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Operation Jungle and Baltic Operations

The British Baltic Fishery Protection Service (BBFPS) and the Clandestine Operations of Hans Helmut Klose 1949-1956 by SIGURD HESS -- abstract

The British Baltic Fishery Protection Service was set up as a cover for operation "Jungle," the clandestine agent transport organized by the British secret intelligence service MI 6. Commencing in May 1949, MI 6 used the Kriegsmarine Schnellboot S 208 (Fast Patrol Boat or FPB) under the command of the German naval officer Hans-Helmut Klose to transport agents to the landing sites in Polanga, Lithuania, in Uzava and Ventspils, Latvia, in Saaremaa, Estonia, and in Stolpmünde, Poland. After improvised beginnings, MI 6 considered a permanent organisation, which was set up 1951 in Hamburg-Finkenwerder and later in Kiel. In 1952, a second Schnellboot, S 130, joined and the mission was enlarged to include signal intelligence (SIGINT) equipment. In 1954/55, three newly built Schnellboote replaced the old and war-weary FPBs. From 1951 onwards, MI 6 suspected that Soviet counter-intelligence might have infiltrated the spy networks in the forests of Courland. Actually, the KGB had been very successful with its "operative game" named "Lursen-S." All of the more than 42 agents which MI 6 had sent "into the cold" were caught, sentenced, or turned around as moles or counteragents. The Klose operations were successful as far as SIGINT and the naval aspects of his raids are concerned. Inadvertently, the British also helped to lay the foundation of what developed in the 60s into the German Navy "Schnellbootflottille" and the "Marine Fernmeldestab 70," the Naval Intelligence Organization. The MI 6 operations in the forests of Courland, however, were a complete failure. This had much to do with superciliousness and lack of internal security inside MI 6. In the end, neither MI 6 nor the KGB achieved their intended aims and many human lives were sacrificed for a trickle of information, which after close analysis proved to be without much value.

Old Wine in New Bottles……… In May 1945, S-130 and S-208 were taken as British war prizes. A team of German delivery crews from the German Minesweeping Administration (GM/SA) subsequently brought them to Gosport, England, together with a variety of other small craft. The boats arrived at Hornet on Friday 22nd May 1945, Lt. Cdr. MacDonald was to be wed in Aberdeen the following day. On the pontoon is Lt. James (known as Jimmie) Riddle who rejoiced in the title of Berth Control Officer. During the ensuing period, the Royal Navy used them for test and trial purposes as Experimental Craft FPB 5130 and FPB 5208. As they were to be used unarmed, the torpedo tubes were de-activated and closed, and the cannon unshipped. Additional fuel tanks were installed in order to increase their operating radius and powerful radar and radio direction finding suites were fitted. In order to conduct comparative trials, S-130 had her three MB 501 V-20 diesels replaced by three, state-of-the-art Napier-Deltic diesels rated at 3140-PS each, whilst S-208 retained her original engines. This new lease of life gave S-130 a speed of 45 kts – an increase of about 5 knots on her previous maximum. It was then decided to re-deploy them to British-occupied Germany on reconnaissance duties under the direction of Flag Officer Germany and, for this new role, the boats were given a coat of special, white, non-reflecting paint.

collected a large quantity of useful information and made a thorough nuisance of themselves but. where they would await the radio signal from London giving the final order to penetrate the territorial waters of the USSR. At first. In order to confuse the situation further. Most importantly. During the last year of World War II. The first stage of the trip was usually to Bornholm. Tens of thousands of Kriegsmarine personnel had worked for the Royal Navy as part of the British-supervised German Mine Sweeping Administration and its smaller civilian successor. off the Swedish coast. Its principal purpose was to conceal the details of Operation Jungle. This made identification very difficult. interviewed Klose and asked him whether he would be interested in putting his unique experiences and talents to use against the Russians. and Stolpmünde (Poland). a decision was made to set up a “British Baltic Fishery Protection Service (BBFPS)” as a cover organisation. reconnaissance missions. Uzava and Ventspils (Latvia) Saaremaa (Estonia). They photographed Soviet Units. The agents were flown from England to West Germany. given to them by the US and UK as war prizes. During this period (1948/9). during the last days of the War. had played a leading role in the brilliantly-executed but desperate evacuation of Libau in East Prussia. clandestine circles – as “The Klose Fast Patrol Group”. They had trained selected emigrants from Latvia. Called to duty again. The boats were re-deployed to Kiel (under command of one Lt Cdr John Harvey-Jones) and were soon turning up in the middle of Soviet Fleet manoeuvres and in the approaches to their bases. Lithuania and Estonia as agents and these were by now ready to be returned in order to link up with anti-Soviet resistance groups who had been conducting antiSoviet resistance and hiding in the forests since the end of the war. they were used for coastal survey. they carried and wore a variety of ensigns and insignia. British Officers would issue any final instructions and disembark. from when MI6 used S-208 (alias FPB 5208) and a variety of other vessels to transport agents to landing sites in Polanga (Lithuania). the Cuxhaven Mine Sweeping Group. In May 1948. as several navies used former Kriegsmarine S-Boote. Klose had commanded the 2nd Fast Torpedo Boat Training Flotilla. at this time. Only the vessel’s Commander knew the . He had fought the Soviet Fleet off Kürland and. He agreed and soon got things moving. to be mounted by the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). On receipt. which operated throughout the Baltic during the final desperate months of the Kriegsmarine’s existence. but the British Admiralty had urgent need of information about the equipment and activities of the Soviet Fleet. including the escort of transports. a programme for the clandestine insertion of agents into the Baltic States. all former members of the Kriegsmarine S-Bootwaffe. these included one Hans–Helmut Klose. Operations began in May 1949. Commander Anthony Courtney RN. this time in the service of the British. as soon as they were detected they were able to escape at high speed despite all efforts to intercept them. landing there on British military airfields from where they were brought to various harbours to board one of Klose’s vessels. clandestine insertion of agents and even the rescue of high-ranking officials from encircled enclaves.Pirates Turned Spies ………. He was highlyregarded and had no “baggage” from the British point of view: Klose was a born pirate but he was no Nazi. an intelligence officer. a daring veteran of the Kriegsmarine S– Bootwaffe. The Royal Navy felt confident that it could find suitable German candidates to crew a small flotilla for this dangerous undertaking. they formed what was to become famous – albeit in rarefied. Klose’s boats performed a wide range of missions. based in Rotterdam. leaving the German crew to make the run. The boats flew the White Ensign but were manned by German crews. who were making their presence in the Baltic increasingly felt.

the boat closed slowly and quietly to within about 3nm of the coast. In contrast. Our heroines. These operations also did much to set aside the Anglo-German naval bitterness and resentment of the immediate post-war period and laid the foundation of what was to become the German Navy’s new "Schnellbootflotille" and the Intelligence Organisation. the KGB had been very successful with its counter-penetration operation “Lursen-S. MI6 had suspected that Soviet counter-intelligence might have infiltrated the spy networks in the forests of Kürland. the Naval intelligence." Over 40 agents were inserted into the field and all were caught. sentenced.and then commissioned two of them as Storm Gull and Silver Gull with the usual German crews. put the agents ashore. In the end. following a co-operation agreement between the British and the American Secret Services. This complete failure of the MI6 operation in the Kürland had much to do with superciliousness and a lamentable lack of internal security inside MI6 itself. newly-built Schnellboote arrived to relieve S-130 and S-208. were restored to their old condition and handed over. Seaworthy Ships but a Leaking Intelligence Service………………. From 1951 onwards. In 1952. or turned as moles or double agents. The crews received medallions from a grateful Royal Navy for their services and the boats were handed over to the nascent German Federal Navy. who was in radio communication with the mother S-Boot. After nightfall. formerly Chairman of ICI) was made an MBE. In fact. in 1954/55. The British waited until they were completed and paid for. Following the satisfactory exchange of agreed authentication signals with the shore reception party. surveillance and reconnaissance operations conducted by the Klose Fast Patrol Group were very successful indeed and it was for this that Lt Cdr Harvey Jones (now rather better-known as Sir John Harvey-Jones. a rubber dinghy with an outboard motor was lowered and the coxswain. The German Federal Border Guard (Sea) (Bundesgrenzschutz See) had ordered three fast patrol boats of the modernised Kriegsmarine S-Boot type from the Lürsen shipyard but their designed speed of 43 kts broke the terms of the Potsdam agreement under which construction of such fast patrol boats was prohibited. accelerated out of hostile territorial waters. The New Germany Joins NATO and The Bundesmarine is Born In spring 1956 the BBFPS was disbanded. three more.destination. in March 1957. S-130 and S 208. neither MI6 nor the KGB achieved their intended aims and many human lives were sacrificed for a trickle of information which. S-130. designated UW 10 and UW 11 . There he embarked any agents for return to England and rejoined the S-Boot which. American CIA agents (supported by the famous US-backed Gehlen organisation) were also inserted along the coasts of the Baltic States by Klose’s boats In 1952. after close analysis. both of whom were by now looking decidedly war-weary. S-130 Joins a Very Private Club After these rather improvised beginnings. This involved the fitting of a variety of signal intelligence (SIGINT) equipment and. MI6 decided to create a more permanent organisation. which was set up 1951 in Hamburg-Finkenwerder and later moved back again to Kiel. the Group had been further reinforced. proved to be of little value. rejoined her sister ship S-208 and the scope of operations was widened to include electronic and signal intelligence activities. They were used as high-speed training vessels. following the arrival of S-130. Finally. after clearing the coast with the minimum of noise and disturbance. confiscated the boats just before they were due to be delivered – an example of the perfidy of Albion that can have few equals . The landings were finally stopped for good in 1955. from 1953 on.

Hans Helmut Klose. new and excellent Schnellboot arm. the boat astern is S212 this had a large S painted on its side with a crest on its bow. in DSC. Lt.bmpt. J. the three boats were escorted from DEN Helder by five boats from the 21st MTB Flotilla led by their C. finally retired in the rank of Vice Admiral. while the newer boats formed the first Fast Torpedo Boat Squadron. S221 with Lt. The Klose Fast Patrol Group. Most of the crew members also joined the German Federal Navy and the Flotilla Commander.htm . S-130. having created and commanded the complete.j. Mac Donald DSO. Cdr. G.M. Moore DSC RNVR (now Sir John) and John Davies on the bridge the boat is reconizable by the Ace of clubs sign on the side of the bridge. Out of picture will be S213 .respectively. at the underwater warfare school.O. taken from S-208 http://www.