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 Teema pealkiri: Ronald Seth Eestis
PostitusPostitatud: 05 Juul, 2015 14:50 

Liitunud: 02 Juul, 2004 12:39
Postitusi: 3562
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In November 1941 SOE approached the NKVD about launching a mission into Estonia with the goal of sabotaging the shale oil industry plants in north-eastern Estonia. The shale oil plants were a vital producer of fuel for the Wehrmacht and in particular the Kriegsmarine. Their successful sabotage would have severely hindered oil supply in the region whilst repairs were undertaken. Moscow gave its approval to this one-off operation. It was envisaged by SOE that an agent would be sent to Estonia by sea under the alias of an Estonian seaman and make his way to the Narva shale oil plants and then conduct sabotage operations. The man chosen to undertake this operation was Ronald Seth, born in Ely in 1911 and formerly a professor of English at the University of Tallinn. His knowledge of northern Estonia made him an obvious candidate for the operation, which was codenamed ‘Blunderhead’. 41 During the operation Seth, who left Tallinn at the outbreak of war in 1939, was simply to be known as Ronald.

SOE provided Seth with the alias of Felix Kopti, an Estonian, born on 30 December 1908, who had worked as a fisherman’s boy until 1919 when he went to sea on a Finnish ship as a galley boy. It was decided; instead he would be dropped into Estonia by parachute. At this time Seth’s political opinions began to cause his superiors some concern. On 22nd April 1942 Seth requested a statement of policy from the FO declaring whether the British government intended to return the Baltic states to independence after the war. Seth was very sympathetic to the views of the Estonians whom he knew and loved, and therefore he held strong anti-Soviet beliefs. When discussing Seth’s request on 6th May, SOE concluded that ‘it would be most difficult if not impossible to extract a statement of policy out of the FO and if it were forthcoming I am dreadfully afraid it would entail the sale of Estonia to the USSR. Unless the project is abandoned R (Seth) must be told that “as usual there is no policy” and that no assurance from the PM can be forthcoming’. Nevertheless it was thought that Seth’s ‘training should proceed all the summer as outlined but if he maintains his attitude regarding policy and if we get the inevitable reply to any question as to policy, we may very likely have to abandon the whole project and possibly use R (Seth) in some other sphere’.

Seth’s political persuasions had aroused a great deal of anger within SOE to such an extent that on 7th May his loyalties were being brought into question. ‘Unless R is prepared to carry out total warfare for the sake of his own country and leave the politics of other countries to be solved by wiser heads than his own, then there seems to be no point in sending him to Estonia. He has still to learn the true meaning of the word patriotism’. Despite this damning criticism the mission was allowed to proceed. As it was expected that Seth would have to remain in Estonia until the end of the war, he was allowed to take with him the equivalent of £1,800 in local currency.

There were other reasons for SOE to feel apprehensive about the forthcoming mission. On 23rd September SOE declared that they considered it unwise to conduct an agent provocateur test on Seth for psychological reasons. ‘Although his sublime self confidence is ... possibly somewhat excessive, it is at the same time one of his strongest weapons, and we feel that if we were to undermine this in any way it might have disastrous results on someone so highly strung as he is. We think that his security is probably pretty good, but are anxious not to run the risk of upsetting him’. This was hardly a glowing assessment for a man who was shortly to be dropped deep into occupied Europe. Seth had already been questioned politically, andnow he was considered highly strung and over-confident. SOE must surely have had grave doubts over Seth’s capability to successfully fulfil his mission.

Operation Blunderhead began on 24 October 1942. From the outset events did not go well. Seth was dropped 50km off target. SOE had only limited contact with him after his landing but on 6th November Major Hazell was able to inform Seth’s wife that her husband was well. Nothing more, however, was heard from Seth and the operation was officially cancelled on 20 May 1943. Seth was listed as missing in action on 21 June. Two days later, and to SOE’s surprise, news, was received from the Red Cross that Seth was alive and in enemy hands. Seth had written two letters to his wife. They did not conform to the letter code that Seth had been given.

More information of Seth’s capture came to light on 5 th October when SIS notified SOE that a coastguard at Hara, near Loksa, in northern Estonia, had related to an SIS source in April that a parachutist who had been captured in the neighbourhood, it transpired, was a person previously connected with the British Vice-Consul in Tallinn. The source said that in the autumn of 1942 a parachutist had dropped from an unidentified plane near Hara. The Germans conducted a search and a man at the time was seen living on a farm, where he was not making any attempt to conceal himself. The man was known to the local community as he had in former years spent the summer near Loksa at the farm concerned and therefore his appearance did not surprise the local population. The Germans, however, connected his appearance with the parachute affair and he was arrested and taken to Tallinn. In February 1943 another source had heard that, whilst he was in Tallinn, the man had taught English in Tallinn before the war. SOE had no doubt the man in question was Seth.

By 6th December 1943 SOE had received further information of Seth’s fate in the form of a copy of two captured documents which had been retrieved from a German plane that had crash landed in Switzerland in mid April 1943. Amongst them was a copy of an interrogation report of an agent captured on 5 November 1942. This had taken place in Oberursel near Frankfurt am Main on 6th February 1943, by a Major I. Genst of the Luftwaffe. Seth’s statements broadly followed those given to SIS by its Estonian sources. The interrogation report indicated that Seth had been advised by local Estonians to give himself up as he had been unable to find a boat to escape to Sweden. He was arrested by a member of the Estonian Home Guard and handed over to the Germans. Seth told his interrogators that, upon arriving in Estonia, he had no intention whatsoever of carrying out his mission. The reason why he had not surrendered straight away was that he had been informed that the Germans used cruel methods during interrogation. He had therefore tried to reach Sweden by boat, but when this proved impossible he gave himself up to the Estonian Home Guard.

Nevertheless nothing more was heard from Seth and by the summer of 1944 it was quite naturally presumed that, as a captured enemy agent, Seth had been executed. On 28th July the decision was made to officially list Seth as killed in action. Remarkably, however, it seems the Germans believed Seth’s story and that he was now willing to work for them as a double agent. The fact Seth had not committed any acts of sabotage or coercion in Estonia and that he displayed a total indifference to his mission, had no doubt saved his life. It was soon discovered after the liberation of Paris in August 1944 that Seth had been in the city at the beginning of the month. Seth had a fair degree of freedom in Paris and had been prepared by the SD, the intelligence wing of the SS, to work as a double agent. Seth had written a long 160-paragraph document in pencil and left it behind when he was forced to withdraw with the Germans. The report was passed to Air Commodore Jones in the Grand Hotel Paris by Emile Albert Riviera, a colleague of Seth, on 28th August. After reviewing Seth’s report SOE came to the conclusion that Seth was not a traitor and that he had only agreed to work for the enemy as a double agent in order to preserve his own life and he had no intention of carrying out any mission given to him, and that in fact had he been sent to Britain, he would have given himself up immediately on arrival.

In the document Seth admitted he had travelled to Paris following numerous threats of execution to complete his training prior to being dropped into England, but the mission fell through. Seth implied he had no other option other than to train as a double agent; otherwise he would have been executed. In the report Seth did make some peculiar remarks. He declared that he did not eat for twelve days after his landing in Estonia, but lived on whisky and morphine tablets, although he stated that he did commit daring acts of sabotage and did a great deal of walking. Seth also claimed he had shot two Germans in Paris. It was thought by SOE that, due to his sufferings, Seth had become temporarily unhinged. Although Seth’s story was largely believed by SOE at this time, a strict watch was called for in case Seth did return to England as a double agent. As a result of his withdrawal with the Germans, once again Seth was classified as missing in action on 19th September 1944.

Seth’s situation took an even more peculiar turn in the closing weeks of the war in Europe. On 14 April 1945 the British military attaché in Berne reported to the FO that Flight Lieutenant Ronald Seth had escaped from Germany and arrived in Berne on that day. It was threported that Seth had met some leading Nazis on 11 March 1945 and was given a political mission. Seth was put over the border by the SS on the 12th April and was expected to work as a secret agent for Germany.

Seth was quickly sent back to England arriving on 19th April to face interrogation to determine whether he was in fact a double agent and held a long term SD mission. By June 1945 Seth had been placed on indefinite leave and was ‘feeling a bit cold about the reception I have received from the org (SOE)’. Seth wanted to know if SOE could ‘give him any idea of what is happening’. For security reasons it was thought best that Seth should leave the service as early as possible. After much interrogation it was thought further evidence would be required to bring any case against Seth and this evidence would take time to locate in Germany. Ultimately this evidence was not forthcoming and Seth would be free to re-enter civilian life.

Operation Blunderhead had been a total failure. By the time of its cancellation in 1943, further operations in the Baltic states were seen as risky and unnecessary as a result of the Soviet Union’s seemingly unstoppable march to victory following the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk. No further requests were made by SOE to the NKVD for permission to undertake missions in the Baltic states; the difficulties in preparing these operations were just too great. The fate of Seth had highlighted that even an agent who knew the country as well as he did stood little chance of sabotaging the Baltic states major economic targets, such as the shale oil plants of Estonia. SOE realised such operations were unrealistic due to the fact that the local Baltic population was, on the whole, pro-German or, more accurately, anti-Soviet. The Balts knew that, by assisting SOE agents, they were only bringing a swifter occupation of their land by the Soviets. As Seth had found, the Estonians were not willing to collaborate with SOE agents. SOE would instead focus its activities in the West, Poland, the Balkans and on its collaborative Pickaxe operations with the NKVD.
Wheatley, Benjamin: The FRPS Baltic States Section British Overt Intelligence from the Baltic States during the Second World War and its effect on British Policy towards the Soviet Union, 1941-1945.
Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia. 2014 https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48773
Seal viited allikatele ja ka muud lugemist.

Eesti Ekspress
Operatsioon “Kobakäpp”: http://ekspress.delfi.ee/news/paevauudi ... d=69271729
Operatsioon “Kobakäpp” (järg): http://ekspress.delfi.ee/news/paevauudi ... d=32256339

2 artiklit pole vabalt loetavad:
http://ekspress.delfi.ee/news/paevauudi ... d=31466721
http://ekspress.delfi.ee/news/paevauudi ... d=32144069

Võimalik, et sama Felix Kopti: http://www.ra.ee/fotis/index.php?type=2&id=471434

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 Teema pealkiri: Re: Ronald Seth Eestis
PostitusPostitatud: 20 Aug, 2015 2:08 

Liitunud: 02 Juul, 2004 12:39
Postitusi: 3562
Saksa poolelt arvatavasti Sethi kinninabimine raporteeritud:
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