Author Spotlight
Bernard O'Connor's publications
Bletchley Park and the Pigeon Spies By Bernard O'Connor
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Over 15,000 pigeons were dropped into occupied Europe during WW2. Some were used by secret agents to send messages back to headquarters. Others were dropped by parachute into France, Belgium, Holland... More > and Denmark in the hope that people would complete the attached questionnaire and provided military, political, economic or other intelligence of value for the Allies. Photographic negatives could be sent. Bletchley Park had its own loft for its pigeon spies. This book investigates the work of MI14, known as the Colomba Service, and for the first time sheds light on conditions in Occupied Europe described by extremely brave men and women who risked execution if found in possession of a pigeon. MI14 staff, decoded or translated messages and forwarded copies to SOE, SIS, MI19, RAF, RN, Ministry of Economic Warfare, BBC, Churchill, de Gaulle and President Benes of Czechoslovakia.< Less
Sabotage in Greece By Bernard O'Connor
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Following the Italian invasion of Albania, the British government was worried that Greece would be next. Their Intelligence Service in Athens prepared to sabotage their plans, stored explosives and... More > trained saboteurs. When Germany came to Italy's aid, they took control of Greece, despite attempts to sabotage the road and rail links. This book investigates the success and failures of British, American and Greek sabotage missions, the attacks on the Gorgopotamos and Asopos viaducts, on roads, railways, shipping and mining operations. Using contemporary documents from the CIA and National Archives, biographies and autobiographies, it provides first-hand accounts from those involved, those who masterminded the operations and the reports of the agents infiltrated by boat, submarine or plane. It has also used historians' accounts found on websites to provide a detailed history of sabotage in Greece between 1940 and liberation in 1944.< Less
The Fossil Diggings in Sandy and Potton By Bernard O'Connor
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In the 1840s a bed of 'coprolites', thought by some to be fossilised dinosaur droppings, was discovered in the Cambridgeshire fens. Rich in phosphate it was much in demand by the nation’s... More > manure manufacturers. By the mid-1860s it was being dug up across much of central Bedfordshire. This book investigates the social, economic and archaeological impact of the fossil diggings in Sandy and Potton, small market towns between Cambridge and Bedford.< Less
The BBC and the Pigeon Spies By Bernard O'Connor
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• Over 16,000 pigeons were dropped into occupied Europe during the Second World War. Some were used by secret agents to send messages back to headquarters. Others were dropped by parachute into... More > France, Belgium, Holland and Denmark in the hope that people would complete the attached questionnaire and provided military, political, economic or other intelligence of value for the Allies. There were also requests for information on the reception and content of the BBC Overseas Service news. Many messages sent back requests that the BBC acknowledge receipt of the message. This book investigates the work of MI14, known as the Colomba Service, and for the first time sheds light on conditions in Occupied Europe described by extremely brave men and women who risked execution if found in possession of a pigeon. MI14 staff, decoded or translated messages and forwarded copies to SOE, SIS, MI19, War Office, RAF, Royal Navy, Ministry of Economic Warfare, Churchill, de Gaulle and the BBC,< Less
THE SPIES WHO CAME BACK TO THE COLD: An Icelandic saga of secret agents, intelligence agencies, deception, political intrigue and international diplomacy during the Second World War By Bernard O'Connor
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During the Second World War, the German Intelligence Service infiltrated specially-trained agents into Iceland to collect military, naval, aviation and meteorological intelligence to be transmitted... More > back to Hamburg by wireless or secret writing. Some agents managed to evade capture for a few weeks but most handed themselves into the authorities shortly after landing. Sent to London for interrogation by MI5, rather than be executed as enemy spies, they revealed their life stories and provided details of their training, their instructors and how they were infiltrated. They included Olev Saetrang, Ib Riis, Sigurjon Jonsson, Jens Palsson, Peter Thomsen aka Jens Fridriksson, Larus Thorsteinsson, Einar Sigvaldason, Magnus Gudbjornsson, Sverrir Matthiasson, Ernst Fresenius, Sigurdur Juliusson, Hjalti Bjornsson and Gudbrandur Hlidar. Three of these spies were ‘turned’, used as double agents to transmit British-inspired messages to deceive the Germans about Arctic convoys and a fake Allied invasion of Norway.< Less
Operation EBENSBURG: SOE’s Austrian ‘Bonzos’ and the rescue of looted European art By Bernard O'Connor
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Some captured German and Austrian personnel were brought to Britain as prisoners of war. Those who were identified as anti-Nazi were 'turned' and, codenamed 'Bonzos', were trained in paramilitary and... More > clandestine warfare to be sent back into occupied Europe on top secret missions. The British Special Operations Executive arranged the infiltration of four Austrians, Albrecht Gaiswinkler, Joseph Grafl, Karl Standhartinger and Karl Lzicar, into the Salzkammergut area of northwestern Austria. This book tells the story of Operation EBENSBURG, their mission to kidnap or assassinate Joseph Goebbels, the Reich's Minister of Propaganda, to organise resistance groups before the arrival of American forces and to protect the looted works of art hidden in the Altaussee salt mine.< Less
Bletchley Park and the Belgian Pigeon Service By Bernard O'Connor
Paperback: $19.83
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During the Second World War, the British Royal Air Force’s Special Duties Squadrons parachuted thousands of pigeons into Belgium. Bletchley Park, the nerve centre of the British Intelligence... More > Service, had its own pigeon loft from where birds were sent on intelligence gathering missions. A secret organisation, MI14(d), was created to organise a pigeon service to occupied Europe. Those who found the pigeons were expected to supply military, economic and political intelligence for the Allies. This book includes the messages sent back from Belgium. In particular, it investigates the roles played by Josef Raskin and Jean Ceysens, the British Intelligence Services, the RAF and the brave individuals who, despite the possibility of imprisonment, sent messages to Britain in the hope it would help liberate their country.< Less
Bletchley Park and the Pigeon Spies By Bernard O'Connor
eBook (ePub): $9.16
Over 16,000 pigeons were dropped into occupied Europe during WW2. Some were used by secret agents to send messages back to headquarters. Others were dropped by parachute into France, Belgium, Holland... More > and Denmark in the hope that people would complete the attached questionnaire and provided military, political, economic or other intelligence of value for the Allies. Photographic negatives could be sent. Bletchley Park had its own loft for its pigeon spies. This book investigates the work of MI14, known as the Colomba Service, and for the first time sheds light on conditions in Occupied Europe described by extremely brave men and women who risked execution if found in possession of a pigeon. MI14 staff, decoded or translated messages and forwarded copies to SOE, SIS, MI19, War Office, RAF, Royal Navy, Ministry of Economic Warfare, BBC, Churchill and de Gaulle.< Less
Sabotage in Belgium By Bernard O'Connor
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Between 1940 and 1944 forty Belgians were trained in industrial sabotage at Brickendonbury Manor, near Hertford, UK. This book tells the stories of their successes and failures when they were dropped... More > into Belgian. They include:Emile Tromme, Robert Jourdain, Armand Campion, Octave Fabri, Jean Scohier, Jean Cassart, Henri Verhaeghen, André Wendelen, Achille Hottia, Oscar Catherine, Valère Passelecq, Willy Bernaert, Jean Deflem, Léon Kaanen, ? Piquart, Felicien Moreau, Victor Lemmens, Pierre Osterrieth, Pierre Vliex, Frederic Veldekens, Henri Frenay, Jean Woluwe and Jean van Gyseghem, Jean Schools, Leon Engelen, Adhemar Delplace, Francois Mathot, André Berten, Alphonse Mabille, Theo Andries, André Bayet, Pierre Davreux, Léon Joye, Georges André, Maurice Bertrand, Robert Duby, Zephir Braibant, Leon Servais, Raymonde Thonon and André Guissart.< Less
The Horningsea Fossil Diggings By Bernard O'Connor
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In the 1840s a bed of 'coprolites', thought by some to be fossilised dinosaur droppings, was discovered in the Cambridgeshire fens. Rich in phosphate it was much in demand by the nation’s... More > manure manufacturers. By the 1860s it was being dug up across much of the county. This book investigates the social, economic and archaeological impact of the fossil diggings in Horningsea, a small, rural community northeast of Cambridge.< Less