Camp X

A special training school run by the British near Whitby, Ontario, during WWII, Camp X has become a legend. A Man Called Intrepid (1977), the best-selling account of the wartime activities of Sir William STEPHENSON, director of the New York-based British Security Co-Ordination (BSC), made several dramatic assertions about its operations, most notably that the Czech secret agents who assassinated SS General Reinhard Heydrich in 1942 were trained there.

Most of this is untrue. The camp, whose official title was STS (Special Training School) 103, provided the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) with a preliminary training school for those it recruited in North and South America and with a convenient place to teach espionage to the Americans while the US was still neutral. Neither the agents who assassinated Heydrich nor others recruited in Europe were trained there.

Most of the camp's graduates were either Canadians or Americans, many from the American OSS (Office of Strategic Services). SOE provided the training staff, BSC looked after administrative and financial matters, and the Canadian military authorities provided auxiliary services. Exclusively under BSC control was a secondary operation on the same site known as "Hydra," a radio station which handled top-secret British transatlantic intelligence communications. The school opened 9 December 1941 and closed 2 years later.

See alsoINTELLIGENCE AND ESPIONAGE.