Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

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Postby Graham » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:31 pm

I knew you'd like it ::): and I agree with pretty much everything you say. I was going to point out the bit about the plane "landing" but as you say technically it did land, but not in a convetional fashion!

I'm having my doubts about the newspaper photographer's version of events too - I'll need to see if I can ascertain who claimed to have arrived at the farm at what time, as I can't imagine the army letting a pressman interview/photgraph on his own without being under their observation and/or orders.

No doubt you are 100% correct about the youthful naïvety of the author of the piece and, as you rightly observe, she appears to have let subsequent news reports cloud her memory of the day. I don't think I have read any reports anywhere else of Hess having been a patient at Mearnskirk but it is feasible, although given that the timeframe for events that evening seems to be pretty well documented I wonder why it has never been mentioned.

I'll try and get into the Mitchell tomorrow and have a look at the Sunday Mail and see if the event was first reported in the next day's issue. If it is to do you want a hard copy of the front page? If so drop me a PM or email and I can send you a photocopy.
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Postby Dugald » Thu May 10, 2007 11:07 am

In one of my earlier postings on the Hess saga I mentioned that at the very moment when Hess was floating earthwards on his parachute to his historic landing on the Floors farm, the Luftwaffe were pouring thousands of incendiary and high explosives bombs down on London and killing and maiming thousands of people. After having written that, I wondered what exactly had been happening to London on the night of May 10th, 1941... exactly 66 years ago tonight. I wondered too, if the Hess flight had done any good to anyone. According to the historian, Gavin Mortimer, author of "The Longest Night", this air-raid, was so devastating that it would eclipse all others that London had suffered, ".. it was London's longest and bloodiest night".

How timely for the British was Hess' arrival in the U.K.? For a brief idea about this we might consider some of Mortimer's comments. First of all there was the conversation between Hore-Belisha (the man who gave us the 'Belisha beacons') and a fellow M.P. as they pondered the bomb-wrecked Commons Chamber. Mortimer, through Hore-Belisha's fellow M.P., gives us a good idea of how Hore-Belisha felt about the war in general following this terrible air-raid:

"The country would soon wake up and realise that speeches were not victories he [Hore] said, and that we were drugged with Winston's oratory. He [Hore] is gloomy about the future; and sees little hope if we [the British] continue as we are now doing." ( Page 314, 'The longest Night').

It would seem from this comment regarding the desperate shape Britain was in, by a highly regarded British M.P., that things were not going just as well for the U.K. as the British people might have been led to believe. (One might note that at this time Hore-Belisha had just been demoted and may have had some ax to grind)

Let's take a look now at how Deputy Führer Hess, unwittingly, served a very useful purpose for the hard-pressed British government. The British people in general, were not informed about Hess until the evening of Monday, May 12th. Churchill drafted the following, and it was issued at 11:20 pm, on Monday evening:

" Rudolph Hess, Deputy Führer of Germany, and Party Leader of the National Socialist Party, has landed in Scotland under the following circumstances. On the night of Saturday, May 10th, an ME 110 was reported by our patrols to have crossed the coast of Scotland and be flying in the direction of Glasgow... shortly afterwards a German officer who had bailed out was found with his parachute in the neighbourhood suffering from a broken ankle. He was taken to a hospital in Glasgow, where he at first gave his name as Horn, but later on he declared he was Rudolph Hess.". (Page 315, 'The Longest Night').

The historian Mortimer, suggests that by means of this, Churchill had lifted the morale of the British people. Newspapers cleared the front page for their Tuesday editions. The aftermath of Saturday's horrendous air-raid was relegated to the inside pages of the leading media. Thus, though the Hess venture was a flop for the Nazis, it proved to be a great asset for Britain: it managed to knock the horrendous bombing of our capital city off the British headlines. It would seem from this that Hess did perform a favourable service for the British.

Incidentally, earlier I had mentioned I was a bit unsure about which day I read the "scoop" in the Scottish Sunday newspaper about the whole Hess event. Was it the 'Sunday Mail' or Monday's 'Daily Record', that sent me out on my bike in search of Eaglesham? I wasn't sure, but I have reason to believe now that it was not reported in the Sunday Mail of May 11th. Anyway, I still believe the Scottish newspaper report did precede Churchill's announcement on the evening of Monday May 12th.
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Postby Graham » Thu May 10, 2007 12:34 pm

As you say, no mention in the next day's Sunday Mail. Obviously news of the crash came too late to stop the presses.So it looks as if you did bunk off school after all Dugald ::).....


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Postby Dugald » Fri May 11, 2007 10:42 am

Great stuff Graham, leaves no doubt at all as to when the Sunday Mail "scoop" made the streets in Glasgow.

I find it very interesting regarding the Sunday Mail's mention of the heavy London air-raid, which featured in my post of May 10th. There I am in my post talking about how Churchill used the arrival of Hess to relegate the press headlines about Saturday's horrendous air-raid to second-rate material, then we see in your Sunday Mail "scoop" that the same air-raid didn't even make the headlines in the Sunday Mail before the Hess landing had been reported. I think we should remind ourselves however, that the Sunday Mail in your picture would probably have gone to print while the London raid was still in progress, and its intensity still generally unknown.

Great picture, Graham!
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Postby Graham » Sat May 12, 2007 10:23 pm

Met a retired local surgeon whilst out for a walk tonight Dugald and as a boy he, like you, cycled up to view the wreckage of the plane. He only lived a few miles down the road so he knew his way up here :wink: and he confirmed exactly where the plane crash landed. He had been hoping to get ahold of a bit of the plane as a souvenir but the soldiers wouldn't let him near it.

I also managed to pic up an original copy of the Daily Express from Thursday the 15th May 1941 and it makes for quite interesting reading so I'll post a pic of the front page at some point
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Postby Dugald » Fri Aug 24, 2007 9:10 pm

Quite a lot has already been written about the Rudolph Hess flight to Scotland on May10th 1941, and I myself have made several postings on this thread. It is of course likely we'll never know with 100% certainty what the whole story was; however, I have always had a feeling at the back of my mind that the Hess affair was contrived by the likes of Churchill and the British Secret Service. I have recently read a book, "Foot Prints in Time", written by John Colville, and published by Collins in 1976, and it dispels any thoughts in my mind that there was more to the Hess's timely flight than we have been led to be believe.

Colville was one of Churchill's Private Secretaries, and on the evening of Saturday May 10th 1941 [ the night Hess arrived], he was alone at #10 Downing St. while Churchill was off spending the weekend at Ditchley. Colville spent the night sheltering in the rather flimsy accommodation at #10, while the Luftwaffe plastered London with high explosives and incendiaries, in what was probably the most devastating raid of the war.

After the "All-Clear" Colville went out for a walk and a bit fresh air. On his way back to #!0 he dropped into the Foreign Office for a chat with his friend, who was Anthony Eden's Private Secretary. Eden's Secretary was speaking on the telephone and he said to Colville,

" This may be a lunatic. He says he's the Duke of Hamilton and that something extraordinary has happened, that he's about to fly down from Scotland to Northolt, and that he wants to be met by Alec Cadogan [Asst. Foreign Secy.], and the Prime Minister's Secretary.".

Colville spoke to the Duke and asked, "Has somebody arrived?", to which the Duke replied,

"Yes, please be at Northolt to meet me.", and rang off.

Colville telephoned Ditchley and asked for instructions from the Prime Minister.

"Well, who, has arrived?", asked Churchill.

"I don't know", replied Colville, "He [Hamilton] wouldn't say.

"It can't be Hitler?" asked Churchill, to which Colville answered,"I imagine not.".

"Well stop imagining, and have the Duke sent straight here from Northolt.", answered Churchill.

A careful reading of the foregoing will doubtless lead to the Questions:

(1) Why was Colville's first reaction to ask, "Has somebody arrived?" ? and
(2) Why was Churchill's first reaction to ask, "Well, who, has arrived?" ?

The answer to Question #1 is simply that during the air-raid Colville had been dozing and daydreaming about Peter Fleming's 1940 book, "Flying Visit", a fantasy which had Hitler inadvertently landing in the U.K.. But it wasn't Hitler Colville had been daydreaming about, but Göring, who it was rumoured, was believed to take flights in German bombers.

The answer to Question #2, is that Churchill too was aware of the information from Air ministry Intellegence, that Göring was believed to take flights in German bombers, and simply in his thoughts, replaced Göring with Hitler.

I now believe that it was later that day, Sunday May 11th, that Churchill first learned, from the Duke of Hamilton, that Hess had arrived in Scotland, and that MI5 and/or MI6 had nothing to do with the arrival of Hess in Scotland.
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby HollowHorn » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:11 pm

Glasgow Police Museum, Turnbull St:
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby Dugald » Fri May 02, 2008 7:36 pm

HH, I've been doing a wee bit of sleuthing since I first saw your interesting picture of this piece of the Messerschmitt in which Hess flew to Scotland. There were a number of similar small inspection portals in the fuselage as well as the wings... much like those found on British aircraft such as the Spitfire for example. The main part of the fuselage of Hess' aircraft is apparently, still on view at the Imperial War Museum in London (wonder why we didn't get it in the Edinburgh War Museum). Talk about your Erskine Ferry tickets, man back when Hess landed at Eaglesham I'd have given up a year's sweetie ration to get my hands on that inspection hatch... hmmmm come to think of it, what's security like at the Glasgow Police Museum, on Turnbull St. these days?

For aircraft buffs: I've wondered why the Germans used "Me 110" and at other times, as in the case of Hess' plane, " BF-110" to identify the aircraft type. It seems they are just the same aircraft, but built at different factories. The "BF" indicates the aircraft came from the "Bayerische Flugzeugwerke", that is , The Bavarian Aircraft Works.
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby McGuire » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:48 am

What ScoutHall in Giffnock did was Hess taken too?

I live in Giffnock, I was a Beaver Cub and a Scout, in the main ScoutHall in Giffnock. Surely, I had no unwittingly been a Scout in the very hall Hess surely visited?

The Church and Scouthall - http://www.giffnockurc.org.uk/ the scouthall is the building on the right and there is another behind it used for scouts and cubs too.


Doing some more research I have found the Scouthall:

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y235/S ... gfnk01.jpg

I was never in that building but I know it well, not far from the local pub. Strange to think a small piece of history took place in that building.
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby well skelpt coupon » Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:52 pm

Doing some more research I have found the Scouthall:


Do you think they gave him a Parachuting Badge?
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby McGuire » Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:49 pm

I do hope so. Clearly he deserved it. :D

Forgive me, rather pedantically and geeked-out, I wanted to find the Scouthall in my area. I wonder what went on inside the hall, no doubt just lots of questioning and deliberating. But, as you imply, a useless bit of minutiae. I just find it interesting to imagine memebers of MI5 being my area during WW2.
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby Dugald » Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:43 pm

McGuire wrote:I do hope so. Clearly he deserved it. :D

Forgive me, rather pedantically and geeked-out, I wanted to find the Scouthall in my area. I wonder what went on inside the hall, no doubt just lots of questioning and deliberating. But, as you imply, a useless bit of minutiae. I just find it interesting to imagine memebers of MI5 being my area during WW2.


McGuire, it's only a piece of " useless minutiae." to those with no interest in History; and if they have no interest in History, I'm at a loss as to why they chose to read this historical thread in the first place. Welcome to HG, McGuire, I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself here; there's a heck of a lot more of the sometimes " useless minutiae." to interest you. Cheers!
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby well skelpt coupon » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:13 pm

Howdy,

Whoops. My weak stab at humour was in no way meant to imply either pedantry or geek-outery. If any offence was caused, I do apologise.

In actual fact I've been meaning to get off my fat lazy backside to investigate the locations of what was a rather incredible event. Which is why I read the whole thread and still take an interest in the contents.

Incidentally, the minister at the Church has the surname Moseley. How's that for irony?

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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby BrigitDoon » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:41 pm

well skelpt coupon wrote:Incidentally, the minister at the Church has the surname Moseley. How's that for irony?

Not "Blue Max?" :shock:
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Re: Hitler's deputy crashed in Scotland

Postby Lone Groover » Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:53 pm

Can we switch to where Elvis landed ? :twisted:
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