War Office: Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, and Directorate of Military Intelligence; Ministry of Defence, Defence Intelligence Staff : Files
|Title:||War Office: Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, and Directorate of Military Intelligence; Ministry of Defence, Defence Intelligence Staff : Files|
The series consists of records of the Directorate of Military Intelligence as established in 1939, together with some inherited from the former Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence.
Additional sections were formed during the course of the Second World War, dealing with subjects including publicity and propaganda, prisoners of war, scientific and technical matters, censorship, air photography, anti-aircraft intelligence and military attaches. (Some of these sections had existed during the latter stages of the Great War and for a short period thereafter, but had been disbanded when their work ceased to be necessary). The series includes files on individual prisoners of war, both Allied and enemy, and on prominent Nazis.
There is also medical, historical, and military information about countries which were - or might have been - involved in hostilities.
Information on the organisation of the Directorate of Military Intelligence in World War II can be found in WO 208/5568.
These reports were made by officers and men of the armed forces and merchant navy and usually provide: service details; when and where captured; home address and civilian occupation. Researchers should note that these reports mostly relate to the European, Mediterranean or North Africa theatres of war. For Royal Air Force personnel details can include: where based, type of aircraft, when, where and how the aircraft was lost, and the presumed fate of the other aircrew. Every report includes a narrative, of variable length, which describes an individual's experiences as an escaper, evader or prisoner of war. In addition, many reports include appendices which can provide the names and addresses of civilian helpers, nature of help given, and relevant dates; details of the escape method and fellow PoWs who assisted in an escape; the usefulness of officially provided escape aids, which ones were used, and suggested improvements and/or additions. Due to various adverse factors, there were few successful escapes in the South East Asia theatre of war. Many escape, evasion and liberation reports include one or more Appendices. The purpose of these is as follows:
The papers of the Directorates and their sections were not always carefully and systematically filed. As far as possible, within each accession, they have been arranged under the heading of the geographical area to which they refer (in alphabetical order of areas), and then listed in chronological order.
There are also collections under various general headings and from various sources, such as the Allied Translation and Interpretation Service, the Deputy Director of Information and Publicity, the Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre and the British Military Mission to the Soviet Forces, Berlin.
Item References: The report numbers are in numerical sequence within each file. They are the last digits of the former reference located at the top right of each report. Some of the numbers are missing from the sequences as there is no surviving information linked to them.
See also: WO 344
For files of the tri-service Defence Intelligence Staff see: DEFE 31
For unregistered papers of the Services, Press and Broadcasting Committee and predecessors see: DEFE 53
|Held by:||The National Archives, Kew|
|Legal status:||Public Record(s)|
Ministry of Defence, Defence Intelligence Staff, 1964-
War Office, Directorate of Military Intelligence, 1915-1922
War Office, Directorate of Military Intelligence, 1939-1964
War Office, Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, 1922-1939
|Physical description:||5639 files and volumes|
|Access conditions:||Available in microform only unless otherwise stated|
|Immediate source of acquisition:||
from 1973 Ministry of Defence
|Accruals:||Series is accruing.|
|Unpublished finding aids:||
Subject and topographical indexes, and a glossary to codes used with regard to the interrogation of prisoners of war, are in the reading rooms at The National Archives, Kew.
|Administrative / biographical background:||
The Directorate of Military Intelligence came into existence in 1939 when, with the Directorate of Military Operations, it superseded a previously combined Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence (DMO & I). Five of the Military Intelligence sections previously under the control of DMO & I - namely MI1 to MI5 - continued their work within the new Directorate, dealing (as before) with organization, geographic, topographic and security matters.
Context of this recordBrowse by Reference
- WO - Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
- Division within WO - Records of the Chief of the (Imperial) General Staff and its directorates
- WO 208 - War Office: Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, and Directorate of Military Intelligence; Ministry of Defence, Defence...