Catalogue description Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence: Scientific and Technical Intelligence Branch and Overseas Liaison Branch: Registered Files

Search within or browse this series to find specific records of interest.

Date range

Details of DEFE 41
Reference: DEFE 41
Title: Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence: Scientific and Technical Intelligence Branch and Overseas Liaison Branch: Registered Files

Files of the Scientific and Technical Branch and Overseas Liaison Branch of the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence on the procedures for and results of scientific and technical intelligence gathering in Germany following its occupation by the Allies, including Operations Dragon Return, Scrum Half, Second Slip, Dinner Party, Matchbox, Kidney, Top Hat and Stockpile. The series includes minutes of and correspondence with the Joint Intelligence Committee (Germany (JIC(G)) and reports of interviews of German Scientists.

Date: 1946-1963

  • The files in this series are in three categories:
  • 1. A numerical series from STIB 1000;
  • 2. Director STIB's 'D' files. (The 'D' reference was either the only one, or was superimposed over an existing STIB numerical reference.);
  • 3. Miscellaneous files not belonging to either of the above categories.

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Foreign Office, Control Commission Germany (British Element), Scientific and Technical Intelligence Branch, 1946-1956

Ministry of Defence, Department of Scientific Intelligence, Overseas Liaison Branch, 1956-1958

Physical description: 161 file(s)
Access conditions: Open unless otherwise stated
Administrative / biographical background:

In accordance with a request from the Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee of the Chiefs of Staff Committee that there should be a single organization in the British Zone of Germany for the overt collection, co-ordination and dissemination of intelligence of an economic, scientific and technical nature in the zone, the Joint Intelligence Committee (Control Commission Germany) [CCG] on 2 October 1946 authorized the setting up of a Special Branch of the Intelligence Division (CCG), to be known as the Scientific and Technical Intelligence Branch [STIB] of the Intelligence Division (CCG) (British Element) [BE].

STIB worked to a charter of 22 November 1946. Its rear link in London was the Joint Scientific Intelligence Committee [JSIC], the Joint Technical Intelligence Committee [JTIC] and - in certain cases - the Joint Intelligence Bureau [JIB] It was also responsible to the Joint Intelligence Committee (Germany) [JIC(G)] and the Chief, Intelligence Division (CCG) (BE).

As early as January 1947, the Director STIB wrote to JIB indicating that the Chief, Intelligence Division agreed that STIB was misplaced in the Control Commission, and that MoD should be the responsible ministry. This was rejected by JIC(G) in August, albeit the majority of STIB's tasks were for MoD, and were concerned with gathering post-war intelligence about German scientists and technicians, or those of other nationalities who had been employed by the Germans during World War II.

The post-war decade in Germany was one of continual change and movement towards the withdrawal of Allied interests, and the restoration of German administrative and political control of its own interests. In this state of flux, and influenced by the cold war situation, the functions, priorities, organization and status of STIB were the subject of continual review. From 1950 STIB was working in collaboration with the Directorate of Scientific Intelligence in the Ministry of Defence as well as through JIC(G) channels. During 1951-1952 STIB was working to DSI briefs, and under the technical direction of DSI and the Joint Technical Intelligence Committee. The primary recipients of STIB intelligence at this time were DSI/JTIC (including JIB), Ministry of Supply (Department of Atomic Energy) and certain other organizations, but the future of the branch was still under continual review.

In 1954 STIB was attached to Northern Army Group [NORTHAG] of NATO Command for administrative convenience, but its primary allegiance was still to departments like DSI in London. However, the parameters within which it worked now needed clarification, and the presence of the Foreign Office (determined previously only through CCG) was revealed in discussion.

In August 1954 the draft of a revised charter was produced - which was approved on 8 June 1955 - under JIC(G)(55)42 final. Director STIB became responsible to Director JIB for efficiency and functioning of STIB, but whilst STIB was in Germany and Austria he was responsible to the respective HM Ambassadors. He would conform with policies, instructions and conditions of JIC(G) and Commander, Intelligence Organization, Austria.

General and specific briefs would be provided by Scientific and Technical Intelligence Sub-Committees, and the War Office would be the sponsoring authority for STIB staff. STIB would co-ordinate with other British overt intelligence-collecting agencies in Germany and Austria. Director STIB would call upon Commander, British Services Security Organization [BSSO] for assistance with local administration, and upon Commander, Intelligence Organization, Austria. He would be responsible to Director, JIB, for monies expended for intelligence purposes.

Only months later however, with intelligence operations dwindling, and the re-introduction of German currency in prospect, proposals were submitted for STIB to be staged down, and its records and staff to be brought back to London. Events gathered pace at the end of 1955 and, effectively, STIB ceased to be, and there remained a handful of personnel in Germany. These became the Overseas Liaison Branch [OLB] of DSI in January 1956, which was responsible for residual intelligence operations, prior to eventual termination c.1958.

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research