Any Truth In This

Discussion in 'General' started by sappernz, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    While perusing the topics on this excellent site I have just glanced at my thousands of books and Jack Higgins " The Eagle Has Landed " caught my eye.
    Yes I know its a novel and what it was doing in my serious history section is a puzzle but I would like to know if there is anything true it is based on.
    Also, my apologies for two topics but they are connected, if there is any basis of fact would documents still be sealed until a certain date and does anyone know of documents or incidents that are still sealed and for how long.
    I am always amazed at some of the documents released after 50 or 60 years of secrecy and wonder what is so damned important that they were kept under wraps for so long.
    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    I do not think that there is any truth in the story. if there had been then the original story would have leaked out years ago.
     
  3. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    Morse, I agree, that is what i used to think, but with some revalations about secrecy during the war know coming out I believe it is possible for many cover ups to be revealed yet.
    I am not a conspiracy theorist yet my reading and research tells me the old saying, " truth is stranger than fiction" may have some merit.
    While it is now well known that Churchill used a double and his famous speech about fighting on the beaches was made by an impersonater, some claim Churchill was to drunk to go on air, it is possible there was a grain of truth in it.
    Still a damn good book though.
     
  4. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Not a vestige of truth in it, A fairy tale. No german forces landed anywhere in Britain apart from the channel isles. But it is a nice bit of fiction
    sapper.
     
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    "The Eagle has landed" appears to have been based on the wartime film "Went the Day Well" which was propaganda based in that it demonstrated to the public that German minor incursions of the British Isles could happen.

    With this in mind,there must have been some concern by HM Government for the protection of sensitive targets near the coast which could be raided by German Forces.This was the reason why the Radar Research Establishment was transferred from the south coast at Swanage to Malvern in the West Midlands.This establishment was carrying out cutting edge radar pioneer work which transpired to put us ahead of any development the Germans had.Winning the radar research race proved to be one of the vital contributions to final victory.

    As for Churchills famous speech,there has been been some reports in the past of the task being undertaken by a "stand in".The speech was said to have been written by a speechwriter.All politicians seem to employ speechwriters and Churchill's daily diary at the time must have been intense.

    Further revelations have been made recently on a Melvyn Bragg programme on the English language which I have not heard, that the speech was deliberately written to include only Anglo Saxon English as far as possible.Apparently only one word,not Anglo Saxon, a word of French origin was included.
     
  6. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    No one ever landed on British soil. Thank heavens! There was a lot of talk about a secret landing of German forces to destroy the Radar station on the South Coast. That also, is not true! Why am I so sure? I lived there.
    Sapper :D :D
     
  7. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    With permission and with resect. I would like to point out that what happened during the war.D Day and the battle of Normandu and Europe is, and has been, totally distorted by 60 years of American Films and documentaries.

    To such a degree that legends have been built up, that have not the slightest, or the tenuous link wiht the truth.

    Some of thse legends are so "Way out" That I, and many old Normandy Veterans like me, are just amazed that the public are fed such utter rubbish, and because of the constant repitition have become "REAL" legends.

    There is something quite unrealistic that because of these USA Films. These "legends " are now historical fact.
    Now that is sad!
    Sapper
     

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  8. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Harry Patterson, the real name behind the "Jack Higgins" pen-name, was a schoolteacher, when he wrote "The Eagle Has Landed," in his copious free time when not correcting term papers. It never happened. It's an entertaining thriller and movie, with a talented cast (Larry Hagman chews the English countryside well as an incompetent colonel), but that's about all. Churchill did read the famous speeches in Parliament and on the air. The use of the stand-in is a popular myth. There's no such place as Studley Constable, either.
     
  9. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Makes good fairy tales though Kiwi?
    Sapper
     
  10. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    The film actually follows the book very well in my opinion. And although fiction, it is a gripping yarn.
     
  11. jamesicus

    jamesicus Senior Member

    Originally posted by sapper@Jan 30 2005, 08:42 AM
    Not a vestige of truth in it, A fairy tale. No german forces landed anywhere in Britain apart from the channel isles. But it is a nice bit of fiction
    sapper.
    [post=31030]Quoted post[/post]

    The stories of German forces landing in Britain resulted mainly from the transmissions of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry's New British Broadcasting Station (NBBS):

    On 15 August 1940, it was announced that:

    ..... parachutists had landed near Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow .....

    And on 1 September 1940 it was announced that:

    ..... Dover is already practically German territory. The civilian population has fled, chaos reigns; the only opposition the raiders meet from the ground is a little rifle shooting .....

    These announcements were immediately debunked, but they did lead to quite a few wild rumors.

    An excellent reference on this is:

    NAZI WIRELESS PROPAGANDA, M. A. Doherty, Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Included is a great CD which contains numerous actual Nazi Propaganda Ministry broadcasts from thoughout the war -- mostly the infamous ones of Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce).

    James
     
  12. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by jamesicus+Jan 31 2005, 01:20 PM-->(jamesicus @ Jan 31 2005, 01:20 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-sapper@Jan 30 2005, 08:42 AM
    Not a vestige of truth in it, A fairy tale. No german forces landed anywhere in Britain apart from the channel isles. But it is a nice bit of fiction
    sapper.
    [post=31030]Quoted post[/post]

    The stories of German forces landing in Britain resulted mainly from the transmissions of the Nazi Propaganda Ministry's New British Broadcasting Station (NBBS):

    On 15 August 1940, it was announced that:

    ..... parachutists had landed near Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow .....

    And on 1 September 1940 it was announced that:

    ..... Dover is already practically German territory. The civilian population has fled, chaos reigns; the only opposition the raiders meet from the ground is a little rifle shooting .....

    These announcements were immediately debunked, but they did lead to quite a few wild rumors.

    An excellent reference on this is:

    NAZI WIRELESS PROPAGANDA, M. A. Doherty, Edinburgh University Press, 2000. Included is a great CD which contains numerous actual Nazi Propaganda Ministry broadcasts from thoughout the war -- mostly the infamous ones of Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce).

    James
    [post=31086]Quoted post[/post]
    [/b]Got that book. Haven't listened to the CD yet, but I want to. But the Germans never landed troops on Britain, outside of the Channel Islands, except as POWs. However, the POWs at Devizes did plan a major breakout.
     
  13. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    Very interesting and helpful replies. Thank you one and all but I would still like to know what, if any, subjects are still secret.
    I understand that the magician whoose name I forget, that set up dummy towns for the Germans to bomb plus other tricks still has his secrets classified and I am sure there are others.
    What could the reasons be for such secrecy 60 years on.
     
  14. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by sappernz@Feb 2 2005, 03:02 AM
    I would still like to know what, if any, subjects are still secret.

    What could the reasons be for such secrecy 60 years on.
    [post=31144]Quoted post[/post]

    The answers are, I suppose, that we don't know and we don't know. That is the problem with secrets. We don't know them.

    Look at how well they guarded the ULTRA secret for 30 years.
     
  15. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    What must be admitted here is that there were some Germans that landed in Britain. Quite a few really, and by parachute! trouble is, they had been shot down on their raids over this Country. One hell of a lot of them....

    As to Lord Haw Haw? I, amongst many others, used to listen to that idiot. He was at least entertaining, though it was not meant to be...Germany calling! Germany calling! This is station....

    But what fun! We hung the jolly little fellow in the tower, after the war. was he the son of a Tory MP? I have a feeling that was so?

    My trouble being, I have a very long memory, very, very long. For the most part I do not need books to remind me of what we went through.

    By the way SapperNZ...About Sappers. You mentioned 'handsome; may I add the other virtues, Virile. Intelligent. Far seeing. kindly? master of Maths. inventive. an all round jolly good fellow! It is no wonder that when the Sappers were first instituted, that King Charles 2 designated that they should called.
    "Gentlemen of the Royal Engineers" Still are today and with good reason...WE are!
    I bet you like that?
    Sapper :unsure:
     

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  16. sappernz

    sappernz Member

    Being called a gentleman. Now theres a first. The King had obviously never seen Sappers in a bar.
     
  17. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    Originally posted by sappernz@Feb 1 2005, 11:02 PM
    Very interesting and helpful replies. Thank you one and all but I would still like to know what, if any, subjects are still secret.
    I understand that the magician whoose name I forget, that set up dummy towns for the Germans to bomb plus other tricks still has his secrets classified and I am sure there are others.
    What could the reasons be for such secrecy 60 years on.
    [post=31144]Quoted post[/post]
    Not much secrecy about that at all. Jasper Maskelyne was the magician, and "The War Magician" by Anthony Read and David Fisher will tell you the story. Most of the book is about his work in North Africa. He "moved" Alexandria to fool the Luftwaffe's night raiders. Quite a character.
     
  18. jamesicus

    jamesicus Senior Member

    Originally posted by sapper@Feb 2 2005, 01:52 PM
    .......... As to Lord Haw Haw? I, amongst many others, used to listen to that idiot. He was at least entertaining, though it was not meant to be...Germany calling! Germany calling! This is station....

    But what fun! We hung the jolly little fellow in the tower, after the war. was he the son of a Tory MP? I have a feeling that was so? ..........[post=31156]Quoted post[/post]

    There were actually several British ex-patriots with various political and personal motivations who broadcast for the Germans during the war including some members of the armed forces who had been captured by the Germans (mostly during the fighting in France/Dunkirk) and a couple of women. Not all of these were heard on the Bremen/Hamburg broadcasts to Britain, being used instead for propaganda broadcasts to British Commonwealth nations, the United States and various English speaking neutral countries. The chief -- and most frequent by far -- broadcaster was William Joyce who was the one mainly used for broadcasts to Britain and the one most often identified as "Lord Haw-Haw".

    Joyce was actually an American born in New York of Irish immigrant parents in 1906. The family returned to Ireland in 1909 and eventually settled in England where Joyce subsequently graduated from Birbeck College with a degree in English. He became involved in various Fascist movements in the 1930s eventually becoming Director of Propaganda and Deputy Leader of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. He found Mosley to be not anti-Semitic enough and founded his own blatantly pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic National Socialist League in 1937. He and his wife Margaret (who also became a prominent broadcaster for the Germans) fled to Berlin in August of 1939 and he offered his services to Joseph Goebbels as a propaganda radio broadcaster. He was immediately employed and became the mainstay commentator for the Nazi Propaganda Ministry's Overseas Radio Broadcast Service throughout the war. After the war, Joyce was captured by the Allies, tried as a war criminal, found guilty and hung at Wandsworth Prison on 3 January 1946.

    The British ex-patriot propaganda broadcasters -- Joyce ("Lord Haw Haw") in particular -- were listened too quite extensively throughout Britain, particularly during the Phoney War of late 1939 to early 1940 and especially during the dark days of 1940 and 1941. Most people found the broadcasts humorous and entertaining although many took them seriously and were alarmed by them. The hard news presented was generally factual and often quite accurate. The propaganda commentary was wickedly clever and aimed at demoralizing the British Home Front -- mostly seeking to foment public unrest, distrust of the British government, a sense of hoplessness in opposing the Nazi war machine -- and anti-Semitic at every opportunity.

    Broadcast reception was usually very good in Britain -- at least in the Manchester area where we lived -- we received the Bremen frequency clearly. My father and I used to listen to the broadcasts most evenings in the early years of the war -- with some amusement and mostly curiosity -- we were never affected or disturbed by any broadcast that I can remember. My father used to say (about William Joyce) "he'll get it in the neck some day" -- how right he was!

    James
     
  19. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Not only that, he sunk the Ark Royal so many times we lost count.
    Sapper
     
  20. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    we were never affected or disturbed by any broadcast that I can remember. My father used to say (about William Joyce) "he'll get it in the neck some day" -- how right he was!


    Joyce had actually renounced his British citizenship and taken up German nationality. However, according the Sir Patrick Hastings QC, Joyce was tried and convicted under a law dating from the reign of Henry III, which as the good judge points out, had one particular comma in the sentence relating to offences committed by “Englishmen” under foreign passport been moved then he would have walked free from the Court!

    lets no also forget Norman ballie-Stewert and P G Wodehouse who also broadcast from germany
     

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