HISTORIANS have pledged to unearth the secrets of Nazi leader's Rudolf Hess's crash landing during the Second World War.

Rudolf Hess, who was Adolf Hitler's right-hand-man, flew solo to Scotland on May 10, 1941, but came down in a field in Eaglesham in East Renfrewshire.

He had bailed from his aircraft with a parachute and landed in a field near the village before being captured and held by a local ploughman Davy Mclean.

Loading article content

Hess was arrested shortly after his landing and spent the remainder of the war in British custody before being convicted of various war crimes. He died in Spandau Prison in Germany in 1987.

The motives behind his journey have mystified the world ever since, but now local historians Bill Niven and Kenneth Mallard are hoping to uncover new evidence.

They plan to film and interview those who were living in the area on the night Hess landed, in a bid to shed some light on his mission.

Mr Mallard, secretary of the Eaglesham Historical Society, said: "A few people have already mentioned to me that they still remember the night Hess landed.

"We've also uncovered new stories from a policeman at the time and from a member of the Home Guard."

Mr Niven has uncovered a letter revealing that Hitler's deputy told the ploughman who apprehended him that he thought the Duke of Hamilton lived nearby.

Many people believe Hess flew to Scotland to meet with the Duke as part of unofficial peace talks.

The letter was hand­written by Margaret Baird, from nearby Floors Farm and was sent to her sister the day after Hess's landing.

Mr Niven said: "This to me is definitive evidence that Hess believed the Duke of Hamilton would assist him."