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Operation Sunrise-covert mission in the final months of WWII

Discussion in 'Western Europe 1943 - 1945' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I remember reading somewhere that the Swiss were trying to take the credit for this.


    Operation Sunrise was a covert mission executed by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the final months of the Second World War in Europe. From March to May 1945 Allen Dulles, the OSS chief in Bern, met secretly with a number of German officials headed by the SS and police chief of northern Italy, SS Obergruppenfuhrer Karl Wolff, in an effort to arrange the secret surrender of Axis forces in northern Italy. Talks were long and complicated as controversy grew between the Western powers and the Soviet Union. Wolff and German generals delayed in negotiations as they feared retribution from Hitler and other Nazi leaders for arranging a surrender with the Allies and betraying the Third Reich. Many Americans are still unaware of the secret surrender of Italy that occurred on May 2, 1945 just five days prior to the final capitulation of all Axis powers in Europe. Prior to Operation Sunrise, the OSS had not contributed much to intelligence action in the war. This was the first significant intelligence operation undertaken by the OSS in Europe.

    http://home.sandiego.edu/~vincent/page1.html
     
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    During World War II, Operation Crossword or Operation Sunrise was a series of secret negotiations conducted in March 1945 in Switzerland between representatives of the Nazi Germany and the U.S. to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy. One of the most notable parts of the operation were secret negotiations between Waffen-SS General Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles on March 8, 1945 in Luzern. Wolff offered the following plan: Army Group C gets a possibility to go into Germany, while Allied Forces Commander Harold Alexander advances in Southern Alps direction. Subsequently, on March 15 and March 19, Wolff conducted further secret negotiations on the surrender with American general Lyman Lemnitzer and British general Terence Airey.
    Although being an ally of the British and American Forces, the Soviet Union was not informed by them of the negotiations, but received information from Soviet spies and accused western powers of trying to reach a separate peace. Among Soviet intelligence officers, who uncovered the operation, was Kim Philby.
    On March 12 the U.S. ambassador in the USSR, W. Averell Harriman, notified Vyacheslav Molotov of the possibility of Wolff's arrival in Lugano to conduct negotiations on the German Forces surrender in Italy. On the same day Molotov replied that the Soviet government would not object to negotiations between American and British officers and Wolff, provided that representatives of Soviet Military Command could also take part in them. However, on March 16 the Soviet side was informed that its representatives would not be allowed to take part in negotiations with Wolff in any case.
    On March 22 Molotov, in his letter to the American ambassador, wrote that "for two weeks, in Bern, behind the back of the Soviet Union, negotiations between representatives of the German Military Command on one side and representatives of American and British Command on the other side are conducted. The Soviet government considers this absolutely inadmissible." This led to Roosevelt's letter to Stalin on March 25 and Stalin's reply on March 29. The actual surrender in Italy occurred on April 29, 1945.
    Operation Crossword was depicted in the Soviet film Seventeen Moments of Spring, named "Operation Sunrise Crossword" in the film.

    Operation Crossword - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     

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