Henri Dericourt (SOE Traitor)

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Gage, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    In some circle Vera Atkins could be said to be suspect - given that she was technically an enemy alien she must have had some powerful sponsors to give her a job in SOE in the first place, secondly on looking at some recent KV releases the identity of 'Gilbert' can be called into some doubt.
     
  2. Hazel Clark

    Hazel Clark Member

    Having been looking in and out of SOE and SAS erratically for years, I have never liked Vera Atkins. My dislike is quite irrational but I have never felt that Buckminster and even Boddington were "evil" in the same way as Atkins and Dansey. I have always wondered about the screening of Vera Atkins prior to taking up that job, and for me it is on a par with Buckminster telling Archambaut not to forget his security codes and Tonkin, (or whoever had the responsibility) not posting sentries at Verrieres. When I read her biography the feeling was amplified.

    There were always the two "Gilberts", Are you suggesting that Derricourt was not "Gilbert".

    Hazel
     
  3. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Derricourt's role is complex and the truth will probably never be known, Harold Cole's interrogations give pointers to another Gilbert - all in all a very interesting mystery
     
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  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    The truth will hopefully but probably never see the light of day. Agents seemed to be cheap in the bigger scheme of things.
    I have always admired V. Atkins and never seen a reason not to. Her work post-war work seemed invaluble.
     
  5. Hazel Clark

    Hazel Clark Member

    There is a conspiracy theory around her post war work also!

    However, will try to find the Harold Cole reports. Had never heard of him, although I do have the "Secrets of WW2" but never read, which apparently mentions him.

    H.C.
     
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  6. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Never heard of a conspiracy theory regarding her. Did somebody else try to find out what happened to the female agents who disappeared under Hitler's Night and Fog order? I'm sure that the families were grateful whoever investigated - if not Atkins but......then who else devoted their time to the truth of the missing?
    Hazel can you give me the references to read on Atkins not doing the investigations post war?
     
  7. Hazel Clark

    Hazel Clark Member

    Hi Gage,

    I am afraid it is a long time since I read about Vera Atkins investigations after the war, and I am only just getting back into the whole subject of S.O.E. again . It may have been in Helm's book that the possibility was mentioned of Vera Atkins being concerned about what information may have been out there regarding her own actions with respect to the agents. I don't think that anyone has ever suggested that she did not try to trace the agents, but her motive was questioned, as far as I remember. As you say, she must have helped give closure to a large number of families whom otherwise would still be wondering.

    My own feelings about her, as I have mentioned previously, are not based on any hard evidence and were not formed as a result of reading about her possible motives post war.

    Hazel
     
  8. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Thanks Hazel.
     
  9. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I have recently been looking at the Security Service KV series of files what is obvious is that the Germans had a great deal of information on SOE down to School locations, staff names etc as well as more detailed info on the Country Sections which the agents would have had no knowledge of - of course we had similar knowledge of the German set up including some higghly placed moles within both Abwehr and SD, the Germans may have sourced some material on SOE from agents in place in Russia who had been given the jewels by Philby.
     
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  10. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    I found this in Jean Overton Fuller's book on Henri Dericourt: Dericourt: The Chequered Spy it's from Appendix C Dericourt's Air Operations

    In the IN column, an asterisk to the right of a name means that the passenger was either never arrested or arrested later in circumstances unconnected with Dericourt. An asterisk to the left indicates the passenger was arrested by a mistake on the part of the Bony-Lafont shadowing team.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  11. Hazel Clark

    Hazel Clark Member

    Jean Overton Fuller was, in the end, convinced that Dericourt was maligned unjustly. However, I think the suggestion made by that list is suspect. Looking at the names, I have to believe that some of those agents were betrayed by people who had themselves been betrayed originally by association with Dericourt.

    Hazel
     
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  12. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    That's a big let off for Dericourt if that's true. J.O.F spent a lot of time on her work about Dericourt. Do we know for sure that J.O.F was actually convinced he was guilt free?
     
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  13. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Not guilt free but Jean Overton Fuller described Dericourt's act as "loyal treason", only four deaths could be directly linked to him. Fuller says these deaths weighed down on him and he would think of them at quiet time such as when shaving. His working on behalf of the Germans seems to have come about when he was working for Air Bleu airlines he was asked to deliver a letter to Villa de Bois in Marseilles "Mousetrap house" where F section agents were trapped in Southern France.

    This link will explain it better Gilbert Turck | Set Europe Ablaze - Nigel Perrin's SOE Blog

    Fuller came to the conclusion his contact with the Nazis was more of a benefit than a hindrance to the Allies. What is unclear is if his handlers knew of his contact with the Germans, I believe his being accused as a communist agent and his contact with MI6's Dansey also false, this is explained better in Fuller's book. The parachute drops and aircraft landings would not have been possible in France if not for Dericourt's contact with the Nazi's who would notify coastal batteries and would not fire at SOE aircraft.

    Dericourt was mistaken for SOE agent Gilbert Norman as Dericourt's codename was 'Gilbert' Norman appears to have given away quite alot of info on the understanding agents would not be killed.

    Interesting to note he was extracted from France via the Pat escape line.

    brithm
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  14. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    From Jean Overton Fuller's book Appendix B Henri Dericourt's Dates for Reference
     

    Attached Files:

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