British intelligence controlled UK Nazi network to obtain top secret data

MI5 controlled a UK-based Nazi organization aimed at undermining Britain’s war efforts. Nazi sympathizers thought that they were working in favor of Nazi Germany, though provided British Security Service with information. Documents published by the National Archive show that a vast network of traitor and “fifth columnists”, who worked in favor of Germany, was secretly controlled by MI5. The Security Service also wanted to provide the organization with special badges that had to be worn during an emergency case.

The traitors considered these badges as a differential sign in case of German invasion. In fact, the badges helped the police to identify the members of the network. MI5 also wanted to use replica Iron Cross to prove the traitors that they were working for Nazi Germany.

The central figure of the MI5 operation was an agent, known as “Jack King”. Initially, his mission was to penetrate Siemens Schuckert (GB) Lts, the British branch of the German industrial giant. The company was suspected of espionage in favor of Nazi Germany. Then, his mission changed after he met Marita Perigoe in 1942.

“She was found to be so violently anti-British and so anxious to do anything in her power to help the enemy that it was felt that special attention should be paid to her,” MI5 said.

Marita Perigoe wasn’t a feminine and neurotic type, quite the contrary, she was somewhat masculine and masterful. Jack King succeeded in convincing her that he was a representative of Gestapo, loyal to the fatherland. He offered invisible ink to the network for secret communications.

Though the members of the organization were described as “semi-lunatic”, the Security Service figured out that they could be dangerous.Thus, for example, Hilda Leech, who was described as “unstable and neurotic”, was passing on reports, concerning highly secret research to develop a jet aircraft. Another member with similar description, Edgar Whitehead, was passing on information about secret trials on a new amphibious tank.

Released documents showed that MI5 tried to extend King’s network.

“It is proposed at a later stage to provide all members of the organization with badges, which will probably take the form of some innocuous object like the Union Jack, which they will be instructed to hide until orders are given from headquarters. From then onwards they will wear them. The object of this plan is to enable the police easily to identify members of this fifth column organization in time of emergency,” a report says.

After the end of the war, the Security Service was shocked by the number of people, involved in the Nazi underground organizations in the UK. Some facts, written in the reports and the vivid light which they threw on the disloyal outlook of so many British subjects created doubts in some quarters as to the validity of the information or at least some of it.

However, it’s clear that a big part of this information can be relied on as substantially accurate. MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5) is the United Kingdom’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS; also known as MI6) focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Defense (DI).

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