Topic: Mysterious German intelligence rediscovered 98 years later

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When Te Puke Trooper Arthur Charles Harrison of the 4th Waikato Auckland Mounted Rifles returned from service in the Middle East during the First World War, he bought with him a folded sheet of German Intelligence that wouldn't see the light of day again until 2013.

Does this article look wrong? Click here for an archived version.

When in early 2013 I visited Arthur’s son Hugh Harrison, himself a decorated veteran of the Second World War, he took the opportunity to have me bring down some memorabilia from the ceiling space of his Ohauiti home. In amongst the boxes, medals and papers was Arthur’s large leather wallet containing a picture of his parents and a fragile folded letter on moth eaten light weight paper.


From Arthur C Harrisons WWI Album 13-696The typed text was purple and likely a cyclostyled or mimeographed copy of an original. What piqued my curiosity was;  that Mr Hugh Harrison seemed to be discovering the letter for the first time himself, that it was in a foreign language in the possession of an allied soldier and that is was very fragile. With Hugh’s permission I took it back to the central library within an archive folder and had a high quality scan made of it.


I showed this in passing to some German tourists visiting the library and they noted the bottom line read "Strictly Forbidden to Duplicate". With works like "submarine",”blockade", "economic collapse" coming out of their mouths my curiosity was running even higher. Staff member Jeena Reiter and her Austrian husband Josef took a copy home and began working on a more thorough translation and visiting German librarian Amrei Herrmann had a go at it as well. I combined their efforts into the following.




(In French) Ottoman General Agency Sequel No. 1119

(In German this point onward) In my opinion, the financial system of Western Europe is severely compromised. In a few months time one will no longer be able to keep secret the imminent insolvency of the European ‘super powers’. Hierst was forced to leave his position because he was speaking the truth.

Regarding the German U-Boat 'Deutschland’ in Baltimore, the agency Reuter provides the following information: The U-boat which is registered as a Trans-Atlantic underwater freighter, dropped anchor near Baltimore after covering a distance of 4000 (kms / miles?) in the transatlantic ocean. It sailed into the bay under its own steam and raised its merchant ensign. The officers and the crew are 50 men. The crew will stay on board until the port authority has visited the ship. After unloading the freight, made up of chemical dyes, the ship will load the same amount of goods bound for Germany.

The second director of the German ocean shipping company in Bremen, Horman, explained that the crossing of the first German U-boat is of the same importance as the first passage between the United States and Europe. The English blockade no longer exists. This fact forces the neutral countries to change their opinion and the ineffective blockade will never be accepted again.

The English prize courts have no right against neutral boats that carried goods to Germany and the neutral states next to Germany. The blockade is now no longer effective. The confiscations are void and the neutral states are entirely entitled to demand reparations should the English continue to confiscate their ships. The new trade submarines have a tonnage of around 2000 tons and so they are able to carry immense cargos at a speed of 14 miles overseas. They have proven their nautical abilities with the brilliant results of their first journey.

The news of the successful crossing of the Bremen Merchant Navy’s U-boat, has been met with overwhelming joy by citizens. Many official buildings and private residencies flew flags. The top of the North German Lloyd building flies the gala ensign of the new shipping company which is receiving congratulations from every part of the empire. The arrival of the German U-boat "Deutschland" in the United States left a deep impression. Count Bernsdorf is insistent that it is a trading vessel that belongs to the North German Lloyd. The American Government had been aware of the U-boats arrival several days prior. The ‘Deutschland’s Captain informed the Americans more U-boats were to come in an attempt to organize regular trade between Germany and the United States.

According to information from Salonika the demobilization of the Greece army … has already begun. The first units of demobilized … shipped back to Greece. Military officials of the Entente arrested several Greece officers, including the Vice Prefect, the Mayor, and a high-ranking official of the telegraphic services.

Warsaw: The municipal election is finished. The elected councillors are: 26 candidates of the national committees, 19 of the democratic committees and 15 of the Jewish league. The city council of Verdun has been re-located to Bar-le-Duo.

The French Senate vote of confidence in favour of the government will be accepted with 251 for and 6 against. Among them the Clemenceau’s & Pichon’s. 11 senators abstained.

"Secolo" receives reports from Saloniki of numerous Greek soldiers of Bulgarian villages have crossed the border to enter into service with the Bulgarian army. 40 Bulgarian officers who are under Major Nicolas Konstantinow’s leadership, 15 Turkish officers who are under Lieutenant Dschamal Bey’s leadership have arrived in Berlin.

The English steam ship "Devon Abbey" has returned to Rotterdam after departing from there because of a report of the arrival of German warships.

Drawings were opened to the catholic citizens of America to relieve the distress in Ireland.

Reprint forbidden!

The German military report of 17th July 1916 as well as the press ??????? has not ????


The description of celebration seem to suggest the serialised report (No. 1119)  originates from within Germany.  But who is the Ottoman General Agency (Agence Generale Ottomane) ?


Click here to see footage of the submarine Deutchland and here to see the same submarine in Baltimore.

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A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC


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Mysterious German intelligence rediscovered 98 years later

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Mysterious German intelligence rediscovered 98 years later by Tauranga City Libraries Staff - HC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License