The start of "The Englandspiel" also called "Operation Nordpol".
All events have a start, this start can be planned like a birthday party or can commence by chance like a car accident.
Here a short summary of events as they unfolded.
28 augustus 1940. The first known agent Lodo van Hamel is transported to Holland by boat by v 't Sant/ MI6. This agent was arrested on 14th October 1940 along with 2 men and a woman by the Germans led by Schreieder helped by the Dutch military police. His transmitter was confiscated and the rest of his network dismantled. He was executed on 17th July 1941.
19th November 1940: Agent Kees van Brink was air dropped at Kippenburg in the municipality of Gaasterland.
13th June 1941: Agents J. Zomer and W. Schrage deployed.
5th July 1941: Agent A. Alblas was dropped in Holland.
15th August 1941: On the German side Herman Giskes enters service with the "Abwehrstelle Niederlanden" , a German defence unit. He is subsequently transferred from Paris to The Hague by Canaris (Menu Abwehr <-> SD) to form a team with lieutenant Heinrich, leader of the "Funkbeobachtungsstelle" a unit assigned to track down secret transmitters. Heinrich tells Giskes about two transmitters, UBX and TBO. UBX being the transmitter being operated by J. (Hans) Zomer. (Zomer being the agent deployed on
31th August 1941: On the Dutch Queen's birthday (a date carefully waited for by the German SD and Abwehr) shelter address of Hans Zomer in Bilthoven was raided while he was transmitting and Zomer was captured. He was executed on March 11th together with 22 others.
6th September 1941: Agents Ab Homburg and Cor Sporre were air dropped. After some time Ab Homburg wants to return to England. He meets up with Jan de Haas and Jo Buizer. Homburg was arrested on
13th November 1941: Agents Sporre and Schrage leave for England. They never arrive.
23th October 1941: Agent Huub Lauwers (came from Manilla to England) assigned to Dutch service and called to London for a special mission.
9th December 1941: Wim van der Reijden recruited by SOE to become an agent. He is a radio operator. They need him to replace another agent Jo ter Laak who while being dropped damaged his radio transmitter. The English and the Dutch differ from opinion as to the reliability of van der Reijden. However he was dropped ashore by a MTB (Motor Torpedo Vessel)
January 1942: The Germans by ear of Herman Giskes hear of 3 people going to be picked up at the Dutch coast by an MTB. Giskes got this information from Kupp who in turn was told by a guy called Ridderhof.
15th February 1942 agents Homburg, de Haas and Buiser leave from Holland for England.
23th February 1942 Ernst de Jonge is dropped with his radio operator Evert Radema by a MTB on the coast. Radema goes instead of Joseph Bukkens, who don't go because: "there must be first some clearance about the situation". They are send by another organisation, CID / MI6.
28th February 1942 Ridderhof , a V-mann, comes with the story that there will be taking place a dropping. Two containers dropped near Hooghalen. Taconis and Bierman take care for the containers. Ridderhof arrange transport and storage. He also has contacts with Captain van de Berg.
28th February 1942 The same night George Dessing is dropped near Ermelo.
6th March 1942 Huub Lauwers is arrested in the Fahrenheitstraat (the Hague) near the house of Walter (Wout?) Teller from where he was transmitting. Teller finally died in a concentration camp.
9th March 1942 Thijs Taconis arrested in Arnhen by Poos and Slagter, two policeman out the Hague, working for the SD.
16th March 1942 Armandus Maassen is put on the beach by a MTB with the intention to assist Emmer and de Jonge
In the middle of March 1942 London announces (by radio) that there will arrive a new agent and after some time later that he not will come. Lauwers makes the conclusion that they had understood that he was captured. Some days later he get the message that there will be send another agent. If then on
29th March 1942 In this night also Willem Niermeijer is dropped. He is not announced and is free until 6th Oktober 1942 and with that the last one of the free man who was captured.
5th April 1942 Klooss and Sebes are dropped.
9th April 1942 Jan de Haas is dropped. On 28th of April 1942 he was arrested in the Hague.
Little by little on both sides everything is organised and all sequential agents are "played" directly in the Germans hands. Place and time of dropping are known and there are no more "blind" droppings.
14 February 1943 Terwindt
From June 1943 all agents are "blind" dropped. Most of them stay free. Those agents will not be discussed because they didn't belong to the Englandspiel.
1st April 1944 Schreieder finished the play by sending the next message:
Messrs, Blunt, Bingham and Successors, Ltd. London. In the last time you are trying to make business in the Netherlands without our assistance. We think this rather unfair in view of our long and successful co-operation as your sole agents. But never mind, when you come to pay a visit to the Continent you may be assured that you will be received with the same care and result as all those you sent before. So long!