Blue Ring Assassins


“What a great concept, love the plot.” USA

“Gripping novel, the historical aspect of the novel really interested me. I love historical fiction generally, so this was a great read.” South Africa

“I commend you on the plot, I love the plot! Great read.” Spain

“This is truly such an interesting and unique story and I think it would make a great series.” Slovenia

Berlin 1939 – 1943
From the smoking ruins of a bombed Berlin brothel, three shocked and injured female survivors are taken to a secluded training facility by Nazi officer, Gruppenführer Watler Schellenberg. They’re not there for official business but for medical treatment.
Trained by the SS officer in all aspects of espionage, the women are desperate to survive. They turn the tables on their armed captors and kill them. After covering their tracks, the women return to ply the only trade they know… with an added twist. Somehow these ‘sisters in arms’ escape the attention of the Nazis, despite the high rank of their victim, and their lucrative business thrives.
They haven’t escaped everyone’s notice though. British Intelligence were monitoring Schellenberg’s operations for some time, and their attention has zeroed in on the three women. They dispatch one of their top male agents to make contact…

Kindle copy: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0851MPN8Z

Paperback: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Ring-Assassins-ruthless-killers/dp/B0851MXFX4

Grab yours TODAY!!!

happy reading, please don’t forget to leave a book review, thanks guys

10 hardly known facts about WWII

  1. There were actually 25 Planned assassinations of Hitler

During 1932 – 1944 Hitler was under constant threat from some of his closest advisers and high-ranking officers, there was actually twenty-five (25) planned assassination attempts on Hitler, however, in the main, the Gestapo intercepted and stopped most of the attempts although three (3) did almost succeed.

1933 – Hitler was poisoned whilst eating with friends at the Kaiserhof hotel in Berlin, although they all became ill, none died.  1939 – Hitler was giving a speech at Burgerbraukeller/Beer Hall, Munich, bomb explodes just minutes after Hitler leaves, killing eight (8), injuring six (6) and finally 1944 – Wolf’s Lair bombing were many top ranking officers died and Hitler sustained some injuries to his right side and arm.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assassination_attempts_on_Adolf_Hitler

 

  1. British kill 750,000 Pets in one week

During the summer of 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC) was formed. It drafted a notice – Advice to Animal Owners. The pamphlet stated the following: “If at all possible, send or take your household animals into the country in advance of an emergency.” And finally stating: “If you cannot place them in the care of neighbours, it really is kindest to have them destroyed.”

At the outbreak of WWII, 750,000 pets are destroyed by their British owners in one week, their decisions to do this could only be attributed to one of three reasons, 1. they might be bombed. 2. They couldn’t afford them due to food rationing being introduced and finally due to them going off to war.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24478532

 

 

  1. Early warning and Anti-Tank Dogs

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The US Marine Corps trained and used dogs for sniffing out enemy positions as well as early warnings systems for on coming soldiers attempting to sneak up on them, however, this was nothing compared to the Russian trained dogs.

anti-tank-dogs

Between 1941 – 1942 The Russian’s trained dogs to run/walk up to enemy tanks with explosives strapped to their backs, worked well in training, but in actual war conditions the dogs would get scared off by all the noises, once the explosive fuse was lit, they would be sent towards their target.  All the gun fire would send them running back to their handler’s trenches, at which time the explosives would detonate, killing everyone within range.

https://ww2gravestone.com/dogs-at-world-war-2/

 

  1. British MI6 pay Spain £200 million to keep then out of WWII

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Hitler had for many years developed a solid relationship with Francisco Franco, ruler of Spain, in a hope that he would join the Axis powers during WWII, but what he didn’t realise was that one of his top rank-officers, Canaris was working against this happening. Canaris would lie to both sides constantly.  The British knew that Spain favoured the Axis powers during the second world war, in fact, and so much so that Spain actually sent men to fight on the eastern front against the Russians, but Spain would not allow any of their men to fight on the western front in fear of war been declared against them from the Allies.

In an attempt to keep them out of the war British MI6 constantly gave bribes to Franco, his brother-in-law Suner and other top officials to the equivalent of £200 million pound in today’s money.  Both Franco and Suner were close friends with Hermann Wilhelm Göring know for selling stolen art taken from all over Europe, by some of the great artists of the world and sell them to Suner, they were often seen together in Berlin.  So, indirectly the British were possibly lining Goring’s pockets.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain_during_World_War_II

 

  1. Nazi Intelligence service use Berlin brothel to spy on their own

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Reinhard Heydrich, police chief and the general of the SS, ordered his second in command Walter Schellenberg to take thirty (30) women, from the streets, trained them in all aspects of espionage.  Then placed them in a top-class Berlin brothel “Salon Kitty” to collect secrets and individual opinions, then report back to the officers in charge.  They had to provide a report on every client prior to taking the next one.

In 1940 and in retaliation for the bombing of London, the allied forces started bombing Berlin and the brothel was raised to the ground.  The owner of the salon Madam Katherine Schmidt was allowed to re-open another salon but this time without any interference from the SS, it was deemed that the intelligence collected was in fact insignificant and the whole mission was scrapped.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salon_Kitty

 

  1. US volunteers fighting with Allied forces prior to 1941

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The US entered WWII in September 1941, however very few people know that American volunteers had actually been fighting with the allies well over a year prior to this date.  Eagle Squadron was an all American, fighter squadron of the RAF.  They played a major part in keeping the US ships safe crossing the Atlantic Ocean with supplies as well as later on fighting over Europe.

Three Eagle Squadrons were formed between September 1940 and July 1941. On 29 September 1942, they were turned over to the Eighth Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Forces and became the 4th Fighter Group. Of the thousands who volunteered, only 244 Americans served with the Eagle Squadrons.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagle_Squadrons

 

  1. Calvin Leon Graham(April 3, 1930 – November 6, 1992)

Graham was the youngest serviceman to enlist in the US Navy.  Enlisting on August 15, 1942, at the age of 12 in Houston, Texas after the attack on Pearl Harbour, having to lie about his age, he was excepted.  After basic training lasting six weeks in San Diego, California, he was sent to Pearl Harbour and was assigned to USS South Dakota. The whole crew of the South Dakota was given a Navy commendation for their role in the battle of Saint Cruz Island in 1942. Graham was in fact wounded during the Battle of Guadalcanal, receiving fragmentation wounds but he still managed to help pull others from the sea.  He was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart during his service.

Without permission from the US Navy he visited his grandmother’s funeral, although a day late, at this time his mother revealed his true age, subsequently he ended up serving three (3) months in a Texas brig.  He was discharged in 1943 after attempting to return to his ship, he also had all his medals revoked.  He then re-enlisted in 1948, aged 17, into the US Marine Corps which also ended early after an accident resulting in him breaking his back in 1951. Although now a veteran, he spent the rest of his life fighting for full medical benefits and clearing his military record.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_Graham

 

  1. Hitler’s direct family living in Britain and the US during WWII

William Patrick Stuart-Houston ( Hitler; 12 March 1911 – 14 July 1987) William was born to Hitler’s half-brother (Alois Hilter) and his wife (Bridget Dowling, in Liverpool.   Hitler’s half-nephew lived in Liverpool, in 1930 he moved to Germany looking for a chance to ride on his uncle’s success tails, uncle Hitler gave him a job in the Reichskreditbank in Berlin which he held for many years, however he became dissatisfied any went from one dead end job to another for a few years.  William soon graved a position of power and started sending blackmail letters to his uncle, threatening to provide newspapers with family secrets if he didn’t provide assistance.  Hitler responded 1938 by requesting William revoke his British citizenship in exchange for a high-ranking position, but he thought it was a trap and so fled Germany to the UK.

In 1939 a US newspaper magnate paid for William and his mother to travel to the USA to give lectures, war broke out and they became stranded there.  The then president (Roosevelt) gave in to a special request by William to join the US Navy in 1944 as a Pharmacist’s Mate. In 1947  he was discharged from the Navy, William Hitler changed his surname to “Stuart-Houston,” which was in fact, one of Adolf Hitler’s role models.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stuart-Houston

 

  1. Project Pigeon, pigeon guided bombs.

rock-dove-4884627_1920

During WWII American behaviourist B.F.Skinner launched a program to train pigeons to guide bombs to their targets.  One pigeon was placed at the front of the missile, in front of them was a picture of the target, as long as the pigeon kept pecking at the target the missile would continue towards the target.

The national defence committee thought the idea was eccentric to say the least, but that didn’t stop them investing $25,000.  Skinner did have some success though.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pigeon

 

  1. Queen Elizabeth trained as a driver/mechanic during WWII

September 1939 and Britain enters the second world war, it is suggested by one of the lords that the royal children should be evacuated to Canada.  This was however dismissed by their mother, stating, they will not go without me, I will not go without my husband (the King) and he is staying, so then are we.

During the first year of the war the royal children moved around the country and at fourteen years old princess Elizabeth gave her first ever radio announcement addressing other children who have had to go through the ordeal of evacuating the cities in to the countryside, leaving their families.

February 1945, Elizabeth was appointed an honorary  position in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, army number 230873 and was trained as a driver and mechanic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_II

 

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Recently released and available from Amazon.com, my book, WWII Thriller, based on authentic facts “Blue Ring Assassins” Kindle & Paperback.  https://www.amazon.com/Stephen-Cohen/e/B0852HJ9BK/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Book Release “Blue Ring Assassins” £0.99 on kindle

 

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Finally, the novel is completed!  (The secret to a successful novel)  Solid advertising, good reviews and a large slice of time & effort, from a self-publishing point of view that is.

Here is what the beta readers have had to say about the book:

What a great concept, love the plot.”  USA

Gripping novel, the historical aspect of the novel really interested me. I love historical fiction generally, so this was a great read.”   South Africa

I commend you on the plot, I love the plot! A great read.”  Spain

“This is truly such an interesting and unique story and I think it would make a great series.”    Slovenia

 

WWII espionage thriller based on authentic facts.  Here is the back page.

Berlin 1939  –  1943

From the smoking ruins of a bombed Berlin brothel, three shocked and injured female survivors are taken to a secluded training facility by Nazi officer, Gruppenführer Walter Schellenberg. They’re not there for official business but for medical treatment.

Trained by the SS officer in all aspects of espionage, the women are desperate to survive. They turn the tables on their armed captors and kill them. After covering their tracks, the women return to ply the only trade they know… with an added twist. Somehow these ‘sisters in arms’ escape the attention of the Nazis, despite the high rank of their victim, and their lucrative business thrives.

They haven’t escaped everyone’s notice though. British Intelligence was monitoring Schellenberg’s operations for some time, and their attention has zeroed in on the three women. They dispatch one of their top male agents to make contact…

 

To complement the story I have also written and produced five new tracks:

 

All tracks are referenced in the novel, this EP is now available through many of the leading online sites, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Deezer to mention just a few at a cost of £4.99.

To have a listen to these tracks use the youtube links below:

Now you will pay  – https://youtu.be/RV-8WHTD2CI

Evasion  –  https://youtu.be/Sno60GWa2P8

World to me  – https://youtu.be/ZDJWdPwbp50

Mission Ready  –  https://youtu.be/jdsFH0mExJk

This Time Mine  –  https://youtu.be/c89FJLOFIto

If you like them, please subscribe and hit the like button… 

 

https://music.apple.com/us/album/blue-ring-assassins-ep/1499664817?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Stephen_C_Blue_Ring_Assassins?id=Bxcqnoe3e6mkqmm4cugq2ub4in4

As I said my novel is now available on many online sites here are some of the links:

 

Here are some of the links, or simply search your prefered provider.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/stephen-cohen/blue-ring-assassins/ebook/product-24440800.html

KINDLE  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0851MPN8Z

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0851MXFX4

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=RzHSDwAAQBAJ

For a FREE copy of my novel (Blue Ring Assassins) and EP please use the form below:

Here is a great book marketing site: They are not affiliate links….

Let Us Help You Promote Your Book

Happy reading and listening!

You might also want to check out these two novels which are soon to be released by Empire fiction:

https://www.empirefiction.com/our-publications

Coming soon, book 2 in the “Blue Ring Assassins” series.

 

 

 

Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Museum (RAF Coningsby)

Watch it in Video format: https://youtu.be/TV1WxRpQHMk

“Never was so much owed by so many to so few”

(Churchill)

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From 10 July until 31 October 1940, pilots from Czechoslovakia, Poland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand joined the British RAF in the fight against the German Luftwaffe which has been describe as  the first major military campaign fought entirely by air forces.

The British memorial flight is housed at RAF Coningsby, situated in the heart of Lincolnshire which during WWII was known as (Bomber County) due to the twenty plus airfields dotted around this east coast county of the UK.

The museum is situated on the still fully active RAF base, Dogdyke Rd, Coningsby, Lincoln LN4 4SY .  As you travel out of the village you will see the base on your left, look out for the car park on the right, park your car, you CANNOT take any form of bag onto the base.

There is a cafe, gift shop and a small but informative display immediately upon entering the visitors centre.

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Hours

Thursday 10am–5pm
Friday 10am–5pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed
Monday 10am–5pm
Tuesday 10am–5pm
Wednesday 10am–5pm

cost: £8.00

The tour guide we had certainly knows his stuff,  he guides you through the hanger sharing his knowledge and sometimes funny stories.  Many of the planes actually flew during WWII in combat.

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Above is a picture of the aircraft machine guns.  As well as taking in what is going on in this operational hanger, keep on eye on the right hand wall has you progress.

Progressing down the hanger you will see many planes in some state of repair or general maintenance, on our visit most planes were going through their annual maintenance as you can see from the pictures.

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Of course the Lancaster dominates the hanger and if you see one flying around the UK at any time then this is the one in the sky.

Everyone knows about the Lancaster and its exploits during the war but I will give you brief recap.

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1942 British engineer Barnes Wallis had the idea for a bouncing bomb, the development of this weapon started out in a water tub in his back garden.  bouncing_bomb3-removebg-preview

These bombs were developed to take out three German dams, The Möhne, Edersee and Sorpe dams of the Ruhr valley which were vital to German Industry.  This is how they work:

operation-chastise-diagram

And this is the result once successfully deployed:

1024px-Mohne_Dam_Breached
Breached Mohne Dam

bouncing bomb (2)

617 Squadron was retained by RAF Bomber Command for specialist precision bombing operations. It experimented with new bomb sights, target marking techniques and colossal new ‘earthquake’ bombs developed by Barnes Wallis,

In the run-up to D-Day, 617 Squadron attacked factories, V-weapon sites and communication targets in France. Its commander, Wing Commander Leonard Cheshire, pioneered a controversial new low-level target-marking technique. The improved accuracy minimised civilian casualties when attacking targets in occupied territory

DSC00198

In the autumn of 1944, 617 Squadron joined 9 Squadron in attacks with 12,000 lb ‘Tallboy’ bombs (pictured above) on the German battleship Tirpitz, 12 November was sunk by two direct hits.

Due to the squadron requiring more space they moved to RAF Woodhall Spa where there is a memorial to the squadron.  Woodhall Spa is only a short drive north of Coningsby so we nipped up there, directly across the road from the memorial site is a couple of great cafe’s, perfect for a little bite to eat and a coffee.

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This was our day out last week, packed with great history and company……

It’s truly amazing what you can accomplish with Fiverr, get your project off the ground now: https://track.fiverr.com/visit/?bta=72315&nci=5712

 

 

 

 

B&W WWII images

Today I have had a little play around with image over laying in an attempt to produce some moody B&W pictures of WWII.

Below are my creations, let me know your thoughts folks….

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I will be producing more in the future…

Here is a couple more…

Picture1Picture4

Its truly amazing what you can accomplish with Fiverr, get your next project going, hit the link below:

https://track.fiverr.com/visit/?bta=72315&nci=5713

British WWII Ghost Village (Tyneham/Dorset)

Tyneham, a village left like a ghost town due to its top secret history during WWII.

Located on the south coast of England, it was perfectly placed for D Day training,

map

the village is situated northwest of Worbarrow Bay and south of Wareham.

Access to the village is only allowed when the MOD are not training as it is situated within a live firing range, used by tanks and other MOD vehicles.

7500 acres (30km/2) of heartland and chalk downland around Purbeck Hill.

Around mid November 1943 the residents of this quiet village receive an official letter from the war office, he is an extract:

“the government appreciate that this is no small sacrifice which you are asked to make, but they are sure that you will give this further help towards winning the war with a good heart”

They are given one (1) month to move out and sworn to total secrecy, as was their move in an effort to prevent any information about the forthcoming D Day Landings leaking out.

The 225 residence were told they could all return to their family homes once the war was over, however this decision was turned over due to the cold war and so no one has ever returned.  They did however leave a small message for the incoming soldiers:

new_tyneham_note
Left on the church door

Village backstory

The village was part of a large estate owned by the BOND family for over 300 years, the family were compensated by the war office to the turn of £30,000 whilst the residence not owning their properties as they were all owned by the Bond family were provided with new homes and a small compensation for any veg gardens they left behind.

The village had no running water or electricity, residence had to queue at the local village water pump on a daily basis.

Today

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Today the village is a great place to visit and take in the atmosphere of this once tranquil village which since December 1943 has being surround by the sounds of tanks and large calibre rounds.  It is located on a still used firing range (Lulworth Range) and so visits are restricted to weekends mainly, see end of post for a link to website for full details.

new_tyneham_militray

Admission is free but donations are excepted.  If you visit this site please observe the warning signs, stay to the paths provided.

There is plenty to see, each of the terrace houses has a little story board, providing some background information about the family who once lived there.

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The school house now restored gives you a look back at life in the village for the younger residents.

new_tyneham_schoolroom

The same for the village church.

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Other building in the village are still in disrepair but the main structures are still standing.

new_tyneham_ruins4new_tyneham_ruins3_70469201_70469200new_tyneham_cottagblock

as stated visiting is weekends only 10am til 4pm as well as some bank holidays, visit this site for full details:

https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/countryside-coast-parks/beaches-and-coast/the-lulworth-ranges-and-tyneham-village.aspx

Its truly amazing what you can accomplish with Fiverr, get your next project going, hit the link below:

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UK Directorate of Military Intelligence MI1 to MI19 sections a brief history

UK Directorate of Military Intelligence

MI1 to MI19 sections a brief history

Watch this in Video Format: https://youtu.be/nF-jntVlOkM

 

Part of the British War Office the first glimpse of the DMI was back in 1854 when Major Thomas Best Jarvis formed the  Department of Topography & Statistics during the Crimean War.

An intelligence branch was formed in 1873 under the leadership of Henry Brackenbury and attached to the Quartermaster General’s Department and comprising of seven (7) officers, their main objectives where intelligence gathering and advising the decision makers.

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Brackenbury’s title changed when in 1888 the section was transferred to the Adjutant General’s Department, from then on, he was known as the Director of Military Intelligence.

1899 and the section now had thirteen (13) officer who produced some very credible intelligence prior to the second Boar war.  In 1904 there was a complete reshuffle at the top which resulted in the Commander-in-Chief post being abolished and replace with the Chief of General Staff.

During WWI the British Secret Service was reformed and the Military Intelligence (MI) sections where born each branch, section, sub-section where given numbers, example of which is currently still in use today with MI6 & MI5.

Throughout the early period including WWI they had sections raging from MI1 to MI19 with each section having a different objective.

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MI1

Main objective was code breaking but it also had seven (7) sub-sections which were has follows:

Its sub-sections in World War I were:

  • MI1a: Distribution of reports, intelligence records.
  • MI1b: Interception and cryptanalysis.
  • MI1c: The Secret Service/SIS.
  • MI1d: Communications security.
  • MI1e: Wireless telegraphy.
  • MI1f: Personnel and finance.
  • MI1g: Security, deception and counter intelligence

This section was closed down and merged with Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) which later became Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham.

MI2

Originally set up to handle geographic information gathering, it had two (2) sub-sections which were:

  • MI2a: handled the Americas (excluding Canada), Spain, Portugal, Italy, Liberia, Tangier, and the Balkans
  • MI2b: handled the Ottoman Empire, Trans-Caucasus, Arabia, Sinai, Abyssinia, North Africa excluding French and Spanish possessions, Egypt, and the Sudan

In 1941 its sections were merged with MI3.

MI3

Originally set up to handle geographic information gathering, it had five (5) sub-sections which were:

  • MI3a: France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Morocco.
  • MI3b: Austria-Hungary and Switzerland.
  • MI3c: Germany.
  • MI3d: Holland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
  • MI3e: Military translations.

In 1945 its sections were merged with MI6

MI4

Its main objection was aerial reconnaissance and interpretation. Today is it known as the Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre and part of GCHQ

MI5

This sections main objective is Counter-espionage and military policy in dealing with the civil population and still active today.

MI6

Legal and economic section dealing with the MI finance as well as economic intelligence and personnel records. Monitoring arms trafficking and still active today.

MI7

This section had four (4) sub-sections which were as follows:

  • MI7 (a) – censorship.
  • MI7 (b) – foreign and domestic propaganda, including press releases concerning army matters.
  • MI7 (c) – translation and (from 1917) regulation of foreign visitors.
  • MI7 (d) – foreign press propaganda and review (part of subsection (b) until subsection (d) was formed in late 1916).

During WWI its main objective was press liaison and propaganda, it was defunked after the signing of the Armistice but then reformed after the outbreak of WWII with its new objective being necessary liaison link between the War Office and the Ministry of Information and Political Warfare Executive.

MI8c

Main objective was illicit radio transmissions during WWII, their brief was to “intercept, locate and close down illicit wireless stations operated either by enemy agents in Great Britain or by other persons not being licensed to do so under Defence Regulations, 1939”. As a security precaution, RSS was given the cover designation of MI8(c).

They actually worked out of prison cells in Wormwood Scrubs prison in London.

MI9

This section was tasked with supporting available European Resistance networks and making use of them to assist Allied airmen shot down over Europe in returning to Britain.  Mi9 agents would be dropped by parachute into occupied Europe, link up with resistance cells in that area and help organize escape-and-evasion for downed airmen.  They would carry false papers, money and maps to assist the downed airmen.

Later they worked in every area of conflict to include, Africa and China.

MI10

During WWII this section was responsible for weapons and technical analysis, it was later merge with MI16 (scientific and technical intelligence) later MI10 was responsible for road intelligence.

MI11

Main objective was to protect British military personnel from enemy agents, field security, this section was closed down after WWII.

MI12

This sections objective was Liaison with censorship organisations, military censorship, operational status, unknown.

MI14

This section specialised in German (and any of the countries they occupied) intelligence gathering, including aerial photography.  They also used pigeons during WWII to carry information to agents in occupied countries.  Closed down after WWII, all foreign intelligence is now handle by MI6.

MI15

Established 1942 with a primary objective of aerial photography, in 1943 this responsibility was transferred to the Air Ministry and MI15 became responsible for coordination of intelligence about enemy anti-aircraft facilities.  Closed down after WWII.

MI16

 Main objective was the gathering of scientific intelligence, it was formed in 1945, current operational status, unknown.

MI17

 No longer operational this section handle all departmental administration duties.

MI18    

Not used

MI19

 Main objective was the gathering and collection of intelligence from POW’s during WWII,   created in 1940, this section had interrogation centres around the UK, these were called Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centres (CSDIC) based at Beaconsfield, Wilton Park, and Latimer, they also had centres in Belgium, Italy and Germany.

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Switzerland during WWII a brief look back

The beginning

As soon as Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 Switzerland began mobilising for a possible invasion and was fully mobilised within three days with a total of 430,000 combat troops, 210,000 support service personnel of which 10,000 were female.

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Swiss troops on the northern border

I can only speculated here as I couldn’t find any original pictures but I am guess they only had a small building as barracks which could have looked something like this below:

Operation Tannenbaum also known as (Operation Green) was in fact a planned invasion of the country by Germany & Italy but it was never executed due to more pressing engagements on other fronts.  Although I can’t help but also think it might have had something to do with the terrain.

Switzerland was able to stay neutral throughout the course of the second world war through a combination of military deterrence and economic concessions to Germany.  There was however an attempted but failed Anschluss by the Swiss Nazi party during the early stages of the war, its failure attributed to Switzerland’s sense of national identity and tradition of democracy and civil liberties.

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The country became a hive of espionage activity during the war and often brokered communications between the Axis and Allied forces.

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However Switzerland wasn’t totally neutral, Germany violated Swiss air space a total of 197 times during the war which resulted in 11 Luffwaffe planes being shot down in 1940.  This is even more mind blowing when you consider that the equipment used was in fact German!

As a result Hitler and Goring sent saboteurs to destroy equipment and airfields, they were all caught by the Swiss before they could inflict any kind of real damage though.  Small isolated skirmishes continued throughout the war between Swiss and German soldiers on the northern borders of Switzerland.

This wasn’t however limited to Germany, from 1943 the Swiss  had also shot down allied pilots violating its air space with a total of 36 airmen losing their life’s.  In total over 6,000 allied aircraft violated Swiss air space during WWII.

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on the 4th March 1945 Basel and Zurich were accidentally bombed by allied aircraft resulting in a couple of buildings being destroyed and 5 civilian deaths, the bombing crews thought they were bombing Frieburg, Germany.

Refugees

As Switzerland was neutral and surrounded by the axis powers it was very easy for refugees to reach it seeking asylum, however the Swiss laws regarding refugees were strict and even more so for fleeing Jews.  Only those who were is direct threat of death were granted asylum which did not include those under threat due to race, religion or ethnicity.

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In total the Swiss interned 300,000 refugees, of which 104,000 were foreign troops under the rights and duties of a neutral power outlined in the Hague convention and the rest were foreign civilians granted tolerance or residence permits. None of which were allowed to part take of any kind of work.

Swiss Trading

Throughout the war both axis and allied powers exerted pressure on the Swiss not to trade with the other, this pressure came in the form of blocking trade, the country relied on trade for crucial items such as some food products and more importantly fuel like coal and oil.

However both sides continued trading with the Swiss regardless with large amounts of gold being traded from Germany.

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During 1940 – 1945 Germany traded over 1 billion Swiss Francs worth of gold alone which was used to help finance their war effort, mainly used for the purchase of important raw materials such as Tungsten and Oil from other neutral countries.

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This gold was mostly plundered from occupied countries and over half a billion Swiss francs worth came from Holocaust victims.  this trade however was only 0.5% contribution towards the entire German war effort.

This figure is only a mere drop in the ocean and it only serves to invoke thoughts of the vast sums of money that the axis and allied forces were in fact injecting in to the war, it also conjures up the thoughts that maybe a country surround by war can stay truly neutral!

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WWII Clothes Rationing In Britain

Following in the footsteps of the British people during WWII and their fight against fashion and clothes rationing.

Some background stuff

At the outbreak of WWII all raw materials were redirected including those required for clothing, the demand for military uniforms was growing at a vast rate and so civilian clothing and the fabrics required for their manufacture was rationed.  Many other fabrics and materials were also redirected, including but not limited to Tarpaulins and Rubber.

Shoe and boot manufactures were under tremendous pressure to produce footwear for the armed services, so much so that even the military suffered shortages, however, it was the civilian population that suffered the most.

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1940 saw a replacement of the earlier service dress by the “Battle dress” or “Utility dress” which was designed and modified to make it more efficient to produce, hidden buttons and pleats replaced with normal buttons on pockets and so forth.

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Almost a quarter of the British population were wearing some form of military uniform by 1940 including the women’s auxiliary forces and uniformed voluntary services.

Clothes Rationing Introduced

On June 1st 1941 the British Government announced the introduction of clothes rationing in an effort to save raw materials and workers for the much needed military clothing production.

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The introduction of clothes rationing ment everyone had a fair shot at getting new clothing, this also aided in the distribution and availability in the shops.

How it Worked

Each adult was allocated with 66 points via a ration book “Coupons” every year for clothing items, when purchasing the shopper would hand over the required coupons “Points value” as well as some money.

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Each type of clothing was allocated “Points value” which varied according to how much material and labour went into its manufacture, examples:

Female Dress    –    11 Coupons

Stockings           –     2 Coupons

Male Shirt          –    8 Coupons

Female Shoes    –    5 Coupons

Men’s Shoes       –    7 Coupons

Make do Mend It

Many people had to make do by altering clothing, mending it and handing down clothes to family members and even friends and neighbours.   The British  Government even started producing posters in an effort to motivate the population.

Make do mand it poster

Clothes rationing ended in Britain on 15th March 1949.

 

WWII Food Rationing

Before WWII broke out the UK was importing over 50 million tons of food a year from all over the world.

At the outbreak of WWII on September 1939 the British government decided they had to cut back on importing food due to the amount of ships transporting food to the UK that were being sunk by German U-Boats.

As a direct result of this action the government became concerned about the amount of food that was now available and so introduced food rationing.

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Rationing of food lasted for 14 years in the UK and ended on July 4, 1954.

Here is how it worked

Each person in the UK was given a ration book, they then were able to purchase limited amounts of certain foods each week, as they did so the shop keeper would cross the item off their ration book.

Which foods were rationed

meat jam biscuits
fish tea breakfast cereals,
cheese eggs milk,
tinned tomatoes peas dried fruit
rice

Bacon

canned fruit,

Butter

cooking fat

Sugar

Individual adult ration allowance per week

Butter: 50g (2oz) Bacon and ham: 100g (4oz) Margarine: 100g (4oz)
Sugar: 225g (8oz). Meat: To the value of 1s.2d (one shilling and sixpence per week. That is about 6p today) Milk: 3 pints (1800ml) occasionally dropping to 2 pints (1200ml).
Cheese: 2oz (50g) Eggs: 1 fresh egg a week. Tea: 50g (2oz).
Jam: 450g (1lb) every two months. Dried eggs 1 packet every four weeks. Sweets: 350g (12oz) every four weeks

in addition to this every person had sixteen (16) points per week to spend on which ever food item they wanted.

The ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign started in October 1939

Every person in the UK was required to start producing their own food, flower beds were turned into veggie plots, lawns were dug up and planted with veg, many people kept chickens and other poultry as well as pigs.

The need to become creative with their cooking was never more required than during these desperate times.

Below is a few different foods they would have produced and eaten, these are taken from my WWII recipe book which is now available in PDF format, over forty (40) different recipes with full preparation and cooking instruction, please use these links to purchase:

Ebay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143196472177   (digital copy)

WWII recipe book cover mock up

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The above is just a small selection of some great food recipes that the British would have used during WWII, follow in the footsteps and give them a try, get your copy by using the link above.  its and instant download item

Food foraging during WWII and rationing

many British people also had to forage for food, the British countryside, forests and shores are packed with some great natural foods.  Below I have put together another great book, WWII Foraging recipes, packed with over 40 recipes using food items that can be found in and around the country, please use these links to purchase:

Ebay: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/143388489336  (digital copy)

 

 

WWII foraging cook book cover mock up

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Follow in the footsteps of the British foraging for food during WWII and cook using some of the same recipes they used, this book has over forty (40) great recipes.  use the links above to get your’s now.

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