Krystyna Skarbek/ Christine Granville in Italy 1943/44?

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lucchesa
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Krystyna Skarbek/ Christine Granville in Italy 1943/44?

Post by lucchesa » 18 Jun 2021 17:33

I've come across a source which, without any further reference, suggests that Skarbek may have been involved with assisting Edda Ciano in the matter of Galeazzo Ciano's diaries, perhaps in Oct 1943, perhaps in Jan 1944, with the assistance of Delia di Bagni and/or her mother, Antonia, Countess of Laurenzana. According to this source Skarbek was living with the di Bagni / Laurenzana family in late 1943. Delia di Bagni's friendship with the Cianos is well documented. Neither of the two biographies of Skarbek of which I am aware have any details on this. However, there are certain facts that make me wonder if this is possible. Skarbek was studying Italian in early 1943 and did appear to expect deployment to Italy that year, perhaps tied to a Polish resistance cell run by Lt. Col. Ronald Hazell. Her lover at that time, another spy, was deployed to Italy in January 1943, and perhaps they were deployed together. If Skarbek and British intelligence did already have copies of the Ciano diaries by late 1943 or early 1944, it would explain why in Feb/Mar 1944 the British were not interested in working with Emilio Pucci and Hilde Beetz on a swap of the diaries. According to Edda and Galeazzo Ciano, they did pass along copies of the diaries to unnamed contacts with diplomatic ties, and Galeazzo's intention was to have the diaries reach Churchill.

Anyone have thoughts on this or have ever located Skarbek's personnel files, which presumably may be de-classified at this point due to her early death? Any other evidence that she may have been in Italy during this period (or was somewhere else and so cannot have been) that I might be missing?

DavidFrankenberg
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Re: Krystyna Skarbek/ Christine Granville in Italy 1943/44?

Post by DavidFrankenberg » 10 Jul 2021 00:19

Hi,

i have not seen your message there viewtopic.php?f=114&t=250940&p=2296831& ... e#p2296831

I investigated the case at the time, and it was not conclusive.

Unfortunately i dont remember where i have read that she was sent in Italy to investigate the Ciano Diaries.
lucchesa wrote:
18 Jun 2021 17:33
perhaps in Oct 1943, perhaps in Jan 1944, with the assistance of Delia di Bagni and/or her mother, Antonia, Countess of Laurenzana. According to this source Skarbek was living with the di Bagni / Laurenzana family in late 1943. Delia di Bagni's friendship with the Cianos is well documented. Neither of the two biographies of Skarbek of which I am aware have any details on this. However, there are certain facts that make me wonder if this is possible. Skarbek was studying Italian in early 1943 and did appear to expect deployment to Italy that year, perhaps tied to a Polish resistance cell run by Lt. Col. Ronald Hazell. Her lover at that time, another spy, was deployed to Italy in January 1943, and perhaps they were deployed together.
She is supposed to have been in Cairo from 40 till 43. She served as media between polish 'Musketeers' and british service. I didnt find any ties between her and Italy or Ciano.

She was sent in southern France in July 44. She passed the italian borders several times.
At the end of 44 she came back for a special mission in Italy.
Robyn Walker in The women who spied for Britain wrote:She returned to Britain in November 1944, and a few weeks later was sent back to France where she was to launch a mission into Northern Italy. She crossed the frontier three times, establishing contacts between Britain and Italian resistance groups. These resistance groups provided a valuable service to the Allies by sabotaging communications between Italy and France as the Germans pulled back towards their homeland.
This is possibly the mission concerning the Ciano Diary. Note that she was fluent in polish english french but not in italian nor german. Dont forget too that she was on mission in the middle of the three french italian swiss borders. Edda Ciano was not far at the time in Switzerland near the french border.

Her boyfriend (future husband) was sent in Italy in early 1944 as an instructor at a parachuting school.
Robyn Walker in The women who spied for Britain wrote:In early 1944, Kennedy was sent to Italy to act as an instructor at a parachuting school.
See Robyn Walker, The women who spied for Britain, 2014 http://www.lander.odessa.ua/doc/Britain ... Agents.pdf

Further readings
KASPAREK, CHRISTOPHER. “KRYSTYNA SKARBEK: RE-VIEWING BRITAIN'S LEGENDARY POLISH AGENT.” The Polish Review, vol. 49, no. 3, 2004, pp. 945–953. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25779483
NOWICKI, RONALD, and Ronald Nowicki. “KRYSTYNA SKARBEK: A LETTER.” The Polish Review, vol. 50, no. 1, 2005, pp. 93–101. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25779522
Kasparek, Christopher, and Danuta Borchardt. “LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.” The Polish Review, vol. 50, no. 2, 2005, pp. 253–255. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25779548

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