Humans are violent, and it is about time we admit it

Humans are violent. From the sports we watch to the way we consume news, we are a violent species. Doubt my statement? How quickly do we all tune in to see what’s gong on with the latest mass shooting. While we can all agree these things are tragic, I think it is hard to miss the anger and violence the two sides feel towards each other on the whole gun control debate.

One side says “take those guns by any means necessary,” and I assume that means forced confiscation…a safe assumption as many people have said that is exactly how to solve the problem os the millions of guns in the hands of civilians.

The other side says, “let’s get more good guys with guns and shoot back.”

Both use violence in their response to violence, all the while bemoaning the violent act as something they are against.

I was watching an older History Channel special on the Zodiac killer. If you aren’t familiar with this wackadoodle he killed a large number of people in the late 60s and early 70s. He taunted the police with letters written in codes, and was never caught. He killed (depending on the numbers you believe) 7 to 37 people. I know, a single mass shooting does more.

Zodiac was different, he stabbed, brutally, random people. Up close and personal. This wasn’t a guy in a hotel shooting out a window. This was a guy who took a knife, came close to a person, stabbed them until they died, and was never caught. The descriptions of him are vague, and can match probably 10-15% of the population.

The reason this particular special made me realize just how violent we are is that this guy was likely someone who held a normal job, had friends, and no one knew. He may have had a family, who knows.

However, people were obsessed with the case. Everyone wanted (and still) wants to know who it is or was. These murders were 50 years ago, and yet people are still fascinated by this level of killing.

We want to see the blood.

No matter if it is serial killers, an accident we pass in traffic that we just have to see, or the most recent mass shooting, humans love violence. Until we admit that, and take steps to find ways to curb our violent desires we will continue to see people murdered for no reason other than someone felt like killing a bunch of people. Even if it isn’t killing someone, humans will try to take each other’s property by force, or shoot someone for trying to do so.

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Soft Leather Football Helmets, the first evolution in head protection for the NFL

In a previous article, the first in the series on the evolution of the football helmet, we discussed the time period when the game was played without any kind of head protection. It was an interesting thought process to go through; how would the game be different, would injuries go up or down, would tackling be different, etc. In this article we are looking at the time period starting around 1920ish when players started wearing soft leather helmets, generally with no face mask.

These helmets appeared in the sport around the same time as the NFL was formed. Prior to the use of these helmets some players would attempt to protect their head by growing long hair for the cushion it might offer. That didn’t prevent player deaths from occurring. While the helmetless play, and even the soft leather helmets were used in a different time one thing that is sometimes forgotten is that during this time period people would be killed by injuries received during the game.

In one case there was a kid with a broken back who took two days to die, other cases it was severe blows to the head, but deaths from the sport almost caused it to be banned on college campuses and if that had happened the NFL would have never been formed, or if it had been formed likely would have been disbanded early on.

Let’s get back to the soft leather helmets.

There are a number of “stories” concerning the first ever helmet. Who built it? Who wore it? Why?

The most common of these is that the very first one ever was built by a shoemaker. That craftsman was trying to protect a player who had been kicked in the head one too many times and caused him to start to behave like a boxer who blocked one too many punches with his face. Whoever did it and why they did it isn’t really important. The point is that someone had the thought that all the head injuries, and some of the fatalities that the sport was experiencing might be reduced if something was done to protect the old melon up on the shoulders.

These helmets were made out of soft leather, somewhat similar to some types of boots, with a bit of padding sewn into them to increase the shock absorption. They had flaps that came down over the ears, and left ear holes, just like the modern helmets. These ear holes help players hear what is going on, at least back then. In a modern stadium with all the crowd noise hearing what is going on is always a challenge.

This particular helmet evolution did enough to get some measure of safety, or at least comfort level, with the sport so that it could be formalized into the NFL and more colleges would start to have organized teams. Would the NFL exist today without this evolution? Well…maybe. Was it safer to play the game with these helmets than with nothing on your head? Yes, it was. The number of fatalities went down. They offered protection without offering a sense of invincibility (which some people have said the modern helmets give).

Would the game be better if we brought back something along these lines? Would it be safer?

Probably not, but can we learn from the way injuries were reduced, take the lessons learned from this bit of technology and work towards a safer future? We should always learn from history.

Football with no helmet? Evolution of the helmet part 1…

Why aren’t coaches, trainers, and various football organizations doing more to protect players, especially from head injuries? That is an interesting question, and one asked more often than it once was. In order to figure that out we decided to look into the evolution of the football helmet, what it is made of, and how well it works to protect the head from injury.

First, let’s remember that the American style of the sport has been around since the 1860s. Think about that, it has been with us more than a century and a half. That is a long time, and it has evolved greatly from the stand point of rules, perception, and safety equipment. Let’s dive in and look at helmets as they have changed, and when they first appeared.

Starting in these earliest games the players did not wear helmets. It was a much different game, there was protective head gear. Nothing, nada, zip, zero. When you stepped onto the field to face the very large men on the other team who wanted to throw you to the ground, there was nothing on your melon. Now, is that a good or a bad thing? Well, as we discuss the various styles of helmets, opinions on that matter may change.

You may think no helmet was a good idea, you may think even larger, more protective helmets are. We are not here to sway an argument, merely to give you facts from the perspective of how these different helmets function, what injuries were common during their use, and how they integrate into the game from the player perspective.

The era of no helmets

dick-plasman-nfl-no-helmet-football-player

When football first came on the scene it was mainly played between colleges, and there wasn’t any kind of professional “get paid to play” organized version of the sport. As anyone can tell you when there isn’t a profit motive the budgets for organizing the sport are considerably smaller. Just look at the safety equipment budget difference between a university, a high school, and the NFL. There is a considerable difference in the cost, and level of performance of the various safety equipment used during gameplay.

We can assume when the sport was new, no one really understood what injuries might happen and what equipment was needed to improve player safety. That, coupled with the low budgets to non-existent budgets to pull together a game, let to people just getting dress, and heading out to the field.

This era didn’t last long, as the first use of a helmet we can find was in 1893 during and Army Navy game in Annapolis. Were head injuries common during this period of time? It is really hard to tell. There was no tracking of the players, no collection of doctor’s reports, and medicine was much different then than it is now. Could a concussion have even been accurately diagnosed? Considering that concussions were not fully understood by medical professionals at this time, the likelihood is low.

Now, let’s look at it from the gameplay standpoint. Would someone not wearing a helmet tackle another person in the same way as one wearing a helmet? I think a quick examination of rugby (a similar sport that has optional helmets) says no. Could a switch in tackling technique lower the rate of injury, and allow the game to be just as much fun to play, and for us to watch?

Well, let’s look at a rugby tackle versus an NFL “welcome to the gridiron” style tackle.

 

Remember, Rugby players, for the most part, don’t wear helmets. Their tackling style, as a result, is much different. They use their arms and have a much different target point on the ball carrier. In this sport players are taught to take their use their body to wrap up around the legs of the ball carrier. This is in stark contrast to football as the two players heads never really enter into the equation. The only time a head may be in jeopardy is when the players, as a jumble, hit the ground (recall also rugby is on grass not artificial turf, and don’t get us started on turf just yet). This is hugely different than an American Football tackle.

In the games we all watch on Sundays the typical tackling technique is different. It is sometimes called the “head across the bow” method. In this version of football, oftentimes, the tackling is aimed differently. Sure, there are times when someone grabs a foot or a leg to trip a guy up, but those aren’t the tackles that typically cause the most severe injury. Lots of tackles are aimed at the chest with the defensive player forcing their head across the chest of the ball carrier. Sometimes that head is forced up, and you get a helmet on helmet collision.

The force of these collisions is huge. Two NFL level football players when added together will have a combined weight of four hundred to five hundred pounds. If they are moving at full speed, well, it’s going to hurt, with or without pads. So, could a change in tackling technique make the difference in these injuries? Maybe it could. If we took away players helmets AND taught a different tackling technique would that make it safer? Well, who knows, but I guarantee you defensive guys would be much more selective in how they tackled, and would certainly not “use their heads” as much as they do with those helmets in place.

We leave it up to you to think about these things, and come to your own conclusion. This is merely offered to kick start a discussion revolving around the best way for players to play the game, and be able to go home in the same condition they showed up to the field.

Hitler’s Personal Hell? What would it be like?

I have been thinking a lot lately about certain parts of the human experiment. If you watch the Fox show Lucifer you may think about these same things. If you don’t watch it the basic premise of the show is that the devil has come back to walk the surface of the Earth and he solves crimes in Los Angeles…Ok, it isn’t that bad.

As a crime show it sucks, but it isn’t really about that. It is about a struggle between good and evil and Lucifer (a fallen angel) trying to give up running Hell.

Anyway…the show is worth watching but not the point of this blog.

There was an episode recently that showed Lucifer going back to Hell for part of the episode. It showed what the underworld is like for people. Apparently, it is different for everyone.

Customized to be a unique experience for each person.

It made me wonder what is Hell like for Hitler?

In theory Hell is to make people live through what experience in that person’s life is the thing they feel the most guilty about. Does a person like Hitler feel guilt?

If he did, what is his personal Hell like? Does he have to live through the holocaust? Would he feel guilty about that?

I suspect if anything he would have to live through his last day in a bunker (assuming he didn’t escape Germany as some conspiracy theorists believe). Does he just live through watching Berlin destroyed time after time? Does he have something that was worse for him? Is there ANYTHING a guy like that would feel guilty about?

As you make your way through your day, each and every day, ask yourself what would you feel guilty about living through time after time? What would your personal hell be like? If you have any idea (honestly asking) what you think Hitler’s personal hell would be please leave it in the comments down below. I have bene thinking about it for days and can’t come up with anything that would be fitting, there is so much to choose from, but what singular event would HE be most terrorized by?

Autistics as targets…scapegoats for others part 5 of 7

This is part 5 of a series. If you have not read part 1, I encourage you to do so, and but if not, everything in italics is carry over from that post in case you have not seen it. If you have, skip past that part and move forward to the new information.

As some of you know I am on the autism spectrum. I am what is known as a highly functional autistic. Do I accomplish things? Sure. Do I have many of the traits autistics have, absolutely. Do I wish I didn’t? Well, I’d be lying if I didn’t say there are days…but then there are days I think I’m just who I am.

My case is a little different than most. I didn’t know I was on the spectrum until I was older (in my 40s). How could that have happened? Well I can sum it up quickly.

About ten years ago I got married to a wonderful, very understanding woman. We have three kids. About the time number two came along we had kids to pediatricians as every parent does. We answered all the questions about a variety of subjects, well our second son is on the spectrum. Then, I called my mother (the child’s grandmother) with a “kid update” and the subject came up. Low and behold, my mother said something along the lines of you were diagnosed with that as a kid and we never told you.

What?

You what?

First, how could you not tell someone. But that’s not the point here. If I had known that years prior it could have saved me from making some huge mistakes in life, or at least allowed me to arm myself appropriately. Am I still angry about this? Well, in some ways, but I can’t change the past, and I can’t change who I am so I’m moving on.

Why put all this on my website, especially when you can see at the top that I have written some books that I hope you read and enjoy? Well, I came across this blog on wordpress called askpergers (askpergers.wordpress.com) that is really well done. He deserves some thank you from me for helping me understand a few things.

The author had a post that deserves some attention. He listed out 7 different reasons for autistics being the targets of bullies, people who would take advantage of someone, or in general what I like to call assholes.

I will go into all 7 of his reasons and why I agree with him or can offer up some measure of personal example of how this happened and what might be possible to do to prevent it in the future.

Because sometimes autistic people struggle to understand how to fit in socially, they may do anything they feel necessary to fit in with peers.

First, let me say OMG this is so true. I have done things for people that no rational person would ever do. I have loaned money, I have done favors, I have massively inconvenienced myself and my family just to make one person happy more times than I care to admit.

If you know a person who is on the spectrum and you see them destroying certain parts of their life just for that “one new friend,” and they are doing so without any form of rational thought please talk to them.

Also, if you have employees who are on the spectrum, and see other employees asking “favors of a friend” and that one employee working their guts out to make everyone else happy…please…I beg you, pull that guy working himself to death just to make people like him and tell him to work differently. Someone did that for me and it changed my professional life. Now, if I am not sure if it is happening again I ask my sounding board (neurotypical wife) and she helps me sort through it. It has saved me a lot of time trouble and pain.

Why people do this to autistics, other than their own laziness, is beyond me. I wouldn’t do that to someone, and I now despise it when I see that it is happening to me. Someday I’ll figure out how to not hold a grudge, but I’m not there yet!

Enigma Machines Still Giving us Trouble ENIGMA@HOME

When I was in my 20s, and studying Physics for my undergraduate degree I started looking into ways I could contribute to the basis of scientific knowledge in my spare time. I know…I know get out just a little more. Bear with me a moment.
Someone (probably one of my classmates) told me about this computer screensaver I could install called SETI@HOME. In other words, the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence at home. You could install it on your computer and use your unused CPU cycles to search through radio astronomy data for signs of aliens on other planets. It was run by some people at The University of California, Berkley, and was a really interesting idea.
No, I didn’t find anything but I found the concept interesting. Using unused computer cycles to do useful things. Over the years I have kept other types of these programs installed, and there are now a growing list you can participate in through BOINC (Berkley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing).
These guys now have dozens of things you can participate in yourself using your computers unused CPU cycles. If you are the one that finds something interesting they do alert you, and you will find some competitive people who want to be “the one” to find whatever it is that the particular project is chasing.
In recent years I have become really interested in World War 2, as well as Viet Nam History. This spawns from the work on two different historic fiction novels. The Forest of Assassins, and China Bones (both available on Amazon in print, kindle and audible versions).
That passion is now something I can devote my unused computer cycles to! Enigma machines were these little boxes that the German military used to code and decode messages that they didn’t want the Allies to intercept and use. In other words they carried some of the most secret stuff across the communications channels that the Germans had.
Well, the guys at BOINC now have Enigma@Home (http://www.enigmaathome.net/). As it turns out there are still 3 original Enigma messages that have never been decoded. Even all these decades later. I am personally using lots of my unused computer cycles to help and I encourage you, dear reader, to do the same.

If I can help decode one and there is something juicy in it, who knows maybe there will be a new historic fiction novel in the works. But, for now, enjoy China Bones if you like WW2 history. You will find it a nice read!

Plots to declare world leaders insane

It seems like every election cycle we see a news story about how this candidate, or that potential challenger is “mentally unfit for office.” This typically means that the opinion writer, or news host making the claim disagrees with that candidate, and nothing more. Everyone once in a while they will even find a psychologist as a guest who agrees with the host, but somehow has never met, nor examined the candidate in question. There have been times in history where it might have been true.

I have been reading this fascinating book by William Breuer about some of the previously Top Secret stories that went on during World War II. There was an instance before the war that several military leaders had an active plot to declare Hitler insane. I think we can all agree that in this case, the leader they worried about actually was completely nuts.

In November of 1937 there was a meeting of top General and Admirals with Hitler. Hitler had summoned them to discuss future plans.

It is an important historical note that Hitler was a corporal in the German Army during World War I. He had been in the trenches in France, which was the worst of the fighting. During his time there he had been gassed with chemical weapons, and earned the Iron Cross, First Class, for Valor. This is unique for an enlisted man.

Before the meeting began Hitler swore everyone in the room to secrecy. This might be a surprise for a group of General Officers who keep military secrets and know how to not disclose things publicly. However, this was not the only surprise of the day.

These men sat and listened as the madman announced his plan to gain more living space for the German people. It appears he was determined to annex or conquer, whatever was necessary, Austria, Czeckoslovakia, and Poland. Then, when Germany was powerful enough, he intended to invade the Soviet Union.

The officers in the room were certain that France and Great Britain would never stand for this. Hitler had an answer ready. These two nations would only launch a war of words, and would never do anything more than talk.

Hitler went on to describe how he would accept nothing less than absolute and total obedience from his officer corps. Then he said the operation was to be launched in 1938, then completed by 1943.

The men were surprised to say the least. Hitler was not even supposed to have much of a standing army as part of the agreement that ended World War I. That didn’t bother Hitler, he was getting ready to fight a war of conquest, and nothing would stop him.

At this point a group of these Generals, Admirals, some civilian leaders, and a few government officials created a conspiratorial group who would declare the man insane.

The leader of this group was General Ludwig Beck (I have written about him before, this isn’t his only disagreement with Hitler, Click here for previous article). Beck was regarded by other German Generals, and many world leaders as a man of honor and integrity.

Their plan was simple. Unfortunately, it was also known as coup d’état.

In their plan, Hitler would be arrested in Berlin, and great care would be taken to ensure he wasn’t killed. They needed him discredited so that none of his closest confidants would take power and make things worse.

He would then be put on trial. The claim that they intended to make was based on his medical history from the Great War. The had obtained former Corporal Hitler’s records which said that he had “gone mad” from being gassed.

Kicking off the plan would be simple.

At the right time, General Fellgiebel, the chief signals officer, would cut all communications throughout Germany. That would isolate Hitler in Berlin. At the same exact time, General Erwin von Witzleben, the commander of the military in Berlin, would rush his men into the capital and arrest Hitler along with his two top aids. These two men you may have heard of before: General Hermann Goering, and Heinrich Himmler.

Once on trial, according to their plan, Hitler was to be exposed as totally nutso. They would tell the world that his madness had caused him to put together a plan for world domination, and the execution of that plan would be the demise of Germany.

Once a judge declared Hitler to be nuts they would put him in an institution under constant armed guard.

The only question was when to strike because they had an issue. Hitler had the absolute love of most of the German military. He also had some of the biggest names in German industry on his side. It appears Hitler rebuilding the military was making them very rich. That, in turn, because of some of the higher salaries being paid made many of the German people really like Hitler, and they didn’t realize that he was crazy. So, these men had an issue.

They determined that they needed to time things just right. They could not launch the plan until Hitler did something to turn the German people against him. Unfortunately, by time that happened it was a little late.

If you enjoy history, like this, you may enjoy a Novel I had the pleasure of working on, which you can find by clicking on the title: China Bones.

Did Winston Churchill have ESP?

After the Battle of Britain in 1940 air raids of England, especially London, became so common that when air raids sirens went off people would roll their eyes.

Winston Churchill was one individual who lived through these continuous raids. On May 10, 1940, the British Bulldog met with King George VI and was told he would be running the government from that point forward, replacing Neville Chamberlain.

The very next day Chamberlain resigned, and Churchill took over as Prime Minister. Part of his job was to direct the British war effort against the Nazis.

Churchill was a courageous leader, and decided it was not proper to lead from inside some deep bunker. He left the safety of the bomb shelters and traveled at night to anti-aircraft batteries to inspire the crews.

One night, during a bombing, he visited an anti-aircraft gun, and team and saw that the gun barrels were still red hot. He spoke to the crew, and made his way back to his car. His aide opened the door, he started to get in the car when he decided to make his way to the other side of the car and get in himself, instead of with the help of someone. The aid was used to Churchill doing odd things, and didn’t think anything of it.

The limo had been driving for a few minutes through the streets of London when a bomb exploded causing it to go up to two wheels for a few seconds before settling back down.

Churchill’s comment afterwards was “I must say, that was some ride!”

He also explained that, “my beef on the left hand side of the limo had caused it to pull down.” Basically he was saying that his weight kept the car from rolling over.

He was speaking to his wife about it and basically said he just felt like getting in the other side, which he almost never did. His wife, and he, commented on several future occasions that there was a higher power guiding him that night. Was that true? Was it just luck? Who knows, but it is an interesting bit of luck that he lived through what was a very close call.

Who the hell was that German Scientist that wanted to stop Hitler

As a Scientist, I love this story.

In 1939 War was looming on the German horizon. Everywhere in Europe people knew it was coming. The problem for Hitler was that the German Herrenvolk (people) really wanted to live in peace.

Late in August of that year there was an American correspondent wandering around Berlin interviewing citizens. Think of it like a late 30s “man on the street” style interview done by many of today’s news organizations. The reporter wrote in his diary one night the following: “Everybody here is against the war. How can a country get into a major war with a population so dead set against it?” Think the U.S. was the first to do such a thing? Think again.

Adolf Hitler had an answer to this question. He would use propaganda. In fact, he had a series of people whose job it was to spin the story in a way to make it look like Germany had no choice, or was doing it for the “good of the people.” Sound familiar?

Sept 1, 1939 five German armies, swarms of dive bombers poured into Poland. These soldiers converged on Warsaw from three sides. This attack was so deadly, and so precise, that they had to come up with a way to describe it. This attack was the origination of the term Blitzkrieg.

On Sept 3, 1939 Hitler received and ultimatum from the British Prime Minister that he must withdraw or the British would declare war.

England and France declared war, Germany did not withdraw, and Poland fell 27 days after that first invasion.

Here is where the story gets weird.

In October of 1939 Vice Admiral Hector Boyes, the Royal Navy attache to Norway was at the embassy in that nation and received a hand written, anonymous letter. The letter said that if the British wanted a load of German technical information on weapons development programs they should say the following words on a news broadcast: “Hellu, hier ist London,” which in English means Hello here is London.

MI-6 had to make a choice. Was this the letter of a crazy person? Those things happen in the intel business. Was this the German’s throwing some psychological warfare their direction? Was it someone who was going to reveal the secrets to German beer? It could have been anything.

They did as the letter requested.

On November 4, 1939, a guard at a British embassy in Norway found a package sitting on a stone ledge. The package contained 8 pages of notes and additional pages of technical drawings of some Top-Secret German programs. These were details of the V1 and V2 rockets. Well, most British experts were skeptical, until these weapons showed up on the battlefield.

These same experts started to work on countermeasures based on those drawings once they were known to be real.

Then starts the real debate on the British Engineering side of this situation. How could one person get so much data? Was it just one person? Was there a large scientific conspiracy? They couldn’t figure it out.

It was clear that who, or whatever group it was wanted to stop Hitler.

Interestingly, to this day, to the best of my knowledge…no one ever found out who it was.

I would really like to know who it was, but that information is lost to history.

Check out the books section of my website! Thanks for visiting.

Hitler had so many moles he should have not been able to start WWII

Recently I published a post about some early events in WWII that could have prevented the entire conflict. You can find them on my post titled A World War II Lesson, and Hitler’s Rise to Power Applied to Modern American Politics.” This article is all about the number of moles in his high command and how another opportunity was lost to stop the crazy man.

The situation concerns Switzerland. The Constitution governing Switzerland dictates absolute impartiality in any War around the world that is not taking place inside the Swiss border. In other words, if they haven’t been invaded, they aren’t fighting.

Because of this, and borders with Germany, France, and Italy the tiny nation quickly became a hot bed of spies starting in the late 1930s. This is the story of some of those spies.

The two German spy agencies, The Abwehr, and the Sicherheitsdienst had more spies inside the Swiss border than any other nation state. The entire German activity there was aimed at figuring out the plans of other nations, should Germany continue to re-arm.

There was another, not as well-known reason (at the time). The leadership of both these German agencies assumed, correctly, that any internal German opposition to Hitler would have activity in Switzerland. Perhaps being there would help that activity become known, and be prevented.

Around the same time the Soviet intelligence groups began activities there as well. They wanted to gain intel on German activities and capabilities. By the mid-1930s Germany was re-arming as quickly as they could. One of these Russian spies was Alexander Radolfi who was posing as a Hungarian geographer. Rado (as his friends called him) had a primary source early in his time in Switzerland starting in 1937 named Otto Punter. Otto had a network of Germans who did not like the Nazi regime and wanted to prevent them from staying in power. Otto, by profession, was a former Swiss journalist.

Right around that same point in time Alexander A. “Jim” Foote was recruited, and sent, to be a Soviet spy in Switzerland and was tasked to learn as much as possible about Germany and Hitler’s plans. When he arrived, he was to wait outside a post office in the Rue du Mont-Blanc in Geneva on October the 10th, 1938. If he were at the correct place at the correct time a woman, his contact, would approach him, which she did. His contact was the very attractive Ursula Schultz. She was a German Jew who had been running a spy network since 1936. She had been radioing information to Moscow at two week intervals her entire time running that spy ring. When she did so, the Soviet’s would radio back orders.

At that meeting outside the post office, Sonia gave Foote a large amount of cash (2,000 Swiss francs), and relayed some orders that he was to travel to Munich in Southern Germany and search for useful information then return to Geneva in 3 months-time.

He did as he was ordered, and when he returned he had a load of useful intelligence. He had discovered that when Adolf Hitler, the birthplace of the Nazi party, he would often dine at a very popular restaurant called Osteria Bavaria. Foote had this idea, he wanted to plant a bomb and blow the German leader to bits.

Sonia was shocked, and decided the plan would not succeed and cause issues. Hitler always traveled with a large number of bodyguards, and she assumed that anyone attempting to carry out the plan would be discovered and that Hitler would be alerted to people working to undermine him. Sonia sent him back to Munich, and promised to send more cash.

In August of 1939 Sonia ordered him to come back to Switzerland. Rumors were running wild that Germany was preparing for an active War.

Other spy activities continued in Switzerland. Two middle aged men in civilian clothes got off a train in Lucerne Switzerland, and they immediately went to the home of Rudolf Roessler. These visitors were German Generals who, with eight other high ranking officers in the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (high command) in Berlin. These men were operating together and engaging in a conspiracy to prevent Hitler from executing plans to conquer Europe.

Roessler was in interesting individual. He had fought in World War I, but now hated violence. One thing he did have were friends who were Generals. Roessler had made the decision to do all he could to awaken Herrnvolk (German people) about the dangers of the Nazis. Roessler took a job as a reporter and wrote articles about the dangers of the Nazi’s which made him a man who was marked for potential death. He was writing these articles expressing the concerns he and his ten friends (the Generals) all held.

Roessler didn’t seem to mind that he was now an enemy of the State, even though he knew it was one of the most dangerous government organizations ever. In the summer of 1934, eighteen months after Hitler had become Chancellor of Germany and began the crackdown on his enemies. It was a dangerous time for Roesller, so he and his wife fled to Switzerland.

Two of Roessler’s friends, the visiting Generals got to the point. They wanted Roessler to know that War was going to break out in a matter of weeks. The Generals urged their friend to spread word as much as they can of the dangers associated with the Nazis and to attempt to keep their power base from expanding.

The Generals explained that the ten conspirators would get all of Hitler’s strategies in advance. These men were among those that did the planning for the German high command. One General told Roessler that the Berlin moles would send him top secret information and he could give it away, sell it, whatever he chose, so long as it was used to slow Hitler down.

Roessler could not decide which Government should get the intelligence information. He argued with himself and eventually settled on Switzerland. The Swiss found a pathway to get the information to the British.

May of 1940 there was a large amount of intelligence about Hitler launching a massive invasion of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Every warning he sent was ignored.

The Nazi’s rolled through these regions and appeared to be ready to invade Britain. At this point, Moscow ordered Foote to become a radio operator for their man Rado, the chief Soviet Spymaster in Switzerland.

Foote installed new radios for the job, but was also now able to send information to London. Foote didn’t like Communism and was, at this point, a double agent. He apparently wanted to be on the winning side, whichever side that was.

Just before Christmas 1940 Roessler received a complete copy of Operation Barbarossa, Hitler’s planning invasion of the Soviet Union. This attack was set to kick off in the spring of 1941.

Rado learned that Swiss intel was about to arrest him. He left the country with his family in tow, he wasn’t going to spend the rest of his life in jail, or more likely in front of a firing squad.

Suddenly, Jim Foote, the double agent, as a result of this, was being overwhelmed with intelligence from Berlin and the Soviet espionage networks in Switzerland.

Moscow didn’t fully trust him; especially given the voluminous information he was sending. The leadership in the Soviet Union demanded to know his sources, which he refused to reveal.

When he wouldn’t reveal where he got the large pile of data, his transmissions were ignored. Even his invasion warning was written off as garbage.

Once the invasion took place, exactly as described, he had instant credibility. If only they had listened sooner.

Roessler continued to supply intel that permitted Stalin to stay one step ahead of the Germans. Now, if only his superiors would have listened sooner.

This is the challenge with the intelligence organizations. Which information is good and which is junk? If they had realized how solid his intel was earlier, how many lives could have been saved?

Now, you may think these things never happen in the modern world with all of the information we have at our fingertips. But, look at all the warning signs for 9/11/2001. Had we connected those dots and believed the right sources we might have prevented that attack, and how many lives could have been saved?

As a P.S. to this post. I was researching this time in history for an idea I had for an Historic Thriller novel. If you are a history buff, like fiction novels, and want to know more about the WWII actions in the Pacific theatre, you may enjoy my book China Bones. It can be found on Amazon (click on the words China Bones).