OSS and the Underground
Up Market Garden MG Pathfinders One Stick Characters Redtails OSS and the Underground ClarkAir Female POW Flight Nurses Kamp Vught


The following are the basis for events fictionalized in the novel, proving that fact is often stranger than fiction.

OSS IN HOLLAND:  The British Short Sterling four engine bomber (produced by the Short Brothers, not a description of the planes length) was used to drop SOE and OSS MELANIE operatives in Holland. Jedburg Team Clarence, a team of three men, went to Holland on Sept 17, 1944 with the mission of coordinating the local resistance operations with Allied forces. The Melanie mission, with no prior coordination with the British XXX Armored Corps, deployed into Holland over the Albert Canal and reached Eindhoven on 21 September 1944. The team had no contact with the 101st Airborne Division, whose Market-Garden objective was the seizure of Eindhoven and vital bridges nearby, despite the fictional contact in the novel, and boggling the mind.


Agents, Hand Grenades and Bombers:  The Germans used captured B-17s for clandestine missions, especially on the Eastern front. On 20th of December 1944 a B-17 took off from the airfield in Cracow, Poland with 6 agents on board to fly into the Odessa area. Just before the jump one of the Soviet agents threw a hand grenade into the aircraft. One of gunners jettisoned the primed grenade before it exploded. When the next time the crew had to carry Soviet agents, they tied up the Russians and jettisoned them over the target unconscious. http://www.warbirdsresourcegroup.org/LRG/b17fortress.html)

The Eindhoven Underground: By June 1944, the "Partisan Action Netherlands" (PAN) had reached its full strength of 80 to 100 young men and women in Eindhoven. PAN had several small cells operating in the small towns around Eindhoven. These included the Group Sander, named after its leader, which worked as a KP (Assault Group, literally “brawl crew”) and the LO (Landelijke Organisatie voor Hulp aan Onderduikers, literally  “National Organization for Help to People in Hiding subgroup”) – thank goodness for acronyms!

Margarethe Kelder and her sister were members of Group Sander. They smuggled downed Allied airmen and Dutch onderduikers (literally “underdivers,” Dutchmen who evaded working for the Germans) to a crossing site on the Belgium border, coordinating their activities with a Belgian Resistance group. The female members of the PAN were primarily couriers, but they were also valued intelligence collectors.

After D-Day, many in the Dutch underground grew impatient and wanted to conduct more aggressive operations against the Germans. The PAN did so by launching raids against, among other targets, the German garrison at the Eindhoven airport on 5 September 1944. The punishment for belonging to a Resistance organization was summary execution.

The Resistance groups in the Eindhoven area totaled several hundred members. By placing their headquarters in the Eindhoven Museum, Dutch Secret Service (GDN), members were able to come and go without arousing German suspicions. The GDN began receiving taskings and orders from the Bureau Inlichtingen (BI), the government-in-exile's intelligence service, following its establishment in November 1942. The agents used the underground electrical cables in the Phillips factory, which also had telephone lines, as their primary means of communication.


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