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Winston Churchill and the death of Prince George, Duke of Kent


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Sid wrote:

“After going into a lather at the mention of Mr Irving's name…”

Lather is a bit of an overstatement, all I’m saying is that he is not the most credible source one could cite

“…you eventually admit that the extracts I cited from one of his books were not "particularly damming" in any case. Well spotted. As you don't intend to dispute them (why should you?), one is left wondering why you belly-ache about them in the first place?”

No bellyaching just questioning the credibility of the source, I’m not interested in the subject enough to do the research. Also I didn’t “admit” that I said it “admit” implies I had previously denied it or would be reluctant to say it.

“We already know you don't like Mr Irving.”

We already know you don’t like Churchill, Zionists, the Neocons and don’t comprehend that the NYFD had been saying 7 WTC was in danger of collapse for hours yet you keep harping on these themes.

“As for their relevance, I think you should re-read that part of the thread. A suggestion had been made that Churchill was inherently pro-American and had inherited a strong pro-American bias from his family. That may be so... but it seemed to me the citation from Churchill's War cast some doubt about that. That's all.”

Funny then that you introduced the text thusly

The more I learn of Churchill, the more I see him as a quintessential opportunist to whom mainstream history has been excessively kind.

He changed his views often, to suit the flow of events and the opportunities presented to him at any given time, although he often got his timing wrong. He also had a knack of changing his views and stance quite unapologetically (so it was less noticeable, perhaps?) - and turning setbacks to his advantage. Often his recklessness caused extensive 'collateral damage' (Australasians have special memories of this from World War One). Typically, others paid the price for his flawed judgment.

A Master of Spin, long before the term was coined.

Odd too that the first half of the quoted text had nothing to do with his feelings towards America.

David said nothing about Churchill always being pro-American, even per Irving’s account his “hostility to America” only seemed to last a years basically corresponding to the period Coolidge who was not exactly fond of England was president. Irving backs position more than it debunks it. Your statement above seems to be a post hoc rationalization.

“I'll bear in mind your insightful remarks about the potential for fraudulent or inaccurate footnotes. A useful tip, Len. It had never occured to me before that footnotes might not be the equivalent of revealed truth. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) “

Your snide sarcasm is (once again) unwarranted you wrote “Incidentally, I omitted footnotes in the extracts I cited of Churchill's War. There were several. If you wish to do some serious work debunking that specific material,…” as if that settled the matter. Presumably Irving’s sources can’t be verified online.

“some evidence might be necessary”

Orwell mentioned some research by Mass Observation. I did a quick Google search and there seems to be some relevant material at the University of Sussex if any of our English members are disposed to go there. Though it seems to focus on the lower classhttp://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/speccoll/collection_catalogues/tclists/tc62.html

”You concluded by mentioning the extract I quoted from Diana Mosley. You muster the comment that it doesn't prove “a significant Jewish presence within the aristocracy and rather easy mixing between Jew and Gentile.”

I think you need to do some elementary logic, Len. I cited that extract because the claim had previously been made that the British ruling class, as a whole, were anti-Jewish at the time.

I merely asked for some evidence for that claim - and said that it did not seem to me self-evident the ruling class were any more anti-Jewish than the rest of the population. To bolster the case that some evidence might be necessary, I cited an extract showing that even the so-called 'far right' of British politics - at elite levels - mixed rather intimately with the Anglo-Jewish elite, at least in the early 1930s.”

The quote did little to show that. She claimed that she was friends with the woman who married Rothschild and she and her future husband might have gone to a party at Sassoon’s house (probably before he started the BUF). Did they regularly socialize with Jews did they like them? Was her “friend” also ‘far right’? Did they socialize regularly after the maridge? There is no way to derive that from the text. Even if they did maintain social contacts it does mean they weren’t anti-Semitic. Both John and you presented anecdotal evidence but his was weightier than yours.

"Shortly after the war, George Orwell wrote an essay about anti-Semitism in Britain. It is an interesting read. Not his most profound writing, I think - but an indication of common attitudes of that time, seen through the eyes of a reasonably fair-indeed and perceptive observer."

I agree that was an interesting read. You shouldn’t ignore his point that anti-Semitic upper class Britons usually masked their bigotry is noted. Yes I know he was referring especially to the period after Hitler rose to power but presumably the “upper crust” put on similar pretenses even before that.

"I don't feel it bears out the proposition that the British ruling classes were notoriously anti-Jewish or notrably more anti-Jewish than the rest of the population."

I don’t think the latter was John’s contention.

"Finally, Len, please do us both a favour and stop trying to get me to agree with your ridiculous labels for my views and beliefs. It's bad enough to be badged by someone else. Apparently, that's not enough for you. You want me to accept your badges and wear them willingly."

Evasion noted

Edited by Len Colby
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Sid wrote:

“After going into a lather at the mention of Mr Irving's name…”

Lather is a bit of an overstatement, all I’m saying is that he is not the most credible source one could cite

“…you eventually admit that the extracts I cited from one of his books were not "particularly damming" in any case. Well spotted. As you don't intend to dispute them (why should you?), one is left wondering why you belly-ache about them in the first place?”

No bellyaching just questioning the credibility of the source, I’m not interested in the subject enough to do the research. Also I didn’t “admit” that I said it “admit” implies I had previously denied it or would be reluctant to say it.

“We already know you don't like Mr Irving.”

We already know you don’t like Churchill, Zionists, the Neocons and don’t comprehend that the NYFD had been saying 7 WTC was in danger of collapse for hours yet you keep harping on these themes.

“As for their relevance, I think you should re-read that part of the thread. A suggestion had been made that Churchill was inherently pro-American and had inherited a strong pro-American bias from his family. That may be so... but it seemed to me the citation from Churchill's War cast some doubt about that. That's all.”

Funny then that you introduced the text thusly

The more I learn of Churchill, the more I see him as a quintessential opportunist to whom mainstream history has been excessively kind.

He changed his views often, to suit the flow of events and the opportunities presented to him at any given time, although he often got his timing wrong. He also had a knack of changing his views and stance quite unapologetically (so it was less noticeable, perhaps?) - and turning setbacks to his advantage. Often his recklessness caused extensive 'collateral damage' (Australasians have special memories of this from World War One). Typically, others paid the price for his flawed judgment.

A Master of Spin, long before the term was coined.

Odd too that the first half of the quoted text had nothing to do with his feelings towards America.

David said nothing about Churchill always being pro-American, even per Irving’s account his “hostility to America” only seemed to last a years basically corresponding to the period Coolidge who was not exactly fond of England was president. Irving backs position more than it debunks it. Your statement above seems to be a post hoc rationalization.

“I'll bear in mind your insightful remarks about the potential for fraudulent or inaccurate footnotes. A useful tip, Len. It had never occured to me before that footnotes might not be the equivalent of revealed truth. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) “

Your snide sarcasm is (once again) unwarranted you wrote “Incidentally, I omitted footnotes in the extracts I cited of Churchill's War. There were several. If you wish to do some serious work debunking that specific material,…” as if that settled the matter. Presumably Irving’s sources can’t be verified online.

“some evidence might be necessary”

Orwell mentioned some research by Mass Observation. I did a quick Google search and there seems to be some relevant material at the University of Sussex if any of our English members are disposed to go there. Though it seems to focus on the lower classhttp://www.sussex.ac.uk/library/speccoll/collection_catalogues/tclists/tc62.html

”You concluded by mentioning the extract I quoted from Diana Mosley. You muster the comment that it doesn't prove “a significant Jewish presence within the aristocracy and rather easy mixing between Jew and Gentile.”

I think you need to do some elementary logic, Len. I cited that extract because the claim had previously been made that the British ruling class, as a whole, were anti-Jewish at the time.

I merely asked for some evidence for that claim - and said that it did not seem to me self-evident the ruling class were any more anti-Jewish than the rest of the population. To bolster the case that some evidence might be necessary, I cited an extract showing that even the so-called 'far right' of British politics - at elite levels - mixed rather intimately with the Anglo-Jewish elite, at least in the early 1930s.”

The quote did little to show that. She claimed that she was friends with the woman who married Rothschild and she and her future husband might have gone to a party at Sassoon’s house (probably before he started the BUF). Did they regularly socialize with Jews did they like them? Was her “friend” also ‘far right’? Did they socialize regularly after the maridge? There is no way to derive that from the text. Even if they did maintain social contacts it does mean they weren’t anti-Semitic. Both John and you presented anecdotal evidence but his was weightier than yours.

"Shortly after the war, George Orwell wrote an essay about anti-Semitism in Britain. It is an interesting read. Not his most profound writing, I think - but an indication of common attitudes of that time, seen through the eyes of a reasonably fair-indeed and perceptive observer."

I agree that was an interesting read. You shouldn’t ignore his point that anti-Semitic upper class Britons usually masked their bigotry is noted. Yes I know he was referring especially to the period after Hitler rose to power but presumably the “upper crust” put on similar pretenses even before that.

"I don't feel it bears out the proposition that the British ruling classes were notoriously anti-Jewish or notrably more anti-Jewish than the rest of the population."

I don’t think the latter was John’s contention.

"Finally, Len, please do us both a favour and stop trying to get me to agree with your ridiculous labels for my views and beliefs. It's bad enough to be badged by someone else. Apparently, that's not enough for you. You want me to accept your badges and wear them willingly."

Evasion noted

If it is evasion to refuse to be categorized in glib terms by a hostile party, then I plead guilty.

As for the rest of it, I could respond, but I tire of debating about angels on pinheads. I don't actually think we're greatly at odds over much of this material. Arguing can become habitual. Your case is a warning to the rest of us, Len.

I think we should hush for a while let John roll out the next installment of his epic. Enough squabbling in the aisles.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Part 10

I now want to look in more detail at the evidence that suggests that Churchill and Hitler were carrying out peace negotiations in 1940 and 1941. So far I have provided the following information that suggests peace talks were taking place:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.”

(3) 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.

(4) 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”.

(5) 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.

(6) Kim Philby, a KGB agent working for the SOE, sent a report to the Soviets in 1941 that Hess had arrived in the UK “to confirm a compromise peace”. This makes it clear that these negotiations had been going on for sometime and suggests that the visit of Hess signals the last move in the peace plan rather than the first.

(7) Colonel Frantisek Moravec, chief of the Czech military intelligence based in London, was also a KGB spy. In October 1942 Moravec sent a detailed report on the Hess affair to the NKVD. Moravec claimed that the Duke of Hamilton had been negotiating with Hitler via Hess for some time before May 1941.

(8) According to Philby, soon after arriving in Scotland, Hess was visited by both Anthony Eden and Lord Beaverbrook. We also know from official sources that on the 12th May 1941, Churchill had meetings with the Duke of Hamilton, Sir Stewart Menzies and Lord Beaverbrook. These three men were three of the most important figures in the appeasement movement.

(9) Sergeant Daniel McBride, one of the soldiers who detained Hess, claimed in an interview in the Hongkong Telegraph (6th March, 1947). “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. The fact that attempts were made to silence McBride as late as 1974 suggests that he had information that was deeply worrying to the establishment.

(10) Evidence that the Duke of Kent was with the Duke of Hamilton at Dungavel House on the day Hess arrived in Scotland. If Hamilton and Kent were traitors, surely Churchill would not have been promoted by Churchill. In July 1941 Hamilton became a Group Captain and Kent became an Air Commodore. 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.

I have also argued that there were signs in the summer of 1940 that Hitler made a gesture of good will to get negotiations underway. 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. 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”. (Basil Liddell Hart, The Other Side of the Hill, 1948, pages 139-41)

It is therefore important to examine if there were other signs of Hitler’s good will in the summer of 1941. On the very night that Rudolf Hess arrived in Scotland, London experienced its heaviest German bomb attack: 1,436 people were killed and some 12,000 made homeless. (Martin Gilbert, The Second World War, page 182) Many historic landmarks including the Houses of Parliament were hit. The Commons debating chamber – the main symbol of British democracy – was destroyed. American war correspondents based in London such as Walter Lippmann and Vincent Sheean, suggested that Britain was on the verge of surrender. (Walter Lippman, US War Aims, 1944, page 12) and (Vincent Sheean, Between the Thunder and the Sun, 1943, page 245)

Yet, the 10th May marked the end of the London Blitz. It was the last time the Nazis would attempt a major raid on the capital. Foreign journalist based in London at the time wrote articles that highlighted this strange fact. James Murphy even suggested that there might be a connection between the arrival of Hess and the last major bombing raid on London. (James Murphy, Who Sent Rudolf Hess, 1941 page 7)

This becomes even more interesting when one realizes at the same time as Hitler ordered the cessation of the Blitz, Churchill was instructing Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff, to reduce bombing attacks on Germany. Portal was surprised and wrote a memorandum to Churchill asking why the strategy had changed: “Since the Fall of France the bombing offensive had been a fundamental principle of our strategy.” Churchill replied that he had changed his mind and now believed “it is very disputable whether bombing by itself will be a decisive factor in the present war”. (John Terraine, The Right Line: The RAF in the European War 1939-45, 1985 page 295)

Is it possible that Hitler and Churchill had called off these air attacks as part of their peace negotiations? Is this the reason why Hess decided to come to the UK on 10th May, 1941? The date of this arrival is of prime importance. Hitler was no doubt concerned about the length of time these negotiations were taking. We now know that he was desperate to order the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) in early Spring. According to Richard Sorge of the Red Orchestra spy network, Hitler planned to launch this attack in May 1941. (Leopold Trepper, The Great Game, 1977, page 126)

However, for some reason the invasion was delayed. I suspect that Hitler was desperate to conclude a peace with Churchill before heading East. It was hoped that the arrival in the UK by Hess would force Churchill to sign an agreement. After all, Churchill would have difficulty explaining what Hess was doing in Scotland. In fact, later, Anthony Eden was to admit that Hess had indeed arrived with peace proposals. (Anthony Eden, statement in the House of Commons, 5th September, 1943) By this time the British people had been convinced that Hess had a mental breakdown and that he had not arrived in the UK with the prior approval of the British government. That of course is the story that is commonly believed today.

Hitler eventually ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union on 22nd June, 1941. It would therefore seem that peace negotiations between Germany and Britain had come to an end. However, is this true? One would have expected Churchill to order to resume mass bombing of Germany. This was definitely the advice he was getting from Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris also took a similar view. In June 1943, Harris was briefing American journalists about his disagreement with Churchill’s policy. ((John Terraine, The Right Line: The RAF in the European War 1939-45, 1985 page 295)

Douglas Reed, a British journalist with a good relationship with Portal and Churchill, wrote in 1943: “The long delay in bombing Germany is already chief among the causes of the undue prolongation of the war.” (Douglas Reed, Lest we Regret, 1943, page 331). One senior army figure told a journalist after the war that Hess’s arrival brought about a “virtual armistice” between Germany and Britain. (Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince and Stephen Prior, Double Standards, 2001, page 324)

Is it possible that Churchill did not order the bombing of Germany because he had arranged with Hitler not to do anything that would hinder the defeat of the Soviet Union? That Churchill had resurrected the British foreign objective of the 1930s – the destruction of communism in Europe.

What we do know is that Churchill changed his mind completely about the wisdom of carpet bombing when the Soviet Union had successfully halted the German invasion. It was now Churchill who was urging the complete destruction of German cities, even those like Dresden that posed no threat to the British. Churchill realized that he could longer rely on Nazi Germany to destroy communism in Europe. In fact, the position had been reversed. The Red Army was now in a position to impose communism on Eastern Europe. The policy had to change. It was now vitally important that Allied forces arrived in mainland Europe in order to “liberate” German occupied countries in Western Europe.

Part 13

Hopefully I have proved that peace negotiations between the British and Hitler were going on between 1940 and 1941. In fact, historians no longer reject the claim that these negotiations took place. However, some argue that Churchill was unaware of these talks. Could this be true? For example, the key figure in these talks is Sir Samuel Hoare. Supporters of Churchill point out that as soon as he gained office he removed Hoare from the cabinet. It is often argued that Churchill purged the government of appeasers and add that Lord Halifax also lost his job as foreign secretary in May 1940. They usually ignore the fact that Churchill brought in arch-appeaser Lord Beaverbrook into the cabinet at the same time. Officially, he was Minister without Portfolio, in reality he was deputy prime minister. Churchill also brought in Archibald Sinclair as Minister of Air. Sinclair, who had served under Churchill on the Western Front in 1915 was another one who had been a strong supporter of appeasement. Beaverbrook and Sinclair were both to play important roles in these peace negotiations and the cover-up of the Hess affair.

It also has to be remembered what happened to Hoare after he was removed from the cabinet. Churchill appointed him as Ambassador to Madrid. This was an extremely important post in 1940. It was the epicenter of secret negotiations that were taking place between Britain and Germany. He also took part in important talks with Franco while in Madrid. If Hoare was being punished for his appeasement views why was he sent to Madrid instead of some outpost in the British Empire? The only possible explanation is that Hoare was under the control of Churchill. Some historians have accepted this point and have argued that the Hoare negotiations were part of “sting” operation to fool Hitler. That of course is a possibility but other events that took place after 1945 suggest that this was not the case.

There are several pieces of evidence that have emerged over the last few years that suggest that Churchill was fully in control of these peace negotiations. That rather than working for a group within the government who intended to overthrow Churchill, Hoare was loyally carrying out Churchill’s orders. That in fact, there was no plot to remove Churchill because in reality he shared their right-wing philosophy that the primary objective was to destroy the Soviet Union rather than Nazi Germany.

Just before Hess arrived in Scotland on 10th May 1941, there was an important meeting held at the Special Operations Executive (SOE) at Woburn Abbey. At the meeting were senior figures of the SOE, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Economic Warfare. This included Hugh Dalton, head of the SOE at the time and Anthony Eden, Churchill’s foreign secretary. Eden had resigned in protest because of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy and so it was highly symbolic for Churchill to appoint him as his foreign secretary.

The minutes of this meeting was recently declassified. The minutes reveal that members were very depressed by the situation that the UK found itself in during May 1941. Members spoke of how it seemed that the UK was on the verge of losing Malta, Crete and Cyprus. The meeting also mourned the loss of Greece and recent defeats in the Middle East. Leonard St Clair Ingrams pointed out that Russian oil could now be sent to Nazi Germany via the Black Sea and Greece. The most interesting comments in the minutes comes from an unidentified speaker who says that the situation is so serious that: “We should therefore encourage the Germans to attack Russia by misleading Hitler and by hinting that the large sections both in Britain and the United States, who preferred to see the overthrow of the Russian rather than the German regime, might be prepared to force through a compromise peace between Britain and Germany and combine to destroy the common enemy, Communism” (Doc. FO 898/00009 – Public Records Office, Kew).

Of course, the speaker is right, unless the British could persuade Hitler to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, the war would be lost. This had been known since May 1940 and it is why Churchill began negotiations with Hitler as soon as he gained power. These negotiations were taking place via Hoare in Madrid.

Before the meeting took place, Anthony Eden had a private session with Robert Bruce Lockhart. He is an extremely interesting character and worked very closely with Churchill during the war. Lockhart was Acting British Consul-General in Moscow when the first Russian Revolution broke out in early 1917, but left shortly before the Bolshevik Revolution of October that year.

Bruce Lockhart became an undercover agent for MI5 and with fellow British agent, Sidney Reilly, was implicated in a plot to assassinate Lenin. He was accused of plotting against the Bolshevik regime and, for a time during 1918, was confined in the Kremlin as a prisoner and condemned to death. However, his life was spared in an exchange for the Russian diplomat Maksim Maksimovich Litvinov. During the Second World War he became director-general of the Political Warfare Executive, co-ordinating all British propaganda against the enemy. Bruce Lockhart was also for a time the British liaison officer to the Czechoslovak Government in Exile under President Eduard Benes.

Bruce Lockhart recorded some of what was said at this meeting in his diary (published after his death in 1974). Eden asked Lockhart about Eduard Benes. What we know about these peace negotiations is that Churchill was willing to let Hitler keep Czechoslovakia and Poland in exchange for changes in the occupation of France, Belgium, Holland, etc. Benes and General Sikorski, the head of the Polish government in exile, would obviously become a problem if such a deal was done.

Bruce Lockhart wrote in his dairy that he told Eden that “he (Benes) had taken knocks better than anyone I know”. Eden agreed and said: “He’s had enough too”. Bruce Lockhart then adds: “I went on to say I was sorry meeting was postponed, coz (sic) I considered matter urgent lest Germans forestall. Eden told me he would have meeting earliest possible day next week.” (Robert Bruce Lockhart, The Diaries of Robert Bruce Lockhart, 1974 page 98)

It is not clear what this meeting with the Germans was all about it seems to be connected with Benes and the fate of Czechoslovakia. It is probably a reference to the peace negotiations being carried out by Samuel Hoare. If so, it is clear that Churchill was fully aware of what was taking place.

Another important released document provides further evidence that Churchill was aware of these negotiations. William Strang was assistant Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. In the 1930s Strang had banded together the anti-appeasement faction headed by Churchill. Strang was therefore a trusted member of Churchill’s inner-circle. This was reflected in Strang being given the key job of the Foreign Office liaison officer to the SOE.

On 28th April 1941 Strang wrote to Sir Alexander Cadogan, his boss at the Foreign Office. “Further to our discussion concerning the H matter (the name given to the secret peace talks being conducted by Samuel Hoare) last week. I attended a meeting with HRH the Duke of Kent last Friday. After I explained a little of the situation he seemed most willing to assist in this most delicate affair.” Strang goes on to say that the Duke of Kent is concerned about the “extreme sensitivity and potential political hazards of the task he had been asked to perform, and the jeopardy it would place himself in”. Kent pointed out that he would need to meet with Cadogan to ask further questions about this secret operation. What is more, he insisted that his friend, the Duke of Buccleuch, should attend this meeting. Buccleuch was one of the leading figures of the pro-Nazi group in the UK. We now know that he was a member of the secret Right Club that was responsible for supplying secret information to Nazi Germany during the war. Kent’s request for the attendance of Buccleuch is interesting. He clearly feared that he was being set-up by Churchill and wanted a witness to what was being said at the meeting. However, there was a clear danger that by inviting Buccleuch, this information would get back to Hitler. (Doc FO 794/19 Public Records Office, Kew)

This document shows that the Duke of Kent was involved in these peace negotiations. This makes sense. Other documents show that Samuel Hoare was having difficulty persuading the German government to believe that Churchill was genuine in his peace talks. Hoare requested that a representative from the royal family should become involved. The Duke of Kent was the perfect choice. He had negotiated with the Germans before the war started on behalf of the Duke of Windsor and George VI. Hitler knew he held pro-Nazi views. Kent’s reaction to this invitation is also understandable. The presence of the Duke of Buccleuch would help to assure the Germans that these peace talks were genuine.

There is also firm evidence that the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Buccleuch were at the Duke of Hamilton’s home (Dungavel House) when Hess arrived on the night of the 10th May. On the morning of the 11th May the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Buccleuch were involved in a car crash while driving along the Douglas to Lanark road. The Duke of Kent’s car hit a coal lorry. The scene of the accident was very close to Dungavel House.

The following day a memorandum marked top secret was sent by a man named S. Voigt to Rex Leeper of the Political Intelligence Department and a key figure in the peace negotiations with Germany. “I can confirm that neither the Duke, or his passenger, Buccleuch, were injured, and in view of Lanark’s close proximity to the events of last weekend, steps have been taken to ensure the accident remains unreported by the press”. (Doc. FO 898/14 – Public Records Office, Kew)

Of course, if we look at this document in isolation, it makes sense to keep this story out of the press in order to stop speculation about possible conspiracies. However, when you put it together with the William Strang document, it does suggest that the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Buccleuch were in Scotland to meet Hess. This is confirmed by the testimony of the housekeeper at Dungavel House. She told the authors of Double Standards (page 269) that the Duke of Hamilton was at the house on the night of the 10th May 1941 with someone with a foreign accent. This is almost certainly Baron de Ropp, who was involved in the German-British peace talks.

The historians, Martin Allen (The Hitler/Hess Deception) and Peter Padfield (Hess) argue that Churchill was involved in carrying out false negotiations with Hitler that were so successful that it encouraged Hitler to invade the Soviet Union. If this is the case, why did Churchill not take credit for this highly successful operation that saved Britain from being defeated by Nazi Germany? Martin Allen argues that Churchill was unable to do this because this disclosure “would have given Britain’s enemies an opportunity to decry British perfidy, tainting her post-war standing in the world of foreign affairs.” (page 285)

I do not find this argument convincing. Everyone was aware that Churchill was guilty of “perfidy”. How else do you explain that Churchill was willing to hand over Poland and Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union in 1945? Remember we had apparently gone to war against Nazi Germany in order to bring freedom and democracy to these two countries. Churchill might have promised these two countries to Hitler in 1941, he actually gave them to Stalin in 1945.

Stalin of course already knew about Churchill’s negotiations with Hitler as he had spies in the British Foreign Office, MI5/MI6 and the SOE. On 6th November, 1944, Churchill made a visit to Moscow. At a supper in the Kremlin, Stalin raised his glass and proposed a toast to the British Intelligence Services, which he said had “inveigled Hess into coming to England.” Churchill immediately protested that he and the intelligence services knew nothing about the proposed visit. Stalin smiled and said maybe the intelligence services had failed to tell him about the operation. (Doc PREM 3 434/7 Public Records Office, Kew)

What Stalin was doing was to make it clear to Churchill that he intended to take over Poland and Czechoslovakia and that Churchill was in no position to resist this process. Churchill was being blackmailed into submission.

The next post will explain why Churchill had to order the assassinations of the Duke of Kent and General Sikorski.

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Part 10

I now want to look in more detail at the evidence that suggests that Churchill and Hitler were carrying out peace negotiations in 1940 and 1941. So far I have provided the following information that suggests peace talks were taking place:

(1) 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.

(2) 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.”

(3) 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.

(4) 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”.

(5) 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.

(6) Kim Philby, a KGB agent working for the SOE, sent a report to the Soviets in 1941 that Hess had arrived in the UK “to confirm a compromise peace”. This makes it clear that these negotiations had been going on for sometime and suggests that the visit of Hess signals the last move in the peace plan rather than the first.

(7) Colonel Frantisek Moravec, chief of the Czech military intelligence based in London, was also a KGB spy. In October 1942 Moravec sent a detailed report on the Hess affair to the NKVD. Moravec claimed that the Duke of Hamilton had been negotiating with Hitler via Hess for some time before May 1941.

(8) According to Philby, soon after arriving in Scotland, Hess was visited by both Anthony Eden and Lord Beaverbrook. We also know from official sources that on the 12th May 1941, Churchill had meetings with the Duke of Hamilton, Sir Stewart Menzies and Lord Beaverbrook. These three men were three of the most important figures in the appeasement movement.

(9) Sergeant Daniel McBride, one of the soldiers who detained Hess, claimed in an interview in the Hongkong Telegraph (6th March, 1947). “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. The fact that attempts were made to silence McBride as late as 1974 suggests that he had information that was deeply worrying to the establishment.

(10) Evidence that the Duke of Kent was with the Duke of Hamilton at Dungavel House on the day Hess arrived in Scotland. If Hamilton and Kent were traitors, surely Churchill would not have been promoted by Churchill. In July 1941 Hamilton became a Group Captain and Kent became an Air Commodore. 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.

I have also argued that there were signs in the summer of 1940 that Hitler made a gesture of good will to get negotiations underway. 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. 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”. (Basil Liddell Hart, The Other Side of the Hill, 1948, pages 139-41)

It is therefore important to examine if there were other signs of Hitler’s good will in the summer of 1941. On the very night that Rudolf Hess arrived in Scotland, London experienced its heaviest German bomb attack: 1,436 people were killed and some 12,000 made homeless. (Martin Gilbert, The Second World War, page 182) Many historic landmarks including the Houses of Parliament were hit. The Commons debating chamber – the main symbol of British democracy – was destroyed. American war correspondents based in London such as Walter Lippmann and Vincent Sheean, suggested that Britain was on the verge of surrender. (Walter Lippman, US War Aims, 1944, page 12) and (Vincent Sheean, Between the Thunder and the Sun, 1943, page 245)

Yet, the 10th May marked the end of the London Blitz. It was the last time the Nazis would attempt a major raid on the capital. Foreign journalist based in London at the time wrote articles that highlighted this strange fact. James Murphy even suggested that there might be a connection between the arrival of Hess and the last major bombing raid on London. (James Murphy, Who Sent Rudolf Hess, 1941 page 7)

This becomes even more interesting when one realizes at the same time as Hitler ordered the cessation of the Blitz, Churchill was instructing Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff, to reduce bombing attacks on Germany. Portal was surprised and wrote a memorandum to Churchill asking why the strategy had changed: “Since the Fall of France the bombing offensive had been a fundamental principle of our strategy.” Churchill replied that he had changed his mind and now believed “it is very disputable whether bombing by itself will be a decisive factor in the present war”. (John Terraine, The Right Line: The RAF in the European War 1939-45, 1985 page 295)

Is it possible that Hitler and Churchill had called off these air attacks as part of their peace negotiations? Is this the reason why Hess decided to come to the UK on 10th May, 1941? The date of this arrival is of prime importance. Hitler was no doubt concerned about the length of time these negotiations were taking. We now know that he was desperate to order the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa) in early Spring. According to Richard Sorge of the Red Orchestra spy network, Hitler planned to launch this attack in May 1941. (Leopold Trepper, The Great Game, 1977, page 126)

However, for some reason the invasion was delayed. I suspect that Hitler was desperate to conclude a peace with Churchill before heading East. It was hoped that the arrival in the UK by Hess would force Churchill to sign an agreement. After all, Churchill would have difficulty explaining what Hess was doing in Scotland. In fact, later, Anthony Eden was to admit that Hess had indeed arrived with peace proposals. (Anthony Eden, statement in the House of Commons, 5th September, 1943) By this time the British people had been convinced that Hess had a mental breakdown and that he had not arrived in the UK with the prior approval of the British government. That of course is the story that is commonly believed today.

Hitler eventually ordered the invasion of the Soviet Union on 22nd June, 1941. It would therefore seem that peace negotiations between Germany and Britain had come to an end. However, is this true? One would have expected Churchill to order to resume mass bombing of Germany. This was definitely the advice he was getting from Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff. Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris also took a similar view. In June 1943, Harris was briefing American journalists about his disagreement with Churchill’s policy. ((John Terraine, The Right Line: The RAF in the European War 1939-45, 1985 page 295)

Douglas Reed, a British journalist with a good relationship with Portal and Churchill, wrote in 1943: “The long delay in bombing Germany is already chief among the causes of the undue prolongation of the war.” (Douglas Reed, Lest we Regret, 1943, page 331). One senior army figure told a journalist after the war that Hess’s arrival brought about a “virtual armistice” between Germany and Britain. (Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince and Stephen Prior, Double Standards, 2001, page 324)

Is it possible that Churchill did not order the bombing of Germany because he had arranged with Hitler not to do anything that would hinder the defeat of the Soviet Union? That Churchill had resurrected the British foreign objective of the 1930s – the destruction of communism in Europe.

What we do know is that Churchill changed his mind completely about the wisdom of carpet bombing when the Soviet Union had successfully halted the German invasion. It was now Churchill who was urging the complete destruction of German cities, even those like Dresden that posed no threat to the British. Churchill realized that he could longer rely on Nazi Germany to destroy communism in Europe. In fact, the position had been reversed. The Red Army was now in a position to impose communism on Eastern Europe. The policy had to change. It was now vitally important that Allied forces arrived in mainland Europe in order to “liberate” German occupied countries in Western Europe.

Part 13

Hopefully I have proved that peace negotiations between the British and Hitler were going on between 1940 and 1941. In fact, historians no longer reject the claim that these negotiations took place. However, some argue that Churchill was unaware of these talks. Could this be true? For example, the key figure in these talks is Sir Samuel Hoare. Supporters of Churchill point out that as soon as he gained office he removed Hoare from the cabinet. It is often argued that Churchill purged the government of appeasers and add that Lord Halifax also lost his job as foreign secretary in May 1940. They usually ignore the fact that Churchill brought in arch-appeaser Lord Beaverbrook into the cabinet at the same time. Officially, he was Minister without Portfolio, in reality he was deputy prime minister. Churchill also brought in Archibald Sinclair as Minister of Air. Sinclair, who had served under Churchill on the Western Front in 1915 was another one who had been a strong supporter of appeasement. Beaverbrook and Sinclair were both to play important roles in these peace negotiations and the cover-up of the Hess affair.

It also has to be remembered what happened to Hoare after he was removed from the cabinet. Churchill appointed him as Ambassador to Madrid. This was an extremely important post in 1940. It was the epicenter of secret negotiations that were taking place between Britain and Germany. He also took part in important talks with Franco while in Madrid. If Hoare was being punished for his appeasement views why was he sent to Madrid instead of some outpost in the British Empire? The only possible explanation is that Hoare was under the control of Churchill. Some historians have accepted this point and have argued that the Hoare negotiations were part of “sting” operation to fool Hitler. That of course is a possibility but other events that took place after 1945 suggest that this was not the case.

There are several pieces of evidence that have emerged over the last few years that suggest that Churchill was fully in control of these peace negotiations. That rather than working for a group within the government who intended to overthrow Churchill, Hoare was loyally carrying out Churchill’s orders. That in fact, there was no plot to remove Churchill because in reality he shared their right-wing philosophy that the primary objective was to destroy the Soviet Union rather than Nazi Germany.

Just before Hess arrived in Scotland on 10th May 1941, there was an important meeting held at the Special Operations Executive (SOE) at Woburn Abbey. At the meeting were senior figures of the SOE, the Foreign Office, the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Economic Warfare. This included Hugh Dalton, head of the SOE at the time and Anthony Eden, Churchill’s foreign secretary. Eden had resigned in protest because of Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy and so it was highly symbolic for Churchill to appoint him as his foreign secretary.

The minutes of this meeting was recently declassified. The minutes reveal that members were very depressed by the situation that the UK found itself in during May 1941. Members spoke of how it seemed that the UK was on the verge of losing Malta, Crete and Cyprus. The meeting also mourned the loss of Greece and recent defeats in the Middle East. Leonard St Clair Ingrams pointed out that Russian oil could now be sent to Nazi Germany via the Black Sea and Greece. The most interesting comments in the minutes comes from an unidentified speaker who says that the situation is so serious that: “We should therefore encourage the Germans to attack Russia by misleading Hitler and by hinting that the large sections both in Britain and the United States, who preferred to see the overthrow of the Russian rather than the German regime, might be prepared to force through a compromise peace between Britain and Germany and combine to destroy the common enemy, Communism” (Doc. FO 898/00009 – Public Records Office, Kew).

Of course, the speaker is right, unless the British could persuade Hitler to invade the Soviet Union in 1941, the war would be lost. This had been known since May 1940 and it is why Churchill began negotiations with Hitler as soon as he gained power. These negotiations were taking place via Hoare in Madrid.

Before the meeting took place, Anthony Eden had a private session with Robert Bruce Lockhart. He is an extremely interesting character and worked very closely with Churchill during the war. Lockhart was Acting British Consul-General in Moscow when the first Russian Revolution broke out in early 1917, but left shortly before the Bolshevik Revolution of October that year.

Bruce Lockhart became an undercover agent for MI5 and with fellow British agent, Sidney Reilly, was implicated in a plot to assassinate Lenin. He was accused of plotting against the Bolshevik regime and, for a time during 1918, was confined in the Kremlin as a prisoner and condemned to death. However, his life was spared in an exchange for the Russian diplomat Maksim Maksimovich Litvinov. During the Second World War he became director-general of the Political Warfare Executive, co-ordinating all British propaganda against the enemy. Bruce Lockhart was also for a time the British liaison officer to the Czechoslovak Government in Exile under President Eduard Benes.

Bruce Lockhart recorded some of what was said at this meeting in his diary (published after his death in 1974). Eden asked Lockhart about Eduard Benes. What we know about these peace negotiations is that Churchill was willing to let Hitler keep Czechoslovakia and Poland in exchange for changes in the occupation of France, Belgium, Holland, etc. Benes and General Sikorski, the head of the Polish government in exile, would obviously become a problem if such a deal was done.

Bruce Lockhart wrote in his dairy that he told Eden that “he (Benes) had taken knocks better than anyone I know”. Eden agreed and said: “He’s had enough too”. Bruce Lockhart then adds: “I went on to say I was sorry meeting was postponed, coz (sic) I considered matter urgent lest Germans forestall. Eden told me he would have meeting earliest possible day next week.” (Robert Bruce Lockhart, The Diaries of Robert Bruce Lockhart, 1974 page 98)

It is not clear what this meeting with the Germans was all about it seems to be connected with Benes and the fate of Czechoslovakia. It is probably a reference to the peace negotiations being carried out by Samuel Hoare. If so, it is clear that Churchill was fully aware of what was taking place.

Another important released document provides further evidence that Churchill was aware of these negotiations. William Strang was assistant Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. In the 1930s Strang had banded together the anti-appeasement faction headed by Churchill. Strang was therefore a trusted member of Churchill’s inner-circle. This was reflected in Strang being given the key job of the Foreign Office liaison officer to the SOE.

On 28th April 1941 Strang wrote to Sir Alexander Cadogan, his boss at the Foreign Office. “Further to our discussion concerning the H matter (the name given to the secret peace talks being conducted by Samuel Hoare) last week. I attended a meeting with HRH the Duke of Kent last Friday. After I explained a little of the situation he seemed most willing to assist in this most delicate affair.” Strang goes on to say that the Duke of Kent is concerned about the “extreme sensitivity and potential political hazards of the task he had been asked to perform, and the jeopardy it would place himself in”. Kent pointed out that he would need to meet with Cadogan to ask further questions about this secret operation. What is more, he insisted that his friend, the Duke of Buccleuch, should attend this meeting. Buccleuch was one of the leading figures of the pro-Nazi group in the UK. We now know that he was a member of the secret Right Club that was responsible for supplying secret information to Nazi Germany during the war. Kent’s request for the attendance of Buccleuch is interesting. He clearly feared that he was being set-up by Churchill and wanted a witness to what was being said at the meeting. However, there was a clear danger that by inviting Buccleuch, this information would get back to Hitler. (Doc FO 794/19 Public Records Office, Kew)

This document shows that the Duke of Kent was involved in these peace negotiations. This makes sense. Other documents show that Samuel Hoare was having difficulty persuading the German government to believe that Churchill was genuine in his peace talks. Hoare requested that a representative from the royal family should become involved. The Duke of Kent was the perfect choice. He had negotiated with the Germans before the war started on behalf of the Duke of Windsor and George VI. Hitler knew he held pro-Nazi views. Kent’s reaction to this invitation is also understandable. The presence of the Duke of Buccleuch would help to assure the Germans that these peace talks were genuine.

There is also firm evidence that the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Buccleuch were at the Duke of Hamilton’s home (Dungavel House) when Hess arrived on the night of the 10th May. On the morning of the 11th May the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Buccleuch were involved in a car crash while driving along the Douglas to Lanark road. The Duke of Kent’s car hit a coal lorry. The scene of the accident was very close to Dungavel House.

The following day a memorandum marked top secret was sent by a man named S. Voigt to Rex Leeper of the Political Intelligence Department and a key figure in the peace negotiations with Germany. “I can confirm that neither the Duke, or his passenger, Buccleuch, were injured, and in view of Lanark’s close proximity to the events of last weekend, steps have been taken to ensure the accident remains unreported by the press”. (Doc. FO 898/14 – Public Records Office, Kew)

Of course, if we look at this document in isolation, it makes sense to keep this story out of the press in order to stop speculation about possible conspiracies. However, when you put it together with the William Strang document, it does suggest that the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Buccleuch were in Scotland to meet Hess. This is confirmed by the testimony of the housekeeper at Dungavel House. She told the authors of Double Standards (page 269) that the Duke of Hamilton was at the house on the night of the 10th May 1941 with someone with a foreign accent. This is almost certainly Baron de Ropp, who was involved in the German-British peace talks.

The historians, Martin Allen (The Hitler/Hess Deception) and Peter Padfield (Hess) argue that Churchill was involved in carrying out false negotiations with Hitler that were so successful that it encouraged Hitler to invade the Soviet Union. If this is the case, why did Churchill not take credit for this highly successful operation that saved Britain from being defeated by Nazi Germany? Martin Allen argues that Churchill was unable to do this because this disclosure “would have given Britain’s enemies an opportunity to decry British perfidy, tainting her post-war standing in the world of foreign affairs.” (page 285)

I do not find this argument convincing. Everyone was aware that Churchill was guilty of “perfidy”. How else do you explain that Churchill was willing to hand over Poland and Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union in 1945? Remember we had apparently gone to war against Nazi Germany in order to bring freedom and democracy to these two countries. Churchill might have promised these two countries to Hitler in 1941, he actually gave them to Stalin in 1945.

Stalin of course already knew about Churchill’s negotiations with Hitler as he had spies in the British Foreign Office, MI5/MI6 and the SOE. On 6th November, 1944, Churchill made a visit to Moscow. At a supper in the Kremlin, Stalin raised his glass and proposed a toast to the British Intelligence Services, which he said had “inveigled Hess into coming to England.” Churchill immediately protested that he and the intelligence services knew nothing about the proposed visit. Stalin smiled and said maybe the intelligence services had failed to tell him about the operation. (Doc PREM 3 434/7 Public Records Office, Kew)

What Stalin was doing was to make it clear to Churchill that he intended to take over Poland and Czechoslovakia and that Churchill was in no position to resist this process. Churchill was being blackmailed into submission.

The next post will explain why Churchill had to order the assassinations of the Duke of Kent and General Sikorski.

Mr. Simkin,

These are very intersting and enlightening posts on the possible actions and motives behind the behavior of Churchill and other high ranking or otherwise influential British Autocrats and Aristocrats.

Being from America, the history lessons from my youth painted Churchill as an absolute Hawk, anti Nazi and anti Hitler, with no middle ground.

Your series of posts paints a possible (or likely) alternate POV, in which Churchill has played both sides of maybe the most dangerous game of his, and Britain's 20th Century history.

I remember hearing Chrchill's rallying speeches from the radio, when he had galvanized the English populace together against the impending doom of National Socialism and its politics. Its very hard to question this portrait of him, but you have made many compelling points.

My question is this. Considering that there was a group of highly placed German officers and politicians, who, as early as 1940, may have seen the writing on the wall, which is that Hitler's war policies were dooming Germany, saw that a separate peace should be negotiated, and if successful, may have led to a Coup de tat or at least Hitler's assassination, is it possible that Hess had traveled to England to negotiate this possibility (which may have seemed more than possibility at the time).

From Hitler's secretary's diary, over the past several years of the war (possibly as far back as 1940), his military tactics and those of many of his highest staff officers were not in agreement.

Is there a possibility that secret negotiations were sought by Churchill with possible successors to Hitler, to assist in this tack, help their resolve, and ensure a peaceful transition out of War should Hitler be assassinated?

Just a question.

Thank you.

Edited by Peter McKenna
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John can you elaborate on this statement

“Some historians have accepted this point and have argued that the Hoare negotiations were part of “sting” operation to fool Hitler. That of course is a possibility but other events that took place after 1945 suggest that this was not the case.”

Are you referring to the granting to the Soviets control over Eastern Europe? The Yalta etc agreements basically ratified the “reality on the ground” that they would gain control of this territory before the Western Allies.

Turning the Soviets and Nazi’s against each other if he really did it was a masterstroke. Especially without the US it would have been very difficult for Britain, the Commonwealth and Free French alone to defeat the Germans. Churchill would have had good reason not to boast about this especially during the height of the ‘Cold War’ as it would have vastly complicated already difficult relations with the Soviets. Even afterwards this could cause resentment among Russians who suffered through the German invasion and their descendents.

I was also wondering if you are ever going to get around to answering questions I asked in previous posts and provide sources for unsourced claims? (Yes, I noticed you promised to answer one in your next post.) Also can the documents you refer to be accessed online?

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Bump, hopefully the other post made it.

Peter

I wonder if Mark is going to now claim that you are an “aggressive, impatient” “knucklehead” motivated by “hubris” because you bumped this thread a minute after your previous post. No I imagine he’ll rationalize a difference between our ‘bumps’. LOL

Len

Edited by Len Colby
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Bump, hopefully the other post made it.

Peter

I wonder if Mark is going to now claim that you are an “aggressive, impatient” “knucklehead” motivated by “hubris” because you bumped this thread a minute after your previous post. No I imagine he’ll rationalize a difference between our ‘bumps’. LOL

Len

Len, I don't know what that castigation was all about. It seemed almost tongue in cheek. Mark probably had a laugh over that. At least I hope that was his intent (vs. implying hidden agenda over bumping).

Peter

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John can you elaborate on this statement

“Some historians have accepted this point and have argued that the Hoare negotiations were part of “sting” operation to fool Hitler. That of course is a possibility but other events that took place after 1945 suggest that this was not the case.”

Are you referring to the granting to the Soviets control over Eastern Europe? The Yalta etc agreements basically ratified the “reality on the ground” that they would gain control of this territory before the Western Allies.

Turning the Soviets and Nazi’s against each other if he really did it was a masterstroke. Especially without the US it would have been very difficult for Britain, the Commonwealth and Free French alone to defeat the Germans. Churchill would have had good reason not to boast about this especially during the height of the ‘Cold War’ as it would have vastly complicated already difficult relations with the Soviets. Even afterwards this could cause resentment among Russians who suffered through the German invasion and their descendents.

I was also wondering if you are ever going to get around to answering questions I asked in previous posts and provide sources for unsourced claims? (Yes, I noticed you promised to answer one in your next post.) Also can the documents you refer to be accessed online?

This is written from the same perspective as Dr Stangelove.

Len, you seem to have no awareness at all that the tens of millions of Germans, Russians and other eastern Europeans who perished in the cataclysm resulting from this clash of giants were HUMAN BEINGS.

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I should have said, John, after your latest post in this thread, that I think you are telling a ripping yarn in the true Yorkshire sense of the term.

I am curious about some of the archival material referenced in the text.

Did you ferret them out yourself? (Example: Doc. FO 898/14 – Public Records Office, Kew)

May we see them?

Anyhow, do keep rolling it out. It's a great read, dealing with a very interesting topic, IMO.

Edited by Sid Walker
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John can you elaborate on this statement

“Some historians have accepted this point and have argued that the Hoare negotiations were part of “sting” operation to fool Hitler. That of course is a possibility but other events that took place after 1945 suggest that this was not the case.”

Are you referring to the granting to the Soviets control over Eastern Europe? The Yalta etc agreements basically ratified the “reality on the ground” that they would gain control of this territory before the Western Allies.

Turning the Soviets and Nazi’s against each other if he really did it was a masterstroke. Especially without the US it would have been very difficult for Britain, the Commonwealth and Free French alone to defeat the Germans. Churchill would have had good reason not to boast about this especially during the height of the ‘Cold War’ as it would have vastly complicated already difficult relations with the Soviets. Even afterwards this could cause resentment among Russians who suffered through the German invasion and their descendents.

I was also wondering if you are ever going to get around to answering questions I asked in previous posts and provide sources for unsourced claims? (Yes, I noticed you promised to answer one in your next post.) Also can the documents you refer to be accessed online?

This is written from the same perspective as Dr Stangelove.

Len, you seem to have no awareness at all that the tens of millions of Germans, Russians and other eastern Europeans who perished in the cataclysm resulting from this clash of giants were HUMAN BEINGS.

Yes of course I am aware of that Sid but the path to a cataclysmic war with millions of deaths had already been set in place by the German Fuehrer. In May 1941 the options facing Britain were bleak either:

Accept a world were Hitler and his allies controlled most of Continental Europe and large chunks of Asia and Africa. A scenario in which the USSR probably would have eventually been invaded anyway and the few remaining independent countries in Europe invaded and/or forced to accept puppet regimes.

OR

Continue to fight a war they were unlikely to win in the near future, if ever. Face the regular bombing of her cities and possibly even face invasion and occupation. In this scenario as well Hitler probably would have invaded the USSR though perhaps later than 1941 (if indeed he was induced to do so then by the British).

I don’t think any serious historians believe Hitler’s Germany would have existed peacefully side by side with Stalin’s Soviet Union indefinitely and war between the two the two nations was inevitable it was only a question of when.

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John can you elaborate on this statement

“Some historians have accepted this point and have argued that the Hoare negotiations were part of “sting” operation to fool Hitler. That of course is a possibility but other events that took place after 1945 suggest that this was not the case.”

Are you referring to the granting to the Soviets control over Eastern Europe? The Yalta etc agreements basically ratified the “reality on the ground” that they would gain control of this territory before the Western Allies.

Turning the Soviets and Nazi’s against each other if he really did it was a masterstroke. Especially without the US it would have been very difficult for Britain, the Commonwealth and Free French alone to defeat the Germans. Churchill would have had good reason not to boast about this especially during the height of the ‘Cold War’ as it would have vastly complicated already difficult relations with the Soviets. Even afterwards this could cause resentment among Russians who suffered through the German invasion and their descendents.

I was also wondering if you are ever going to get around to answering questions I asked in previous posts and provide sources for unsourced claims? (Yes, I noticed you promised to answer one in your next post.) Also can the documents you refer to be accessed online?

This is written from the same perspective as Dr Stangelove.

Len, you seem to have no awareness at all that the tens of millions of Germans, Russians and other eastern Europeans who perished in the cataclysm resulting from this clash of giants were HUMAN BEINGS.

Yes of course I am aware of that Sid but the path to a cataclysmic war with millions of deaths had already been set in place by the German Fuehrer. In May 1941 the options facing Britain were bleak either:

Accept a world were Hitler and his allies controlled most of Continental Europe and large chunks of Asia and Africa. A scenario in which the USSR probably would have eventually been invaded anyway and the few remaining independent countries in Europe invaded and/or forced to accept puppet regimes.

OR

Continue to fight a war they were unlikely to win in the near future, if ever. Face the regular bombing of her cities and possibly even face invasion and occupation. In this scenario as well Hitler probably would have invaded the USSR though perhaps later than 1941 (if indeed he was induced to do so then by the British).

I don’t think any serious historians believe Hitler’s Germany would have existed peacefully side by side with Stalin’s Soviet Union indefinitely and war between the two the two nations was inevitable it was only a question of when.

Len,

Please explain how "the path to a cataclysmic war with millions of deaths had already been set in place by the German Fuehrer"? I don't mean waffle such as "the Nazis caused WW2". I'd like you to explain why you hold that view. As I suspect it may be one of those things you think is 'obvious' to anyone other than an 'extremist', please help us all to see the light by providing enough of a case so a reasonable person might actually believe you are correct. If you can.

As for the possibility of long-term co-existence between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, it's an interesting hypothetical.

I doubt if Stalin would have declared war on Germany unless he'd been sure of western support and involvement on another front.

Would Hitler have attacked the USSR, not immediately but within a few years? Perhaps. I don't think it's obvious.

But if the western leadership had been concerned to maintain peace - as opposed to achieving the utter destruction of the German system government and the inevitable death of millions of Russians - the remedy lay in its own hands. To guard against an expansionist Germany, it could have announced that an attack on the USSR would be a casus belli.

Edited by Sid Walker
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My question is this. Considering that there was a group of highly placed German officers and politicians, who, as early as 1940, may have seen the writing on the wall, which is that Hitler's war policies were dooming Germany, saw that a separate peace should be negotiated, and if successful, may have led to a Coup de tat or at least Hitler's assassination, is it possible that Hess had traveled to England to negotiate this possibility (which may have seemed more than possibility at the time).

From Hitler's secretary's diary, over the past several years of the war (possibly as far back as 1940), his military tactics and those of many of his highest staff officers were not in agreement.

Is there a possibility that secret negotiations were sought by Churchill with possible successors to Hitler, to assist in this tack, help their resolve, and ensure a peaceful transition out of War should Hitler be assassinated?

Just a question.

I am sorry for the delay in replying but I have been away from my computer for the last few days where my notes are on this case.

It is true that as early as when Hitler marched into the Rhineland, senior officers in the German armed forces considered the possibility of overthrowing him (they were certain that going into the Rhineland would trigger a war with France and the UK – a war they felt they would certainly lose).

There is also evidence that their were discussions about removing Hitler in 1939-1940 when Germany was negotiating with the UK. It was felt that these negotiations would never be successful with Hitler at the helm. However, after the successful western campaign in 1940 Hitler was in a much stronger position.

It is also true that a group in the UK led by David Lloyd George wanted Churchill removed from power in 1940 and replaced by Lord Beaverbrook. It was argued that Churchill was incapable of negotiating a peace deal with Hitler.

Resistance to Hitler amongst senior army officers grew in 1941 when he disclosed plans to invade the Soviet Union. There was nearly a unanimous view that Germany could not successfully fight a war on two major fronts and that it was necessary to reach a peace agreement with the UK before the invasion of the Soviet Union should take place.

It is therefore possible that Hess’s arrival in the UK was part of a plot to overthrow Hitler. It could have also been an attempt to force Churchill to reach a peace agreement. If that was the case, it did not work as both Hitler and Churchill survived in power until 1945. Whereas Hitler took his own life Churchill was removed by the British people. This happened for a variety of reasons but one of the most important was the perception that Churchill was a war monger who wanted to fight the Soviet Union.

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  • 2 weeks later...

John S: "The most interesting comments in the minutes comes from an unidentified speaker who says that the situation is so serious that: “We should therefore encourage the Germans to attack Russia by misleading Hitler and by hinting that the large sections both in Britain and the United States, who preferred to see the overthrow of the Russian rather than the German regime, might be prepared to force through a compromise peace between Britain and Germany and combine to destroy the common enemy, Communism” (Doc. FO 898/00009 – Public Records Office, Kew).

just a note: Whenever, in this sort of context one reads of an unamed speaker a bell goes off: The Last Hero/Wild Bill Donovan by Anthony Cave Brown.

Brown makes a particular note that in collating Donovans papers for the book (close to 900 pages with lots of diverse details) that wherever Donovan went he seldom left any personal imprint of having been there. His writings are almost devoid of any personal details and very perfunctory dealing with whatever particular matter at hand. This is apparently a particular characteristic of Donovan, and here one might surmise that he impressed on others that that was how he went about things.

Like I said, just a note. Not saying he was, or was not this unnamed person. (I've no idea, but will try to look into it in more detail)

Edited by John Dolva
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Part 13

The reason that Winston Churchill was unable to take the credit for the highly successful strategy of persuading Hitler to invade the Soviet Union after the war was that he was forced to order the deaths of certain people involved in this story.

Churchill knew that people like the Duke of Hamilton and other members of the far right were not able to reveal their role in these events. However, there were people who had a great deal of independence who would have posed a considerable threat to Churchill’s reputation after the war.

One man who was particularly dangerous was General Władysław Sikorski. In 1907 he joined the underground Polish Socialist Party. He was also a successful soldier and during the First World War emerged as a leading general of the Polish Army. In 1920 he was the commander who halted the advance of the Red Army towards Warsaw.

In April 1921 Sikorski became commander-in-chief of the Polish Armed Forces, and became chief of the Polish General Staff. From December 18, 1922, to May 26, 1923, Sikorski served as Prime Minister and also as Minister of Internal Affairs.

Sikorski was a committed democrat and was a leading opponent to Józef Piłsudski's May coup d'état in 1926, which was supported by most of the military. In 1928 he was dismissed by Piłsudski from public service and he went to live in France. In exile he wrote a great deal about the dangers of German rearmament and the possible disastrous effects of appeasement.

When Poland was invaded by Germany in September 1939, Sikorski became the leader of the Polish government-in-exile. Sikorski and his government moved to London and were able to evacuate many Polish troops to Britain. After the signing of a Polish-British Military Agreement on August 5, 1940, they proceeded to build up and train the Polish Armed Forces. Experienced Polish pilots took part in the Battle of Britain, where the Polish 303 Fighter Squadron achieved the highest number of kills of any Allied squadron. After the creation of the pro-German Vichy government in France and the ensuing split of French forces, the Polish Army in the United Kingdom and the Middle East became the second largest Allied army after that of the United Kingdom.

Sikorski’s main concern was the fate of Poland after the war. He believed that if the Poles stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Britain, Poland would get their freedom and independence after the liberation of his country.

Sikorski made some important contacts from within the Churchill administration in order to keep informed about the British government’s true intentions. This included Sir Stafford Cripps, Churchill’s ambassador to the Soviet Union. Cripps was a left-wing senior member of the Labour Party. A Marxist, in the 1930s he advocated a united front against the rise of fascism in Europe. He was a strong supporter of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. In 1937 he urged that the Labour Party, the Socialist League, the ILP and the Communist Party of Great Britain, join forces against right-wing forces in the UK. In 1939 he was expelled from the Labour Party for continuing to urge the left unite against fascism.

When Churchill became prime minister in May 1940 he made every attempt to form a broad coalition. This included appointing Cripps as his ambassador to the Soviet Union. Cripps was therefore an important source of information about Churchill was up to.

However, it was Sikorski’s other close friend that was to prove troublesome to Churchill – the Duke of Kent. The two men became close after Sikorski was invited to the Duke’s home, Pitliver House, in November 1939. Sikorski had been in close contact with the Polish nobility since 1937. (Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince and Stephen Prior, Double Standards, page 281). The two men met official ten times during the next three years. (Nicholas Bethell, Sunday Times, 3rd November, 1972) It is understandable why Sikorski should develop a close friendship with the Duke of Kent. He was the respectable leader of the far right in the UK. He was the king’s official representative. He also had close links to all the major figures on the right, including the Duke of Hamilton, Samuel Hoare, the Duke of Buccleuch and Sir Archibald Ramsay.

The Duke of Kent kept Sikorski informed about Churchill’s secret negotiations with Hitler. Sikorski was horrified that Churchill was willing to do a deal with Hitler, especially as part of the deal involved Hitler retaining Poland. Nor was he happy about Germany invading the Soviet Union. If Germany won this war they would remain occupiers of Poland. If the Soviet Union won, they would occupy Poland.

Sikorski came up with a plan that would enable Poland to achieve its independence from the superpowers in Europe. This plan was revealed in a Foreign Office document released in 1972. This document states that Sikorski offered the Duke of Kent the Polish throne. (Nicholas Bethell, Sunday Times, 3rd November, 1972) Churchill was horrified when he discovered what Sikorski had done. It had now become very difficult for him to do a deal with Hitler over Poland. These Foreign Office documents show that Churchill made strenuous efforts to persuade the Duke of Kent to reject this offer. He also advised/ordered the Duke of Kent to cease to be patron to several Polish charities as this positions might eventually “become an embarrassment” to him and the royal family. (Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince and Stephen Prior, Double Standards, page 281)

One now can understand both General Sikorski and the Duke of Kent wanted a deal done with Hitler that involved Germany bringing an end to the occupation of western Poland. Hitler would then be free to liberate eastern Poland from the Soviet Union. This hope was dashed when Hitler launched an attack on the Soviet Union before an agreement with Britain was finalized.

When Germany failed to defeat the Soviet Union by the end of 1941, the outcome of the war became less certain. On 26th January 1942, Stafford Cripps told Sikorski that Stalin planned to annex Germany’s East Prussia to Poland in the west, but also to considerably push westward Poland’s eastern frontier.

Sikorski’s only chance of taking control of an independent Poland was for the UK and the US to liberate the country from German and Soviet control.

It now became clear that Stalin would try to occupy Poland after the war. This created problems for Churchill who had urged war in 1939 as a result of the German and Soviet invasion of Poland. When Churchill made it known to Stalin that it would not be acceptable for the Soviets to occupy Poland, he was informed that he knew about the Churchill-Hitler peace negotiations in 1940-41 (this information had come via Philby’s spy network).

The Duke of Kent and Hess also knew about Churchill’s willingness to give up Poland to Hitler. How could they be kept quiet after the war was finished?

On 13th April, 1943, the Germans announced the discovery of the bodies of 4,000 Polish officers who had been murdered by the Soviets and buried in Katyn Forest, near Smolensk, Russia. Stalin claimed that the atrocity had been carried out by the Germans. When Sikorski refused to accept the Soviet explanation and requested an investigation by the International Red Cross the Soviets accused the government-in-exile of cooperating with Nazi Germany and broke off diplomatic relations on April 26. (Janusz Zawodny, Death in the Forest: The Story of the Katyn Forest Massacre, 1962).

Sikorski still had one card still to play. He also knew about the 1940-41 peace negotiations between Hitler and Churchill. Could he blackmail Churchill into resisting the demands of Stalin after the war?

On 4th July, 1943, General 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. (David Irving, Accident, 1967, page 168)

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The Duke of Kent and Hess also knew about Churchill’s willingness to give up Poland to Hitler. How could they be kept quiet after the war was finished?

Good question regarding Hess, just how was he kept quite for 4 decades? If you believe he was killed along with the Duke explain how they convinced a double to spend 40 years in prison and how that double managed to fool Hess's wife and son and other relatives as well as some of his Nazi colleagues including Speer.

Also many of your claims from the above post are unsourced and you have yet to provide sources for many previous claims.

Edited by Len Colby
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