Brian Bone and Nazi Bachmann

Brian Bone was a very good friend of ours and we shared an interest in art, attending the same art class in Poole. We also shared an interest in The Cockleshell Heroes.

In 1945 Brian was an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Dept of the War Crimes Investigation Unit, BAOR HQ based in Bad Oeynhousen near Hannover Germany. As an investigator, with Wolseley staff car and personal driver, his job was to hunt out and bring to trial War Criminals. As a member of a unit called ‘Operation Haystack’ staffed by multi-lingual officers, Brian set off to find the Nazi, Vice-Admiral Julius Bachmann NOIC Bordeaux who had personally ordered the summary execution or RM Sgt Wallace and Mne Ewart. Brian received secret details from Cockleshell Hero, Major Blondie Haslar and from the wealth of information at Nazi Naval HQ in Bremen. The Germans were sticklers for details, so he found every move logged in detail. Brian was given ‘carte blanche’ movement orders signed personally by Montgomery and Eisenhower.

With an up to date picture of Bachmann, he traced the Nazi’s movement across France as he attempted to avoid capture until Brian caught up with him in Saarland. In Saarbrucken, he sniffed around and discovered that the Nazi had stayed in a village over night. Eventually, Brian found Bachmann’s Nazi staff car, outside the village on fire and riddled with bullet holes having been strafed by an American plane as he tried to escape. Using his service issue Rolleicord camera, Brian photographed the smouldering wreck and returned satisfied to base (nick-named Haystack House) to write his report on the demise of Nazi Bachmann and chalk up his success.