Document Title Government Code and Cypher School: Signals Intelligence Passed to the Prime Minister, Messages and Correspondence
Reference HW 1/1353
Conflicts Second World War
Themes Military Intelligence and Operations
Regions Africa, Atlantic, Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East
Countries Canary Islands, Crete, Gibraltar, Malta, Sardinia, Tunisia
Document Type Signals Intelligence
Organisations Comando Supremo, Government Code and Cypher School
People Erwin Rommel


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: of orders to the Panzer Army under Rommel for the defence of the Mareth Zone, on February 8; of proposals for a division of effort for air support of the 21st Panzer Division and the 5th Panzer Army; a German Air Force (GAF) situation report for February 8, stating that Allied forces advanced from the El Assa area against the 15th Panzer Division east of Taguelmit; of the aircraft available for operations, as of February 8; the 2nd Air Fleet report Allied forces to be withdrawing from Gafsa, and warn that it could be to set traps; the GAF report an Axis spearhead moving towards Gafsa; the German Naval Command in Rome reports the numbers of serviceable tanks available to the 5th Panzer Army; on February 8 a situation summary for February 8; that Axis Reconnaissance units in Morra are too weak to hold out against an Allied attack, and are seeking reinforcement from the 15th Panzer Division on February 7; a report of an Allied air raid on Elmas airfield, on February 7, making the airfield unserviceable; that GAF support for an offensive by the 5th Panzer Army in the area west and southwest of Kairouan, is planned for February 10; of Kesselring's orders for vigorous attacks on Tripoli and Zuara harbours to prevent unloading and so delay an attack by the Allied 8th Army, on February 6; and that explicit orders were requested for the taking of Gafsa, on February 6; on the Russian Front: that Krasnodar is to be evacuated on about February 12, with airfields to be closed with effect from February 8 for destruction preparations; Naval Headlines, covering that U-boat contact was made with a Gibraltar-bound convoy; and that German E-boats at Bizerta were requested by the Italian Admiralty to be ready for a patrol against possible operations by HMS Manxman; Naval Headlines of February 8, covering a German naval formation leaving Trondheim on February 4-5, which included the Admiral Hipper and Koeln; that the Hipper arrived in Kiel on February 7, but the Koeln was delayed in Kattegat on February 6; U-boat contacts with convoy SC118; and U-boat success claims in the Mediterranean; Naval Headlines of February 7, covering contacts with convoy SC118 and instructions for achieving success; and that the transfer of unloading organisation from Gabes to La Skira is to be pressed forward; British intelligence reports Rommel to be in hospital undergoing an operation in Tunis, on February 9; and that a German General, possibly Fischer, was blown up by an Italian mine near Medjez El Bab.


military organisation, German army, defence, Desert War, inter-services cooperation, German air force, military situation reports, military operations, British army, predicting enemy intentions, patrols, air raids, airfields, effects of bombing, operations planning, counter-attacks, Eastern Front, German withdrawal, evacuation, naval intelligence, German U-boats, Battle of the Atlantic, convoys, shipping losses, warships

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