Building on Helen Fry's important research into the role of Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre (CSDIC) in WW2, I have been
looking at the contribution of Naval Intelligence Division (NID).
ADM 1/16833: FOREIGN NAVAL VESSELS - DAMAGE AND LOSS (30): Interrogation of survivors from the German battleship SCHARNHORST National Archives record ADM 1/16833: NID preliminary report on the interrogation of Scharnhorst survivors (transcription) ADM 1-16833 Scharnhorst prelim report re[...] Adobe Acrobat document [276.2 KB]
ADM 223/88: Admiralty use of special intelligence in naval operations (extract) An extract from National Archives record ADM 223/88 covering the role of special intelligence (Ultra decrypts) in the sinking of Scharnhorst. ADM 22-088 Special Intelligence - Scharn[...] Adobe Acrobat document [242.2 KB]
ADM 223/472 Extract: Memo from Ian Fleming about OVERLORD This proposal for a more assertive NID involvement in D-Day planning seems to have been largely slapped down. However, paragraph 5 (v) to (ix) look very much like the eventual brief to the naval parties that took over German ports after the surrender. ADM 223-472 Extract Fleming-Overlord.pdf Adobe Acrobat document [164.5 KB]
ADM 186/809 Extract: Transcript of SS Alsterufer Interrogation Report SS Alsterufer was a blockade-runner lost in the Bay of Biscay in December 1943. Most of her mixed merchant and naval crew survived, and spent time at a British interrogation centre on their way to internment in Canada. This is the result.
The invaluable U-Boat.net website has a lot of interrogation reports of submarine survivors, those from surface ships are trickier to find. I hope this redresses the balance a little.
NOTE: If you need a trigger warning, consider it given. This document embodies 1940s language and attitudes! ADM 186-809 Alsterufer.pdf Adobe Acrobat document [1.1 MB]
ADM 223/475 Extract: Transcript of a post-war paper on prisoner interrogation by Lt Cdr Colin McFadyean The paper is heavily marked up, in some cases apparently by Churchill himself. I have used strikeout and curly brackets to indicate the edits where I can, but in some places struggle with the handwriting.
Although the paper unsigned there are enough cross-references elsewhere in the file to leave no doubt as to the authorship. ADM 223-475 PW Interrogation 1939-45 tra[...] Adobe Acrobat document [914.9 KB]
WO 208/3256: Mediterranean and Middle East theatres: use of 'X' source (concealed microphones) in interrogation centres run by CSDIC 1940-1945 This long document describes the use of concealed microphones in British army interrogation centres in the Mediterranean theatre. It is particularly interesting for their pioneering work on binaural (stereo) reception and the use of mobile units. I did consider including it as an appendix to 'Castaways' but its size would have made the book significantly longer and more expensive. WO 208-3256 X-Source in ME.pdf Adobe Acrobat document [1.7 MB]
ADM 137/3900 Extract: Report of Interrogation of Survivors of UB68 (October 1918) This file contains two documents recording the interrogation in Malta of survivors from UB-68. They did not yield any earth-shaking intelligence and the interrogation itself seems to have been fairly amateurish. The interesting thing about this particular crew is the skipper - one Karl Doenitz. Report of Interrogation of Survivors of [...] Adobe Acrobat document [204.7 KB]
WO 208/4970 Extract: Stool Pigeon Control and Prisoner pf War Welfare This transcript of an extract (Appendix I) from the Story of MI19 discusses the recruitment of the first stool pigeons, the way in which they were used and their value in the overall interrogation process. WO 208-4970 SP Welfare.pdf Adobe Acrobat document [100.8 KB]
WO 208/3518: Supply and operation of CSDIC mobile units This is a selection of reports transcribed from the National Archives on a 1941 trial of a newly-completed mobile listening unit with bugged prisoner-of-war cells at Newmarket transit cage. No 10 Camp (Trent Park) was full and the opportunity was taken to evaluate both the effectiveness of the mobile 'M' room and the usability of the cage for covert listening. The subjects were the recently-captured crew of an Italian submarine. WO 208-3518 CSDIC Mobile Units.pdf Adobe Acrobat document [241.1 KB]