Category: Research Topics

How Genuine was William Stephenson (Cable Address Intrepid)?

How Genuine was William Stephenson (Cable Address Intrepid)?

Q: A man called Intrepid?

I just read William Stevenson’s A Man Called Intre­pid. One of the cen­ter­pieces recounts the “secret war,” includ­ing espi­onage and covert action, was Ultra/Enigma and Bletch­ley Park’s activities.

Above all, the book states, Churchill meant to keep the Ultra secret. It claims Churchill knew the Nazis’ plan to car­pet-bomb Coven­try in Novem­ber 1940—and did noth­ing. He says Churchill feared giv­ing away the fact the the British were read­ing Ger­man codes.  Have you read this account?  I think you found that claim to be false. Was Stephen­son the British super-spy his biog­ra­ph­er insists he was?…

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Mamoru Shigemitsu: “When you have to kill a man…”

Mamoru Shigemitsu: “When you have to kill a man…”

Q: Ambassador Shigemitsu

Churchill was crit­i­cized for his extreme­ly respect­ful let­ter to the Japan­ese Ambas­sador to Britain in Decem­ber 1941, when inform­ing him that their coun­tries were at war. Churchill’s response to crit­ics was, “After all, when you have to kill a man it costs noth­ing to be polite.” Was Shigemit­su acual­ly killed?  —W.H., New York

A: No, he lived on

Churchill was writ­ing in the abstract, so did not actu­al­ly pro­pose to slay the Ambas­sador. Mamoru Shigemit­su  was Japan­ese ambas­sador to the Sovi­et Union 1936–38 and to Britain 1938–41. Fol­low­ing Japan’s attacks of Decem­ber 1941 he received unham­pered pas­sage home.…

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German Resistance: “Driven by the Restlessness of their Conscience”

German Resistance: “Driven by the Restlessness of their Conscience”

Questions on the Weiss Rose resistance

A Ger­man par­lia­men­tary jour­nal quotes Churchill on the Ger­man resis­tance to Hitler: “These men and women fought with­out help from with­in or with­out, dri­ven only by the rest­less­ness of their con­science.  As long as they lived they were invis­i­ble and unrec­og­niz­able to us. In their death, the resis­tance became vis­i­ble. Their deeds and sac­ri­fices are the foun­da­tion of the recon­struc­tion.” (Hans-Adolf Jacob­sen, Ger­mans Against Hitler, 3rd ed., Berto-Ver­lag, Bonn, 1960; Bar­ry Sul­li­van, Thresh­olds of Peace, 1979).  I can­not find the orig­i­nal doc­u­ment and some­what doubt its authen­tic­i­ty. …

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