Alias George Wood

Fritz Kolbe (alias George Wood) espionage services,
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George Wood


to read all that! I had real good opportunities, and I didn't waste any of them." For further communication he said he might be sending a friend or even two, or he might send a new or old garment or pair of shoes--"Please take them apart yourself !" He hoped to get there in person in April.
Kolbe was presumably sent the acknowledgement signal meaning that his reports were very useful; but in Washington, at least, what with severely limited distribution, diluted source description or none at all, and the distortion of paraphrasing, one wonders whether they were. An OSS procedural notice dated 24 March 1944 says that the reports (except those of counterintelligence import) are to be "disseminated with the explanation that they are unconfirmed and that we are desirous of . . . comment . . . on their authenticity. . . . Source will be concealed . . ." Moreover, the only dissemination outside OSS (except to Special Branch MIS, which gave them no dissemination) was still to Berle in State, and that only after Special Branch evaluation.
As for the counterintelligence items, one only hopes most of them were better handled than one in this 6 March letter that can be traced through the cable files. Kolbe had typed, "Swedish Lt. Col. Count Bonte has assured the German Abwehr representative that agent Schrott can go on working undisturbed." So on 22 March (at last) X-2 cables OSS Stockholm, "Does the following information have any significance to you? It has been reliably reported that a certain Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Bonte (possibly Bonde) has informed Abwehr that there should be no interference with an agent named Schrott," and Stockholm cables back that Bonde is head of Swedish counterintelligence but the report about him "is completely incomprehensible to me." End of investigation, apparently.
On Tuesday of Holy Week, 11 April, Dulles cabled that "Wood" had arrived "with more than 200 highly valuable Easter eggs." (Washington cabled back, "What a bunny.") He also brought an oral report that ran to seven pages on subjects ranging from German speculation about the time and place of invasion (and Kolbe's own recommendations for it) to chrome ore shipments and oil production. On 20 April, while this ocean of information was still being cabled in (it took nearly three weeks), Washington raised for the last time the possibility that the whole thing was "some kind of a plant" in spite


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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:05 AM
Last Updated: Aug 05, 2011 08:51 AM