NATO Stay-Behind Organizations

The long and short stories of 'The Last War' by Jan Niemczyk and others
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Jotun
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NATO Stay-Behind Organizations

Post by Jotun »

I found the short fact file about the French organization and am posting this in the hope of others turning up. I am going to rewrite the file about the West German Society for Applied Physics myself.


Société pour la Cultivation de la Culture et des Valeurs Franҫaises

“…in summation, the SNCCVF is an epitome of typical French bouregoisity and a hallmark of the rigid classism of the French society. It is of little use save showing the flag at national events, sneering at everything non-French and providing self-important societal climbers with an outlet for their delusions of importance.”
- From a report compiled by the KGB’s First Chief Directorate on the situation and trends in French society, 2001

The SNCCVF was another offspring of the Gladio debacle. The French part of NATO’s stay-behind organization, called Arc-en-Ciel and/or Rose des Vents were, much like in Germany and other mainland European NATO nations, unceremoniously disbanded and clandestinely purged of politically or otherwise unsuitable members.

With a reasoning that is said by some to have been at least partly tongue-in-cheek, the French military and internal intelligence organizations went about creating a cover organization that was from the start intended to be the living stereotype of the arrogant Gaul. Various French cultural societies were encouraged to merge under the blue, white and red banner of the Société which at once started its obnoxiously French public existence. Much care was taken to elevate at least outwardly vacuous and grandstanding individuals into its leadership to present to the public at large the picture of another useless, parochial but essentially harmless organization that touted French values and French culture.

The more nefarious true purpose of the SNCCVF was well hidden and took place in the local chapters of the organization who formed resistance cells, recruited from former military and law enforcement personnel, but also open to suitable members of both sexes from all walks of society who were then subjected to a plethora of training befitting modern guerrilla. The internal legitimation and historical outlook was understandably, perhaps unavoidably, based on the Résistance of World War Two fame. Nevertheless, and perhaps surprisingly especially with regard to West Germany, many SNCCVF cells, especially those located in the départements along France’s borders with her European neighbors began liaising with their counterparts as it was rightly felt that if push came to shove, there would have to be some common ground to fight the invaders from.

Contrary to the public face of the Society, most of its members were anything but French chauvinists and rather attuned to the fact that Europe would have to fight together or hang separately.

As far as can be discerned, the hidden purpose of the SNCCVF could for the most part be kept secret from prying eyes and the head organization was never linked to the new French stay-behind organization.
Bernard Woolley
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British Stay-Behind Organisations.

Post by Bernard Woolley »

British Stay-Behind Organisations.

To be added...
Jotun
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Re: NATO Stay-Behind Organizations

Post by Jotun »

The West German Stay-Behind Organization


Gesellschaft für angewandte Physik (Society for Applied Physics)

Much like the rest of NATO's stay-behind organization (known to the public as "Gladio" after its public exposure by historian and conspiracy theorist Daniele Ganser who was himself later exposed as having been recruited by the Stasi’s HVA), the West German branch was officially buried and its assets liquidated by the Red-Green government in the early nineties amidst theatrical moral outrage and allegations of neo-Nazism being alive and well in West Germany.

In a flash of prudence, the Bundeswehr and the BND worked in tandem to preserve its manpower by retaining copies of the secret personnel files which were secured in a night-and-fog action while the originals and their electronic counterparts were destroyed in order to save the members of the organization from legal prosecution. A small, top secret high-level commission was created to then weed out politically questionable Gladio personnel and keep in touch with the others. Its members were personally vetted by the heads of the BND and Bundeswehr counterintelligence, respectively, to ensure no eastern spy or informer was in their ranks. Contrary to popular or rather populist opinion, the West German Stay Behind organization never was an “army”, as Ganser had claimed, as no more than a few hundred people ever served in the organization at the same time.

Until the re-emergence of the organization, more than one hundred members were however retired, some permanently when they threatened to go public with their knowledge. A further measure was to remove the black funds for Gladio from the government's grasp. It was simply invested in the stock market and allowed to grow on its own.

The Stasi, miffed at the situation as they had hoped to cripple the West German Gladio branch forever, panicked, still reeling from the aftershock of the Housecleaning and forwarded copies of the files that had been in their possession almost from the beginning of Gladio to several politicians and journalists to try and save their day.

The secret commission got their portfolio expanded when those copies emerged and the recipients of the files were put under intense surveillance in order to find their contacts to the Stasi. Over the three years it took for the SPD-Green government to thoroughly implode, several deep-cover Stasi agents, one of them an actual member of the Bundestag involved with the Intelligence Oversight Committee, were caught „with their hands in the cookie jar“. Instead of apprehending or trying to turn them, they were for the moment left to their own devices but still kept an unobtrusive eye on.

Most of the exposed Gladio agents went to ground while others had to be allowed to be made an example of by a baying press and politicians with an axe to grind.

After the premature demise of the Red-Green experiment, one of the first things the new CDU/CSU-FDP government did was secretly reinstate the stay-behind unit. The Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt), the administrative head of the West German intelligence agencies, closely liaised with the BND and Bundeswehr. The new cover name was the product of a long, fruitless discussion at the end of which an exasperated officer exclaimed „Why not call it Gesellschaft für angewandte Physik? It's what they do, after all!“. The name was adopted and the decision was made to found an official association for the ostentatious purpose of gathering like-minded natural science enthusiasts for research and experiments in their free time. The darker, hidden purpose of the Society was thus hidden in plain sight, its designation the brainchild of a military man's frustration and sense of humor.

When the wheels for the re-establishment of the stay-behind unit began to turn, careful measures were taken to feed disinformation to the DDR via the exposed informant and spy network, stating that the old organization was simply reinstalled, down to its old safe houses and sometimes even personnel, seemingly a suitable move for a typically West German bureaucracy.

The deep-cover Stasi agents and informants were rolled up one by one in the following years, always in the wake of some other counterintelligence break in order to keep the Stasi from realizing what had really transpired. The Society for Applied Physics was safe, compared to its thoroughly compromised predecessor.

The reborn stay-behind organization started to recruit suitable females into its ranks as it was recognized that women had their own peculiar uses in wartime. The black funds that had been invested into the stock market had multiplied, providing the GfaP with lavish funds that were mainly put to use in training the agents.

A logical potential addition to the SAP were personnel from the various combat arms of the Bundeswehr whose contracts expired. Pre-vetted individuals were discreetly approached on order to gauge their willingness and ability to spend their future as a stay-behind asset of the organization. It also wasn’t unheard of to recruit lifetime contract members of the Bundeswehr, shrouding their departure from the service with fake transfers into civilan public service organizations.

One of the rare examples of West German intelligence work done right, the Society for Applied Physics was a success in the occupied parts of West Germany. Many of the old safe houses that were stormed by Soviet or East German special forces during the war against NATO were blown up or incinerated in the process, killing many of the enemy while their former occupants went to ground elsewhere to ply their trade behind enemy lines.


Aside from the BND's "physicists", West German special forces such as KSO, KSK and Long Range Reconnaissance but also Border Guards and other personnel were used in various roles behind enemy lines throughout the duration of World War Three.
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