Archibald Sinclair also issued a statement in the House of Commons that the Duke of Hamilton had never met Rudolf Hess.

However, recently released documents show that this was not all it seemed. The Communist Party threatened to call Hess as a witness. This created panic in the cabinet. A letter from the Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, to Sir Archibald Sinclair, dated 18th June 1941, shows that the government was extremely worried about Hess appearing as a witness in this libel case. Morrison asks Sinclair to use his influence on Hamilton to drop the libel case. It is interesting that this letter was sent to Sinclair as he is the man who made the public statement about Hamilton and Hess, carried out the investigation into the Duke of Kent’s death and whose estate Hess was supposed to be living when the crash took place. Hamilton clearly took Morrison’s advice and this explains why the Communist Party did not have to pay any money to Hamilton over the libel.

The Pierre van Paassen’s case is also not as clear-cut as it appears. Hamilton sued him for $100,000. In fact, all Hamilton got was $1,300. The publisher had to promise that future editions of the book would have to remove the offending passage. However, he did not have to recall and pulp existing copies of the book.

However, it is the third case that tells us most about what was going on. On 13th May 1941 the Daily Express published an article detailing the close relationship between the Duke of Hamilton and Rudolf Hess. The Duke’s solicitor had a meeting with Godfrey Norris, the editor of the Daily Express. The solicitor later reported that Norris appeared willing to print a retraction. While the discussion was taking place Lord Beaverbrook, the proprietor of the Daily Express, arrived. He overruled his editor and stated that the newspaper would stick to its accusation. Beaverbrook added that he could prove that Sir Archibald Sinclair lied when he claimed in the House of Commons that the Duke of Hamilton had never met Rudolf Hess. Understandably, the Duke of Hamilton withdrew his threat to sue the Daily Express. (Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie, Beaverbrook, A Life, pages 409-10)

What is clear about these events is that Churchill and Sinclair made every attempt to protect the reputation of the Duke of Hamilton following the arrival of Hess. However, Beaverbrook, who like Hamilton was a prominent appeaser before the war, let him know that he was not in control of the situation.

After the war the Duke of Hamilton told his son that he was forced to take the blame for Hess arriving in Scotland in order to protect people who were more powerful than him. The son assumed he was talking about the royal family. I suspect he was also talking about Winston Churchill.

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