D-Day 70

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D-Day survivors, June 2014
D-Day survivors, June 2014

D-Day 70

… by  Michael Shrimpton,    …on location in France

 

[ Editor’s Note: Unusually for Michael, indeed very unusually, this week’s column is being written at a French pavement café, in Caen, over a glass of something refreshing, on a glorious summer’s evening, in the pleasant company of VT’s Paris Bureau Chief, Jane Rosenstein.

Having a few hours to kill in Caen at the end of today’s moving D-Day commemoration was not part of the plan, but the ceremonies were delayed, there was transport chaos at the end and Plan A fell through hours ago.

Actually, we’re now on Plan C.  It’s a lot better plan than one British newspaper’s, which involves a mad dash through the evening to catch the last Eurotunnel shuttle back to Blighty. VT doesn’t cover speeding tickets on expenses, indeed so careful is the financial control at VT that an expenses scandal is unlikely.]

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D-Day 70

 

Gennady, Jane and Michael at D-Day 70 Commemoration
Gennady, Jane and Michael at D-Day 70 Commemoration

Please do not get the impression that the whole day has been chaotic. It started with some quite superb organisation by the French Ministry of Defence. They laid on a special train for VIPs, veterans and the press from Paris St Lazare Station straight through to Caen.

Security was very visible and highly effective, with lots of armed guards at St Lazare and on the train itself. Our impressively long express pulled away swiftly and smoothly, on time.

Everybody was unfailingly polite and SNCF treated us to a tasty complimentary breakfast, with plenty of refills for the coffee as our express slid purposefully through the glorious French countryside. We arrived in Caen bang on time.

The VT team made friends on board with journalists from China, Japan and France itself. Press coverage of today’s events has been huge, with apparently some 3,000 media types in all.

The International Press Centre, in a marquee right on the beach, was very well organised, with 600 workstations, plenty of TV booths and decent tucker. Your hard-working team naturally found time to sample some of the complimentary foie gras and oysters and the odd glass of something very drinkable.





We also stood for the French National Anthem, which not all the journos managed.  This baffles me. You’re a guest in somebody else’s country, you’ve been fed and watered all day for free and treated with great consideration.

You’re in the presence of that country’s Head of State and Armed Forces, and they’re a sort of ally. Why would you not stand for their national anthem? It’s just rude, nekulturny as those nice people the SVR might say.

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The French Ceremony at Caen Memorial

French President Hollande, June 2014
French President Hollande, June 2014

This was moving. President Hollande gave a fine address. OK, so I don’t like the guy’s politics. He probably doesn’t care much for mine. However, he didn’t become President of France without being able to deliver a good speech.  He delivered today.

He also gave the impression that had he been around in 1944 he would have been on the side of the Free French, not Vichy.

Too many Fifth Republic politicians have just been watered down Vichy.

The choir was great and the music very moving. It was a simple ceremony, but it made the point that a great many French civilians – way too many – were killed on D-Day.

Somebody in the Allied chain of command was not looking out for the good people of Caen.  Young people and veterans were front and center, which was a nice touch.

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The International Ceremony at Sword Beach

British World War II veteran Frederick Glover poses for a photograph as soldiers parachute during a D-Day commemoration in Ranville, France, June 5, 2014
British World War II veteran Frederick Glover poses for a photograph as soldiers parachute during a D-Day commemoration in Ranville, France, June 5, 2014

HM the Queen attended, with that nice man President Putin from Russia, several other European presidents, the Canadian and Australian Prime Ministers and half the crowned heads of Europe.

President Obama was there too, which was odd, since the Kenyans weren’t actually at D-Day.  Maybe he was representing America. HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were there too. I am not sure when they came across.

The Queen came across to Paris on Wednesday night, I think, and has been staying at the British Ambassador’s residence, which I gather is rather splendid.  The French have been kind enough to name a square after Her, which She is dedicating tomorrow. In a nice touch, the French included wartime photos of the Queen in uniform.  Her Majesty is the last surviving Head of State actually to have served in World War II.

The Queen was given a rousing reception, not just by the many British and Canadian veterans, but by the French. The French thoughtfully allowed Her Range Rover to drive right up to the viewing stand. For a temporary stand on a beach this was a pretty impressive structure. The tent and marquee side of things was very well done. The organisers could definitely go into wedding planning, if they were so minded.

Then Princess Elizabeth - Elizabeth Windsor, service number 230873, volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.
Then Princess Elizabeth – Elizabeth Windsor, service number 230873, volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.

There was a funny moment during the ceremony when the screen was split, showing Presidents Obama and Putin apparently next to each other. They played up to the gallery and looked in each other’s direction, smiling. Angela Merkel was seated between President Putin and the new Ukrainian chap. It looked harmonious, but probably wasn’t.

The finale was spectacular, with lots of flame and smoke. The band of the Republican Guard played their hearts out and the dance troupe were better than they sound.

It’s a pity that we Tories are run by the Chamberlain wing of the party, which isn’t keen on celebrating German defeats. The British contribution was pretty feeble, apart from Her Majesty of course.

We couldn’t even manage a flypast from a Dakota, let alone pay to bring over the Canadian Lancaster, which is what I wanted to do.

The boys in Hamilton were up for it. I even sorted a couple of reconditioned Packard Merlin 224 engines, had anyone in Whitehall been interested.

What we should really have done, of course, was to refit dear old HMS Belfast, which was there on D-Day, and parked her right off the beach, with orders to fire a 21-gun salute, using 6” broadsides. That would have cheered up Angela Merkel!

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The Great Heathrow Terminal 5 Toothpaste Scandal

There was an extraordinary incident at Heathrow Airport on the way out.  For once my bag fitted in those very small looking cabin bag size guides they have at airports.  Great, thought I, no need to drop the bag. Just take it on the plane.  Huh.  The contents of my small kit were of great interest to security. My toothpaste container was larger than 125 ml, so it was confiscated, as though the state has problems with gum disease.

My lawyerly protestation that it was half used and therefore less than 125 mil was ignored.  Result, I needed to go to Boots the Chemist and acquire a small tube of toothpaste. Why seize my toothpaste? This is where airport security disappears up its own exhaust pipe.

All I could have done on BA Flight 334 to Orly with a half-used tube of Colgate would have been to clean a flight attendant’s teeth. It was never like this with BEA. An Englishman’s toothpaste is his private domain, indeed so is his small kit generally.

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The Great Obama Visa Scandal

An even bigger scandal was the Administration’s refusal of a visa, to allow me to fly to New York to give evidence as an expert, in the case of Strunk v State of New York.  My expert affidavit has been placed in the public domain.

Just one working day after the learned judge accepted that I was an expert, and rightly so with respect (the New York Attorney-General is not stupid and offered no opposition to the plaintiff’s motion) my visa was refused at the US Embassy in London, on the with respect specious ground that I might not observe the conditions attaching to my stay, under s.214 of the Immigration Act 1952.

Excuse me?  I am a practicing barrister and former immigration judge.  I have visited America on numerous occasions since 1991, most recently in October last year, and have scrupulously observed US immigration requirements, and US law generally, apart from that one small matter of doing 110 on I-70 westbound in Kansas (well, it was a Sunday morning, I had 750 miles to go and a powerful V-8 Caddy to do them in, the road was empty, the visibility unlimited and the weather was fine).

The actions of the Administration are a disgrace. They are also an effective admission that they have no real answer to my affidavit and that the President was indeed born in the Coastal Protectorate of Kenya. Playing dirty pool is not the answer. For the avoidance of doubt I held a confirmed reservation in Business Elite class on Delta Flight 402 out of Kennedy back to London on Saturday 21st.

Whilst the young man at the Embassy was perfectly polite and apologetic, the visa section of the US Embassy in London is pretty shambolic. Not to invite interviewees to sit down is a disgrace, as is the absence of an appeal mechanism. The refusal was clearly politically motivated. I may not actually be allowed to enter the United States again until there is a Republican administration.

The Obama Administration is lukewarm about good relations with Britain. Their pivot to China is also a pivot away from the UK.

After all the intelligence I have provided the US, without seeking payment, this was a slap in the face, frankly. Major intelligence players in other countries will get the message – it doesn’t matter how good a friend you are to America, German political influence in Washington is enough to ensure that sooner or later you will get punished if you help America.

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Classic Movie of the Week: The Longest Day (1962)

The Longest Day, 1962 movie
The Longest Day, 1962 movie

Well there were only two choices, weren’t there, for this week? It was either The Longest Day, or Saving Private Ryan. The latter will become a classic, but it concentrated on a very human story and was fairly narrow in scope.

The Longest Day covered a broad swathe of Operation Overlord, still the biggest single military operation in history.

The ensemble cast was tremendous.  There are cameos from John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Rod Steiger, Richard Burton, Henry Fonda, Richard Todd (who was at D-Day), Sean Connery, Kenneth More and hell, just about everybody.

The acting is superb, even if none of the leads was allowed to act to his or her true potential. The movie’s strength is its depiction of the war from the German side. On the whole the Germans are treated pretty fairly. Naturally, I approve!  They may be the enemy, but that’s no reason not to be fair to them.

The air and naval aspects of the operation feature only tangentially in the movie, but no single picture could cover every aspect of such a vast enterprise.  The soundtrack is stirring, the theme tune being played at today’s main ceremony on Sword Beach.

What the movie does not portray, hardly surprisingly, since Frau Rommel was a consultant and she was checking in with Admiral Canaris of the DVD, is the intelligence background to D-Day.  In particular it avoids telling the truth about General Eisenhower.

In the movie he is depicted as being on the Allied side.  Well there was a disclaimer at the end and the movie-makers did say that facts had been changed to suit the narrative.  The true background will be revealed next week, although of course if you’ve read Spyhunter, you’ll know what’s coming!

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Spyhunter
Spyhunter

Michael Shrimpton is a barrister, called to the Bar in London 1983. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counterterrorism. Michael was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies in what was then the Department of National Security, Intelligence and Space Studies at the American Military University.

Michael’s ground-breaking, 700 page intelligence text “Spyhunter: The Secret History of German Intelligence” was published in England by June Press on April 14th 2014.

Editing: Erica P. Wissinger

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Author Details
Michael Shrimpton is a barrister, currently suspended of course, called to the Bar in London in 1983. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counterterrorism. He has wide ranging connections both in Western Intelligence agencies and amongst ex-Soviet Bloc agencies. The late Generaloberst Markus Wolf, of the Stasi and DVD, was one of his contacts. Michael has earned respect in the intelligence community for his analysis of previously unacknowledged post-WWII covert operations against the West by the German DVD organization based in Dachau, near Munich, Germany, and its British, French and American client agencies. These continue to the present day, as politicians and the media are too nervous of standing up to them.

Michael was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies in the Department of National Security, Intelligence and Space Studies at the American Military University, teaching intelligence subjects at Masters level to inter alia serving intelligence officers. He has represented US and Israeli intelligence officers in law and briefed in staffers on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Joint Congressional Inquiry into 9-11. In the wake of that murderous attack he addressed panels on terrorism in Washington DC and Los Angeles organized by the respected Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. Fellow panelists included a former head of Special Operations Command and a former Commander of the US Atlantic Fleet.

Michael’s active assistance to Intelligence and Law Enforcement agencies in the Global War on Terror produced some notable successes, including the exposure of the Abu Ghraib ‘hood’ photograph as a fake. His work on strategic intelligence took him to the Pentagon and he has also met with senior advisors to the President of the Russian Federation, in Moscow, in November 2005. He participated in the Global Strategic Review conference in Geneva in 2005 and was a speaker at both the Intelligence Conference (Intelcon) in 2005, and the Intelligence Summit in 2006, each at Crystal City.

In 2006 he was flown out to, and flew off from, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65), as part of the US Navy’s Distinguished Visitor Program. She was then working up her air group off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, before operational deployment to the Persian Gulf. It is comparatively unusual for a foreign civilian to complete a carrier landing and launch cycle.

Michael’s ground-breaking, 700 page intelligence text “Spyhunter: The Secret History of German Intelligence” was published in England by June Press in April 2014. It features on a number of intelligence syllabuses, as does intelligence analysis prepared by Michael, e.g. on the brutal 2003 assassination of British weapons scientist Dr David Kelly CMG.

In their unlawful raid on Michael’s home in Wendover, Buckinghamshire in April 2012 Thames Valley Police officers seized the manuscript of Spyhunter and all of Michael’s onshore backups. Publication was only possible because the draft had been backed up offshore. The police hung onto the seized copies long after it was decided not to use them as evidence.

In November 2014 Michael was convicted at Southwark Crown Court by a tampered-with jury panel on two bogus bomb-hoax charges. Prior to bringing in the police the British Ministry of Defence, after consulting with the Cabinet Office, destroyed their recordings of Michael’s initial contact and qualified intelligence briefing re a DVD operation to target the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics using a stolen Russian SS-N-19 warhead.

Happily the NSA intercepted both Michael’s call to MOD and their call to him (on a number he had provided) and the intercepts are now in the hands of MI5.

As Michael’s distinguished Veterans Today colleagues Gordon Duff and Ben Fulford have confirmed on this website, his intelligence briefing to MOD was substantially correct and two warheads, both off an SS-19, were recovered by the US. After inspection the Department of Energy estimated their yield at 20KT. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Shrimpton
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