German intelligence agents and suspected agent

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German intelligence agents and suspected agent

Wilhelm Mörz (KV 2/2106-2107)

Mörz's case is unique in the Second World War, in that he is believed to be the only German agent operating in Britain to have evaded capture by the Security Services. He was known to the Security Service from 1938 when he was identified from the intercepted correspondence of George Schwarzloh as being a Gestapo double agent in Prague. There is ( KV 2/2106, serial 1a) a 1939 Secret Intelligence Service report into his activities in Prague, where he was suspected of being implicated in the disappearance of British agents. The report comments that Mörz is "well-known to our Organisation as a very dangerous double-crosser." By March 1940, SIS was reporting that Mörz was at large in Holland, and then in June he was spotted in Regent Street. A frenzy of activity ensued, with Security Service staff being despatched to the Post Office to secure copies of the photograph they had of Mörz so that it could be copied to the police; the police searched all possible hotels Mörz might be staying at, and a watch was kept on various clubs and bars in London, which are listed in the file. The night duty officer's report of actions taken that first night, 25-26 June 1940, is at serial 14a. Mörz had been spotted in conversation with one Dawn Karland and, when the police located her, the Security Service was infuriated to discover that they allowed her to depart without shadowing her. Thereafter, the file is dotted with frequent reports of Mörz being sighted but, on each occasion, he evaded capture. By September 1940, a weary minute comments that "The police have detained and questioned about a dozen people in the belief that they had caught him. Nevertheless if he is here, he still evades us…he is in fact one of the cleverest secret agents the Gestapo has…" The file includes photographs and a description (serial 12a) of Mörz and lengthy lists of the clubs and bars assiduously watched by Special Branch in case he should appear. By 1941 however, the conclusion was reached that he had evaded capture and left the country. The subsequent file ( KV 2/2107, 1941-1955) shows the intensity of the search dying down as Mörz was removed from the Police Gazette.

German agents taken from ships in transit (KV 2/2108-2113)

There are a number of files in this release detailing the events surrounding the removal of German agents from ships in transit during the Second World War. For the most part these relate to the removal of agents at Trinidad after they had been detected through ULTRA intercept material. These individuals (Andreas Blay Pigrau, Victor Da Silva, Joaquin Baticon and Oscar Liehr, respectively files KV 2/2109-2113) were taken to Camp 020 for interrogation. A slightly different case is that of Manuel Dos Santos, who was taken off a ship at Freetown on route for South Africa ( KV 2/2108). The Portuguese embassy in London, when it found out about the case, raised issues about the propriety of this action. It became important for this reason to obtain a full confession from Dos Santos, and this was done at Camp 020. A full history of the case is at serial 75c.

Luis Gordon Cuenca & José Munoz (KV 2/2114)

This file details the trial, appeal and finally the execution of Cuenca and Munoz for sabotage in the docks at Gibraltar in 1943-1944, but is perhaps chiefly of interest today because it documents the passage to Gibraltar of hangman Albert Pierrepoint travelling under cover to arrange the execution. A film about the life of Pierrepoint starring Timothy Spall is due for release in April 2006, and there is also a forthcoming biography.