Réseau AGIR

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Réseau AGIR
V-1 1944 - Typical Ski Site.jpg
AGIR provided HUMINT on V-1 flying bomb "ski sites", e.g., some had launch ramps ("P", bottom),[1] here Maisoncelle.[2][not in citation given] In 1974, the "Maison-Ponthieu site" still had the treelines and ski-shaped buildings depicted in this diagram.[3]:6
Active began 1941[citation needed]
Country Occupied France
Allegiance Allies of World War II
Type French Resistance
Role Human intelligence (espionage)
Size >100[4] informants, a few agents[citation needed]

The Réseau AGIR (English: ACT Network) was a World War II espionage group founded[5] by French wartime resister Michel Hollard that provided human intelligence on V-1 flying bomb facilities.

Intelligence was collected every 3 weeks[citation needed] directly from volunteer informants

Hollard smuggled information to the British military attaché in Bern, Switzerland, from Occupied France making ninety-eight trips from 1941 through February 1944 when he was betrayed and arrested.[6] After a September 7, 1943, Ultra intercept identified that an agent tasked with gathering V-weapon intelligence had been captured, Réseau AGIR member Olivier Giran was captured and executed in 1943.[7]

On 5 February 1944, Michel Hollard and 4 other AGIR agents (including Henri Dujarier) were arrested during a cafe meeting on the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis[citation needed] (Hollard received the "bath treatment" (torture) by the Milice.)[7][verification needed]

V-1 espionage[edit]

An AGIR railway engineer at Rouen[citation needed] reported in 1943 unusual constructions in Upper Normandy, and Michel Hollard's report of September 1943 to the British Secret Intelligence Service identified six V-1 flying bomb facilities: "Bonnetot [sic] le Faubourg, Auffray [sic], Totes, Ribeaucourt, Maison Ponthieu and Bois Carré".[3] A more detailed report in October about Bois Carré claimed it had "a concrete platform with centre axis pointing directly to London".[7] AGIR reconnoitered 104 V-1 facilities and helped pinpointing[verification needed] the Watten bunker, the first V-2 launching site.[6] AGIR also provided sketches of V-1 launching sites such as one by André Comps of Bois Carré (English: square woods) labeled "La position de Maisons" and B2.[7] Hollard had the site infiltrated by Comps, who copied "the blueprints"[3]:3—a copy of the compass swinging building blueprint and the Bois Carré sketch were published in 1978.[7]


AGIR agents received various British and French military awards (including Hollard's DSO for V-1 espionage),[8] and Hollard's biographies provide AGIR history.[9] In 2009, Joseph Brocard was the last surviving AGIR participant.[10]


  1. ^ Gurney, Gene (Major, USAF) (1962). The War in the Air: a pictorial history of World War II Air Forces in combat. New York: Bonanza Books. p. 184. The launching ramp (P) had a double track enclosed in concrete walls. 
  2. ^ Bauer, Eddy (1972) [1966]. Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia. Vol 15. H. S. Stuttman Inc. pp. 2059, 2068. ISBN 0-87475-520-4. [need quotation to verify] 
  3. ^ a b c "The V-Weapons". After The Battle: 3, 14, 16. 1974. 
  4. ^ Lee 2001
  5. ^ "Michel Hollard: Heros de la Resistance" (in French). Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  6. ^ a b Jeffery, Keith (2010). MI6 : the history of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949. London : New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-0-7475-9183-2. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Jones, R. V. (1978). Most Secret War: British Scientific Intelligence 1939-1945. London: Hamish Hamilton. pp. 300, 362–3. ISBN 0-241-89746-7. at Bonnetot le Fauborg [Comps] succeeded in copying the plans of every building at the Bois Carré site  (p. 362)
  8. ^ Distinguished Service Order citation for Michel Hollard. 1945. Hollard, at great personal risk, reconnoitered a number of heavily guarded V1 sites and reported on them with such clarity that models were constructed which enabled effective[1] bombing to be carried out. 
  9. ^ Martelli 1960
  10. ^ "Last remaining member of resistance network dies". Radio France Internationale. Retrieved 2010-02-09.