SYNTHESIS OF EXPERIENCES IN THE USE OF ULTRA INTELLIGENCE

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Detail and to discuss with the representative messages of special interest. Messages requiring immediate attention were brought to the attention of the G-2 (or A-2) and, less frequently, of the commanding general upon receipt. One Of the air representatives prepared a daily written report based solely upon Ultra; he also submitted periodical resumes of Ultra information, showing recent changes in the enemy picture and concluding with an estimate of GAF capabilities. Another air representative prepared weekly Ultra reports summarizing GAF activities, together with special papers on such subjects as V-Weapons, the development of jet- propelled aircraft, etc.

c. Number and types of recipients:
Most of the representatives experienced considerable difficulty which originated in the fact that some OF the individuals indoctrinated prior to the arrival of the representative at the command were less useful as recipients than others in the command would have been. Because titles in operational intelligence staffs bore no absolute relation to functions, it was recommended that initially only the commanding general and the G-2? (or A-2?) be indoctrinated and that further recommendations for indoctrination be made only after the representative had spent a period of time at the command and had an opportunity to observe the de facto functions of the various members of the staff. One representative suggested universal adoption of the practice that the actual indoctrination should be performed by the representative after he had secured approval of his recommendations; it was argued that this course of action would have the incidental value of enhancing the prestige of the representative at his command.

Recommendations for the indoctrination of specific officers varied from one command to another because of differences in titles and duties performed. The officers who were most frequently suggested for

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indoctrination were the Chief Target Officer, the head of the Order of Battle Section and the chief of Sigint, because they were in the best position to fuse and make use of Ultra intelligence.

7. Dissemination to non-recipients at own and lower commands

a. Purposes
It was important for the representative to give non-recipients at his own and subordinated commands as much of the situation in the light of Ultra as could be accomplished with appropriate cover, and to kill, so far as possible, items of information known, through Ultra, to be in error. This duty was implicit in the quoted provision of the Marshall letter which made it a responsibility of the representative to “assist in fusing Ultra intelligence with intelligence derived from other sources…”. The representatives discovered that although it was not always possible to “float” Ultra items, it was possible to minimize errors from other sources.

B. Methods:
Whereas it was comparatively easy for a representative serving with an army to keep recipients advised on the enemy situation as it appeared from all sources, including Ultra, it was more difficult to accomplish that end with respect to non-recipients at that command and still more difficult to do so with respect to subordinate corps staffs. In order to accomplish either, the representative had first to establish his position within his own command, and particularly within the G-2 (or A- 2) section. By means of friendly cooperation and frequent consultation with non-recipients, together with the monitoring of lower-classified intelligence summaries to prevent the inclusion of items shown by Ultra to be erroneous, he could contribute to the building up of the general intelligence picture to the Ultra level. To assist

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the corps staff, it was his function to veto or amend incorrect passages in publications prepared by unindoctrinated members of his command for distribution to the corps, and to publish appreciations or estimates to advise the corps of the true picture, with appropriate cover.

The experience of one representative, whose army was for a time under the Twenty-First? Army Group, demonstrated that the forms of appreciations and periodic reports prescribed by American manuals were not so well adapted to this task as were the more informal type of notes used by the British. It was his practice to prepare annexes to Periodic Reports or Spot Intelligence Reports in which he reviewed the enemy situation using information from all other sources which was known to be correct (from Ultra or otherwise); bits of Ultra information were filled in by way of speculation or reasoning.

8. Relations with Hut 3:
There was disagreement among the representatives at the army-TAC level e8 to the adequacy of the coverage of the material sent by G.C. & C.S. to such commands. Some expressed themselves completely satisfied with the general principles of selection which denied certain types of material to those commands; (it should be noted that those same representatives invariably considered adequate the summaries and appreciations furnished them by their army group – air force representative). On the other hand, at least one TAC representative, who was dissatisfied with the service from his air force equivalent, strongly recommended a wider selection of items by Hut 3 which would include “strategic” information. He stated that not only was his commanding general always interested in the “big picture” – his local thoughts and actions were dictated by what was going on strategic-wise – but also

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the representative himself could have performed his services with greater self-confidence and increased value had he been more fully informed on the over-all situation. The junior representative at the same command, however, found the scope of the Hut 3 service “more than adequate” as an aid to the TAC in executing its assigned missions.

Only one representative criticized the Hut 3 practice of confining itself to the job of factual reporting, leaving estimates and appreciations to others. 1 Two other Hut 3 practices caused some minor difficulties at the commands. One was the occasional use of terms of art and Britishisms the meaning of which was not clear to the representatives. In one case a British military adviser on the Watch stated that a fuel depot “disposed of” a certain amount of fuel; his meaning – that the specified amount of fuel was on hand and available — escaped some Of the representatives. The other practice was the insertion of grid references in the text of a message. Lacking an explanation of whether a grid reference was a translation or transliteration from an identification in the original German text or merely an informed guess by a Hut 3 adviser, the representative did not know whether to accept it unreservedly or to view it critically and apply his knowledge of local geography. The first of these difficulties was probably inevitable the second was a very minor criticism of an organization which corrected most ambiguities before commands were aware of the possibility of their existence.

Paragraph 5.C. Of the Marshall letter stated:

“The Commanding Officer, MID, War Department, London, and his principal assistants, will visit the field commands as occasion requires to consult with the G-2’s or A-2’d on methods of handling and using Ultra intelligence and on the scope and method or servicing Ultra intelligence from G.C. & C.S. to the field commands.

1 The reasons for that limitation and the theoretical and practical function of the Ministries are not within the scope of this paper.

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It was the consensus of the representatives interviewed that supervisory and liaison visits from Hut 3 officers were an important aid to the efficient and uniform operations of representatives in the field, and that more frequent trips would have been helpful. Visits from junior members of Hut 3 were useful primarily in providing relief for representatives.

Conversely, in order to be of service, an intelligence center such as G.C. & C.S. must have an up-to-date picture of the commands’ operations and their spheres of concern. The visits from Hut 3 officers helped to give this picture. In addition, each representative should have kept the “home office” advised more conscientiously on operational plans and priorities, new or unusual developments which were not apparent from Ultra, etc.; adherence to this practice would have permitted a more intelligent processing and choice of Ultra material to be signaled by those who had the power of selection.

9. Relations with Ultra representatives at higher, lower and parallel commands.

A. Personal contact with them:
Daily liaison between the representatives serving with an army and with its supporting TAC was not uncommon; most of the air representatives relied largely upon the army representative for information concerning the ground situation, in which the TAC HQ had a keen interest. Frequently the two would hold a joint air-ground briefing of their recipients. The frequency of the visits exchanged with representatives at higher, lower and parallel commands varied with the situation and the personalities involved. All agreed that frequent personal visits with the other representatives, at which common problems could be discussed, ideas exchanged, and coordination effected, were extremely beneficial.

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b. Dissemination of material:
Since the routing policy of Hut 3 left the commands at the army-TAC level with a chronic hunger (justified or not) for intelligence of other fronts or of general interest, most of the representatives at the army group-air force level passed down informal daily summaries of that type of intelligence. Weekly appreciations, target information and special summaries were also sent down by some commands. Only one of the representatives at the army – TAC level complained strongly of the inadequacy of the inadequacy of the service given him by the representative at the army group – air force level. He felt his lack of information on the “strategic” picture should have been met by summaries of messages not sent direct to the army-TAC level and by appreciations of current and future enemy dispositions. Such a desire must, however, be tempered by the capacity of the army-TAC SLU/SCU detachment; otherwise the army-TAC channels might easily become overtaxed with this material to the impairment of the flow of current information from Hut 3.

D. Security:

1. Representative’s title:
The problem of satisfying the curiosity of non-recipients, particularly in the G-2 (or A-2) section, was a difficult one. Some of the camouflage titles assigned to representatives were SLU Liaison Officer, GAF Specialist, Russian Liaison, Estimates and Appreciations Group, and Air Intelligence – Order of Battle. Much of the difficulty could have been avoided, it is believed, if the G-2 (or A-2) had laid all rumors at the outset by stating to the curious as a group that intelligence of a special character which did not concern them was being received and that speculation was expressly forbidden. Because

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The problem was inadequately handled at several commands, there were jealousies and hard feelings which hampered the representatives activities.

2. Security measures:
Most of the representatives found that substantial security was rather easily attained and that perfect security was an impossibility. The representative’s most difficult job was to make certain that recipient’s died not make direct operational use of Ultra without appropriate cover. Charged with responsibility for success or failure in battle, any commander would find the temptation to employ Ultra improperly was well- nigh irresistible at times. Even daily security reminders by the representative and periodic directives from higher authority were tried and found somewhat inadequate. One representative placed on the wall of his Ultra room a poster reducing the Ultra regulations to five rather simple precepts.

Actually there was no method by which the representative could censor all tactical orders and discussions, but by monitoring summaries, appreciations and publications, based on other intelligence sources, he could largely safeguard against a written break of Ultra security. Physical security and the protection of the Ultra signals presented no serious problems.

E. Instances of the Use of Ultra in Operations;
Paragraph 7.F. of the Marshall letter charged the representatives with presenting Ultra intelligence “in useable form” and with giving advice in connection with the operational use of it. The experience of

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the representatives shows that the reliable guiding influence of Ultra in working with other intelligence outweighed its value as a separate and distinct source of operational information. Its normal function was to enable the representative and his recipients to select the correct information from the huge mass of P/W , agent, reconnaissance, and photographic reports. Ultra was the guide and the censor to conclusions arrived at by means of other intelligence; at the same time the latter was a secure vehicle by which Ultra could be disseminated under cover.

The representatives, who worked and lived with Ultra in the field, were aware that it often had a direct operational value; one stated: “It was important to protect Source, but it was also important to get the last bit of exploitation, the ultimate from Ultra consistent with security.” The reports list many examples of Ultra’s operational use. 0f them, the following ten are typical:

1. There were times when Ultra information was of such immediate value that the shortest possible steps were taken to find the same intelligence from another source so that operational action could be taken. A good example was the signal received early one morning that the Germans had a strong concentration of motor transport in woods near Marburg. This was immediately passed to the Chief of Staff and the A-2 of the relevant TAC; they ordered a visual reconnaissance to include this area. The reconnaissance pilot returned with a report of a huge concentration of motor transport in the designated woods, and a squadron of fighter-bombers in the vicinity were redirected to the attack. At the close of the day, more than 400 vehicles, including tanks and armored cars, were claimed destroyed.

2. Another example of direct results obtained through Ultra information came at the time the U.S. Third Army was preparing to attack

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through the Siegfried Line. Air – ground plans included an advance air attack on German battle HQs to disrupt communications and direction of defense. A careful collection of battle HQ locations was made from Ultra, and pinpoint locations were confirmed by P/W interrogation and aerial photographs. The attacks were successfully made, and German signals citing damages confirmed the decisive influence of the information.

3. Two days after the Allied landing in South France, Ultra indicated that the Germans were withdrawing from southern and south western France. The commanding general of the U.S. Seventh Army was faced with a major decision involving two factors:

a. To what extent could the enemy be pursued and outflanked

b. Would the enemy counterattack on the right flank, from the Maritime

Alps, and so endanger rear communications?

Ultra provided no indication that the enemy would adopt an attitude other than defensive on the flank. Accordingly it was decided to pursue, all unloading priorities were altered (with the whole emphasis given to fuel and vehicles) and Task Force Butler, which had penetrated deep into the enemy’s rear) was reinforced with the U.S. 36th Inf Div. Together the two formations established a road block at Montelimar, cutting the enemy escape route. Although the retreating 19 Army succeeded in fighting its way out, all heavy equipment was lost in the process. Ultra also guided public relations during this phase of the campaign, for it was clear from Source-that the Germans were not aware of the character of the forces operating in their rear. They apparently believed that only guerrilla forces were endangering their lines of communication; consequently the existence and operations of Task Force Butler were not disclosed to the press.

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4. In March 1945 C. in C. West, refusing an Army Group H request that it be allocated all the ammunition from two factories in the northern sector of the Western Front, stated that those two installations were producing all of the medium field howitzer ammunition for the West. Neither factory had ever been attacked by the Allied air forces, who had known of their existence but had not realized their significance When the message was received at the U.S. 9th Air Force, the Ultra representative brought it to the attention of the Director of Operations, who immediately decided that the factories should be leveled. Their destruction followed in a matter of hours; as cover the Air Force bombed two or more similar targets nearby.

5. During the Normandy campaign a Wing of 9th TAC reported the capture and interrogation of an FW-190 pilot who stated that his unit was based near a town called Essay. The Wing A-2 (not a recipient), knowing of an airfield called Lessay but none called Essay, recommended the immediate bombing of Lessay. This recommendation was passed an to 9th TAC, where the representative recalled an Ultra message revealing a fighter Gruppe occupying landing grounds at Essay and Lonrai; this information had not been established in the general intelligence picture. On the other hand Ultra had revealed Lessay to be trenched and ploughed. The Wing was advised to pass up the chance to bomb Lessay and reconnaissance was ordered to photograph the area described by the P/W. This reconnaissance produced pictures of both Essay and Lonrai and also of Barville, a third strip in the area which had not even been mentioned by Source at that time. The next day all three fields were attacked simultaneously with success.

6. Ultra was employed to combat aerial supply of the Atlantic Fortresses. For weeks the traffic was studied in coordination with other evidence; bases, routes, times, numbers, etc., were determined. It was

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decided that route interception was virtually impossible but that, based on flying times between dropping points and bases, the approximate hour of return of the transport aircraft could be estimated. Thereupon intruder operations were laid on over the Frankfurt and Zellhausen areas to attack aircraft returning from these supply missions.

7. When the Ultra representative joined the U.S. 9th Army near Rennes, the Army had the mission of reducing Brest and containing the other French coastal fortresses held by the Germans. An examination of Ultra messages soon enabled the representative to advise the G-2 and the commanding general estimates of the strength of enemy forces in Brest based on other intelligence sources were 50% too low, and the point was proved within a week by a prisoner count. Thereafter Ultra always had a receptive audience at 9th Army.

8. Immediately after the enemy was driven from the Saar triangle, the general belief from open sources was that the German 1 and 7 Armies had been substantially eliminated. Ultra served to temper that over- optimism and to prepare the American commanding general of the Sixth Army Group for the rather quick formation of organized German lines of resistance which followed.

9. The eventual elimination of the Colmar pocket by the French Army and the U.S. XXI Corps would have proceeded without Ultra, but only with the expenditure of disproportionate forces in view of the persistent reports from agents of large German forces in the pocket and across the Rhine. In contradicting those reports, Ultra served to leave the U.S. 7th Army largely intact and to gain time in preparation for its subsequent offensive.

10. Ultra was indirectly responsible for having saved a number of 9th TAC aircraft in the German operation JEREMY on New Year’s morning, 1945. Although there were many indications of this potential threat

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from other sources, the policy of the commanding general was a purely offensive one; he strongly urged execution of Allied operation RIPTIDE as a means of neutralizing the GAF capabilities. In view of the serious indications from Ultra, however, he was persuaded to take precautionary defensive measures in the form of dawn alert flights over 9th TAC bases and the assignment of combat pilots to anti-aircraft units around the airfields to aid in recognition in the event of air attacks. Consequently, when German fighters came over two 9th TAC airfields early on 1st January, there were Allied planes in the air to engage them and keep them occupied until other squadrons could take off and participate in the encounter. The sizeable German losses and the scarcity of Allied casualties were a clear result of the defensive employment of Ultra information.

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