SOE missions in Germany? ME 61?

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by HMS_Otus, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. HMS_Otus

    HMS_Otus Junior Member

    Hi all,

    My Grandfather Robert "Butch" Baker-Byrne was in SOE and did two missions in Germany:
    Vivacious - Berlin 1944
    Branston - Lubeck 1945

    This has got me interested in what else happened in Germany.

    Anyone have any details of other SOE missions carried out in Germany?

    Also what/where was ME 61? he flew from here on 26th November 1944 for 3.5 hours to be parachuted outside of Esenach for the Berlin mission.
    What aircraft would have been used?

    Pic of my Grandfather in uniform attached.



    Attached Files:

    Lindele likes this.
  2. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    I came across this detailed report on Op Vivacious HS 6/662
    Interrogation of 2nd Lt. Baker-Byrne, alias Robert Phillippe Bosquet, 28 December 1944. Operation Vivacious. Attem.pted sabotage of factory producing V2 rocket components in Berlin.

    “Source was supposed to be dressed as an O.T. Meister of the Todt Organisation. He discovered that the O.T. people in Germany wear very shabby outfits, usually old Wehrmacht uniforms with no badges. In BERLIN, however, the O.T. workers are dressed as smartly as any unit of the German Army. They wear the badges of their rank and salute their officers. Source soon realised that his own dirty uniform, muddy boots and lack of badges would be very noticeable when he reached BERLIN…

    He also gathered that the Berliners do not consider the present air raids half so bad as those of 1943 and source feels that they should have one or two crushing raids of the 1943 type. When source said that the war did at least one good thing in that everyone now had a job, he was told that many of the factories were not working full time because of the shortage of material. The factory on the corner (i.e. source’s target), they said, was only working half time for this very reason. Some of these factory workers took sandwiches to this pub at lunchtime and ate them with a glass of beer. There were some 35 to 40 workers altogether. As the publican’s dog became too interested in his chocolate ration which he was carrying in his Wäschetasche, source thought it safer to leave.

    At 8.30pm source arrived at the target for action. He believes that the general idea of the plan he was to carry out was well-conceived, but his attempt failed chiefly because he found it impossible to carry out the job alone. It necessitated forcing three doors and preparing charges, all of which required at least one man to watch and one man to do the job. He had been told to find help locally if possible but, as his appearance, papers etc. were wrong, he had not time to do this as he wanted to get away as soon as possible. Source stresses that agents going into Germany should be well aware of the fact that the dress, equipment, documents and discipline of the German Army are 100% smart and efficient and that there is no slackening in any of these respects.

    Source found that the main entrance to the building was locked, so took a side entrance through one of the blocks of flats. He had been told that the factory was on the first floor and from here he heard voices and saw lights. He went for a drink to a small pub about 800 yards away and over the radio heard a pre-air-raid-alarm - something to the effect that a strong force of enemy planes was approaching such and such a point in Germany. Some of the people rushed out to shelters and source made his way back to the target and waited approximately half an hour. He had nowhere to prepare his charges, so decided to prepare them inside the factory. The entrances to the flats were brightly lit and source noticed plenty of lights in the windows and also in the streets outside. There seemed to be no strict black-out. Source had prepared two pieces of strong wire for picking the door locks and examined the first of these which did not prove to be very tough. He went back to the main entrance to have another look round and suddenly heard some women shouting, 'Burglars', whereupon two policemen appeared. Source could have killed the two policemen, but he realised that it would take at least 10 minutes to pick the three locks and prepare his charges, by which time the alarm would most certainly have been raised. He decided then that the job could not possibly be done single-handed, so took the main entrance and walked out into Prenzlauer Allee and sauntered down the street, trying not to appear in a hurry. Fortunately, there were some heaps of debris on the pavement, also there were plenty of people about, so he was easily able to avoid two shots which were fired after him. He escaped via Belforter Strasse to Lothringer Strasse where he boarded a tram to Moritz Platz. He walked about 200 yards and threw away the two pieces of wire into a drain. He took another tram and alighted at the next stop where he had a beer at the nearest pub...” Special Operations Executive, Series 1, Parts 1 to 5
    Lindele likes this.
  3. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  4. HMS_Otus

    HMS_Otus Junior Member

    I take it the info I posted above is connected to your link here :unsure:Viewing Image: Robert Baker-Byrne - Special Forces - Roll Of Honour

    Thanks for looking wtid45,

    Yes indeed that is a short extract on my Grandfather's Berlin mission.

    The National Archive has the full 14 page SOE debrief covering four tense days hiding in plain sight in Nazi Germany.

    What I am interested is in what other agents were up to in Germany.
  5. HMS_Otus

    HMS_Otus Junior Member

  6. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    ME means Military Establishment. Here's a little on ME42 which was also based in Germany at the end of the war in a counter-intelligence role: Arcre - SOE Military Establishment 42

  7. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    J, do you have a copy of his SOE personal file? Detecting your browser settings
    If not, I'm sure member Jedburgh (Steven) could sort you out with a copy.
  8. HMS_Otus

    HMS_Otus Junior Member

    J, do you have a copy of his SOE personal file? Detecting your browser settings
    If not, I'm sure member Jedburgh (Steven) could sort you out with a copy.

    I have an unwieldy A3 paper copy of the file, a digital copy would be much appreciated.

    What gets me is my Grandfather was a fashion designer with his father's business one of the top couturiers in Berlin dressing the movie stars (Dietrich etc) of elite of 1920s-1930s Germany, quite a contrast to SOE training where he was always last around the assault course.

    He was in the German Cavalry for a couple of years, not sure what he did there, are there records for 1928-1929?.

    I have attached an ad for the fashion house from around 1920.


    Attached Files:

  9. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Hi PM me your email address and I will send an invite to the SOE Discussion group and your address for the files on disc.

  10. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    J, did you grandfather have any involvement in propaganda work for SOE?
    Those fashion designs remind me of similar illustrations used on an early SOE propaganda booklet.
  11. HMS_Otus

    HMS_Otus Junior Member

    J, did you grandfather have any involvement in propaganda work for SOE?
    Those fashion designs remind me of similar illustrations used on an early SOE propaganda booklet.

    I have not heard of him doing illustrations or similar for SOE, although he was apparently a very good illustrator and had studied art in Paris.

  12. HMS_Otus

    HMS_Otus Junior Member

    Hi All,

    Just received the scans of Operation Branston from the National Archive last week, it comes to 178 pages of which some of the content appears to be duplicated.

    The original aim of the mission was to connect with German resistance near Lubeck and disrupt U-Boat activity.

    Elsewhere I have seen it mentioned that disruption might involve assassinating U-Boat captains but there is no mention of this in the file.

    Amongst the kit issued were a Welrod and U-Boat pills!
  13. rrlutz

    rrlutz Member

    RE ME 61...don't know how it relates to your question but I have ME 61 as an SOE communications facility located at Torre E Mare in Italy
  14. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Another that I have been looking at for the SOE is ME62. Does anyone know where that was?
  15. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    Military Establishment 62 was Force 133 Headquarters Cairo, Egypt, as the relevant war establishment VIII/788 says. It came in 4 versions, all with the same title (first date is 'published in A.C.I.', second is 'effective date'):
    1: 28.06.1944 - 12.04.1944
    2: 27.12.1944 - 27.10.1944
    3: 21.02.1945 - 01.01.1945
    4: 02.05.1945 - 01.05.1945
    Version 4 was cancelled by 31.12.1945 (A.C.I.: 05.06.1946).
    Last edited: May 24, 2019
  16. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    Thanks for the help
  17. nemesis

    nemesis Senior Member

    I just noticed another abbreviation on my subject research which was MO 4 can you advise what MO4 was please
  18. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    SOE in France

    King's Collections : Archive Catalogues : DOBRSKI, Lt Col Count Julian A (fl 1939-1953) alias Lt Col Julian Antony Dolbey : 1-44: Papers
    Undated Special Operations Executive (SOE) memorandum (section, source or author not given) entitled 'Security as she is done - MO4 version', comprising satirical account of a mythical agent employed by MO4 (SOE Cairo, Egypt) whose employment is marked by bungled bureaucracy.


    Target Corinth Canal

    Pirie, Ian
    MO4 B6 = Greek Section based in Cairo

  19. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Re-organisation: of MO4 as Force 133 and of 280 FS section; creation of B9 (Turkey)... | The National Archives
    Reference: HS 5/522
    Re-organisation: of MO4 as Force 133 and of 280 FS section; creation of B9 (Turkey) section
    Date: 1943-1944
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: 406
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description


    MO4 in WW1 - The Young T. E. Lawrence

    Obituary: Lt-Col Tony Simonds | The Independent
    26 Jan 1999 - TONY SIMONDS played an important part behind the scenes in the ... MO4 was absorbed into the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the ...
    Last edited: May 31, 2019
    Aixman likes this.
  20. Bernard O'Connor

    Bernard O'Connor Junior Member

    Better late than never. I'm researching agents infiltrated into Germany and have the SOE's History of their German and Austrian Section which provides the details you wanted. Contact me. Bernard O'Connor

Share This Page