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Old 06 Oct 17, 14:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMeech View Post
Hi

Also another source of information was gathering up documents from POWs and from dugouts after capturing areas of the enemy's front line, this is covered in chapter 4 of 'Haig's Intelligence' by Beach. Examples from 1917 include the capture of the German 'Manual of Position Warfare for All Arms'
I have attached the cover the Part 6 from both the 1st January, 1917 edition and the 1st September edition. After capture these were translated and then published by GHQ, the 1st January edition by 25th May, 1917 (as SS 563) and the 1st September edition by 7th December, 1917 (as SS 619). This latter edition was also distributed to the US and Italian Forces and probably others, although I have not seen their copies.
This means they were being read by the allies not long after it had been issued to the Germans, so meeting two of the 'Principles of Intelligence'; 'Timeliness' and 'Accessibility'. These documents were read by at least some of the officers that received them as the German methods contained in them are mentioned in relation to British methods and procedures during the winter of 1917/18.
Also of note is the fact they are marked as "Not to be taken into the Front Line", examples of officers of all nations in different conflicts thinking that security rules do not apply to them are rather too common.

Mike

Attachment 72040

Attachment 72041
There is a well known photograph of Bristol Fighter crews turning out their pockets before getting in their aircraft.

As well as attempting to enforce the no documents rule the British army kept hammering home the name rank and number only if captured rule. POWs on all sides and of all ranks proved remarkably chatty when captured. There was no need for any form of "enhanced interrogation" - tea and sympathy worked better.

I sometimes suspect that the tradition of entertaining a downed pilot in the mess for dinner may have had less to do with fraternal spirit between fellow airmen and more to do with getting him drunk so the squadron intelligence officer could gently pump him.

In "The Last of the Ebb: The Battle of the Aisne, 1918" by Sidney Rogerson there is an account of the confusion created when a raiding party brought back a button identifying a German unit which had only recently been engaging the same British units on a different sector of the front. It turned out that one member of the raiding party had dropped a souvenir and another soldier had picked it up.
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Last edited by MarkV; 06 Oct 17 at 16:25..
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