0815

Document Title Government Code and Cypher School: Signals Intelligence Passed to the Prime Minister, Messages and Correspondence
Reference HW 1/815
Conflicts Second World War
Themes Military Intelligence and Operations
Regions Africa, Atlantic, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East
Countries Crete, Egypt, Gibraltar, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Sicily
Document Type Signals Intelligence
Organisations Comando Supremo, Government Code and Cypher School
People Hastings Ismay, Erwin Rommel

Description

A file of signals intelligence reports, messages, and correspondence issued by the Government Code and Cypher School and sent by the head ('C') of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. This file includes the following reports on North Africa: a day report from the Panzer Army for August 2, on the strengths of the Axis forces, Italian losses and reinforcements since July 1, and that supply vessels have been sunk in non-stop Allied air attacks on coastal shipping; on Kesselring's assessment of Allied intentions, and preparations to meet them on August 5; that the 2nd Air Corps is on stand-by to seek an aircraft carrier force alleged to have left Gibraltar on August 5; of a German complaint of Italian forces receiving reinforcements in preference to German fighting troops on August 2; that the Panzer Army was informed by Rome of supply problems, on August 3; on North Africa: that the 164th Infantry Division is short of anti-tank weapons on August 4; of a request from the Panzer Army for air and flak reinforcements to protect coastal shipping, on August 3; that the 10th Air Corps is to carry out a recce in support of an Italian 'special undertaking' on August 6; that Derna is still short of aviation fuel, on August 5; and that Kesselring is pressing Rommel to insist on using Mersa Matruh as an unloading harbour, on August 5; Naval Headlines, covering U-boats being alerted to a possible convoy PQ18 sailing off Iceland, on August 1; and that the Italians reported the sailing of the Eagle and Charybdis from Gibraltar with a destroyer escort, on August 3-4.

Keywords

military strength, Axis powers, Desert War, siege of Malta, convoys, operations planning, military supplies, German-Italian relations, manpower, casualties, Italian army, shipping losses, aerial attacks on ships, Royal Air Force, predicting enemy intentions, British strategy, supply problems, anti-tank guns, anti-aircraft defence, fuel, ports, naval intelligence, German U-boats, leakage of information, Italian navy, military exercises

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