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The Nazi Spy In Donegal

Discussion in 'Prelude to War & Poland 1939' started by GRW, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Interesting little story.
    "A suspected German spy identified a small hamlet in the Donegal Gaeltacht as a possible back door route for a Nazi invasion of the UK.
    Nazi professor Dr Ludwig Mühlhausen lived in the tiny Irish hamlet of Teelin in 1937, where he scoped out the potential secret U-Boat submarine base.
    Upon returning to Germany, he broadcast Nazi propaganda in Irish from Berlin into Ireland during World War Two.
    He later became a decorated SS officer.
    Dr Ludwig Mühlhausen's secret life is uncovered in a new BBC Two NI documentary Nazi sa Ghaeltacht.
    In the documentary, BBC journalist Kevin Magee traces the professor's footsteps back to Berlin and reveals that the German scholar was fast-tracked through the ranks of the Nazi regime because of his unflinching devotion to Adolf Hitler.
    He also discovers that one of the first things Mühlhausen did when he found somewhere to stay in Teelin was to hang a large picture of Hitler on his bedroom wall.
    While in the south Donegal area, he took many photographs and measured the depth of Teelin Bay by dropping lead weights into the tide, forcing locals to later speculate that he was scouting the place out as a potential landing site for Nazi U-boats."
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53528692
     
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  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    Does the doc explain his fate?
     
  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Dunno, just realised it's on BBC i-player, so I'll need to watch.
    Think it's Gaelic with subtitles.
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Ok, sat through it on i-player. Interesting, but a hard slog listening to Gaelic even with subtitles.
    Apparently, he was a Professor of Celtic Studies, and had a genuine interest in Irish culture, but in a paternalistic way; Ireland could have been the new Germany in his eyes, all they needed was a push in the right direction.
    He returned to Germany 1938, and after the war started he began broadcasting programmes in Irish to Ireland, leading him to be called the "Irish Lord Haw-haw". He was apparently seconded to the Ahnenerbe sometime around 1942, He was captured by the Americans and imprisoned near Naples. He wrote to the Irish President and fellow Gaelic scholar Douglas Hyde for help, and got ignored. Sentenced to three years imprisonment, he was released in 1949 and died in Ulm in 1956, never able to regain his former academic career due to his Nazi links.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    He he made you watch! :)
     
  6. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    It's a swine you are, boy!
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    I am my evil twin! :pirate:
     
  8. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    It's an old story, I used to have family in Sligo/Donegal and I remember my uncle who was a CoI Vicar in the area in the 50s and 60s recounting the story of a German spy in Donegal, of course by then it had grown somewhat.
    Interesting about the Nazi attitude to Ireland. Himmler believed that the Irish were descended from one of the lost tribes of Israel and, had a German invasion of Britain succeeded, had plans to deport them all to Madagascar! Irish Nationalists he regarded as useful fools.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  9. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Member

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    An odd story. The British remained @ Lough Swilly, in north west Donegal until the 3rd October 1938; the Lough is a large anchorage, albeit minus support facilities and had two coastal forts. See: Fort Dunree - Wikipedia and Lough Swilly - Wikipedia The British made extensive use of nearby Lough Foyle, across the border in Northern Ireland and the city of Londonderry - as a naval base and I understand convoy assembly.

    I would expect the British knew the waters well and would have mapped Teelin Bay before 1939.
     
  10. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    The Donegal coast further down towards Mullaghmore in Sligo has many places where the sea has eroded the rocks leaving narrow fissures that open up downwards into large caverns big enough to house a boat or even a U boat whilst loading or unloading and keep it invisible from the air. Suitable for peacetime smuggling (including arms) or war time agent landing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2020
  11. Windy City

    Windy City Guest

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    How much did the nations of Europe spy on each other in the years leading up to the conflict anyway? Were there any well documented cases of spies infiltrating the British government at this time and if so, from where. Please don't say from the Soviet Union, they were probably always spying on everybody, I mean from Germany or even Italy?
     
  12. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Member

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    Windy City,

    Your question does not really fit here. There is an area for espionage, where it might get more attention. That caveat aside and I limit myself to the British aspect.

    Have a look at the books by Professor Christopher Andrew (Cambridge University) on British intelligence, including an Official History of the Security Service (MI5). From memory there were wartime traitors, none who infiltrated the government on behalf of Germany (unlike those who supported the USSR and Communism), although there was famous pre-war case at Woolwich Arsenal of a small group of Communists gaining employment - the Arsenal was state owned. See the brief section on MI5: MI5 - Wikipedia
     

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