Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Grand Central Spy Story

Grand Central Station in New York City is a city unto itself. It is larger than an aircraft carrier. It has its own system of electricity and steam to power itself with. But the most important generators of all were housed 10 stories below street level to save the cost of the land which would have been required. These dynamos are the ones which power all of New York’s vast subway system.

When World War Two rolled around this “cheap skate” move took on a new significance, as the Nazi’s did actually plot to destroy the dynamos, using of all things, sand! This short film tells the meat of the story in only a few minutes time. It’s worth watching. They actually landed in New York by U-boat and were caught just as they were about to execute their plan.
I was raised on stories of the blackouts in New York during the war years. My mother and father spoke often about the U-boats 10 miles off shore at Coney Island, and the oil slicks from sunken merchant vessels washing ashore at Atlantic City, New Jersey. 

Even the superintendent of our apartment building was an ex German POW. He had served out his time in the war working on a farm in North Carolina. After the war he sent for his wife; Katje; and they came to New York shortly after the war ended.

For more about this story see the following link. It was provided to me by an old shipmate who prefers to remain anonymous;

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