The Venlo Sting

2 items left
Add To Wish List Icon
Add to Wishlist
On 9 November 1939, two unsuspecting British agents of the Special Intelligence Services walked into a trap set by German Spymaster Reinhard Heydrich. Believing that they were meeting a dissident German general for talks about helping German military opposition to bring down Hitler and end the war, they were instead taken captive in the Dutch village of Venlo and whisked away to Germany for interrogation by the Gestapo. The incident was a huge embarrassment for the Dutch government and provided the Germans with significant intelligence about SIS operations throughout Europe.

The incident itself was an intelligence catastrophe but it also acts as a prism through which a number of other important narrative strands pass. Fundamental to the subterfuge perpetrated at Venlo were unsubstantiated but insistent rumours of high-ranking Germany generals plotting to overthrow the Nazi regime from within. After the humiliation suffered when Hitler tore up the Munich Agreement, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was anxious to see just how much truth there was in these stories; keen to rehabilitate his reputation through one last effort to find a peaceful rapprochement with Germany.

When Franz Fischer, a small-time petty crook and agent provocateur, persuaded British SIS operatives in the Netherlands that he could act as a go-between for the British government with disaffected German generals, the German Security chief Reinhard Heydrich stepped in and quietly took control of the operation. Heydrich's boss, head of the Gestapo Heinrich Himmler, was anxious to explore the possibility of peace negotiations with Britain and saw an opportunity to exploit the situation for his personal benefit. On the day before a crucial meeting of conspirators and British agents on the Dutch-German border, a bomb exploded in the Burgerbraukeller in Munich in the exact spot where Hitler had stood to deliver a speech only minutes earlier.

The perpetrator was quickly arrested, and Hitler demanded that Himmler find evidence to show that the two events were intimately connected-the British agents were snatched hours later. While the world was coming to terms with the fearsome power of German military might the British intelligence capability in northern Europe was consigned to the dustbin in the sleepy Dutch town of Venlo. This first full account of the Venlo incident explores the wider context of this German intelligence coup, and its consequences.

We offer free standard UK delivery on all orders over £50.

Orders up to £30 are charged a flat fee of £4.95

Orders between £30.01 and £50 are charged a flat fee of £6.95.

Usual UK delivery timescale (excluding custom prints) is between 5 and 7 working days from the date of dispatch. Please allow up to 14 working days for delivery. For custom print delivery pricing and timescales see below.

Royal Mail industrial action taking place in 2023 may have an impact on delivery times to all destinations both within the UK and internationally. These delays are out of our control. 

Delivery Worldwide

We can also ship most items worldwide. 

For full details, including prices, click here.

Custom Prints

Your prints and frames will be handmade by King & McGaw at their Sussex workshop.

Unframed orders are shipped within 5 working days (normally shipped next day).

Framed orders are shipped within 20 working days.

Further information on delivery timescales for custom prints can be found here.


If you are not completely satisfied with your item you may return it within 28 days for a refund.

For further details on returns click here.

Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund on custom prints unless they are faulty or we have made a mistake. Custom prints are exempt as they are made to order.

Manufacturer/Publisher: Casemate
Author: Norman Ridley
Date Published: 2022
Pagination: 224p

SKU: 9781636242071