Bicycles & World War II Spies
The training camp STS 103 – also known as Camp X – was so top secret that the Prime Minister of Canada wasn’t even aware of its existence until 1945.
Camp-X provided “invaluable help” to Colonel William J. Donovan in the creation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1942 – the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency.
(Editor’s note: The escape procedures section explains techniques that can be employed by the operative to escape from occupied territory)
5. Travel Across Country
b) Some of the means of travel and comment upon them
Travel by foot makes it relatively easy to avoid many controls – taking remote paths, crossing fields, etc.
Travel by bicycle has proved relatively safe.
Buses are less subject to check than trains but more crowded – passengers more subject to prying conversation and questions. General suggestions for those using either bus or train are:
Don’t take bus or train from terminal; terminals generally watched carefully. Some escapees suggest that terminals should be avoided entirely – even if it means leaving train some fifteen miles from terminal, walking past it, and boarding another train some fifteen miles beyond.
Take locals and travel by roundabout routes when “Things are hot” Leave train or bus before it reaches border. One escapee recommends round-trip ticket to near border. Almost all borders and coasts under German control are not restricted or forbidden zones – special German army permits needed.
If one purchases single tickets for short distances, he can at any time pretend he is making only a local trip – either to depopulate a given town or to get work
Avoid any but necessary conversation. Appear sleepy or use the tobacco chewing trick.
The pretense of sleep and showing whole mass of documents (passport, permits, ration cards, ticket, etc.) at inspector at once makes him careless in checking them.
Avoid secluded corners in stations; the police give them special attention.
Controls sometimes can be avoided by entering or leaving station through a lavatory with exit into adjoining hotel (St. Charles R.R. Station in Marseilles – similarly in Toulouse).
In some stations controls are enforced only during the period shortly after train arrival. Going to restaurant or library before leaving station frequently means to avoid controls entirely.
Sometimes controls can be escaped by riding the steps of the train.