Initiated on 7 September 2021

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(10a)

KV 2/451-1, page 3   (minute 1804a)

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            Major Vesey.  B.1.

                    I (Major J.M.A. Gwyer) saw Ritter (now an Obst. instead of a Major in 1941) at CSDIC (Combiner Services Detailed Interrogation Centre) / WEA (Western European Army?) on Tuesday, 7th May (1946). The results of my interrogation will be incorporated in a full CSDIC report (PF 62876; KV 2/85 .. KV 2/88), which will, I hope, be reaching you presently.  In the meantime, you mat like to have the general account of the results and of my own impressions of Ritter (foregoing in these series - called the Doctor). This may be summarised as follows:

1.    The original CSDIC report, although it appeared extremely inadequate, did, I think, represent fairly accurately the truth as known to Ritter. The fault was that report not explain the reasons for Ritter's curious lack of knowledge his own cases.  It is clear from talking to him that Ritter is not attempting to withhold the truth, nor do I think that his memory is especially bad.  On the contrary, what he does remember, he remembers clearly, and, considering the lapse of time, in considerable detail. (Ritter left the British controlled Theatre before mid 1941, and we currently approach May 1946)  It is also clear, however, that his handling of the cases under his control was from the outset extremely slack (loose). Whenever he could leave a case, or part of a case, to some other section, e.g. Abteilung II (Sabotage) or Eins Marine (I M) (Ritter himself was Referatsleiter of I L (Luftwaffe / GAF) at Ast Hamburg, up to somewhere in spring 1941) he did so. As a result, his knowledge, even of the Snow (Arthur Owens), is strictly confined to those parts of it which he handled personally.  Of the rest, he remembers very little, and never, even at the time, knew very much.  (AOB: his resistance towards the Americans and British were caused by the way and their according attitude towards post war interrogator whom behaved clearly as the conquers, which cause a resentment toward them. This is a phenomenon, is more often encountered in post war diaries; such by Herbert Wichmann whom during the wartime years headed (Leiter) Ast Hamburg [531], 45 Jahre Danach; Bericht des Kapitän zur See a.D.) (Their common complaints considered often their treatment at Camp 020, where quite likely some went knowingly  not according the Convention of Geneva)  

2.       For these reasons it is comparatively useless to interrogate Ritter about such problems as "the man from Manchester" or the south African  (Charlie; real name Charles Esborn. PF 48283, KV 2/454) (G226)  (G226return) or the south African" or the Infra Red man"  (Dr. Hill). I think Ritter is perfectly sincere (straight) in saying that he has very little knowledge of these matters, as they were all handled, or he assumes them to have been handled, by other officers or other sections. The only problem which it was possible to clear up at all thoroughly was that of Ritter's final relations with Snow (Arthur Owens, German cover name Johnny) and Celery (Walter Dicketts, German cover name Brown) during their last (also their first visit in connection with Major Ritter in February/March 1941)

            Here Ritter was comparatively explicit.  He explained that he had very little confidence in Snow (Arthur Owens, German cover name Johnny) before the meeting took place, as his faith had been shaken first of all by the North Sea episode and secondly by the ease with which Snow Arthur Owens was able to arrange passages to Lisbon for himself and for Celery. (The latter is incorrect as Walter Dicketts arrive by ship from Liverpool first at Gibraltar thereafter to Lisbon)      (J228)     (J228return)     Unbelievable that here Major Ritter points exactly what: T.A. Robertson, Mr. D.G. White, Mr. J.H. Marriott and other all engaged at M.I.5. was not to accept that Arthur Owens' story was not a lie! First Ritter also points at the blame of providing for Arthur Owens (Snow) a priority airline seat, notwithstanding the considerable waiting list for flight to Lisbon from Bristol.  It all was so evident, but they refused to consider that it was (also) their fault that the Snow case had been blown. Mr. Marriott  pointed that: I am more than ever convinced that Snow's (Arthur Owens') is a case not for the Security Service, but for a brain specialist.    Maybe a better part of self-reflection would have prevented their apparent "tunnel visions".  I (AOB) would not say that Snow had  no curious behaviours, but mad people are from all times; and everywhere.

KV 2/451-1, page 4

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Ritter was, however, still in the mood of hoping that Snow would be able to provide explanation.  He explained to me (Major J.M.A. Gwyer), rather naively, that by this time he (then Major Ritter) had already posted away from Hamburg (Ritter himself wanted to get away from the Abwehr job and as many men searched for a more active engagement; Ritter chose Rommel's DAK endeavours, in North Africa) and was no longer personally interested in the case to the same extent, but was, as he put it, "anxious to leave something behind him".  I took this mean that he believed himself that the case was already blown, but was anxious, if possible, to postpone public recognition of this fact until he himself was safely in North Africa. (AOB, this fellow interrogator, did not possess an understanding what the mood of many Germans, in military Service  were; these often young men wanted to become engaged in thrilling prosperous developments. Their only means was to apply for an active military employment. My just recently buried best friend Rudolf Staritz (3.9.2021 at an age of 99 at Ziegenrück) also applied for an active military engagement in stead of drawing schematics spy set schematics and/or regular W/T signalling between Stahnsdorf and, for instance, the station Sabine in Madrid. He was sent to espionage groups, known as: Unternehmen Dromedar and ended up in the Caucasus, in Autumn 1942; he, of course, suffered also from the big consequences after the Russian campaign initiated on 9 November 1942).  He told me that he did not directly tax Snow (Arthur Owens)  when he saw him with being under control, but that Snow must certainly be gathered from his manner that his suspicions had been aroused. His opinion of celery (Walter Dicketts, German cover name Mr. Brown) which derived from and was confirmed by both his own statements and those of Snow (Arthur Owens / Johnny), was that his status was that of a III F agent (section designation for the counter-espionage), who had been given the mission of penetrating Snow's (Arthur Owens') network (As Arthur Owens was born in Wales, be recruited mainly Welshmen, of whom almost all were in the hands of M.I.5

            He (Ritter) was therefore inclined to assume from the moment that he saw Celery (Walter Dicketts) that the case was already effectively over.  On the other hand, he saw a bare possibility that the disaster might be staffed off with the assistance of Celery (Walter Dicketts), and acted on his assumption in accordance with his policy of leaving something behind him.

            Ritter's account of events after Celery (Walter Dicketts) reached Hamburg was that Celery had there admitted his status as a III F agent (counter-espionage section), but had, at the same time, offered his services to the Germans.  These were accepted, not so much from any confidence in Celery (Walter Dicketts) as in the hope that the case might after all be rescued from disaster in their? way.

            It was on this footing that Celery was allowed to rejoin Snow (Arthur Owens) in Lisbon, and the pair to return to England. At this point, however, Ritter made on interesting comment. he told me that he had sent back (more correctly: allowed to return to England, as they easily could have been kidnapped by the Germans, otherwise)  Snow (Arthur Owens) and Celery (Walter Dicketts)  to England with (as we already knew) instructions for operating a Triple Cross, and a sum of between £300 and £400 in cash.  I challenged him on this last point, and suggested that it had in fact been £300 or £400 but £9000 or £10,000. At this Ritter showed the greatest surprise, and protested that he had never in his life given Snow (Johnny / Arthur Owens) even as much as £500 at one go.  When I assured him that the pair had in fact returned to England with a much larger sum, he said that he could only suppose that the money had been → (page 5)

KV 2/451-1, page 5

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→obtained from Abteilung II (Referat concerned with sabotage) in Madrid, with whom, as he now recollected, Snow (Arthur Owens had also been in touch during his stay in Lisbon. (likely through Sdf. Dr. Blaum Referatsleiter II KOP) (Dr. Friedrich Blaum alias Baumann and Bodo (KV 3/412).

            I gathered that Ritter had not found it prudent to pass on to Abteilung II any suspicions of Snow (Arthur Owens) or Celery that he might himself have entertained.

3.    Finally, to show that he ran true from to the last, you may like to hear the story of Ritter's final official appointment and its sequel (outcome).

            (AOB: neglected here his interlude with Laszlo Almásy and emergency landing at the Mediterranean sea, after a failed atempt to get 'El Pascha' out of Egypt (June 1941); where Ritter had to spend some time in a hospital)

            He was (became) the commanding officer for the anti-aircraft defences at Hanover on the occasion of the last saturation raid (bear please in mind: that Ritter was a GAF officer, also at Ast Hamburg).  That night he studied very carefully the reports received from Radar and ground observers, and formed the view that the various small scale diversionary attacks in progress in other   parts of Germany represented our main effort for the night.  He therefore gave orders for the defence of Hanover (Hannover) to stand down. Precisely six minutes later a matter of some 1500 bombers arrived over the town with results that are still visible. Ritter then withdrew to civilian life.  However, he had a slight come-back later, He now the prisoner in charge of the squad which sweeps out the mess in CSDIC, and in that capacity once under his command  (Zeitzler), the late chief of staff of the O.K.W.

F.2.c.  15.5.46                Sgd. J.M.A. Gwyer, Major

KV 2/451-1, page 6        (minute 1803a)

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Snow (Arthur Owens), Biscuit (Sam McCarthy), Celery (Walter Dicketts), Charlie (Charles Eschborn) and Summer (Gösta Caroli).

            It will not be possible to give here more than the briefest outline of the interesting and, in some places, even melodramatic story. Snow (Arthur Owens) is a Welsh electrical engineer, born on 14 April 1899 at name made invisible, South Wales.  At a fairly early age he emigrated to Canada and there acquired Canadian citizenship.  In 1933 (maybe caused also by the great depression of the early 1930s) to this country and took up employment as a consulting electrical engineer to the Expended Metal company, a firm which produces among other things banks of resistances and similar equipment  and and which is the holder of a number of Admiralty contracts. Snow (Arthur Owens) was also interested in a firm name made invisible which had been formed many words made invisible for the purpose of exploiting certain inventions of Snow's (Arthur Owens') in connection with accumulators and batteries.  During this period of his life Snow (Arthur Owens) travelled frequently to Germany on business, and was in the habit of bringing back a certain amount of technical information which he had passed to the D.E.E.'s Department (Electrical Engineering Department)  at Admiralty.  At the beginning of 1936 Snow (Arthur Owens) told his contact that he would like to work regularly for the Government and was therefore passed on, through D.D.N.I.(?), to name made invisible of S.I.S. (M.I.6), who employed him for a short while as an agent, apparently with good results. Towards the end of the year, however, a letter from Snow (Arthur Owens) to Postbox 629 Hamburg   (L228)  (L228return), a knowing German cover address, was intercepted (due to censorship) in transit.  This letter made it clear that Snow had been previously in contact with the Germans and was about to have a meeting with them in Cologne (AOB, which actually did not happen this way).  This appointment he kept, and further letters were observed to pass between him and the Germans.  No action was taken against Snow (Arthur Owens) himself as it was anticipated that he might presently confess. In December (1936 or 37) he did in fact do so the following story.

            Snow (Arthur Owens) said that his business had brought him into contact with a German engineer named Pieper, from whom he had attempted to obtain information (which eventually did not mature). The information which Pieper Pieper had supplied had not been wholly satisfactory and after a while Snow (Arthur Owens)  had found himself unable to continue to pay Piepers expenses. At this point Pieper had proposed to him that he, Snow (Arthur Owens), should work as an agent for the Germans rather than the British. Snow had fallen in with this suggestion in orderm so he said, to penetrate the German Secret Service in the British interest.  Pieper had accordingly arranged meeting for him with the Germans at Cologne (which actually never took place) and elsewhere, and Snow (Arthur Owens) had been accepted by them as an agent.

            It is still not clear to what extent Snow's (Arthur Owens') confession was tendentious (subjective). It can however be stated that he must have been recruited by the Germans in much the way that he described, and at some date after he had become an agent of the S.I.S.  There can be little doubt that the Germans were aware of his connection with S.I.S., though according to Snow (Arthur Owens) himself they believed him to have broken of  his connection before he took service with them (the Germans).  At all events they did not subsequently make any attempt to employ him in the capacity of a double agent, but rather to use him as a straight forward reporting agent. As there were some difficulties in the way of proceeding in the way of proceeding against Snow (Arthur Owens) continued his connection with the Germans. A great part, however, though not all, of his correspondence continued to be intercepted and from time to time Snow (Arthur Owens) himself gave information either to Colonel Hinchley-Cooke    (M229)   (M229return) ↔, or latterly to Special Branch, about the contacts which he had made with the Germans and the information which he was asked to supply.  Substantially, from the end of 1936 until the outbreak of war Snow (Arthur Owens) worked for as a straightforward German agent, whose activities, although known to the authorities, were not interfered with in any important respect. Snow's (Arthur Owens') principal contact in Germany was Major Ritter @ Dr. Rantzau (later in British documents also designated the Doctor), who has since become familiar in a great number of cases both here and in America.  During the time that Snow (Arthur Owens) knew him he appeared  to occupy the position of the Referatsleiter of I Luft (I L), Hamburg, and Snow's (Arthur Owens') work therefore consisted largely of collecting airforce information.  From time to time however, as is clear from his correspondence, he supplied information both for the naval (I M) and the military (I H)  At one moment also he seems to have made an approach on the Germans' behalf to the B.U.F. (British Union of Fascists), to whom he put forward a scheme for the establishment of four secret transmitters if England for the purpose of disseminating propaganda in time of war.  This must presumably have been the function → (page 7)

KV 2/451-1, page 7

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of Abteilung II (strange because it did not concern sabotage - but more a matter of the German Foreign Office (Ribbentrop's Auswärtiges Amt), and it can therefore be said that during the three years between 1936 and (end of August) 1939 Snow (Arthur Owens) was in reality acting in England as an agent for Referat I and II (↑↑). Although we cannot be certain on this point, it seems from his own account that Snow (Arthur Owens) successfully represented to the Germans that he possessed a number of sub-agents in England (mainly Welshmen), amounting perhaps to a dozen or fifteen men. It is probable, though not certain, that all these persons existed only in Snow's (Arthur Owens') imagination. (AOB, at least we encountered G.W. Gwilym Williams and W.W.   (P230)  (P230return))

            In January 1939 Snow (Arthur Owens) informed Special Branch that he expected to receive a wireless transmitter from Germany.  (Q230)  (Q230return) Later in the some month he did receive a letter which contained instructions for the working of such a set and a ticket from the cloakroom at Victoria Station where the wireless set had been deposited for him in a suitcase. This set was handed over by Snow (Arthur Owens) (notice (Q230) and (Q230return)) to Special Branch, and examined by S.I.S., and then returned to him ((Arthur Owens). He installed it in his own house and attempted to establish wireless communication with Hamburg. It appears from his correspondence, however, that he did not succeed as the  as the result apparently of some defect in the set himself (AOB, this apparent defect was due to sabotage on behalf of S.I.S. as they replaced a resistor of a too light type wattage and, when likely the set was repaired, which normally someone replaces a defect component by the same type which apparently being defect; but it will be destroyed because there should be used a more powerful component!)  It is, however, not easy to be certain exactly what happened for this date Snow's (Arthur Owens') correspondence with the Germans was carried under a business cover and consisted of letters allegedly referring to inventions, to business of the  Auerbach company (R232)   (R232return) and similar matters. It is wholly impossible for us, and perhaps now even impossible for Snow (Arthur Owens) himself, to detangle from these letters the genuine business content and the phrases  or paragraphs which referred to espionage.  Snow (Arthur Owens) was principally in correspondence with two addresses, that of a Dr. Wentzel  (S233)   (S233return)  and that of a firm of dealer by the name of Auerbach. (notice the foregoing links (R232) and (R232return)).   According to his own account the former was an electrical engineer particularly  interested in medical equipment, who took genuine commercial interest in Snow's (Arthur Owens') patent accumulator. The firm of Auerbach also dealt with electrical apparatus and similarly according to Snow (Arthur Owens)  conducted tests of his invention with satisfactory results.

            In August 1939 Snow (Arthur Owens) left England for Hamburg (via Belgium) together with a certain Lily (Bade, his girlfriend) an English woman of German extraction, with whom he has since been living and for whom he deserted his wife (Jessie) and family.  He also took with him to Hamburg a certain name made invisible an unemployed clerk, whom he clearly intended to recruit  for the German Service.  Snow Lily (Bade, his girlfriend) an English woman of German extraction, with whom he has since been living and for whom he deserted his wife and family. He also took with him to Hamburg a certain name made invisible  an unemployed clerkm whom he clearly intended to recruit for the German Service.  Snow returned with Lily (Bade) at the end of August and thereafter for a short while disappeared completely. he was not discovered again until September 4th when he telephoned to  Inspector name made invisible of Special Branch (at Scotland Yard, Whitehall) and made an appointment to see him at Waterloo Station. As war now broken out Inspector name made invisible took with him to this meeting a detention Order under DR 18B (AOB, strangely meant for Foreigners, albeit that Arthur Owens was regarded nevertheless as being British) which he served upon Snow (Arthur Owens) who was the taken into custody.  He there revealed that he had been living, since his return to England, with Lily (Bade, his girlfriend) at the flat occupied by name made invisible in Surbiton, where his transmitter was the the time concealed. Snow (Arthur Owens)   remained for a short while in Wandsworth Prison.   It was then proposed that his wireless set should be be used from the prison to re-establish contact with Germany under our (M.I.5) direction. (T234)  (T234return) Snow (Arthur Owens) rapidly accepted this proposal and the wireless set was installed in his (prison) cell.  After some difficulty in making contact the follow 'Must meet you in Holland messages was sent: 'Must meet you Holland at once. Bring other code. Radio town and hotel Wales ready'.    This message was explained by Snow (Arthur Owens) in the following way. he had been instructed by Ritter (Major, known also as the Doctor) that one of his principal in time of war would be the transmission of daily weather reports. He had also been told to discover the name and address of a reliable member of the Welsh Nationalist Party, an organisation which the Germans proposed to use if they could for the purpose of sabotage in South Wales.

            Later in September Snow (Arthur Owens) paid a visit to Rotterdam and there succeeded in making contact satisfactory with Ritter.  He returned from this visit with some fresh instructions and a quantity of miscellaneous information. Some  weeks later he returned to the Continent accompanied this time by (the Welsh) G.W. (Gwilym Williams) a retired Police inspector from Swansea, who had been nominated by us (M.I.5) as Snow's (Arthur Owens') contact in the Welsh national Party. (following the line: the enemy of my enemies are my friends)  Together G.W. and Snow (Arthur Owens) saw Ritter who was this time accompanied by a man known to them as the commander, who discussed at length with G.W. a project for shipping arms and explosives to south Wales by submarine where they were to be used for a major insurrection by the Welsh Nationalist Party.  This meeting also passed off successfully and Snow (Arthur Owens) returned → (page 8) →with money and some fresh instructions in the shape of microphotographs (microdots) reduced to about the size of a postage stamp.

KV 2/451-1, page 8 

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with money and some fresh instructions in the shape of microphotographs (microdots) reduced to about the size of a postage stamp. One of these photographs was in the form of a letter addressed to the agent Charlie, with whom Snow (Arthur Owens) was instructed to put himself in contact.  Charlie is of German origin and one of a family three brothers.  he himself acquired English nationality at birth. Of his two brothers, one is still resident in Germany and the other, who was staying with Charlie at the outbreak of war, was later interned and died in the "Arandora Star"   AOB: This likely isn't correct, because on the list of causalities found at: https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship406.html there is not found the name of an Mr. Eschborn. The Arandora Star was torpedoed on 2 July 1940; by U 47 (maybe still was the captain was Günter Prien; the same Captain of the famous Scapa Flow; of 14.01.1939.   https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_47_(Kriegsmarine) The two brothers (Charles Eschborn, the first name of his brother on board the Andora Star I could not trace on the web; but his brother Hans lived in Germany, throughout), had already come to notice in August 1939 when their address had been found in the possession of a certain Günter (Gunter) Raydt, who had himself come under suspicion.  Subsequently name of Charles Eschborn's brother been made invisible was arrested for a breach of the Aliens Regulations, and as a result of statements by him it had become clear that the two brothers had been recruited  by a certain Captain Dr. Hansen in Cologne in the summer of 1938. (AOB, not clear is - besides Charles in England, which brother was actually meant: British born Charles and/or his brother Hans in Germany, or the brother whom later was killed by torpedoed "Andora Star" accident, on 2 July 1940) Since they had both worked worked to some extent for the Germans, though Charles (Charlie) (PF 48283, KV 2/454) had only done so reluctantly under the treat of reprisals to his brother (Hans) in Germany. It later appeared that Dr. Hansen of Cologne (Köln) was in fact identical with Major Ritter (also known as Doctor Rantzau [5]) and there is little doubt that his object in putting Snow (Arthur Owens) into touch with Charlie (Charles Eschborn) was that the latter, who was an expert photographer, should be used by Snow (Arthur Owens) to develop the micrographs   (U235)   (U235return) which he was to receive and to reduce Snow's own reports to the same form for easy transmission to Germany.

            On the same visit to Brussels Snow (Arthur Owens) was informed by the Germans that he would for the future be paid by a woman resident in Bournemouth, and in fact during his absence in Brussels two letters had arrived for him, each containing £20, which were subsequently traced to a Mrs. Mathilde Krafft   (V236)    (V236return), now in Holloway Prison.

            So far, then, Snow's (Arthur Owens') activities had been from our point of view uniformly successful, since they had already resulted in the discovery of not less than three German agents. from the German point of view they had been equally satisfactory, since they supposed that Snow (Arthur Owens) was now established with a satisfactory sub-agent, Charlie, living near Manchester, a link through G.W. (Gwilym Williams) with promising scheme for sabotage in South Wales, a wireless set and a safe means of payment through Mrs. Krafft.

            In October Snow (Arthur Owens) and G.W. (Gwilym Williams) paid a visit together to Antwerp  (X236)   (X236return)   , where they again interview by Ritter and the Commander.  G.W. (Gwilym Williams) was given a little elementary instruction in simple methods of fire-raising and Snow (Arthur Owens)  was provided with some detonators concealed in a slab of wood.  G.W. (Gwilym Williams) was also provided with a cover address in Brussels, and it was anticipated that for the future he would communicate with the Germans to some degree independently of Snow (Arthur Owens).  This situation continued for some while with apparent success (G.W. was also controlled by M.I.5), though it gradually became clear that the Germans were losing interest in their Welsh sabotage scheme.  The reason for this, according to Snow himself, was that they did not like G.W. (Gwilym Williams), whom they considered to be too nervous for the work. In fact, it appears more probable that the insurrection in South Wales was designed to coincide with the Germans' invasion of this country (Operation Seeloewe) and that for this reason action was postponed until that moment, and in the end abandoned entirely.  Snow continued to transmit wireless messages almost daily and for some time paid further visits to the Continent for the purpose of  consultation with (Major) Ritter.   Nothing of very great interest happened at most of these meetings, except that at one of them Snow (Arthur Owens) was given by Ritter's secretary (Ritter future wife?) a postcard addressed to Eugene Horsfall @ Horsfall Ertz (F238)  (F238return), and unsatisfactory character in this country (England) who was certainly in the employ of the Germans in some minor capacity connected with propaganda. In the meantime Snow (Arthur Owens) himself had been established in London in a firm known as name made invisible  (connected with purchasing batteries).    His partner in this enterprise was a certain W.N. Rolph, a nominee of this office (M.I.5?).  In this capacity Snow (Arthur Owens) was in correspondence the Societé de Consignation et Affretement of Antwerp, a firm employed by the Germans as a cover   (Z237)     (Z237return).    It had been arranged that through that through this firm Snow (Arthur Owens) should presently receive a consignment of accumulators in which time bombs were to be concealed, but in the end this interesting project came to nothing.  Snow (Arthur Owens) did however receive, by the agency of two Mascar seaman who had been recruited for the Germans in Antwerp by the Indian Obed, who landed in Ireland as an agent, two spare valves for his wireless transmitter.

KV 2/451-1, page 9

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            During a meeting which Snow (Arthur Owens) had with Ritter (the Doctor) in Antwerp in April 1940 it had been suggested by Ritter that a further meeting should take place between them on a trawler in the North Sea (British operation Lamp) (AOB, this endeavour failed at the end).   Ritter said that that he had been much impressed by the ease with which smuggling was carried on the east Coast of England and he thought Snow (Arthur Owens) should have no difficulty in obtaining the use of a trawler for the purpose.  He would himself arrive either by submarine or aircraft and the real purpose of the meeting was to be to smuggle a new sug-agent, whom Snow (Arthur Owens) was to produce, into Germany, where he would undergo a thorough training in sabotage and espionage.  During May this extraordinary project came to a head and it became necessary for us to produce upon Snow's (Arthur Owens) behalf both the trawler   (D 238)     (D238return)  and the agent. The former was produced by arrangement with the Fisheries Board and the latter was discovered in the person of Biscuit (Sam McCarthy). This man, after a prolonged career of petty largely, dope smuggling and the confidence trick, had reformed and since acted as a capable and honest informer in criminal matters. He was accordingly introduced to Snow, can have been in no doubt but that Biscuit was acting as an agent of this office (M.I.5). It is important to emphasize this point in view of what happened later also because the case of Snow and Charlie had previously been run upon the basis that neither knew that the other was controlled, though it is clear that after a while both of them must have guessed this fact.

            On the 19th May Snow and Biscuit left together for Grimsby (notice bookmarks (D238) and (D238return) ↑↑  just before) in order to board the trawler.  On the way there unfortunately Biscuit formed the opinion from Snow's (Arthur Owens') behaviour and his conversation that he was acting genuinely in the interest of the Germans and would undoubtedly reveal his position as a controlled agent as soon as he met Major Ritter. Snow (Arthur Owens)  on the other hand appears to have been, for reasons which we cannot analyse, under the impression that Biscuit was a genuine German agent who would undoubtedly reveal his. Snow's (Arthur Owens')  ambiguous position when their meeting with Ritter (should) took place. As a acting genuinely in the German interest, and thereby redoubled Biscuit's suspicions. In this nightmare state of mind the two boarded the trawler and proceeded towards the rendezvous. On the evening of the 21st May, which was two days before the date fixed for the rendezvous, a plane cicled over the trawler and gave agreed recognition signal/ This only served to convince Biscuit of Snow's (Arthur Owens') treachery, since both the time and their position were not what had been previously arranged.  he therefore caused the trawler lights to be extinguished and the trawler to run home immediately, Snow being the while kept under guard in the cabin. On his return Snow (Arthur Owens) was searched and various documents relating to this office (B.2.a of M.I.5) which he ought not to have possessed wre found on him. Further investigations revealed that these had been given him by W.N. Rolph, who was himself short of money and had seen an opportunity of doing a profitable deal through Snow with the Germans on the side. When Rolph was taxed with this, his behaviour left no doubt of his guilt. An effort was made to retrieve the situation by dispatching a trawler with a new crew to correcting position of the rendezvous on the 23rd which was the actual night fixed for the meeting. As might have been expected, however, there was no sign of any enemy aircraft or submarine.  Fortunately, however, there was no fog and Snow (Arthur Owens) was subsequently able to represent to Ritter, apparently with success, that he had been at rendezvous at the right time and had missed (Major) Ritter as a result of the fog. Time and again the Services fell time and again in their own trap, translating minor fact as the proof of Arthur Owens' treasury. I would like to repeat the final judgement, once worded by Mr. J. H. Marriott but now also in a reversed sequence as those at M.I.5 have to let them judge by brain specialists: Mr. Marriott  pointed that: I am more than ever convinced that Snow's (Arthur Owens') is a case not for the Security Service, but for a brain specialist.

(Quoting from KV 2/450-2, page 67, date 3.4.41) AOB:   Maybe a better part of self-reflection would have prevented their apparent "tunnel visions"; they, after al, left a trace of quite poor personal judgements, believing (trusting the slightest indications against Arthur Owens instead of showing a superior kind of mind) AOB: this will not say, that the nucleus might have to be found, indeed, within Arthur Owens' mind, but what is historically disturbing, is, the entire lack of self-criticism (reflection) within the Services, during wartime considerations.

            AOB: this report neglect the fact that due to this trawler event, Arthur Owens had been arrested under (Alien) Order 18B on behalf of the Home Office. I admire this latter Ministry, myself, as they truly knew what legal means meant, a lacking quality within the Secret Services!      (H239)      (H239return)

                 After the North Sea episode there was, not unreasonably, some doubt as to Snow's bona fides.  These doubts were finally resolved in Snow's (Arthur Owens') favour, for it was clear that a great part was of the trouble had had its origin in a genuine misunderstanding between Snow (Arthur Owens) and Biscuit of each others motives and methods of work. (AOB: why does the history repeat within the same office of M.I.5, where in the Lisbon episode (February/ March 1941) also Celery (Walter Dicketts) reported back in London in a comparable manor about Arthur Owens; which resulted in a years-long-lasting-imprisonment at Dartmoor Prison!)

  Snow's (Arthur Owens') case was continued as before (after he had been imprisoned) and, since he had already told Ritter (the Doctor) in his wireless that he had recruited a new sub-agent in the person of Biscuit, it became necessary, since the meeting at sea had miscarried, to arrange some other means of contact.  It was therefore agreed that Biscuit should travel to Lisbon under the cover of a dealer in Portuguese wine. On the German side he had been instructed to put himself in touch with the Hotel Duas Nacoes, Rua Victoria (J240)  (J240return), which as we have learnt is entirely under control of the Germans.   Biscuit (Sam McCarthy) arrived in Lisbon on 24.7.40 and → (page 10) →put up at the hotel as instructed. In Lisbon he had a short meeting with (Major) Ritter (then named the Doctor) who had travelled from Germany to see him, but passed most of his (Biscuit's) time in Hans Duarte @ Doebler, one of the principal resident German agents in Lisbon (whom lived in Argentina, but was hampered to return due to the outbreak of War).

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→put up at the hotel as instructed. In Lisbon he had a short meeting with (Major) Ritter (then named the Doctor) who had travelled from Germany to see him, but passed most of his (Biscuit's) time in Hans Duarte @ Doebler, one of the principal resident German agents in Lisbon (whom lived in Argentina, but was hampered to return due to the outbreak of War).  The principle subject of conversation between Biscuit (Sam McCarthy was apparently able to explain away of saying that Snow had been at the rendezvous at the right time but had seen nothing.  Ritter confided to Biscuit that in his opinion Snow's work was failing off but that he had done excellent work in the past. He also told him that there was a South African waiting in Belgium to come to this country, where he would be dropped by parachute as an assistant or sub-agent to Snow (Arthur Owens). (AOB, maybe, it was pointed at the South-African boxer Robey Leibrandt, whom ultimately returned to South Africa by the French small sailing boat Kyloe  (PF 63905; KV 2/924 - KV 2/925) This concluded the main business of the meeting apart from the information and reports from Snow which Biscuit handed over, but during his stay in Lisbon, before Ritter's arrival, Biscuit also did one or two odd jobs for Doebler. Among these, it is interessting to note, acting as intermediary in the case of an agent, a certain René Mezenin, a steward on the American Clipper, who apparently worked well for the Germans and was subsequently convicted in the Duquesne round up. Biscuit returned to London on 21.8.41 bringing with him a further wireless set for Snow (Arthur Owens) in a suitcase which was apparently intended to be smuggled through the customs. He was also provided with a further questionnaire and microphotographs and some U$ 3000. (AOB, Biscuit's behaviour in Lisbon was failure, as he drunk once    (K240)   (K240return), or more often, too much alcohol;   and Major Ritter's pointed later that he didn't trust Sam McCarthy, that Sam McCarthy had been drunk in an excessive manner  (M241)   (M241return) which is unprecedented in Lisbon!)

            After Biscuit's return, Snow's (Arthur Owens') case continued normally. he received and transmitted reports both from Charlie (Charles Eschborn) and G.W. (Welshman Gwilym Williams).  The latter's direct means of communication with the Germans of course broken down with the invasion of the Low Countries (including France), as he had only had a cover address in Brussels.  Biscuit, however, was himself to some point in direct communication with the Germans since he had provided in Lisbon with a cover address and instructions for writing in secret ink.  The next important incident in Snow's (Arthur Owens') career was the arrival of the parachutist Summer (Gösta Caroli, German cover-name Nilberg) (PF 53123; KV 2/60) and the part which he played therein. Summer was a Swede Gösta Caroli.   As a young man he had followed a number of trades and finally failed disastrously with a silver fox farm name made invisible near Upsala.  he then wandered at large in Europe for some while, supporting himself as an itinerant (wandering) artist and journalist. In this condition he fell in at the end of 1938 with a member of the Hamburg (Abwehr) Stelle and was recruited by him for work in England.  He made two trips to England, from the second of which he returned to Sweden on 4.12.39.  While he was here he appears to have been mainly concerned, while ostensibly acting as the representative of various Swedish papers, in collecting economic and Air Force information in the Midlands.  He says himself that his material was drawn for the most part from the guide books and the Press.  After his return to Sweden Summer (Gösta Caroli) (Gøsta Caroli?) seems to have made an attempt to shake free from the Germans. In this he was unsuccessful, and in July of the following year found him in Hamburg being trained in Morse and similar subjects at Stoeckelhorn II, together with Tate (Wulf Schmidt; one of Major Ritter's personal best friends) and under the same instructors.  On 6.9.40 he was dropped by parachute near Denton, Northants, with instructions to report on the area Oxford-Northhampton-Birmingham, with particular reference to air raid damage in Birmingham itself.  He was arrested within a few hours of his landing and thereafter his story falls into two parts: what actually happened to him and what the Germans believe have occurred.

            From the German view, Summer, who had been injured himself slightly on landing, spent the ten days after his arrival hiding in the open between Oxford and Birmingham. Then, as the weather was bad, he proposed to find a shelter for himself by posing as a Swedish refugee.  The Germans voted this idea idea and instead instructed Snow (Arthur Owens) by wireless to make contact with Summer (Gösta Caroli) and arrange for his accommodation.  On 17.9.40 Snow (Arthur Owens) despatched Biscuit who met Summer by arrangement at the High Wycombe railway station.  He then notionally (virtually) took Summer with him to London, put him up in his flat and took steps to see that the seaman's papers which he had brought with him were put into order.  The Germans were told via Snow's (Arthur Owens') transmitter that Summer had fallen ill as a result of his time in the open and being nursed by Biscuit. By 27.9.40 the Germans were told that Summer had recovered and that as his papers were now in order he was ready to set out once more on his own.  They → (page 11)

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→gave instructions that he should be told to work the area London-Colchester-Southend. By 23.10.40 he was able to announce on his transmitter that he had succeeded in establishing himself in lodgings to the south of Cambridge. (AOB, all the time he was controlled by the British Secret Service, throughout) There, as far as the Germans knew he remained until the following January.  There was no further contact between him and Snow's (Arthur Owens') (virtual) organisation except that he had Biscuit's (Sam McCarthy's) address for use necessary and once received a payment of £200 from him.  At the end of January 1941 Summer's (Gösta Caroli) transmitter went suddenly off the air and the Germans were told through Snow (Arthur Owens)  that Biscuit (Sam McCarthy) had received a letter from him to the effect that he was under suspicion by the Police and had taken advantage of the seaman's papers to cut and run.  he had left his wireless set in the cloakroom at Cambridge station, whence on the German's instructions it was later retrieved by Biscuit (Sam McCarthy).

            The true story was different.  After his capture Summer (Gösta Caroli) was accommodated at Camp 020 but later released under our control so that he might operate his transmitter.  Later it was necessary to return him for a short while to Camp 020 as it had become clear from his conversation that he had not told the truth about his previous career in England.  Subsequently, (after a vain (unsuccessful) attempt at suicide) he was released again and installed with a guard in a house near Hinxton.  Re remained there until the end of January 1941 when he made an ill-advised attempt to escape, was recaptured and returned for the rest of the time (the war) to Camp 020 where he still remains. (AOB, this report does not contain a reference date, but we may consider it before May 1945) His wireless transmissions were broken off in the circumstances described above.

            In the meantime there had been further interesting developments in the connection with Snow's (Arthur Owens')  other sub-agents Charlie (Charles Eschborn)  and G.W. (the Welshman Gwilym Williams). As early as the end of August 1940 the Germans had announced their intention of sending a wireless operator to assist Charlie (Charles Eschborn) in Manchester.  A house was accordingly prepared for this man's reception in which was installed the transmitter which Biscuit (Sam McCarthy)   had brought back from Lisbon (August 1940).  In the end, however, this man, like the South African of whom Biscuit (Sam McCarthy) had spoken previously, never, arrived.  Exactly what became of these two agents remains obscure, though according to Snow's (Arthur Owens') wireless traffic the South African was dropped at some time during the last week of August and Charlie's (Charles Eschborn's) wireless operator on the night of 15th - 16th December (1940).   So far as we know, both these men, if they were dropped, came down in the sea or at any rate in circumstances which left no trace of their arrival/ It is just possible that the south African who landed with Obed in Ireland on 7.7.40.  It had certainly been suggested, both in Snow's  (Arthur Owens)  traffic and during one of his earlier meetings with (Major) Ritter, the best way to introduce a man into England might be via Eire (Republic of Ireland). If either Tributh or Gartner (Gaertner / Gärtner) was the South African, then the Abwehr staff work must have been more than usually bad.  On the 17th of July (1940), that is ten days after the Tributh party's arrival in Iere and asking for information about what identity cards and other papers were necessary.

            A similar misfortune appears to have overcome the three saboteurs whom the Germans suggested that they should sent to assist G.W. (Gwilym Williams) in Swansea. Their impending arrival was first spoken of in July (1940) and and thereafter continued to be referred to (though with some discrepancies as to the number of people involved) until 26th October, when the Germans announced that a man for Swansea would arrive in about a fortnight and would make contact with G.W. (Gwilym Williams)  at the latter's address.  No one did so, but on 12.11.40 that is a little over a fortnight later, three Cubans - Robles, Martinez and Hechevarria - did arrive, overloaded with sabotage equipment, on the fishing smack Josephine at Fishguard, It is not unlikely, though we have never proved it, that these were in fact three men intended for G.W. (Gwilym Williams)  In the meanwhile, however, one actual emissary arrived in the person of the Spanjard Del Pozo (Miguel) he got British cover-name  Pogo since, who reached England on 27.9.40 and shortly after his arrival addressed a letter to G.W. (the Welshman Gwilym Williams), in  which he mentioned the password which priviously been agreed upon in connection with the men who were to come to Swansea. When he heard this Snow (Arthur Owens) sent a wireless message message asking for further details and was told that Del Pozo (the latter's real name) was a member of the commander's propaganda and sabotage organisation and was carrying money intended for Snow.  On 11.10.40 a meeting took place between G.W. (Gwilym Williams) and Del Pozo at which the latter handed over → (page 11) → the sum of nearly £1000??. from then until the time of Del Pozo's final departure at the beginning of February 1941 (shortly thereafter Arthur Owens will meet Del Pozo (Pogo) in Lisbon/Estoril) G.W. (Gwilym Williams)  also substituted to Del Pozo detailed reports of the activities in Wales and the information which had previously been passed through Snow (Arthur Owens).

 

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 → the sum of nearly £1000??. from then until the time of Del Pozo's final departure at the beginning of February 1941 (shortly thereafter Arthur Owens will meet Del Pozo (Pogo) in Lisbon/Estoril) G.W. (Gwilym Williams)  also substituted to Del Pozo detailed reports of the activities in Wales and the information which had previously been passed through Snow (Arthur Owens). The exact position of del Pozo in the German organisation is slightly ambiguous. As was mentioned above he was said to be an agent of the commander and therefore presumably  an Abteilung II (= sabotage) man,  but G.W. (Gwilym Williams) was also instructed through Snow (Arthur Owens) that Del Pozo's position must have been a dual one in that he was working simultaneously for the commander and for Alcazar without the latter being informed of all the facts.

            In the meantime Snow (Arthur Owens) himself, had been making arrangements with the Germans for a further meeting with (Major) Ritter, this time to take place in Lisbon, and had undertaken to bring with him two further sub-agents or, as he preferred to say, "side-kicks", one for instructions in Germany and one for a verbal consultation in Lisbon.  While these arrangements were still under discussion he had been indirectly concerned with the arrival or presence in England of still further Germans agents.  In the first place he had been asked to supply a series of names and numbers from N.R. identity cards and had dome so.  These names subsequently reappeared on the cards of Tate (Wolf Schmidt), Vera Eriskon (https://www.cdvandt.org/druecke-vera-waelti.htm) and others.  He had also been asked to locate and assist if he could the agent Jakobs, who was dropped on the night of 31.1.41, and injured himself on landing https://www.cdvandt.org/kv-2-24-27-jakobs.htm . It is possible that Jakobs may really have been intended to contact Charlie (Charles Eschborn in Manchester), for his arrival followed by a few weeks an (broadcast?) announcement by the Germans that they had a new man ready to drop at Manchester as a substitute for the one who had been lost (Jakobs, see hyperlink before the last one)  The next incident was that on 24.1.41 Snow (Arthur Owens) was informed that a German agent in England had acquired valuable information about developments in infra-red which the Germans wished Snow (Arthur Owens) to bring with him to Lisbon (February/March 1941).  Arrangements were made for this agent's reports to be received at Biscuit's flat (14 Craven Hill) in London before Snow's departure, but once more no one appeared (N243)  (N243return). Finally on 7.2.41 shortly before his departure, Snow was instructed to send £100 to agent Tate (German name Wulf Dietrich Schmidt, whom was one of Ritter's best friends), in the same name under which the latter was actually living (AOB, his German cover-name was Leonard) by post to a Poste Restante address.  he despatched the money four days later in a registered envelope.

            On 15.2.41 Snow (Arthur Owens) left by air for Lisbon, having been proceeded a fortnight earlier by the agent Celery (Walter Dicketts) (AOB, incorrectly suggested here, that he arrived also a fortnight earlier, which wasn't the case, because Walter Dicketts left from Liverpool by a ships convoy, heading first for Gibraltar and from there arriving at Lisbon, consequently arriving quite long after did Arthur Owens) one of the two "side-kicks" referred to above.  Celery (Walter Dicketts) was a nominee of this office (M.I.5) with whom, however, Snow had some time before struck up an acquaintance on his own (in a pub).  Celery (Walter Dicketts) had served during the last war (WW I, 1914-18) in a branch of air intelligence but since then had shown a less satisfactory record and had been involved after his return to civil life in a numerous of dubious financial dealings.      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Dicketts. He was therefore able to represent to the Germans that he had a grudge (resentment) against this country in as much his record made it impossible for him to regain his commission in the Air Force. As he was an observant able man with a fluent knowledge of German he was regarded as being particular suitable to undergo a course training in Germany, from which we expected that he might bring back valuable information. Unfortunately these hopes were largely disappointed. We still do not know precisely what happened after Snow (Arthur Owens) arrived in Lisbon, but we can at least be certain that during his visit he compromised himself in some way with the Germans and that his career as a double agent came to an abrupt close.

(AOB, this might indicate that this paper had been made before they captured Major Ritter in May 1946. Secondly, an endemic lack of self-critics, as after Owens' return he gave them (T.A. Robertson and others) the key to what did go wrong, and what was truly caused within M.I.5!  The very fact - never discussing within the Service - as far as it remained in the according files: Owens arrived in Lisbon with an airplane, for which M.I.5 had managed a priority seat! But there were already existing quite long waiting-lists. How, could an individual obtain, on such short notice, a priority seat without official pushing? Of course, the Germans knew about this very fact and, consequently, they drew their conclusions. Was it so difficult for those Crown Servants to acknowledge that they created Arthur Owens' blow themselves? This is why I have to refer to these facts time- and-again! I consider it an ill kind of "Tunnel vision"! 

 By his own account Snow met Ritter on the evening of his first day in Lisbon and was accused by him of working under British control.  Snow sayd that since he saw from Ritter's expression that the game was up he admit the charge and said that he had been detected some three (two?) months previously and had since worked as a double agent. Ritter's reaction was to propose an elaborate scheme by which Snow (Arthur Owens) should return to still in the capacity of a double agent, but should indicate to him by certain code words inserted into his (W/T) traffic what of it was true and what false.  All this had occurred before Celery's (Walter Dicketts') arrival in Lisbon, which was a little delayed since the ship on which he sailed was some days over due.   (AOB, In Ritter's book: Deckname Dr. Rantzau, of 1972 [5] Nilolaus Ritter explained that he trusted Arthur Owens' personally because of their longstanding friendship since 1936) Almost immediately after his arrival he also saw Ritter, though by his (Walter Dicketts') own account without having learnt from Snow (Arthur Owens) of what had → (page 13)→ passed, and then was agreed that he should travel into Germany as had been arrange beforehand.

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→ passed, and then was agreed that he should travel into Germany as had been arrange beforehand. (AOB: Walter was treated by the Germans extremely luxury and wasn't threatened at all; but there must have existed already before they went to Portugal an apparent animosity between both Arthur Owens and Walter Dicketts, because during their mutual interrogations Walter, at some stage, came up with private details between Arthur Owens and his girlfriend Lily Bade with whom Arthur lived as man-and-wife and had the baby Jean Louise, in such an aggressive manner that already may be consider jealousy or even hatred existed from Walter Dicketts towards Arthur Owens. Do we have since to trust Walter Dicketts's statements against Arthur Owens? (M243)   (M243return)  This he did in company with one of Ritter's assistants who escorted him to  Hamburg, where he was subject to the closest interrogation about his past and present activities.  After some three weeks returned without mishap. (AOB, too briefly delt with: Walter Dicketts stayed in Hamburg in the best 5 Star Hotel in Town Vier Jahreszeiten; was free to go everywhere. Thereafter he went to Berlin where he again was lodged in a the 5 Star Hotel Adlon!). He had not, however, been given the training for which presumably he went but had instead been provided with a quantity of propaganda material and some tendentious information about air raid damage in Hamburg, He rejoined Snow (Arthur Owens) and the two then came back to England. Snow (Arthur Owens) bringing with him a further supply of detonators and some £10.000 in cash. On what footing they arrived it is hard to say, for Snow's (Arthur Owens') account of the proceedings in Lisbon was in the highest degree confused and gave every impression of being untruthful. Even if it were true he had certainly permitted Celery (Walter Dicketts) to go on with what had by then become an extremely dangerous mission without warning (this fact was mainly caused by a great extent of "tunnel vision" within M.I.5 itself, as it couldn't been proven!) him of what the true position was, Snow (Arthur Owens) himself was therefore detained (again under Alien Order 18B) and in his own case, which of course involved those of Celery (Walter Dicketts), Charlie (Charles Eschborn)  and Biscuit (Sam McCarthy), was brought to a rapid end. The last (W/T) message sent by his transmitter were to the effect that he was dangerously ill in hospital.

            The consequences of this breakdown were not quite so serious as had at first been anticipated.  Snow's (Arthur Owens' revelations has apparently had no adverse effect upon Tate (Wulf Dietrich Schmidt), though logically they should have done since he had made a payment to him within the period during which he had admitted to having been under control. Similarly G.W. (Gwilym Williams)  was presently able to re-open his contact with the Germans or at least with the organisation of Alcazar de Velasco, which, as we now know, passes its information direct to the Germans.  After a suitable interval G.W. (Gwilym Williams) approached Segundo, the porter at the Spanish Embassy, who had previously acted as a go-between between him and del Pozo (British Pogo),  Through Segundo, G.W. (Gwilym Williams) was eventually introduced to Louis Calvo, and from June 1941 until the latter's arrest continued to see him periodically to receive money from him and to make to him reports which he had previously given to del Pozo (Pogo). As far as we can tell Calvo did not at the time (whatever he may have said after his arrest) entertain any suspicious about G.W. (the Welshman Gwilym Williams) bona fides and certainly forwarded his reports to the Spanish masters. It is, however, still not clear whether this must necessarily be taken to mean that in the Germans' eyes at any rate G.W. (Gwilym Williams) was for some mysterious reason compromised by the overthrow of Snow (Arthur Owens).

            With the arrest of Louis Calvo in March 1942 the Snow case in all its many ramifications came finally to an end. Although his own career had ended more or less disastrously Snow's (Arthur Owens') case had not been by any means unprofitable to us.  he had given us at the beginning of the war information which formed the basis of our knowledge of the Hamburg Stelle (Abwehrstelle-X) and which was of considerable value at the time when that Stelle was the one principally concerned with work against this country.  Similarly he had through Biscuit (Sam McCarthy) and latterly through Celery (Walter Dicketts) provided valuable information about the German organisation in Lisbon.  It is true no doubt that without Snow's assistance we should nevertheless have detected all of the agents who we did detect, with the possible exception of Mrs. Krafft (Bournemouth), but still the part which Snow (Arthur Owens') played in these early cases, both directly in the way making payments to other agents and indirectly in that he provided the information upon which the Germans constructed their false papers, shows that he was then regarded as the linchpin (key-player) of the Abwehr organisation in England.  Consequently we were able by study of his case to form an impression of the Abwehr's methods of working which has been of incomparable value since.

 

 

To be continued in due course

By Arthur O. Bauer 

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