A SCOTTISH Tory peer has published fresh information on one of the most bizarre episodes of the Second World War, the flight of deputy Nazi leader Rudolf Hess to Scotland 75 years ago.

When Hitler’s deputy Hess landed by parachute on May 10, 1941 at Eaglesham, East Renfrewshire after his plane ran out of fuel,
it raised the question of whether British intelligence or members of the aristocracy were to lure him to Britain as part of a plot.

The Herald:

For more than 70 years, a cloud hung over the name of the 14th Duke of Hamilton as it emerged Hess was seeking him out.

In the aftermath, there was speculation the duke himself had links with Hess, and might even have been the intermediary between him and those in Britain who wanted an end to the war. 

To mark the 75th anniversary of the occasion, his son Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, a Conservative peer, has laid bare evidence that shows that Hess’s interest in his father is likely to have been the result of his friendship with
Albrecht Haushofer, an adviser to the deputy Nazi leader, who became a member of the German Resistance to Nazism.

Lord Douglas-Hamilton, in a newly revised version of his book, The Truth about Hess, relies on fresh disclosures in Germany and the UK about the events surrounding the Nazi deputy leader’s visit to Scotland, which claims Haushofer was a central figure in the story.

The Herald:

In a report of a meeting between Hess and Haushofer, headed Are There Still Possibilities Of A German/English Peace, Hess’s adviser wrote that he told the deputy Nazi leader that “even in the Anglo-Saxon world the Fuehrer was regarded as Satan’s representative and had to be fought”. 

Despite his remarks Hess still wanted to put out a peace feeler to Britain through a neutral country namely Portugal.

READ MORE: Rudolf Hess: The man who fell to Earth

In a letter written on September 23, 1940, Haushofer, wrote to
the Duke, who was the then commander of RAF Turnhouse in Edinburgh, suggesting a meeting in Lisbon in a secret bid to achieve a peace settlement.
Although it is alleged MI5 intercepted the letter, files show they had no idea Hess was behind the plan. MI5 records made it clear at no stage before Hess’s flight had they any idea he was involved in the sending of Haushofer’s letter to the Duke of Hamilton suggesting a meeting “somewhere on the outskirts of Europe perhaps in Portugal”.

The Herald: imgID65841965.jpg.gallery.jpg

Lord Douglas-Hamilton (pictured above) said: “Hess’s purpose was definitely to get Britain out the war, so that Russia could be attacked on one front.  

"He wanted to perpetuate the Third Reich so Britain had to be removed from the war.

“He flew, because he saw himself as an aviator. He knew my father was the first man to fly over Mount Everest but hadn’t met him. And he admitted in Spandau Prison to his commandant that they had never met. And my father said he believed they had never met.”

He said when Hess asked Haushofer how a channel of communication could be opened with Britain, his father was mentioned.

“Haushofer gave several names, and said his closest English friend was the young Duke of Hamilton who has access to all the important persons in London, even Churchill and the king.”

When Hess did crash land 12 miles from the Duke of Hamilton’s estate at Dungavel near Glasgow, Lord James insisted it was a great shock to his father. 

The Herald:

Rudolf Hess delivers a public speech in 1937. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

The Nazi leader’s peace proposals were rejected and he was tried for war crimes at Nuremberg and sentenced to life imprisonment at Spandau prison, where he committed suicide in 1987.

Lord Douglas-Hamilton also questions the theory that Hitler knew nothing of Hess’s mission.

Evidence from a Haushofer Memorandum of September 15, 1940 shows he wanted specific directions from “the highest authority,” meaning Hitler, 
before he sent a letter to the Duke of Hamilton about such an initiative. 

He was given to understand that Hitler knew about Hess’s interest in establishing peace with Britain.

Another theory, that the man who crash-landed in Scotland was not Hess but an imposter, is rejected by Lord Douglas-Hamilton.

“I am convinced that these claims are all wrong,  because Hess was never a victim but a perpetrator, and eventually a convicted war criminal,” he says.