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HARRY WILLIAMSON, parachuted into
To his British spy chiefs Schmidt was known simply as
“Tate” - he was thought to resemble the music-ball comic, Harry Tate.
His value to
Towards the end of the war in
The next year he operated similarly before D-Day,
embellishing his reports with news of fictitious plans for additional
Wulf Schmidt was born in 1911 at Abenra, South
Jutland, an area which had been German-occupied since the Prussian war of
1854 and returned to
On the night of Sept 19th 1940 Captain Karl
Gartenfeld of the Luftwaffe took off from
He was ill prepared to resist interrogation. He was obviously very confused both by our duodecimal currency system and by the ration coupons with which he had been issued. Expecting torture, he was astonished by his courteous reception and generous offers of whisky.
On Oct 16th1940, after recovering his buried radio,
be called up
To gain the trust of his supposed controllers “Tate” fed back some fairly accurate information. But on occasions neither he nor his minders could resist a touch of cheek: on Sept21 1944 he recorded, “On the occasion of this, my 1000th message, I beg you to convey to our Fuhrer my humble greetings and ardent wishes for a speedy victorious termination of the war.”
After the war he remained in
MORE: Barry Hayter, Great Grandson of Col. Langton provided the following account with further details of the incident:
|The German spy that you have reference to was
the Dane Wulf Schmidt who parachuted into England on 19 September 1940. He
drifted down close to RAF Oakington’s AA Battery near the Cambridgeshire
village of Willingham. He had smashed his wrist watch on a strut as he
jumped from the Black Nazi Heinkel 111. The next morning he walked into
Willingham and bought a new pocket watch and washed a slightly swollen
ankle in the village pump and bought a copy of The Times.
He had breakfast in a small cafe and started to retrace his way back to the field near Half Moon Bridge where he had hidden his wireless and suitcase. At 10:00 am, just as he was crossing the village green, he was challenged by Private Tom Cousins of the local Home Guard and escorted to their headquarters, the Three Tuns public house. Here he was interrogated by Colonel Langton, the commander of the Home Guard detachment.
Schmidt carried false papers and claimed to be a refugee. The explanation was considered unsatisfactory and a telephone call was made to County Police in Cambridge. Shortly before lunchtime on 20 September 1940 Schmidt was collected from the Three Tuns and driven into Cambridge, where he submitted to further questioning. By this time there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that he was a German spy. Chief Constable Pearson of Cambridge call in the RLSO, (Regional Security Liaison Officer) Captain Dixon.
They decided to keep their prisoner in Cambridge overnight and then send him down to Camp 020 by car the following day. On the morning of 21 September 1940 Schmidt was taken out of his cell and put in the back of an unmarked MI5 sedan and was driven down to Camp 020 for professional interrogation by trained British counter-espionage personnel who had experience breaking down German agents. Schmidt resisted interrogation for thirteen days using his false legend.
At the end of the thirteen day of interrogation, he eventually capitulated and agreed to be a turned double agent and work for the British if they would spare his life. Schmidt was soon released from Camp 020 and driven into the Home Counties where he was placed under guard and supervision of a British ham radio operator. Shortly before midnight on 13 October 1940 he made radio contact with Hamburg without incident. He continued to transmit misleading information to the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence) until the end of the war.
MI5 dubbed him TATE because of his likeness to Harry Tate, the popular music-hall comedian. After the war, he remained in Britain and married a British woman and became a successful business man.
I hope this answers your question. There was not any German spies operating independently under German control in Great Britain during the Second World War. They were either ALL turned as double agents under British control, incarcerated, expelled, or executed via death penality.
Nigel West. MI5:British Security Service Operations 1909-1945. Stein & Day (New York:1982)