American Genius Converts Churchill’s Stay-Behind Experiment into a Europe-Wide Terrorist Operation
Ganser’s book takes the reader across Europe country by country tracing the incredible development of Churchill’s serpent’s egg. The American cold warriors soon realized that, though the Russian invasion was not about to happen, the stay-behind infrastructure could be diverted to their own purposes. In fact, it was perfect. The Americans’ initial recruitment criteria demanded that the officials and soldiers of the stay-behind armies be convinced anti-communists. So they started by mining the richest vein, the remnants of German Nazi-ism. According to Ganser’s book it was the same American Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) that rounded up the defendants for the Nurenburg trials that, at the same time, “secretly recruited selected right-wing extremists for the anti-communist army.” Their first important find was Klaus Barbie, the “Butcher of Lyon,” whom they used to root out other hard-core Nazis.
Though one of the most important, General Reinhard Gehlen, fell from the tree like ripe fruit. Perpetrator of some of the worst atrocities of the war, including “the torture, interrogation and murder by starvation of some four million Soviet prisoners of war,” Gehlen turned himself in to the CIC and managed an introduction to US General Edwin Luther Siber (who would promote Gehlen’s career in the stay-behind organization). Not only did Gehlen lead the Americans to a cache of watertight steel drums with microfilmed documentation on the USSR that he had thoughtfully buried in the Austrian Alps, but went on to recruit several hundred other Nazi officers for the American project. This activity was in Germany but similar procedures covered the rest of the European NATO membership, including Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, as well as the neutral European countries of Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Sinister Stay-Behind/Operation Gladio Timeline
Author Daniele Ganser created a timeline for the most significant events in the history of Gladio. Here is an extract complete with places, dates, and names He calls it his “Chronology.” Its contents are all in the public record and they form the backbone of his narrative.
- 1940—Churchill creates the secret stay-behind armies, Special Operations Executive (SOE).
- 1944—London and Washington set up first stay behind in Greece.
- 1947—Truman creates the NSC and the CIA, whose covert action branch sets up stay-behind armies in Western Europe.
- 1948—Western Union Clandestine Committee (WUCC) created in France to coordinate secret anti-communist unorthodox warfare.
- 1949—NATO founded with HQ in France. (In US Senator Eugene McCarthy denounces Communists in the US government. He produces no evidence, but the Cold War is tacitly declared.)
- 1951—CIA agent (and later director) William Colby, based in Stockholm, supports training of stay-behind armies in neutral Sweden and Finland and NATO member countries Norway and Denmark.
- 1952—In Germany former SS officer Hans Otto reveals to Frankfurt police the existence of fascist German stay-behind army BDJ-TD. Arrested right-wing extremists found not guilty under mysterious circumstances.
- 1953—In Sweden right winger Otto Hallberg is arrested and uncovers the Swedish stay-behind army. Hallberg is released and the charges against him mysteriously dropped.
- 1957—In Norway, the director of the secret service NIS, Vilhelm Evang, protests against the domestic subversion of his country by US and NATO and temporarily withdraws Norway from the Clandestine Planning Committee (CPC) meetings.
- 1958—In France, NATO founds the Alllied Clandestine Committee (ACC) to coordinate secret warfare and the stay-behind armies. When de Gaulle expels NATO from France in 1966, a new NATO headquarters is established in Brussels. The ACC, under the code name SDRA11 is hidden within the Belgian military secret service SGR, with its headquarters next door to NATO.
- 1964—In Italy, the Gladio secret stay-behind army is involved in a silent coup d’etat when Genejral Giovanni de Lorenzo in Operation Solo forces a group of elected socialist ministers to leave the government.
- 1966—In Portugal, the CIA sets up Aginter Press under the direction of Captain Yves Guerin Serac, a stay-behind army that trains its members in covert action techniques including hands-on bomb terrorism, silent assassination, subversion techniques, clandestine communication and infiltration and colonial warfare.
- 1966—In France, President Charles de Gaulle forces NATO to leave French soil. In the move to Brussels secret NATO protocols are revealed that allegedly protect right-wingers in anti-Communist stay-behind armies.
- 1967—In Greece, the stay-behind army Hellenic Raiding Force takes control of the Greek Defense Ministry and starts a military coup d’etat installing a right-wing dictatorship.
- 1968—In Sweden, a British MI6 agent closely involved with the stay-behind army betrays the secret network to the Soviet KGB secret service. From here until the outing of the NATO secret armies by the Italian judiciary and press in 1990, the “secret stay-behind armies” are unknown to everybody except the Russians.
- 1969—In Italy, the Piazza Fontana massacre in Milan kills 16, injures 80 and is blamed on the left. Thirty years later, during a trial of right-wing extremists General Giandelio Maletti, former head of Italian counterintelligence, alleges that the massacre had been carried out by the Italian stay-behind army and right-wing terrorists on the orders of the CIA in order to discredit the Italian Communists.
- 1972—In Italy, a bomb explodes in a car near the village of Peteano killing three Carabinieri. The terror, first blamed on the left, is later traced back to right-wing terrorist, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, and leads to the exposure of the Italian stay-behind, code named Gladio.
- 1974—In Italy, a massacre during an anti-fascist demonstration in Brescia kills eight and injures and maims 102, while a bomb in the Rome-to-Munich train ‘Italicus Express’ kills 12 and injures and maims 48.
- 1974—In Italy, General Vito Miceli, chief of the military secret service, is arrested on charges of subversive conspiracy against the state and reveals the NATO stay-behind secret army during the trial.
- 1977—In Spain, the secret stay-behind army with the support of Italian right-wing terrorists carries out the Atocha massacre in Madrid and, in an attack on a lawyers’ office closely linked to the Spanish Communist Party, kills five lawyers.
- 1978—In Norway, the police discover a stay-behind arms cache and arrests Hans Otto Meyer who reveals the Norwegian secret army.
- 1978—In Italy, former Prime Minister and leader of the DCI, Aldo Moro, is taken hostage in Rome by a secret unit. His bullet-ridden body appears in the boot of a car 55 days later. Before his death he was about to form a coalition government that included the Italian Communist Party.
- 1980—In Italy, a bomb expodes in the second-class waiting room of the Bologna railway station, killing 85 and seriously injuring and maiming a further 200. Investigators trace the crime back to right-wing terrorists.
- 1981—In Germany, a large stay-behind arsenal is discovered near the German village of Uelzen in the Lúneburger Heide. Right-wing extremists are alleged to have used the arsenal in the previous year to carry out a massacre during the Munich Octoberfest killing 13 and wounding 213.