Bleicher, Sergeant Hugo ‘Colonel Henri,’ 1899-

Bleicher was a German counter-intelligence agent who disrupted many Allied underground circuits in France. He was a businessman whose knowledge of languages brought him to the attention of the German authorities who were recruiting people to do field work in occupied countries. His first success was to dismantle the Interallie network and he personally arrested Major Roman Czerniawski. He also arrested Mathilde CARRE and persuaded her to work as a double agent after becoming her lover. His early success led to his transference to the Abwehr but because he was so earnest and zealous he never rose above the rank of sergeant.

Bleicher’s most famous coup was to arrest Captain Peter CHURCHILL and Odette SANSOM. He did this by posing as a colonel in the German intelligence who wanted to defect to the Allies. London SOE (Special Operations Executive) warned Sansom not to deal with him but Bleicher caught up with them and arrested them while they were sleeping. Bleicher worked with Henri Deri-court, the double agent, and through him came to know Major Henri Frager, a Resistance organizer, whom he arrested in 1944. At the end of the war he was arrested by Dutch police in Amsterdam and was imprisoned by an Allied court after writing his memoirs.

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