Why Hess Flew: A New View

In May 1941 Rudolf Hess, Hitler's deputy, landed in Scotland. But historians differ over the true nature of his mission.

Rudolf HessSignificant new evidence has arisen which supports the viewpoint that Rudolf Hess was flying to a pre-arranged meeting in lowland Scotland in May 1941, rather than the more usual explanation that he was acting alone in a forlorn peace mission. There have been three new pieces of evidence. Firstly, this writer and Mei Trow in Hess: The British Conspiracy (Deutsch, April 1999) have shown a linkage between the flight and the British intelligence community, by relating the use of a pre-war friendship between the Haushofer family (who acted as Hess’s unofficial envoys) and the Roberts family, based in Cambridge, England.

This friendship, they demonstrate, was the basis for a dialogue between Hess and the Duke of Hamilton in the autumn of 1940.

Secondly, the details of the flight now suggest that British airspace was left undefended, so as to allow the Hess plane free passage into Scotland. The authors have unearthed a Royal Observer Corps map, which reveal this to be the case, together with the recent revelation that Czech pilots patrolling from Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, were prevented from intercepting the Hess plane.

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