Dutch Homefront

Discussion in 'Others' started by JeremyScott, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. JeremyScott

    JeremyScott Junior Member

    Why was the Dutch Underground regarded as second class by the British? Especially since they prvided key evidence right before the invasion of Sepp Detrich 2nd SS Panzer Division being in the area and they basically laid out the German troop displacements. Im just curious as to why they were ignored??

    Jeremy
     
  2. angie999

    angie999 Very Senior Member

    I think you mean II SS Panzer Corps, composed of the remnants of 9 and 10 SS Panzer Divisions. They actually had less than 40 tanks between them and neither division amounted to more than what we Brits would call a brigade group. They were sent there to refit and rebuild after Normandy.

    The resistance was by no means the only source of intelligence about them. Their presence had also been identified by ULTRA.
     
  3. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    While I cannot be specifc without tracing back some research, was there not evidence that the Dutch underground had been infiltrated and therefore not informed of imminent actions to avoid plans being divulged to the Germans?
     
  4. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I agree with Spidge and there was some belief (justified or not I cant remember) that the Underground was not reliable and was, therefore, not to be trusted. I'll and dig some info on this.
     
  5. Meyer

    Meyer Junior Member

    images/smilies/default/cool.gif Agree with Spidge.
    "SOE had suffered a disaster in the Netherlands when their agents had been captured and for over a year they were sent false information by the Germans." (The Real Heroes of Telemark pg 136 Ray Mears 2005).
    This is possibly why any info out of the Netherlands was taken with a pinch of salt??? images/smilies/default/huh.gif
     
  6. Kiwiwriter

    Kiwiwriter Very Senior Member

    The British stopped trusting the Dutch Underground after they learned that the Germans had catpured most of their agents and were transmitting false material. The RAF had been delivering men and supplies right into German hands. The agents wound up in concentration camps and the supplies to the SS and Abwehr. After that, the British were understandably gun-shy about Dutch Underground information. Not the fault of British stupidity,but German cleverness. Try "Operation North Pole" by Bernard Giskes.
     
  7. mattgibbs

    mattgibbs Senior Member

    With regard to the SOE failures they were a great dela to do with the clevernes of the germans getting information from the first few agents they captured. It then appeared to subsiquent agents who were arrested that the germans knew virtually everything about SOE and the Dutch ops. This was not quite the case but the germans cleverly made it appear so and thus every agent added a little more to the picture over a period of well over a year.
    Partly the inept way, hardly any other way to call it, in which some personnel of the SOE HQ dealt which the flow of information revealled more to the Germans.
    In fact, the first agent parachuted out as a radio operator was captured. There were 2 safety checks that the operator was supposed to put into his messages, at a certain point a letter on a word should be transposed and a safety message either inserted or a key phrase left out. The operator, wishing to make sure HQ knew he was compromised, and in enemy hands, left out both the checks to alert the hopefully keen HQ to his plight.
    They did nothign of the kind. Completely foolishly they reminded him about the checks in another message!!!!! How completely stupid is that??? In my view and probably the agents, a really inexcusable act. It put the agent into more danger by showing the germans he was in fact lying to them. Thus the Gestapo and RSHA got to know even more about the SOE procedures. Sadly many agents and hundreds of tons of stores were parachuted to waiting Germans, after a string of radio errors like the one above.
    Eventually the Germans began to realsie that perhaps SOE had started to cotton on to the problem. This was partly due to intelligence being smuggled out of a neutral country. Several agents died tragically by hanging, firing squad and in the concentration camps because of this kind of slip ups.
    The resepct and trust that the Dutch underground and SOE co-operation had was in my view dealt a serious blow by this Gestapo and Intelligence coup,

    MG
     
  8. missjoeri

    missjoeri Junior Member

    Recent books on the subject suggest that the game was actually played by the british secret service, they knew what was going on and used the whole thing to feed them false information.
    One of the few surviving agents was convinced this was the case, when the Dutch wanted to investigate the Englandspiel there was a small fire in the SOE archives... just destroyong the files on this subject...
    But it seems there are some documents left that prove or at least suggest that the people at the top of SOE knew their agents were being captured.

    Either way the British didnt trust the Dutch resistance in some cases but the failure within the resistance was partially to blame on the Brits themself.

    Around Arnhem Prince Bernhard, contact for the Dutch resistance tried to convince Montgomery that his plan could fail.
    Besides giving information on german troops given to the prince by the local resistance, he also gave information about the area.
    Warning that the road wouldnt be good enough to allow much heavy traffic.
    He was ignored.
     
  9. Herakles

    Herakles Senior Member

    Why was the Dutch Underground regarded as second class by the British? Im just curious as to why they were ignored??

    Jeremy

    The British have a habit of regarding just about everyone else as second class.
     
  10. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The British have a habit of regarding just about everyone else as second class.

    Ah, an example of why Australians are regarded as the most balanced of all peoples - A chip on each shoulder !:)
     
    von Poop likes this.
  11. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    The book mentioned by Kiwiwriter - Operation Northpole by Bernard Giskes.

    I have a copy from 1953 called London calling Northpole by H J Giskes. Very informative. It might be the same book!!
     
  12. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

  13. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Does anyone here honestly believe what they read in books? Books are created to make money for the Authors, Time and again they got the whole thing entirely wrong. They use each others material. much of it is written with the authors prejudices firmly in place.

    To say that the Veterans just cannot believe what is written at times is an understatement.
    We never came into contact with any Dutch underground fighters, I did meet up with some of the Belgium "White army" To be honest, they seemed to me that they were no more than a bunch of thugs out for their own ends. But that is my impression!.
    Sapper
     
  14. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    What people tend to forget, is that most able bodied Dutch men were trying not to be taken away as forced labour to Germany (One of my uncles ended up in Hamburg from '41 to 45 and another lived in a cellar for most of the war hidden from the Germans by my GrandFather). It was too dangerous and too easy to be caught on so many levels.
     
  15. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    Trawling through my list of favourites on WW2, I found one on the Dutch Resistance Museum, which may be of some interest. It is not about the Dutch underground, but part of the site is about the different ways that people dealt with the occupation.

    Click on Verzetsmuseum - The Netherlands - Photo's expositions

    Just work your way through the periods of the war on the left hand side of the page. Quite interesting.

    Another link to a paper presented at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1999

    Survival and Resistance: The Netherlands Under Nazi Assault

    Robert
     
  16. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I believe that we have gone off the track here as Jeremy's question relates to the INVASION troop dispositions - not neccessarily the Ahrnem Operation - two different ball games - the Dutch resistence had been infitrated leading to the British not being able to trust them - and treating them as second class !

    As Herakles points out - " the British treated everyone as second class" - he is of course absolutely right as this was a throwback to the Mighty British Empire when - in fact - everyone was second class !

    Those deported to Australia for stealing a loaf of bread - for example - became landowners after time served....
    cheers
     
  17. Buteman

    Buteman 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    I don't believe I was going off track.

    I was merely adding a wider perspective to this thread, in trying to show what the Dutch did do, despite how they were perceived to have been treated and under what difficult circumstances.

    The links I provided were trying to give readers a broader understanding.

    I know from my Dutch relatives how they were treated by the liberating soldiers and they sure as hell did not feel 2nd class.

    :nlflag[1]:
     
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Ramacal
    I was merely pointing out that Jeremy's initial posting mentioned the troop dispositions of the INVASION forces and why the British thought that the Dutch information was held to be of a second class nature - appears to me that some people went off track by aligning this with the information from the Dutch resistence prior to Market Garden.

    Your efforts to widen the scope of the discussion are well meritied and I am sure that the sufferings of the Dutch people during the German occupation are fairly well known to many of the participants of this forum. In fact I would hazard a guess that many took part in the relief of that same suffering such as the three Infantry and two Armoured Canadian divisions along with many British and Polish Divisions. For which I might add that the Dutch Government continue to send thousands of flower bulbs to Canada every year in thanksgiving.

    However the nub of Jeremy's question really - in my view - relates to why the British thought that the information merited such a classification - you of course are entirely welcome to have an opposing view - as do others !
    Cheers
     
  19. levien

    levien Just a member

    Recent books on the subject suggest that the game was actually played by the british secret service, they knew what was going on and used the whole thing to feed them false information.
    One of the few surviving agents was convinced this was the case, when the Dutch wanted to investigate the Englandspiel there was a small fire in the SOE archives... just destroyong the files on this subject...
    But it seems there are some documents left that prove or at least suggest that the people at the top of SOE knew their agents were being captured.

    Either way the British didnt trust the Dutch resistance in some cases but the failure within the resistance was partially to blame on the Brits themself.



    Dutch agents even managed to escape from a prison in Holland, travelled half of Europe, returned to Britain, warned SOE that alle was lost, but ... to no avail. The droppings and broadcasts went on.

    Levien.
     
  20. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    One of the few surviving agents was convinced this was the case, when the Dutch wanted to investigate the Englandspiel there was a small fire in the SOE archives... just destroyong the files on this subject...
    But it seems there are some documents left that prove or at least suggest that the people at the top of SOE knew their agents were being captured.

    Either way the British didnt trust the Dutch resistance in some cases but the failure within the resistance was partially to blame on the Brits themself.

    Around Arnhem Prince Bernhard, contact for the Dutch resistance tried to convince Montgomery that his plan could fail

    One thing that's often neglected in discussions of the Engladspiel and the "Dutch Underground"...is that the SOE-supplied and "networked" organisation was just ONE of many!

    There were TWO large and separate networks that answered directly to the Dutch Government In Exile, and two more smaller locality-based ones...AND the organisation behind and supporting the Onderduikers, which didn't receive financial aid or material assistance from any of the others!
     

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