Posted on August 23, 2014
The Nazi spies arrived on the shores of Britain under the cover of night, by parachute, by rowing boat and by rubber dinghy. In their suitcases each carried a morse code transmitter, a map of the UK, a handgun and some invisible ink. Their mission: to pave the way for an invasion.
But the spies chosen for the mission had neither convincing fluency in English nor basic knowledge of British customs. One spy was arrested after trying to order a pint of cider at 10am, unaware that during wartime landlords weren’t allowed to serve alcohol before lunchtime. Another pair were stopped while cycling through Scotland on the wrong side of the road: once the police discovered German sausages and Nivea hand cream in their luggage, their cover was blown.Why Germany sent such inept agents on one of the most important missions of the second world war has remained an enduring mystery.