Operation Jungle

Operation Jungle was a program by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) early in the Cold War (1948–1955) for the clandestine insertion of intelligence and resistance agents into Poland and the Baltic states. The agents were mostly Polish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian exiles who had been trained in the UK and Sweden and were to link up with the anti-Soviet resistance in the occupied states (the Cursed soldiers, the Forest Brothers). The naval operations of the program were carried out by German crewmembers of the German Mine Sweeping Administration under the control of the Royal Navy. The American-sponsored Gehlen Organization also got involved in the draft of agents from Eastern Europe. The KGB penetrated the network and captured or turned most of the agents.

Operation Jungle
Part of the Cold War
S-Boote-Kiel

Three German Silbermöwe-class motorboats, used during the last phase of Operation Jungle
Date1949–1955
Location
Result Overall operational failure[1]
Naval success[1]
Belligerents
 United Kingdom
 West Germany
 Sweden
 Denmark
 United States
 Soviet Union
Poland Communist Poland
Commanders and leaders
United States Harry S. Truman
United Kingdom Henry Carr
United Kingdom John Harvey-Jones
West Germany Hans-Helmut Klose
West Germany Reinhard Gehlen
Sweden Gustaf VI Adolf
Denmark Fredrick IX
Soviet Union Viktor Abakumov
Soviet Union Lavrentiy Beria
Poland Bolesław Bierut
Strength
2 E-boats
3 motorboats
Soviet patrol boats
Casualties and losses
3 agents killed[2]
Several agents captured
Unknown
West and East Germans at the Brandenburg Gate in 1989

Part of a series on the
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Origins of the Cold War
World War II
(Hiroshima and Nagasaki)
War conferences
Eastern Bloc
Western Bloc
Iron Curtain
Cold War (1947–1953)
Cold War (1953–1962)
Cold War (1962–1979)
Cold War (1979–1985)
Cold War (1985–1991)
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Cold War II

History

In the late 1940s MI6 established a special center in Chelsea, London, to train agents to be sent to the Baltic states. The operation was codenamed "Jungle" and led by Henry Carr, director of the Northern European Department of MI6, and Baltic section head Alexander McKibbin. The Estonian group was led by Alfons Rebane, who had also served as a Waffen-SS Standartenführer during Estonia's occupation by Nazi Germany, the Latvian group led by former Luftwaffe officer Rūdolfs Silarājs and the Lithuanian group led by history professor Stasys Žymantas.[3]

The Gehlen Organization, an intelligence agency established by American occupation authorities in Germany in 1946 and manned by former members of the Wehrmacht's Fremde Heere Ost (Foreign Armies East), also recruited agents from East European émigré organizations for the operations.[4] The agents were transported under the cover of the "British Baltic Fishery Protection Service" (BBFPS), a cover organization launched from British-occupied Germany, using a converted former World War II E-boat. Royal Navy Commander Anthony Courtney had earlier been struck by the potential capabilities of former E-boat hulls, and John Harvey-Jones of the Naval Intelligence Division was put in charge of the project and discovered that the Royal Navy still had two E-boats, P5230 and P5208. They were sent to Portsmouth where one of them was modified to reduce its weight and increase its power. To preserve deniability, a former German E-boat captain, Hans-Helmut Klose, and a German crew from the German Mine Sweeping Administration were recruited to man the E-boat.[1][5]

Agents were inserted into Saaremaa, Estonia, Užava and Ventspils, Latvia, Palanga, Lithuania and Ustka, Poland, typically via Bornholm, Denmark, where the final radio signal was given from London for the boats to enter the territorial waters claimed by the USSR. The boats proceeded to their destinations, typically several miles offshore, under cover of darkness and met with shore parties in dinghies' returning agents were received at some of these rendezvous.

Phases

The operation evolved into a number of phases. The first transport of agents occurred in May 1949, with six agents boarding the boat at Kiel. The vessel was manned by Klose and a German crew. The British officers on board, Lieutenant Commanders Harvey-Jones and Shaw, handed over the command of the boat to Swedish officers in Simrishamn, Southern Sweden. The German crew then proceeded via the cover of Öland Island, then east to Palanga, north of Klaipeda, arriving around 10:30pm. Within 300m of shore the six agents disembarked in a rubber dingy and made their way to shore. The boat returned to Gosport, picking up the British officers at Simrishamn and refueling at Borkum.[1]

Following the success of the initial operation, MI6 followed up with several more improvised landings via rubber dingy. Two agents were landed at Ventspils on 1 November 1949; three agents landed south of Ventspils on April 12, 1950 and two agents in December at Palanga.[1]

In late 1950, British Naval Intelligence and MI6 created a more permanent organisation with Klose hiring a crew of 14 sailors and basing the boat at Hamburg-Finkenwerder. The "British Baltic Fishery Protection Service" was thus invented as a credible cover story given the harassment of West German fishermen by the Soviets. The operation evolved with a secondary task of visual and electronic reconnaissance of the Baltic coast from Saaremaa in Estonia to Rügen in East Germany. For this purpose the boat was re-fitted with additional fuel tanks for extended range and an extensive antenna suite and American equipment for COMINT and ELINT. During this phase, four landings were performed between 1951 and 1952 with 16 agents inserted and five agents retrieved.[1]

In August 1952, a second E-boat was put into service as a refuelling and supply vessel and consort for the SIGINT operations, under the command of Lieutenant E. G. Müller, a former executive officer who served under Klose during World War II. Eight Polish agents were inserted during this period using sea-borne balloons.[1]

During the period 1954-55, three new German-built motorboats of the Silbermöwe class replaced the old E-boats.[1] They were christened Silvergull (German name Silbermöwe, commanded by H. H. Klose), Stormgull (German name Sturmmöwe, commanded by E. G . Müller) and Wild Swan (German name Wildschwan, commanded by D. Ehrhardt).[6][1] They were built at the Lürssen dockyard in Bremen-Vegesack for the West German Border Police, but under the pretense that the boats exceeded the speed allowed by the treaty of Potsdam, French and British authorities confiscated the vessels for Klose's missions. In February 1955, during a SIGINT sweep from Brüsterort to Liepāja, there was a 15-minute engagement off Klaipeda with a Soviet patrol boat; Ehrhardt's Wild Swan was fired on by the Soviets but the German boat slipped away at top speed.[1]

Operation compromised

The operation was severely compromised by Soviet counter-intelligence, primarily through information provided by the British "Cambridge Five". In the extensive counter-operation "Lursen-S" (named for Lürssen, the manufacturer of the E-boats), the NKVD/KGB captured or killed nearly every one of the 42 Baltic agents inserted into the field. Many of them were turned as double agents who infiltrated and significantly weakened the Baltic resistance.

One of the agents sent to Estonia and captured by the KGB, Mart Männik, wrote an autobiography A Tangled Web: A British Spy in Estonia, which was published after his death and has been translated into English. The book gives an account of his experiences throughout and after the unsuccessful operation.[7]

MI6 suspended the operation in 1955 due to the increasing loss of agents and suspicions that the operation was compromised. The last mission was a landing on Saaremaa in April 1955.[8] While the overall MI6 operation in Courland is regarded as a fiasco, Klose missions are considered successful, as far as the SIGINT and the naval aspects of his incursions are concerned.[1] The motorboats were handed over to the new German Navy in 1956.[1]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hess, Sigurd. "The Clandestine Operations of Hans Helmut Klose and the British Baltic Fishery Protection Service (BBFPS) 1945-1956". The Journal of Intelligence History. LIT Verlag Münster. 1 (2): 169–178.
  2. ^ Dorril, Stephen (2002). MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service. Simon and Schuster, p. 292. ISBN 0743217780
  3. ^ Laar, Mart; Tiina Ets; Tonu Parming (1992). War in the Woods: Estonia's Struggle for Survival, 1944-1956. Howells House. p. 211. ISBN 0-929590-08-2.
  4. ^ Höhne, Heinz; Zolling, Hermann (1972). The General Was a Spy: The Truth about General Gehlen and his spy ring. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan. pp. 150-53. ISBN 0698104307
  5. ^ Peebles, Curtis (2005). Twilight Warriors. Naval Institute Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 1-59114-660-7.
  6. ^ "Die Schnellboot-Seite - S-Boats Federal GE Navy". s-boot.net. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  7. ^ Männik, Mart (2008). A Tangled Web: A British Spy in Estonia. Tallinn: Grenader Publishing. ISBN 978-9949-448-18-0.
  8. ^ Adams, Jefferson (2009). Historical Dictionary of German Intelligence. Scarecrow Press. p. 235. ISBN 9780810855434.

References

Alfons Rebane

Alfons Vilhelm Robert Rebane, known simply as Alfons Rebane (24 June 1908 – 8 March 1976) was an Estonian military commander. He was the most highly decorated Estonian military officer during World War II, serving in various Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS units of Nazi Germany.After World War II Rebane joined the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) where he played a key role in assisting the armed resistance to Soviet rule in Estonia and other Baltic countries. He led the Estonian portion of MI6's Operation Jungle well into the 1950s.

In 1961, Rebane retired from the British intelligence services and moved to Germany, where he stayed until his death in Augsburg in 1976. The 1999 reburial of Rebane in Estonia with state honors triggered a number of controversies.

April 9 tragedy

The April 9 tragedy (also known as Tbilisi massacre or Tbilisi tragedy) refers to the events in Tbilisi, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, on April 9, 1989, when an anti-Soviet demonstration was dispersed by the Soviet Army, resulting in 21 deaths and hundreds of injuries. April 9 is now remembered as the Day of National Unity (Georgian: ეროვნული ერთიანობის დღე erovnuli ertianobis dghe), an annual public holiday.

Charles Larimore Jones

Charles Larimore Jones (14 May 1932 – 23 November 2006), also known as Charlie Jones, was an architect of the U.S. Air Force's forward air control doctrine, as well as one of its early practitioners during the Laotian Civil War. He was trained in forward air control techniques as a Combat Controller in 1954. In 1962, he was one of the Operation Jungle Jim volunteers who reestablished the Air Commandos. He was the first Combat Controller committed solely to support the U.S. Army Special Forces. Based on his experience, in 1963 he was assigned to Hurlburt Field to write the field manual on forward air control while expanding the Combat Controller curriculum.

Jones deployed frequently in the next few years. On one of these deployments, he was one of the first pair of Combat Controllers clandestinely infiltrated into the Laotian Civil War, under the call sign Butterfly. He and James J. Stanford supplied the first rudiments of forward air control to Operation Steel Tiger and Operation Barrel Roll. When that assignment was superseded by Raven Forward Air Controllers, Jones returned stateside and transferred into the U.S. Army as a warrant officer to finish his military career with U.S. Special Forces in 1969. After retiring from the military, he earned a Ph.D and a J.D., and became a college professor and attorney.

Cominform

Founded on October 5, 1947, Cominform (from Communist Information Bureau) is the common name for what was officially referred to as the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties. It was the first official forum of the International Communist Movement since the dissolution of the Comintern and confirmed the new realities after World War II, including the creation of an Eastern Bloc.

E-boat

E-boat was the Western Allies' designation for the fast attack craft (German: Schnellboot, or S-Boot, meaning "fast boat") of the Kriegsmarine during World War II. The most popular, the S-100 class, were very seaworthy, heavily armed and capable of sustaining 43.5 knots (80.6 km/h; 50.1 mph), briefly accelerating to 48 knots (89 km/h; 55 mph).These craft were 35 m (114 ft 10 in) long and 5.1 m (16 ft 9 in) in beam. Their diesel engines provided a range of 700 to 750 nmi (810–860 mi; 1,300–1,390 km), substantially greater than the gasoline-fueled American PT boats and British Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs).As a result, the Royal Navy later developed better-matched MTBs, using the Fairmile 'D' hull design.

East German uprising of 1953

The East German uprising of 1953 (German: Volksaufstand vom 17. Juni 1953 ) began with a strike action by East Berlin construction workers on 16 June, and turned into a widespread uprising against the German Democratic Republic government the next day. It involved more than one million people in about 700 localities.The uprising in East Berlin was violently suppressed by tanks of the Soviet occupation forces, and the Kasernierte Volkspolizei. In spite of the intervention of Soviet troops, the wave of strikes and protests were not easily brought under control. There were demonstrations in more than 500 towns and villages after 17 June.

The date, 17 June, was celebrated as a public holiday in West Germany up until the German reunification, after which it was replaced by German Unity Day, celebrated annually on 3 October. Strikes and working class networks, particularly relating to the old Social Democratic Party of Germany, anti-fascist resistance networks and trade unions played a key role in the unfolding of the uprising. The event has always been significantly downplayed in the Soviet Union.

Latvian partisans

Latvian national partisans were the Latvian national partisans who waged guerrilla warfare against Soviet rule during and after Second World War.

List of James Bond comics

This is a list of comics featuring James Bond.

Novocherkassk massacre

The Novocherkassk massacre refers to events tied to the labor strike at a locomotive building plant in Novocherkassk, a city in the Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. The events eventually culminated into the protests of June 1–2, 1962 when reportedly 26 protesters were killed by Soviet Army troops, and 87 were wounded.

Poznań protests of 1956

The Poznań protests of 1956, also known as Poznań June (Polish: Poznański Czerwiec), were the first of several massive protests against the communist government of the Polish People's Republic. Demonstrations by workers demanding better working conditions began on 28 June 1956 at Poznań's Cegielski Factories and were met with violent repression.

A crowd of approximately 100,000 people gathered in the city centre near the local Ministry of Public Security building. About 400 tanks and 10,000 soldiers of the Polish People's Army and the Internal Security Corps under Polish-Soviet general Stanislav Poplavsky were ordered to suppress the demonstration and during the pacification fired at the protesting civilians.

The death toll was estimated to be between 57 and over a hundred people, including a 13-year-old boy, Romek Strzałkowski. Hundreds of people sustained injuries. The Poznań protests were an important milestone on the way to the Polish October, the installation of a less Soviet-controlled government.

Singing Revolution

The Singing Revolution is a commonly used name for events between 1987 and 1991 that led to the restoration of the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The term was coined by an Estonian activist and artist, Heinz Valk, in an article published a week after the 10–11 June 1988, spontaneous mass evening singing demonstrations at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds.

Smiley's People

Smiley's People is a spy novel by John le Carré, published in 1980. Featuring British master-spy George Smiley, it is the third and final novel of the "Karla Trilogy", following Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Honourable Schoolboy. George Smiley is called out of retirement to investigate the death of one of his old agents: a former Soviet general, the head of an Estonian émigré organisation based in London. Smiley learns the general had discovered information that will lead to a final confrontation with Smiley's nemesis, the Soviet spymaster Karla.

The character General Vladimir was partly modelled on Colonel Alfons Rebane, an Estonian émigré who led the Estonian portion of SIS's Operation Jungle in the 1950s. David Cornwell (John le Carré) worked as an intelligence officer for both MI5 and the SIS (MI6).

Solidarity (Polish trade union)

Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność, pronounced [sɔlʲiˈdarnɔɕt͡ɕ] (listen); full name: Independent Self-governing Labour Union "Solidarity"—Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy "Solidarność" [ɲezaˈlɛʐnɨ samɔˈʐɔndnɨ ˈzvʲɔ̃zɛk zavɔˈdɔvɨ sɔlʲiˈdarnɔɕt͡ɕ]) is a Polish labour union that was founded on 17 September 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa. It was the first trade union in a Warsaw Pact country that was not controlled by a communist party. Its membership peaked at 10 million members at its September 1981 Congress, which constituted one third of the total working-age population of Poland.In the 1980s, Solidarity was a broad anti-bureaucratic social movement, using the methods of civil resistance to advance the causes of workers' rights and social change. The government attempted to destroy the union by imposing martial law in Poland, which lasted from December 1981 to July 1983 and was followed by several years of political repression from 8 October 1982, but in the end it was forced to negotiate with Solidarity. In the union's clandestine years, Pope John Paul II and the United States provided significant financial support, estimated to be as much as 50 million US dollars.The round table talks between the government and the Solidarity-led opposition led to semi-free elections in 1989. By the end of August, a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed. In December 1990, Wałęsa was elected President of Poland. Since then, Solidarity has become a more traditional liberal trade union. Its membership had dropped to 680,000 by 2010 and 400,000 by 2011.

Soviet reaction to the Polish crisis of 1980–1981

The Polish crisis of 1980–1981, associated with the emergence of the Solidarity mass movement in Poland, challenged the Soviet Union's control over its satellite states in the Eastern Bloc.For the first time however, the Kremlin abstained from military intervention, unlike on previous occasions such as the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and thus left the Polish leadership under General Wojciech Jaruzelski to impose martial law to deal with the opposition on their own.

Special Service Unit No. 1

Special Services Unit No. 1 (SSU 1) was a short lived special forces unit during World War II. A combined operations unit, it included both US and Australian personnel. SSU 1 undertook amphibious reconnaissance missions, to gather intelligence about proposed amphibious landing sites.

Formed in July 1943, SSU 1 trained initially at Cairns, Australia, in martial arts, hand-to-hand combat, rubber craft operation, jungle survival training, pidgin English, map making, oceanography and marine biology (i.e. recognizing underwater coral formations and other sea creatures).

In August 1943, SSU 1 moved to Fergusson Island, New Guinea and in November the unit relocated to Milne Bay.

Missions were undertaken at Finschhafen, Arawe, Gasmata and Cape Gloucester, without any casualties.

Following disputes between the various services involved regarding operational matters, many of the personnel transferred to other units. In December 1943, the remainder returned to their respective services.

US Navy personnel from SSU 1 subsequently became the basis of the 7th Amphibious Scouts.

Telephone tapping in the Eastern Bloc

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Tito–Stalin split

The Tito–Stalin Split, or Yugoslav–Soviet Split, was a conflict between the leaders of SFR Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which resulted in Yugoslavia's expulsion from the Communist Information Bureau (Cominform) in 1948. This was the beginning of the Informbiro period, marked by poor relations with the USSR, that came to an end in 1955.

Ulbricht Doctrine

The Ulbricht Doctrine, named after East German leader Walter Ulbricht, was the assertion that normal diplomatic relations between East Germany and West Germany could occur only if both states fully recognised each other's sovereignty. That contrasted with the Hallstein Doctrine, a West German policy which insisted that West Germany was the only legitimate German state.

East Germany gained acceptance of its view from fellow Communist states, such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which all agreed not to normalise relations with West Germany until it recognised East German sovereignty.

West Germany eventually abandoned its Hallstein Doctrine, instead adopting the policies of Ostpolitik. In December 1972, a Basic Treaty between East and West Germany was signed that reaffirmed two German states as separate entities. The treaty also allowed the exchange of diplomatic missions and the entry of both German states to the United Nations as full members.

Western Bloc

The Western Bloc during the Cold War refers to capitalist countries under the hegemony of the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. The latter were referred to as the Eastern Bloc. The governments and press of the Western Bloc were more inclined to refer to themselves as the "Free World" or the "Western world", whereas the Eastern Bloc was often called the "Communist world or Second world".

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