Heydrich's car found !

Discussion in 'General' started by Za Rodinu, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  2. jimtylee

    jimtylee Junior Member

  3. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Interesting that there seems to have been little further news on this particular 320, has anyone heard or seen anything of it's sale, restoration, or promised donation?
    Or has someone realised just how much it could be worth and gone all schtumm?
  4. martin g.

    martin g. Junior Member

    Hello, for everybody being interesting in the case of possible appearance of Heydrich's car, there's my translation of the text transcription of the Czech TV broadcast. (link: Zeptejte se historiků: Textové přepisy — Heydrich - konečné řešení — Česká televize)
    By the way - the guy giving this answer is the one shown on the pictures above.

    Před několika lety přinesla média informace o objevení vozu, ve kterém měl jet Reinhard Heydrich při atentátu. Je nepochybné, že jde právě o Heydrichův vůz a jaký je jeho osud?

    Existuje několik verzí tohoto vozu. Jde o typ 320 D Cabrio. V této souvislosti přinesla média zprávu o jeho objevení ve východních Čechách zhruba asi před třemi-čtyřmi roky. Na ten vůz jsem se jel podívat a skutečně vykazoval přinejmenším 12 indicií, které by mohly nasvědčovat tomu, že jde skutečně o vůz, ve kterém jel Reinhard Heydrich v době útoku na něj. Bylo ale třeba přinést důkazy a to se bohužel dosposud nepodařilo. Když jsme korespondovali s archivem v Německu, ať už v Mercedesu nebo s Bundesarchivem, abychom mohli porovnat výrobní čísla motoru a karoserie, tak jsme nenašli srovnávací dokument. Nyní se k vozu vyjadřují odborníci z kriminalistického ústavu. Zkoumali mimo jiné chemické pozůstatky v sedadle, ale to sedadlo mohlo být vyměněné. Takže to bude trvat ještě dlouho, než budeme schopni potvrdit nebo vyloučit, zda jde skutečně o Heydrichův vůz. Poválečná historie tohoto auta je celkem jasná. V roce 1945 byl přidělen ministerstvu vnitra a v jeho majetku zůstal až do počátku padesátých let. Pak ho využívala církev a to až do počátku šedesátých let, kdy se dostal do soukromých rukou.
    Couple years ago the media brought information about the discovery of a car which might be carrying Heydrich at the time of the assasination. Is there no doubt that it's really the car Heydrich was deathly injured in and what is its fate?

    There are several version of this car. In fact it's "320 D Cabrio" type. When the media brought the information about its discovery in eastern Bohemia (more specific: near Hradec Kralove) about three or four years ago, I went to see the car and there actually happened to be at least 12 clues that might suggest that it was indeed a car in which rode Reinhard Heydrich during the attack on him. However, it was necessary to bring real evidence and in that we haven't unfortunately been succesful so far. When we corresponded with an archive in Germany, either Mercedes or Bundesarchiv, so we could compare the serial numbers of the engine and body, nobody was able to give us a comparative document. Now, the experts from the Institute of Criminology are still examining this car. Among others they already looked into the seat to find some chemical remains of the bomb, but the seat might have been renewed. (The seat cover has been replaced for sure.)

    So it will take a long while before we can confirm or disprove whether it is really a Heydrich's car.

    The postwar history of this car is quite clear. In 1945 it became the property of Home Office. By the fifties it came into the holdings of the church, where it stayed till sixties, when the car fell into private hands.
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Thank you very much for your input, if you happen to have further developments please remember to post them. And welcome to the forum, starting with a very interesting first post :)
  6. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Cheers, martin - I second Za's comment in that I'd also be rather interested in how the authentication/investigation goes.
  7. paulheald

    paulheald Member

    Hi Martin G - I found the contents of the posting concerning the possible location of SS General Heydrich's Merc most interesting. There is quite lot of information about the actual assassination attempt on Axis Forum URL: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?f=74&t=26208&start=195

    You might find this to be of supporting interest.
  8. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    Since this thread has been bumped forward a few years, I thought I'd add another hsitorical footnote:

    The Sten MkII used in the attack still exists, and is currently in the Army's weapons collection at Warminster. Apparently the weapon was taken back to the SS/Gestapo headquarters, where it remained once the buildings were liberated and returned to their previous use as Police HQ. Following the fall of the iron curtain, the weapon resurfaced and was donated back to UK.

    Contrary to most histories of the account, the weapon did not jam. The agents had removed the butt in order to make the sten more concealable - but not realising that the slot-in part of the butt was required to act as a retainer for the recoil spring. Probably they'd looked at the spring cap and thought that was the retainer. Consequently, the first shot caused the bolt to recoil and push the spring out of the back of the weapon, rendering it inoperable. Photos of the attack scene show the sten lying on the ground with the spring protruding.

    It was this incident that apparently led to the design and issue of the special pistol grip attachment for the sten. This acted as the locking plate, but without a butt attached. The pistol grip was subsequently distributed to resistance groups along with stens.

    Gage likes this.
  9. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Never knew that about the Sten, thanks.
  10. paulheald

    paulheald Member

    Thanks Thunderbox; it is very interesting information about the Sten gun and that it is still in being at the UK Army weapons collection at Warminster. I assume from this information that Gabchik had left cocking the Sten Gun to the very last moment before SS General Heydrich's car approached the bend. Hence in the tension of the moment he possibly did not register that the spring had popped out and thus the weapon was not cocked. Would I be correct in this assumption?

    I am quite sure that these latter day historical threads make a very valuable contribution towards the correct re-writing of history.
  11. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    A Sten can be cocked without the butt fitted, as the retaining cap on the spring has a couple of small teeth that rotate into slots on the receiver. Unfortunately these small locking teeth were not designed to withstand the force of the bolt under recoil, and so give way. Its possible that Gabchik's Sten had the retaining cap only partially rotated.

    Here is a very clear set of photos showing the items in question:


    Sten pistol grip:


  12. idler

    idler GeneralList

    Here's a mention of the plain 'plate, cover' - I wasn't aware that there was a version with a pistol grip as well.

    Edit: OK, now I am.
  13. paulheald

    paulheald Member

    Thank you, Thunderbox, for that detailed information on the Sten gun. As I understand it the Sten can be cocked, with just the retaining plate holding the compressed spring, but the recoil after the first round is fired is too much to hold the retaining plate in situ. However, in Gabchik's case you mention that he could have cocked the weapon OK, but the retaining plate was possibly only partially locked in position. Hence when he squeezed the trigger the bolt did not move forward under the compressed pressure of the spring, because the retaining plate had fallen off. Not his lucky day!

    Just as a matter of interest where did you see the spring in the picture of the abandoned weapon? The posted pic is far too fuzzy for me to ascertain any clear details. A wonderful bit of research on your part and so clearly explained - thank you once again.
  14. Thunderbox

    Thunderbox Member

    I couldn't find the photo I was looking for. There is a different photo somewhere showing both the Sten and the car. It is in that photo that you can see the spring hanging out of the back of the Sten.
  15. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day za rodinu,20sep.2009.06:39am.re:heydrich"s car found.i came across this old thread.it certainly of interest.how did the car finaly end up.it cost a lot of people their lives,thanks for posting regards bernard85
  16. paulheald

    paulheald Member

    I would think that the photograph of the Sten gun with the spring protruding may have been in the book "Enigma" by Max Williams and Ulric of England volume 2 of the Heydrich biography. I would very much like to purchase this book but at GBP 40 it remains on my wish list.
  17. paulheald

    paulheald Member

    I found the picture of the Sten gun lying on the sidewalk - it was one of many taken by the Prague Gestapo, post the assassination attempt. I tried to copy it and enhance it in Photoshop, but it still remains too fuzzy to ascertain the details. I note that the biography of Heydrich volume 2, referred to above being the one that I cannot afford, does have many unpublished pictures therein. Maybe one of the aficinadoes of this period of history that visit this site has a copy and could browse amongst the many pictures therein. This being the case then you, Thunderbox, will have honour of being able to rewrite a portion of history. This being that the gun did NOT jam it just fell apart at the seams!
    (Hardly surprising because in my day the Sten was rumoured to have cost 7 shillings and six pence to manufacture!)
  18. yalta

    yalta New Member

  19. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    von Poop and Dave55 like this.
  20. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

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