Security Service release: German intelligence officers
- Catalogue ref: KV2/3663
- Date: 24/12/1944 - 07/08/1958
In 1944 Wimmer took charge of an Abwehr unit organising special operations in North Africa. The mission, codenamed 'Rosankranz', was to insert agents by parachute into North Africa to determine Allied intentions regarding a possible invasion of Europe. Whether these plans materialised is not clear but colourful accounts of his wartime exploits were publicised later, in which is he is described as the 'Gestapo Lawrence' who led a 'desert army of 3,000 Arabs against the Allies'. He claimed in a newspaper article that his men dressed as American G.I.s and drove around in jeeps attacking Arab chiefs and leaving a 'trail of hatred' for what his victims took to be American soldiers. The hatred he sowed brought a 'rich reward' in the ambushing of Allied supply columns by 'revengeful Arabs', according to his own account. He was captured by the Russians in Potsdam in 1945 and spent 10 years in a Soviet 'punishment camp'. Post-war he was reported to be purchasing arms on behalf of certain Arab governments including the Sultan of Morocco.
File KV2/3663 can be viewed online.