Rough Justice

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The morning of May 18, 1942, three Dutchmen were captured in the North Sea and taken to MI5. It became clear that one in particular, Johannes Marinus Dronkers, had a hidden agenda: to betray secrets about the state of Britain’s war preparedness to the German Abwehr. But it wasn’t that simple. Was Dronkers innocent, or was he made an example of by the British authorities, his fate pre-determined by the climate of war-torn Britain? Using publicly available official files and other sources, this book examines the details of Dronker's recruitment, capture and interrogation by MI5, as well as his trial. David Tremain compares the Dronkers case with that of other wartime spies, reveals the Abwehr’s lost recipe for secret ink and exposes exactly what made a Dutchman escape to England in 1942 betray his country. This strange story has remained an obscure episode of World War II until now.


David Tremain has written book reviews for the Canadian Association for Security & Intelligence Studies. A security specialist, he lives in Ottawa, Canada. Nigel West is the European Editor of the World Intelligence Review, published in Washington, DC, and the editorial director of the St. Ermin's Press.