William Martin, commander of the Second World War that never existed

William Martin, commander of the Second World War that never existed


Let me tell you the details of Operation Mincemeat, one of the stratagems of counterintelligence most curious history.

on the morning of the last day of April, 1943, a fisherman of Portuguese origin came upon something unexpected and unpleasant on the edge of the extensive onubense sandy beach of El Portil , along whose coast the government of dictator Francisco Franco had built bukers if the Allies they are happening invade Spain during World War II. Vio the body of a man in military fatigues , boots, coat and life jacket, a portfolio that was tied to the body with a string and singed face. He took the harbor and alerted the authorities; and when the Abwehr agents featured in Huelva like the rest of the country was full of them because Franco sympathized with the Nazi regime they were able to see the contents of the wallet a few days later, they could not help but think they were of luck.

the British dead carrying a letter of vital importance

When the Spanish authorities checked the belongings he had with him, found the passport of one William Martin, Welsh captain of the Royal Navy thirty-four year old who had qualified as commander, with his picture on it. Thus, the body was entrusted to the British vice-consul F.K. Hazeldene, who requested a forensic examination, and this revealed that the subject had drowned and had been at sea for three to five days, but was not made a full autopsy because he wore a silver cross neck and hacérsela would be wrong to be a Catholic. he was not conducted a full autopsy because he wore a cross around his neck and it would be wrong to be a Catholic

a month later, the Times a list of low British was published by war and, along with that of two officers who traveled by plane to Gibraltar and had perished at sea drop the device during the journey, name appeared Martin : the story tallied with the forensic examination. But it had become very interesting when, among other things of little avail, had found portfolio a pass from Combined Operations Headquarters and a significant letter Sir Archibald Nye, Deputy Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Sir Harold Alexander, British commander in north Africa.

mincemeat operation

Booklets William Martin – Wikipedia.org

the letter explaining the so-called Operation Husky , which was being organized so that, while Sir Henry Wilson, general and Knight of the British Empire, attacked Greece , Alexander himself did the same in Sardinia and Corsica, both in the hands of the Axis; and also is planned to confuse the Germans who believed they were going to disembark in Sicily . And in a found letter next to each other, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations, she told Sir Andrew Cunningham, Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean that Martin carried the Nye Alexander to deliver it in person because it contained information enough sensible to do so through the usual channels, just in case. And after the discovery of the body, the Admiralty sent communications key to naval attache in Madrid urgently to return the contents of the wallet as soon as possible by the substance, especially the first letter, which should not fall into the wrong hands. Hitler, following information cards carrying Martin, reinforced their armies in Sardinia, Corsica and Greece to repel allied attacks

in mid-May, the documents were back. But it was too late: if Adolf Clauss, technician in German agriculture and member of the Abwehr, was aware that the fisherman had stumbled on the body the same day that this happened, he and other agents knew of the letters and not without some obstacles, could photograph as implied portfolio and send the result to Berlin to be studied by the intelligence services Germans, who had deciphered communications Admiralty the naval attache and then he saw the name of Martin in the Times .

Then Hitler openly disagreed with Mussolini about where they planned to land the Allies , strengthened his armies in Sardinia, Corsica and Greece, sending the latter two divisions Panzer and General Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, and rubbed his hands with satisfaction. He could not know at that time that would eventually directing phantom armies from the bottom of a Berlin bunker as the Third Reich around him was falling apart.

Why the Nazis meat swallowed chopped into disrepair

Deceiving the enemy to give a slip and take advantage of it to get a tactical advantage is a play that has been not infrequently in armed conflicts, and a few during World War . The most famous Teasing hair was organized along the same was the Operation Bodyguard, which made the success of the landing in Normandy in 1944. But there were others, as before Operation Bertram to outwit Rommel in Egypt in 1942, the Soviet Bagration to march to Germany from Belarus in 1944 and the Viersen will advance to the allies and to the heart of the country in 1945. also, British Operation Mincemeat , approved by Churchill himself, 1943 .

mincemeat operation

‘The Man Who Never Was’ film Ronald Neame – 20th Century Fox

A lieutenant commander and naval intelligence officer named Ewen Montagu , which was part of the Committee of Twenty and thus commanded a division of MI5 focused on counterintelligence, returned an idea of ​​Charles Cholmondeley , captain of the RAF also integrated the MI5, which was basically use a corpse alleged classified information to misinform the enemy: such was neither more nor less, the assumption William Martin ; and all data that the Germans thought they had collected about him and what he was carrying, was completely false. All data that the Germans thought they had collected about William Martin, as well as carrying, was completely false

make credible the identity of Martin, his mission and the circumstances of his death , choose the plane crash at sea because the Nazis knew that never dispatched as confidential documents on flights over hostile territory, included in the portfolio other everyday objects like love letters and photographs with such a nonexistent girlfriend as Martin theater tickets, invoices, bank correspondence own and even a set of keys and both communications Admiralty to naval attache in Madrid, the encryption key was simple, as the list with the name Martin in the Times were only intended to deepen the deception. And the cross hanging from his neck really are put there to prevent an autopsy .

Dressed the unfortunate corpse in a uniform of the Royal Navy, which kept on ice in a sealed and container boarded the British submarine HMS Seraph the , which set sail on April 19 bound for a point in the Atlantic located one mile south of the Huelva coast. Once there, they rose and Navy Lt. Norman Jewell and his officers, who had not known anything about the operation until that moment, pulled Martin container, other subordinates had come up on deck before they send remain under it , they put the life jacket, tied his portfolio, prayed a biblical psalm and fell to dead in the water gently and hope that dragged the current to the beach, as happened .

 mincemeat operation

landings Sicily – Wikipedia.org

the rest of the story is well known: the ruse of Operation Mincemeat Mince or worked , Montagu did get Churchill a telegram that read: “they have swallowed whole minced meat”, and the Allies landed in Sicily , as Mussolini thought during the real Operation Husky, facing little resistance, and the island, not only lacked reinforcements, but even leafminer ships, minesweepers and patrol cars were stationed there had been sent to other sites. Over two weeks, the Germans did not react because they remained convinced that this landing was nothing more than a distraction, and the occupation of Sicily ended in August, after a month of the start of the operation.

a round with the true identity of William Martin

Montagu told in his book the Man Who Never Was , published in 1953 and adapted by Ronald Neame with a film in 1956, the body to which he disguised the imaginary commander was a man who had died of pneumonia at a hospital in London . However, the official Roger Morgan said in 1996 that had found evidence in government papers declassified in question actually an alcoholic Welshman beggar, who had succumbed to ingesting rat poison to kill himself and answered to the name of Glyndwr Michael. According to declassified government papers and a memorandum by the officer commanding the operation, the body belongs to a Welsh beggar who killed himself called Glyndwr Michael

But lo, John and Noreen Steele, Colin Gibbon, Jesus Ramirez Copeiro and Enrique Nielsen, joining research in 2003, proposed that the body belonged truly one of the 379 sailors who perished in the explosion and sinking of the British aircraft carrier HMS Dasher, which occurred in March 1943 at the Scottish Firth of Clyde and John own eyes as a child. Only it came to bury twelve sailors, and families who claimed the government were shut his mouth with a “top secret” and Montagu met with Jewell four days after the catastrophe company to explain how it would take place the operation Mincemeat.

the same Jewell felt that it was very unlikely that the corpse of a poisoned beggar had been used in the operation, among other reasons, because he had to take the hit of a drowned and stratagem was so important that they could not afford to fail at something. In fact, the Seraph sailed from the base of Blyth, northeast England to the Holy Loch, in the northwest of Scotland, about eighteen miles from the watery grave of Dasher, before marching towards the coast of Huelva, and Montagu states that transported the body from London to Holy Loach, which does not seem to make sense if the Seraph was before much closer in Blyth.

mincemeat operation

Tomb of William Martin in the cemetery of Huelva – Espanabizarra.tumblr.com

in addition, one of the women told Montagu team after he was first with the body of a beggar but as came to decompose too and not look like a drowned, he decided to use a sea of ​​Dasher, whose explosion can even explain why the fisherman who found him on the beach of El Portil said he saw the scorched face. And to finish the story, it turns out that the son of Adolf Clauss, that agent of the Abwehr highlighted in Huelva during the war, he says his father told him that the Germans took to Martin after being buried in the cemetery of Huelva for practicarle an autopsy depth at the base of La Spezia, where they arrived by submarine, and that the tomb is empty the tomb of William Martin has always had fresh flowers. Isabel Naylor continues leaving them as his father, an English émigré, had made

However, Denis Smyth, a historian at the University of Toronto, crossed out this theory conspiranoica in 2010 , and claims to have found a memorandum of Montagu in informing senior officials that there is no danger that the scheme despite the poisoning is discovered, and therefore the body of Martin, which itself is buried in the cemetery Huelva, is Glyndwr Michael , whose name had been added to the headstone after the declassification of documents. His tomb has always had fresh flowers, whose mysterious origin cleared in 2002 when it was learned that is Isabel Naylor, daughter of an English émigré, which leaves them there continuing the tradition of his father, made by the Government British decorated it. But I do not think the fake Commander William Martin, whoever he is, he cares too much at this point.


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William Martin, commander of the Second World War that never existed
Source: english  
April 24, 2016


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