November 01, 2013

The Plot Against the Big Three

The Plot Against the Big Three

It is often difficult to decide which histories are apocryphal and which are true. This is one of those instances.

In 1943, Soviet “illegal” Nikolai Kuznetsov was serving behind enemy lines, in occupied Rovno, Ukraine. His cover identity was German First Lieutenant Paul Wilhelm Siebert, which he maintained against considerable odds. But that is another story.

One of “Siebert’s” contacts, Sturmbannführer Ulrich von Oertel, owed him money. Asking for a bit more time to pay Siebert back, von Oertel let slip that he would soon be able to pay him back in kind, in Persian rugs. And then, perhaps because he had had a bit too much brandy, von Oertel proceeded to tell Siebert about an impending German operation (“Operation Long Jump”) to take out the three heads of state – Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt – at their November summit in Tehran.

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