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Nazis fooled by "Mutt and Jeff"
By Gideon Long
LONDON (Reuters) - The Nazis were so convinced that two Norwegian double agents were working for them in Britain during World War Two that they repeatedly airdropped cash and equipment to them in the belief it would be used for sabotage.
But the spies staged only mock attacks of sites in Britain and confused the Germans by relaying false information to them about British troop movements.
Documents released on Thursday confirmed the agents made several efforts to fool the Nazis into believing Britain planned to invade Norway.
The previously classified documents, released by Britain's Public Records Office, relate to Helge Moe and Tor Glad -- more commonly known by their comic British secret service codenames of Mutt and Jeff.
The pair washed up in a dinghy on a beach in northeast Scotland in April 1941 and surrendered to police as German spies.
They were handed to the British Secret Service MI5 and became two of the country's most effective double agents, wrong-footing the Germans with their misleading radio broadcasts.
To keep up their cover, they also attacked and pretended to attack strategic sites in Britain.
The Nazis were fooled by the stunts and conducted four separate parachute drops to supply Mutt and Jeff with new equipment and money.
On one occasion, in February 1943, the Germans were duped into dropping a wireless transmitter at a remote pre-agreed site in Scotland.
"So far as is known, this was the first occasion on which the Abwehr (German intelligence service) have succeeded in such a venture in England," one of the MI5 documents states.
The files include a previously secret photograph of Mutt being trained in Morse code and wireless telegraphy by the Nazis.
They also give details of operations "Porridge", "Haggis", "Oatmeal", "Pyramid" and operation "Omnibus" -- the infamous but imaginary plan to invade Norway.
They show how in late 1943, MI5 started to question Jeff's loyalty and interned him in a camp on the Isle of Man, off the northwest coast of England. They describe him as "an undesirable character".
Mutt's reputation remained intact, however, and a letter from him, written to a British civil servant in 1947 after he had returned to Norway, suggests his relationship with the British remained cordial.
"If you should like some more sardines, please let me know and I shall send you some," Mutt writes.