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The Venlo Incident (Hardback)

A True Story of Double-Dealing, Captivity, and a Murderous Nazi Plot

WWII All Frontline Books Frontline: WWII

By Captain Sigismund Payne Best, Introduction by Nigel Jones
Frontline Books
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781848325586
Published: 30th October 2009
Last Released: 2nd November 2009

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In November 1939, the Nazis used the so-called Venlo Incident as a pretext for invading the Netherlands. Following orders from Himmler, two British intelligence officers, Sigismund Payne Best and Richard Stevens, were captured from the Café Backus in the town of Venlo.

Best had been trying to contact German officers plotting against Hitler. The Netherlands had been an ideal ground for operations, because of its proximity to Germany and the fact that Dutch Intelligence was badly funded. When Best met the three agents – including Walter Schellenberg – he was carrying with him a list of British agents who were working in Europe. hen he arrived at the café, which was just over the Dutch border, he realised he had walked into a trap. A Dutch intelligence officer who accompanied them, Dirk Klop, was fatally wounded. Best and Stevens were taken into Germany. After their Berlin interrogation and torture they were taken to the notorious Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Hitler used the incident – together with the Elser bomb plot – as an excuse for war with the Netherlands, claiming their involvement with Britain violated their neutrality. As Nigel Jones explains, the incident was crucial in making the British suspicious of dealings with anti-Hitler resistance.

A fascinating story that would make for a fantastic film if it wasn't such a calamitous British disaster.

Soldier Magazine
 Nigel Jones

About Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones is a historian, journalist and biographer. A former deputy editor of History Today magazine and reviews editor of BBC History Magazine he has initiated and presented several BBC TV and radio documentaries. He writes and reviews regularly for The Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail and Literary Review.

His latest book, Countdown to Valkyrie, has already proved a great success and has received commendations from public and the media alike.

Nigel lives with his partner and three children in Sussex.

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