The history books say no German forces engaged in military action on British soil during the Second World War, but a new book claims the Nazis did invade Britain – by raiding an RAF base on the Isle of Wight.
The claim comes from author Adrian Searle, who uncovered an account from Dr Dietrich Andernacht – a German soldier who said he was part of a secret operation to steal equipment from the RAF St Lawrence radar station on August 15, 1943.
According to Searle, up to 12 highly trained Germans were transported in U-boats from the Channel Islands and came ashore in dinghies. He claims they were spotted and involved in a gun battle with British soldiers.
He told The Mail on Sunday:
The Germans had a relatively easy crossing but I think they were shocked to be met by regular British soldiers rather than the Home Guard.
It is unclear whether any British soldiers were killed or wounded. This incident was wiped from the war history within hours of it taking place, with witnesses made to sign the Official Secrets Act.
It is time for the Government to come clean. This incident should be added to Britain’s wartime story.
The raiding party allegedly gained access to the radar station and searched the area for cathode-ray direction-finding equipment. Log books from the time kept by the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) service read: “Special Report, police report two dinghies full of Germans in the sea. Seen at 02.18hrs, reported to police through Navy,” the Daily Mail reports.
Derek Kent, a teenage dispatch rider for the ARP at the time, said the ‘cover-up’ began very quickly after the invasion:
We heard about it when we were sent to the area. They said the Germans had been spotted out to sea off St Lawrence. Just a day later a man dressed in a suit came down to see us and I was asked to sign the Official Secrets Act.
According to Searle, British intelligence officers went through German military records after the war to ‘weed’ out the incident.
Today, the ‘raid on the radar’ is not mentioned in official British or German war diaries.
If true, the revelation throws doubt into the wartime boast that no German forces invaded UK soil. However, there has been no official confirmation of the claims.