Shortly after 11 pm on 10 May 1941, a Scottish ploughman spotted a parachutist floating to the ground on a field at Floors Farm, just a dozen miles south of Glasgow. He ran out to find a burning twin-engined Messerschmitt Bf 110 bomber and an injured officer wearing the uniform of a Captain of the German Air Force. The aviator identified himself as Captain Albert Horn and asked to be taken to see the Duke of Hamilton for whom, he claimed, he was carrying an important message. In reality, 'Captain Horn' was none other than Rudolf Hess, Deputy Fuhrer and right-hand man of Adolf Hitler. rrested and interrogated by various government officials, it soon emerged that Hess had not come as Hitler's emissary but was acting alone in seeking to negotiate a peace deal between Britain and Germany. Held as a prisoner of war for the next four years, convicted as a war criminal at the Nuremberg Trials and sentenced to life imprisonment, Hess spent the rest of his life in a high-security prison in Berlin-Spandau where he committed suicide in 1987, aged 93. ess's flight to Britain has remained one of the most bizarre and mysterious chapters in the history of the Second World War and has created a
David Stafford is the author of several books on intelligence history, including Britain and European Resistance, Churchill and Secret Service and Roosevelt and Churchill- Men of Secrets. He is the Project Director at the Centre for Second World War Studies in the Dept. of History at the University of Edinburgh.