Document Title Government Code and Cypher School: Signals Intelligence Passed to the Prime Minister, Messages and Correspondence
Reference HW 1/323
Conflicts Second World War
Themes Military Intelligence and Operations
Regions Africa, Europe, Mediterranean
Countries Crete, Germany, Italy
Document Type Signals Intelligence
Organisations Government Code and Cypher School
People Hastings Ismay


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: a BONIFACE report on air attacks on the Russian Front on Archangel harbour being under consideration by the 5th Air Fleet on December 12; on the exhaustion of a German division in the Moscow area under heavy attack on December 12 and the withdrawal of the 4th Panzer Group on December 11; on German forces in the Tula area being under heavy pressure from Soviet attacks and the supply situation being hampered by snow on December 10; a report issued by the 4th Panzer Group on December 12 indicating that the 7th Army Corps had beaten off a battalion-strength attack and that the 9th Army Corps and the 40th and 46th Panzer Corps were withdrawing in the face of a Soviet advance on the Central Moscow Front; that German forces in the Tula area were under Soviet attacks and the 29th Motorised Division was down to two battalions and five guns; and that movement was difficult because of ice and snow drifts on December 12. The file also includes the following BONIFACE intelligence on North Africa: that German forces withdrawing from Derna were expecting to have to destroy part of the depot stores due to lack of transport on December 11; that German Air Force (GAF) supply staff had been ordered to move from Derna to Benina on December 11; that no 2cm armour-piercing ammunition remained in Germany as of December 12; that there was a serious shortage of aviation fuel as of December 11, there being practically none in Benghazi, and the Italians were dependent on German fuel for their aircraft; that German forces were withdrawing in Cyrenaica and evading the British on December 11; and that Kesselring had ordered aviation fuel to be flown to German forces in Africa both by day and by night on December 13. Also included are BONIFACE intelligence reports that German transport aircraft were to carry empty fuel barrels instead of wounded from Africa to Crete as of December 13; that convoy protection by Italian naval units was postponed and that the ships may be escorted by destroyers; that air transport from Brindisi diverted from Derna to Benina with effect from December 11 is to carry spare barrels of fuel for return flights; and that supply ships for the GAF Africa had been cancelled, and aircraft were to concentrate on reconnaissance and destruction of British positions and to harass British lines of advance from December 14.


military operations, military situation reports, German air force, armaments, military supplies, fuel, war materials, evacuation, transportation, German withdrawal, battles, manpower, Red Army, German army, air warfare, equipment, artillery, tanks, personnel, Italian air force, evasion, casualties, wounded, Italian navy, shipping, Eastern Front, airfields, convoys, air raids, bombing, aerial reconnaissance

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