1109

Document Title Government Code and Cypher School: Signals Intelligence Passed to the Prime Minister, Messages and Correspondence
Reference HW 1/1109
Conflicts Second World War
Themes Military Intelligence and Operations, Intelligence Gathering and Surveillance
Regions Africa, Europe, Latin America, Mediterranean
Countries France, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Guiana, Italy, Libya, Malta, Sicily, Tunisia
Document Type Signals Intelligence
Organisations Government Code and Cypher School
People 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 German Air Force (GAF) report for November 16, and their intentions for November 17; of Kesselring's directive to the GAF to support the Panzer Army (see 1405); a signal from Rommel underlining the seriousness of the fuel situation, and identifying the best harbour for small ships as Ras El Aali, on November 16; that an explosion was seen in the Ras Aali roadstead; of a proposal that troops help with the immediate unloading of the Hans Arp on its arrival in Benghazi; a summary of special intelligence reports on North Africa, for November 16; that there is no fuel for operational aircraft in Berca or Magrun, as of November 16; on a survey by the chief quartermaster of the Panzer Army of arrangements for the evacuation of Benghazi, and a summary of the withdrawal from Tobruk and Derna, on November 14; on Tunisia: of Kesselring's orders and the possible desertion of the French to the U.S., on November 16; that Kesselring requests the locations of any troops remaining loyal to Vichy in Tunisia; and that U.S. forces are advancing eastwards near Tebessa; on France and French possessions: German intelligence reports on mainland France, Tunisia, Algeria, west Africa and Martinique, for November 16; on the Mediterranean: that the despatch of wireless telegraphy and cipher material has been stopped because of the Tunisia situation, on November 16; GAF operational reports; that Kesselring is taking a more favourable view of the Tunisian situation; that the Hans Arp returned to Ras Aali to evade a submarine; that the German Naval Command regard the situation in Tunisia as critical, with Allied forces 40 km from Bizerta; of an intention to withdraw forces from Tunisia, on November 16; and that a German bomber unit transferred from the Russian Front to the Mediterranean on November 13.

Keywords

military situation reports, air warfare, German withdrawal, defence, Desert War, military organisation, German air force, naval intelligence, shipping losses, evacuation, ports, French armed forces, deserters, Operation Torch, invasion of French North Africa, United States Army, military commanders, intelligence reports, Vichy regime, colonies, military dispositions

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