Foyle is asked to protect Karl Strasser, a former Nazi officer masquerading as a Dutch citizen and now working with MI5 to catch Russian spies. Strasser believes he is being followed and that he is in danger. American colonel Jackson wants Strasser in connection with a war-time atrocity known as Operation Sunflower in which the German's patrol shot unarmed allied servicemen. The sole survivor, Tommy Nelson, recognizes Strasser and follows him but when Strasser is killed by a car bomb Foyle finds no shortage of other suspects, including the landlady and fellow tenants at his lodgings, who knew who he was as well as Tommy and the Americans. Meanwhile Adam gets involved with a farmer battling the government to return his land and accusing a cabinet minister of conspiracy. His use of Sam to look into the matter leads him to learn a bitter political lesson but at least she has good news for him.
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Did You Know?
The character of Kurt Strasser is likely inspired by Kurt Meyer, the real commander of the 12th SS Panzergruppe Hitlerjungend. After the war he was found guilty of war crimes for the massacre of 20 Canadian soldiers in the garden of the Ardenne Abbey (near Caen) on June 7 and 8, 1944, during the Battle of Normandy. His sentence was commuted and he was released in 1954. See more
Operation Sunflower or Operation Sonnenblume was actually a German offensive launched in February 1941 designed to reinforce Italian troops with German armored divisions. There were no SS involved. The operation referenced in the episode may be Operation Lüttich, a counter offensive ordered by Hitler and launched in August 1944. Combined SS and Wehrmacht armored divisions were ordered to recapture land lost to the U.S. 7th Corps. Most of the fighting occurred in Mortain, France which is where the traumatized Thomas Nelson said the fictitious massacre committed by SS troops occurred.
Thomas also claims that Karl Strasser was an officer of the 12th SS Armored division. The 12th SS was mostly a Hitler Youth armored division which was all but obliterated in the opening days of Operation Overlord. In August, it was incapable of being any use to an offensive so it was tasked with defending the German's retreat routes and supply lines. The 2nd SS and part of the 1st SS armored were the only SS divisions involved in Mortain. The 12th SS was later charged with war crimes for executing Canadian POWs.
Additionally, there were no U.S. artillery units in Mortain, contrary to Nelson's story. See more
Rembrandt died on the fourth of October 1669. And in his last self-portraits I think you see a sense of calm and of resignation. He had known so much turmoil and personal unhappiness that at the end he found an acceptance. It was perhaps a triumph of art over life. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We will be visiting Kenwood halls on Tuesday. There are still places left, so please, let me know if you wish to come.