Chapter

The British Fifth Column

A. W. Brian Simpson

in In the Highest Degree Odious

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780198259497
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681974 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198259497.003.0008
The British Fifth Column

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On May 20, a group led by Charles Maxwell-Knight raided the flat of Tyler G. Kent, a code and cipher clerk in the United States Embassy. Herschel V. Johnson, the Counsellor, agreed to the waiving of Kent's diplomatic immunity, being assured that any proceedings would be in camera. Waiver was confirmed by Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and, after the arrest, by the State Department. Since his arrival on October 5, 1939, Kent had been strongly suspected of espionage; the Stockholm police had reported to Military Intelligence Section 5 on Ludwig Mathias, a naturalised Swede of German extraction thought to be a Gestapo agent. This chapter focuses on the trial of Kent and the existence of a Fifth Column, that is, a number of individuals who were, with some element of organisation, clandestinely assisting the enemy, in Britain. So far as the British Union was concerned, the number of their members involved in this Fifth Column was tiny.

Keywords: Charles Maxwell-Knight; Tyler G. Kent; United States; Britain; Herschel V. Johnson; espionage; Fifth Column; British Union; Ludwig Mathias; Joseph Kennedy

Chapter.  13558 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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