‘Ghost army’ traps Soviet Nazi spies

Avatar of Nick John By Nick John Dec19,2023 #Ghost #Soviet Nazi #traps
'Ghost army' traps Soviet Nazi spies 0
'Ghost army' traps Soviet Nazi spies 0

The massive counterintelligence plan cost Germany dozens of spies.

In 1941, agent Alexander Demyanov of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, posing as a deserter, discovered a secret German spy network in the heart of the Soviet Union,

Demyanov acted as a double agent, providing intelligence to Germany from within the Soviet Union, applying diversionary tactics that caused dozens of German spies to fall into a trap.

A `ghost army` led by Lieutenant General Pavol Sudoplatov was established, stationed at a `German military camp` right in the heart of the Soviet Union to lure the enemy into sending spies to coordinate actions and provide support.

The Soviet secret service chose Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich Scherhorn, a German prisoner of war captured in June 1944, to act as the commander of the fake camp and maintain contact with the German command.

In August 1944, Operation Berezino began with Max (Demyanov’s code name) sending a message to German intelligence, saying that an armed group of 2,500 members of the Scherhorn spy network was being surrounded by the Soviet Red Army along

German Colonel Hans-Heninrich Worgitzsky was suspicious, guessing that this was a Soviet counterintelligence operation.

Otto Skorzeny, head of the SS guard, sent a group of German commandos to infiltrate Soviet territory using a Heinkel He 111 bomber to carry out a rescue operation.

The commando group was forced to participate in a counterintelligence operation, then reported that the mission was successful and needed more reinforcements.

'Ghost army' traps Soviet Nazi spies

Otto Skorzeny assigned German commandos to rescue Scherhorn.

The counterintelligence campaign continued until the German response began to slow.

To maintain cover, the NKVD staged a small night battle between Scherhorn’s men and the Soviet Red Army as the German planes prepared to land.

For months, both Gehlen and Skorzeny followed Soviet orders, leading German commanders to believe that 2,000 of their troops were still trapped in enemy territory.

The only support measure the Germans could provide was to drop supplies and food to the armed group.

Finally, German support also began to decline.

In March 1945, Scherhorn was honored by the Nazis as a national hero for his efforts while imprisoned in Soviet territory, and he was even awarded the Knight’s Cross.

When World War II came to an end, the Soviet counterintelligence campaign ended.

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