Incompetent Nazi spies landed in Florida in 1942 and surrendered
- Cory Doctorow
- Apr 06, 2011
A recently released MI5 report on a bungled Nazi sabotage plot details how a group of hapless, big-mouthed Nazi “spies” landed in Florida (after drunkenly bragging about their mission in a Paris cafe), and never managed to make bombs or poison Americans because their commander immediately surrendered to the FBI.
The submarine dropping half the group on Long Island ran aground, and MI5 noted that “it was only owing to the laziness or stupidity of the American coast guards that this submarine was not attacked by U.S. forces.”
The Germans were stopped by a coast guard, who — to the evident astonishment of the British — did not detain them. He told his superiors, who were slow to contact the FBI.
The others in Florida also made it ashore, despite their attention-grabbing attire of “bathing trunks and army forage caps.”
Unfortunately for the team, their leader, George John Dasch, had decided to surrender. The report describes Dasch “ringing up the FBI in Washington from the Mayfair Hotel and saying that he was a saboteur and wished to tell his story to Mr. Hoover” — FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI was initially skeptical, but Dasch was soon giving a full confession, and the whole gang was rounded up.
Within months, the saboteurs had been tried and sentenced to death. All were executed except Dasch and another who had also backed out. They were deported to Germany after the war.
British spy files shed light on Nazi saboteurs (via Runnin’ Scared)
(Image: 1943 … bad thru and thru!, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from x-ray_delta_one’s photostream)