24 October 1912|
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
|Died||18 July 1946
Scheveningen, The Netherlands
|Cause of death||Suicide|
Christiaan Antonius Lindemans (Rotterdam, 24 October 1912 – Scheveningen, 18 July 1946) was a Dutch double agent during the Second World War. He is better known under his nickname "King Kong" or in some circles as "le Tueur" (the Killer) as he undertook missions to kill.
He is blamed for betraying the plans of Operation Market Garden to the enemy and as a result causes the Allies defeat at the battle of Arnhem in 1944, the loss of the battle prolonged the war by 6 months, allowing the Russian Red Army to enter Berlin first.
Krist, as he was called by his fellow comrades, had worked for the Allies with great bravery, being personally responsible for the death of at least of twenty-seven Germans during the guerrilla war in the outskirts of Antwerp. His love for women and gambling was limitless, he didn't know the meaning of fear; unfortunately neither did he know the meaning of loyalty.
Before the outbreak of the second World War, Lindemans worked as a mechanic in his father's garage in Rotterdam, in 1934, he was involved in a motorcycle accident which left him partly paralysed on the left side of the body and left him with a lumbering, Simian-like, Gait, tall and heavy built (6 ft 3 and 260 lbs), he was nicknamed King Kong, he spoke French and German well and some English, in August 1940 he found a job as lorry driver on the Lille Paris route carrying petrol for the German air forces. While living at Lille and through his girflfriend, he became involved with the Resistance sometimes in 1941.
By 1943, his popularity as one of the leader of the Dutch resistance was its highest, he had begun collecting jewels and other valuables from rich women to provide fighting funds for the underground "escape route" through occupied Belgium and the Netherlands into Spain and Portugal.
Lindemans served as a contact with resistance movements such as the RVV (Raad van Verzet or Council of Resistance, the RVV was engaged in both commnications sabotage and protection of onkerduikers or People in Hiding), the CS VI group of Amsterdam (a clandestine sabotage and intelligence organisation, one of its members was Dutch officer Captain Kas de Graaf[note 1]), the Trouw (Fidelity), the Het Parool (The spoken Word) and for evasion networks within the juridisdiction of MI9.
In 1944 his younger brother Henk and his mistress Veronica were arested in Rotterdam follow by his fiancee and mother of his child, a French cabaret singer named Gilou Lelup at Hotel Montholon in Paris, by March 1944 he was able to made contact with the intelligence agency of the or Sicherheitsdienst and agreed to be their agent in exchange for their release. From now on he was instructed to renew contact with resistance agents and transmit back to Major Hermann Giskes (who had run the successful operation Operation North Pole) information about the resistance movement in the occupied Netherlands, France and Belgium, Lindemmans was ordered to infiltrate the British Intelligence Service and obtain informations on the time and place of Day X, in the wake of D-Day's landings, lindemans said to have visited the British sector of the Normandy Beachhead, he succeeded in getting himself recruiting by IS 9 (Intelligence School 9 aka Nine Eyes), a top-secret section which worked under MI9, by the end of September 1944 he was a member of Prince Bernhard's staff and was appointed to the position of Liaison officer (with temporary rank of Captain) between Dutch resistance and a British Intelligence unit commanded by a Canadian officer[note 2]
On 3 September 1944, Giskes left Brussels (en route to his next assignment) and instructed Lindemans to stay in Belgium and to make contact with Anglo-Canadian intelligence, he was to offer himself as an agent, the mission was to find out what plans Canadian Intelligence had made for the Netherlands and as soon as possible cross the lines with that information.
On 4 September 1944 Captain Peter Baker of IS 9 of the D group (Western Europe Area) arrived in Brussels en route to Antwerp in search of a Dutchman who would be able to go through the lines and to contact Allied airmen hiding in the southern part of the Netherlands (Allied pilots were to stay put as the Allied amies were preparing to move toward Eindhoven).
An Armée secrète ‘s operative named Renniers recommended Lindemans to the job, before sending him out, Baker made a few enquiries, he then went to the 21st Army Group's headquarters which in turn contacted Prince Bernhard’s staff, on SHAEF special forces Captain de Graaf’s recommendation, Prince Bernhard notifiy Baker that Lindemans could be trusted. From now on Lindemans had joined The Buccaneers, Baker's private army, the Jolly Roger was the unit Battle standard. On the night of 14 September, Captain Baker conducted Lindemans and a Belgian to the front near Berigen (Location of Capt Baker HQ, the British intended to drive on Eindhoven with 300 tanks from the bridgehead near Berigen), in full British battle dress uniform he crossed the frontlines through a hail of shells, the Belgian was wounded and taken to a German field Hospital, he died shortly after and for Lindemans he had rendezvous with the German HQs in the Netherlands. Lindemans first met with German Luftwaffe general Kurt Student in Vught and then escorted to Driebergen.
Alongside his BBO assignement Lindemans had received a Dutch BI (bureau of information, The Dutch exile government's intelligence service and MI-6 counterpart) order, once in Eindhoven he was to tell resistance fighters at The Philips Company also known as Eindhoven Philips, that they should hold back informations on the development of V-2 rocket and a cyclotron until the Allies reached them unless they considered it to be a strategic imperative.In that case they were to hand their intelligence to Lindemans on his way back through the lines possibly part of the Melanie Mission, a joint operation between the Office of Strategic Services and the BI., the Melanie Mission was to collect military, economic and industrial intelligence. Saturday 16 September, He went for the safe house of resistant police officer Inspector Kooy, his address had been given to Lindemans via Baker by Dutch intelligence liaison officers, Kooy started to act suspicious about Lindemans, he had him searched and when a copy of the Deutsche Zeitung in den Niederlanden and a pass signed by Major Kiesewetter (Giskes's subordinate) were discovered in his pocket, Lindemans answered that he had picked up the paper on the road and the pass was forged, Kooy had him locked him up in a coal cellar near the Police station .
Lindemans was released on Tuesday, 19 September, one day after the Allies entered Eindhoven by Baker who was absolutely furious that one of his best agents was detained, Kooy produced the items discovered, Baker reply that the newspaper meant nothing and the pass was a fake. On 23 September Lindemans was debrief and clear of any suspicion by Captain de Graff. (A coded telegram was sent to the BI HQ in London noting that Lindemans was all right)
Since the war various authors have speculated that Lindemans' information led Field Marshal Model (Model's Tactical HQ was located in Oosterbeek, in the neighbouring of Arnhem) to reposition the II SS Panzer Corps (commanded by General Bittrich) under the cover of darkness to positions overlooking likely Airborne targets, mainly bridgeheads, near Arnhem.
According to Lindemans, the Allies wanted to attack Eindhoven. More specifically, Lindemans' information stated that the Allied attack would be north of Eindhoven and would consist of Airborne troops eventually backstopped by Allied armor.
Capture and death
On 26 October 1944, Lindemans was denounced as a German spy by a fellow Abwehr agent named Cornelis Verloop nicknamed Satan Face. Verloop claimed that Lindemans had betrayed Operation Market Garden to intelligence officer Kiesewetter on Friday, 15 September at the Abwehr station in Driebergen, "King Kong" was arrested on 28 October 1944 at Prince Bernhard's headquarters located at Château Wittouck outside Brussels and was soon afterwards transferred to Camp 020, after a two-week intense interrogation by MI5 agents, Lindemans made a full and detailed confession, he was then returned to Dutch custody, he was jailed in Breda Prison in March 1945 and in Scheveningen until summer 1946, he allegedly committed suicide by swallowing 80 aspirin in a psychiatric ward before his case could be judged.
On Tuesday, 17 June 1986, Dutch pathologist Martin Voortman positively identified a skeleton exhumed as that of Christiaan Lindemans, according to Voortman, the skeleton had an irregularly healed break in its left ankle, corresponding to Lindemans' medical records. The body was recovered at dawn the same day from Rotterdam Crooswijk cemetery from a coffin sandwiched between those of Lindemans's parents.
In 1997, Lindemans' suicide note surfaced and had provided satisfactory evidence that Lindemans took his own life.
Prison, rumours and escape
Summer 1946, a Dutch newspaper publish an article on a Prison break which occurred at Scheveningen Prison, three men being held at the camp for political delinquents escaped, one of the escapees was the notorious Christiaan Lindemans, the mysterious Tower of London Prisoner, a previous escape attempt by Lindemans from the same place had been frustrated., he may have been allowed to escape to South America.
- In the fall of 1943, Lindemans helped De Graaf escape from the Netherlands en route for London.
- Lindemans was assigned to a junior Canadian officer by Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice Louis De Rome, OBE, ED, of the Royal 22nd Regiment and Special Forces Detachments (SFD) attached to the 1st Canadian Army, in July 1948, De Rome was promoted to Chief of staff,Quebec Army Command with HQ in Montreal.
The Special Forces Detachments were created by SHAEF and SFHQ to facilitate cooperation between military organizations and resistance groups.
The Bureau Inlichtingen (BI) had the task of collecting intelligence, Dutch officer Jan Marginus Somer (1899-1979) was head of the Bureau.
The Bureau Bijzondere Opdrachten (BBO) had the mission to carry out specials operations, the head of BBO was Dutch Major-General J.W Oorschot, assisted by officers Klijzing and De Graff.
- Was Arnhem Betrayed ?, by Loe de Jong, article published in Encounter, june 1981
- "My Testament", p. 112-3
- "Uncertain Horizons:Canadians and their world in 1945", By Greg Donaghy, p. 53
- Studies in Intelligence, issue 1, published by the U.S Central Intelligence Agency, 1998, p.109
- Uncertain horizons:Canadians and their world in 1945, by Greg Donaghy, p.54
- The Lindemans affair, by Anne Laurens, published by Allan Wingate, 1971, p.110
- The Lindemans affair, by Anne Laurens, published by Allan Wingate, 1971, p.39
- The Lindemans affair, by Anne Laurens, published by Allan Wingate 1971
- Pinto 1972, pp. 131–134
- The Tenth, by Ronald Brammall, published by Eastgate Publications, 1965, p.118
- London Calling North Pole, by Hermann J.Giskes, published by British Book Centre, 1953, p.147
- To Win the Winter Sky:The Air War Over the Ardennes,1944-1945, by Danny.S Parker, published by Combined Publishing 1999, p.120
- Killer Elite, by Michael Smith, published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2006
- Shot Down and on the Run, by Graham Pitchfork, published by Dundurn Group Ltd 2003 p.12
- "The Changing Commonwealth Proceedings of the Fouth Unofficial Commonwealth Relations Conference held at Bigwin Inn, Ontario, Canada, September 8–18, 1949", by Frederic Hubert Soward, published by Oxford University Press, 1950, p.239
- A Bridge Too Far, by Cornelius Ryan, published by Simon and Schuster, p.155
- Confession of Faith, P.131, by Peter Baker published by Falcon Press 1946
- Les grandes décisions de la deuxiéme Guerre mondiale, by Jacques de Launay, published by Edito-service 1975,volume 3, p.181
- The Lindemans affair, by Anne Laurens, published by Allan Wingate 1971 , p.8
- MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949, by Keith Jeffery, published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 2010, p.544
- Uncertain Horizons:Canadians and their world in 1945, By Greg Donaghy, published by Canadian Committee For The History of The Second World War, 1997, p.58
- Studied in intelligence, numero 1, published by the U.S Central Intelligence Agency, 1998, p.111
- Studied in intelligence, numero 1, published by the U.S Central Intelligence Agency, 1998, p.116
- Based on works by historian Loe de Jong (1914-2005).
- Uncertain horizons:Canadians and their world in 1945, by Greg Donaghy, p.62
- The Sword of St.Michael:The 82nd Airborne Division in World War II, by Guy Lofaro, published by Da Capo Press.
- I5 files reveal how 'King Kong' betrayed Allies, The Independent, 20 April 2000.
- Pinto, Oreste (1972) Spy Catcher, Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd. pp 136-137, ISBN 0-176-35054-3
- "The Courier", Examination confirms identity of double agent's body, 17 june 1986
- Operation Market-Garden Then and Now, volume 1 by Karel Magry published by After the Battle, 2002
- "My Testament", by Capt.Peter Baker,MC, p.113-4, published by John Calder, march 1955
- The Knickerbocker, the magazine of the low countries, volume 6, Atlantic Observer 1946
- Associated Press, Paul Verschuur, 4 january 1986, Dutch Council Rules On Wartime Spy Case Disclosure
- The News Media and The Law, volume 7, 1986
- The Courier Mail, 25 May 1950, No thumbscrews were needed to make King Kong talk
- The Courier Mail, 26 May 1950, The Scarlet Pimpernel Of Holland Wilts
- The Advertiser, 6 June 1950, Traitor Of Arnhem-3
- The Miami News, 15 June 1950, Hold on King Kong Gained Through Girl
- The Miami News, 18 June 1950, Suicide Ends Career Of King Kong After Last Romance And Escape Attempt
- The Straits Times, 18 June 1950, page 10, King Kong makes confession
- The Sydney Morning Herald, 31 August 1950, Traitor Of Arnhem
- The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 Sept 1950,Traitor Of Arnhem
- The Southeast Missourian, 18 February 1953, Nazi Spy Cheats Justice After Betrayal Of Allied Paratroops
- Tmes Daily, 25 May 1953, The Incredible Nazi Spy Named King Kong