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WAR AND PEAS TOP SECRET; THE Secret Services yesterday released 198 files containing information on previously confidential events during World War II. The MI5 documents cover a host of issues and are now open for public viewing at the National Archive at Kew in London.


BRITAIN'S best agents were to be hidden in boarding houses in north Wales if the Nazis invaded.

M15 had had great success in ``turning'' captured German agents and using them to feed false information back to the Nazis.

It was feared agents could face torture or start working for the Germans again afteran invasion. Regional officer Captain Finney said: ``If I cannot get accommodation for them by fair means, I shall use foul methods.''

And Colonel Tommy ``Tar'' Robertson said: ``If there is danger of the more dangerous cases falling into enemy hands, they will be liquidated forcibly.''

The plan was dropped in 1943.


LADY Diana Mosley, the wife of fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley, was locked up for much of World War II after the intervention of her ex-father-in-law.

Lady Mosley was held in Holloway Prison, north London, after the father of her first husband, Bryan Guinness, told of her ``dangerous character''.

In 1940, after war broke out, Mosley was interned but the Home Office decided Lady Mosley should be left at liberty.

It was then Lord Moyne wrote to the authorities about LadyMosley, saying she was glad Britain was losing the war and ``made no secret of her delight in what was happening''.

Lady Mosley was even denounced by her sister, Nancy Mitford, who branded her ``a ruthless and shrewd egotist, a devoted fascist and admirer of Hitler''.


Bid to blow up Britain with tins of food

GERMAN saboteurs plotted to use exploding cans of processed peas in a wartime bombing campaign.

The three-man team including one British Indian were captured after they landed on the south west coast of Ireland in July 1940.

They were initially interned by the Irish in Dublin's Mountjoy jail. Theywere carrying three or four metal boxes of explosives, including tins labelled ``Prepared French Peas''.

The cans held small slabs of nitro-cellulose.

An informer held in the same jail told the authorities that they had a``definite plan'' to ``blow up Buckingham Palace''.

However, MI5 were sceptical, saying: ``This seems a little fantastic.''


IRA plans for a Nazi-backed invasion of Northern Ireland collapsed because of the incompetence and treachery of republican leaders.

Wartime documents show that the German agent sent to Ireland to co-ordinate the operation codenamed Plan Kathleen found the IRA to be riddled with informers and led by a drunk.

When Hermann Goertz landed in May 1940, he did not even know whether he was in Northern Ireland or the south andwithin two weeks his radio transmitter and handwritten notes for Plan Kathleen were seized in a police raid.

Goertz immediately blamed ``treachery within the small circle which surrounded me'' for the setback.

He wrote: ``There wassomethingdangerouslyrottenintheorganisationofthe IRA.''

Goertz was captured and held until after the end of the war and when told of his deportation back to Germany in 1947, he committed suicide by swallowing cyanide.

Traitor spyentrusted with checking Soviet defector


THE files give a fresh insight into the role of master spy Kim Philby.

In September 1945, Igor Gouzenko, a cipher clerk at the Russian embassy in Ottawa, Canada, defected.

His disclosure of Soviet spying activities against the West shocked thepublic. His revelations led to the rounding up of an 18-strong spy ring.

They included British scientist Alan Nunn May whohadworkedontheatom bomb and passed details to the Soviets.

Philby was entrustedwith assessing the implications of Gouzenko's disclosures for the armed forces Directors of Intelligence.

It came not long after Philby had pulled off his greatest coup in becoming head of the newly formed anti-communist section ofMI6, even though he had been secretly working for Moscow since the 1930s.

He circulated a draft copy of his paper to MI5 and senior MI5 officer Roger Hollis drew attention to ``small inaccuracies''.

There is no suggestion from the file that Hollis, who went on to become boss of MI5, suspected Philby ofspreading misinformation. Years later in exile in Moscow, Philby admitted of Gouzenko's defection: ``It was a disaster for the KGB and there was no way I could help.''

``The Mounties had him so well protected that it was impossible for the Russians to bump him off or anything like that.''


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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 14, 2003
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