'Attain By Surprise' 30 Commando Assault Unit 1942-45

Discussion in 'Commandos & Royal Marines' started by Jonathan Ball, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    Most Secret
    From the file ADM 223/500 held at TNA



    One of the most outstanding innovations in German Intelligence is the creation by the German N.I.D of Special Intelligence “Commandos”.

    These “Commandos” accompany the forward troops when a port or naval installation is being attacked and, if the attack is successful, their duty is to capture documents, cyphers etc. before these can be destroyed by the defenders.

    They have various other intelligence duties which are described in the attached memorandum.

    I submit that we would do well to consider organising such a “Commando” within the N.I.D, for use when we reassume the offensive on the Continent, in Norway or elsewhere. The unit would be modelled on the same lines as its German counterpart and would be placed under the command of C.C.O perhaps a month before a specific objective is attacked.

    It’s duties would be

    to find out all N.I.D Sections’ requirements from the port attacked, e.g cyphers, specimens of material (including enemy oil fuel and food, for instance) charts, enemy fleet orders, mines, R.D.F. gear, photographs etc etc
    obtain all intelligence available as to where in the particular port these things would be found.
    train with the raiding force.
    proceed with 2nd or 3rd wave of attack into the port, and make straight for the various buildings etc, where the booty is expected to be found, capture it and return.

    Operation “SLEDGEHAMMER” is a typical example of an objective which might yield valuable fruit if tackled by such a unit.


    I should submit the plan in greater detail with suggestions for organisation and personnel.
    The principle be worked out in collaboration with C.C.O

    (signed) F
    N.I.D (17)



    N.I.D. 1857

    Captain Campbell (Personal)
    Cdr. Drake (Personal)
    Cdr. Fleming (Personal)

    On further consideration I think it would be a mistake to turn over the working out of an “advance Intelligence unit” to the C.C.O. C.C.O’s function is chiefly of an operational nature, and an Intelligence set-up similar to what has been proposed is bound to get a low priority.

    Moreover, to turn it over to him is an admission that he and his intelligence staff are better able to work out such an arrangement than D.N.I, D.D.N.I and Section 17.

    I should therefore like the matter to be tackled by Cdr. Drake and Cdr. Fleming under the supervision of the D.D.N.I , who is requested to treat the matter as one of primary importance.

    It will mean working out establishments, list of stores etc. in detail, and bears a slight resemblance to certain parts of the Station Bill of a man-of-war, to the Suez Canal defence plan, which should be consulted as a prototype (Captain Simpson knows all about this) and to Operation TRACER.

    Now that TRACER is fairly launched, I should like Cdr. Scott to adopt it and take it over as soon as possible, but he will certainly need help from Fleming and Merrett for some time to come. This again, especially the assembly of the actual stores and the selection of a Signalman is to be treated as a matter of primary importance and a progress report submitted to me on the 24th April.

    (Signed) J.H Godfrey


  2. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Nice work Jonathan and very interesting.

    Some of the abbreviations are:

    NID - Naval Intelligence Department
    NID17 F - Ian Fleming's symbol.
    CCO - Commander, Combined Operations
    DNI - Director of Naval Intelligence
    RDF - Radio Direction Finding (later known as RADAR).

  3. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.




    (As extracted from the N.I.D 003285/42)

    The attached memorandum by the J.I.C( (42)233 Final), to the Chiefs of Staffs’ Committee describes the machinery for obtaining intelligence during small or large raids on the Continent or the Norwegian coast.

    2. Several opportunities may occur during the forthcoming months for obtaining examples of German Weapons and other materiel, and it is requested that Departments concerned will provide information of any possible targets they have in mind so that these may be dealt with as opportunity offers.

    3. The officer particularly concerned with this matter in the N.I.D is Commander I.L Fleming R.N.V.R, Ext 991 and he will be available to give any further information required on the machinery of Intelligence Assault Units as described in the attached paper.

    (Sgd.) JOHN H. GODFREY
    If opportunity should arise of boarding a U-boat D.A/S.W is interested in any information on Asdic equipment. Following may be expected:-

    (b)The Asdic Set for ship detection
    (c)The Mine Detection Unit

    2. Of the above (c) is of maximum interest.

    3. D.A/S.W is also anxious to know the maximum depth reading marked on all Depth Gauges.

    4. Any papers or documents bearing on Asdic equipment and U-boat tactics would be valuable, particularly logs and/or War Diaries.

    5. It is presumed D.S.D will deal with R.D.F matters.

    6. It is suggested that F.O.(S) might be able to add to the above list.

    (Sgd.) G.E Creasy


    As regards boom defence the following information would be most valuable:-

    (a) Any handbooks on the subject

    (b) Description of boom defence equipment observed, particularly nets, including:-

    (i) Size and type of wire.
    (ii) Whether mesh, gromet or Danertz wire formation.
    (iii) Possibility of mines being used in conjunction with the nets.
    (iv) Whether any yielding system incorporated.

    (c) Approximate size and spacing of:-

    (i) Floats.
    (ii) Mooring buoys.

    (d) The approximate position and line of any boom defences observed, including gaps and gates.

    (Sgd.) M.W.V HERVEY
    for D.B.D


    The most important equipment, on which information is desired is:-

    (i) Automatic guns (40mm and below)
    (ii) A.A ammunition (all calibres)
    (iii) Predictors, sights and R.D.F equipment associated with ship-borne guns and mountings.

    2. Although specimens of such equipment may be of great value, even greater value may be obtained, particularly in regard to future development, from officers’ notebooks and from recent Secret and Confidential publications.


    It is urgent to obtain any possible intelligence concerning:-

    (a) The pistols being used in enemy torpedoes.
    (b) The units being used in enemy ground mines, particularly those being laid by E-boats, which are probably similar in external appearance to those laid by aircraft

    2. It is unlikely that a raiding force would be able to handle such heavy weights as the weapons themselves, though the torpedo pistol might be possible. Handbooks would be valuable and so would details of external markings, particularly the colours.

    (Sgd.) G.B. MIDDLETON


    Following would be of value:-
    (a) Complete small W/T or R.D.F equipments, especially those concerned with:-

    (i) VH/F, W/T or R/T, including serials.
    (ii) Portable sets.
    (iii) Agents sets.
    (iv) Aids to navigation.
    (v) Wireless control sets for lightbuoys, boats or explosives and jamming.

    (b) W/T or R.D.F valves.

    (c) Handbooks, operational orders, frequencies used, routines, W/T organisation and procedure.

    (d) Recognition signalling equipment, of any description.

    (e) Anything connected with infra-red or ultra violet rays for signalling or detection.

    (Sgd.) F.J. WYLIE
    for D.S.D

    Any information on German methods of beach defences (other than by above water wire, pill-boxes and C.D guns) would be of value. Included in this are:-

    Off-Shore nets
    Under-water obstructions
    Beach mines above and below water
    Warning Devices
    Oil Fire Defence
    Beach and Off-shore illuminants
    Scaffolding defence.

    2. Information is also required as to any particular details of immobilisation or scorched earth schemes or evidence of the intention to use blockships.

    (Sgd.) D.E. BAIN
    for D. of L.D


    In general books and papers are probably the most hopeful line. In view of the approaching completion of the GRAF ZEPPELIN any information about Tactics, and in particular Air Torpedo Tactics would be of great interest.

    2. German Anti-Mining material is always valuable, as well as Anti-Torpedo information. As regards Anti-non-contact torpedo protection, however, care is necessary to avoid broadcasting our use of non-contact torpedoes by making enquiries as to enemy counter measures. As stated above, a general enquiry for books, papers and prisoners would seem to be the best compromise, apart, of course, from capturing ships and stores intact!!

    3. It is though D.N.A.D and D.D.O.D.(M) as well as F.C.(S) recommended by D.A/S.W, should see the paper.

    for D.T.S.D


    D.N.A.D would be interested in:-

    Aircraft R.D.F equipment, including aerials. I.F.F. equipment, W/T equipment, including D/F sets.
    Bombsights; particularly dive-bomb sights.
    Aircraft torpedo sights.
    Gunsights, particularly any indication of whether a gyro gunsight is contemplated.
    Types of ammunition.
    Fuzing delays, especially pre-impact fuses.

    (Sgd.) for D.N.A.D

    Matters in which D.D.O.D.(N) is interested have been covered in the previous minutes - in particular the question of Mine-Detection units in U-boats.

    2. Any orders for, or details of, mine-watching organisations (against aircraft-laid mines) would also be of value.

    (Sgd.) J.S COWIE


    The points mentioned by D.B.D and D. of L.D. will also be of great value to Admiral (Submarines). In addition the following are of great interest:-

    (i) Positions of net defences in approaches to harbours used by cruisers and above.
    (ii) Construction and depth of nets that surround important ships and that protect approaches to harbours.
    (iii) The constructional details (drawings if possible) of enemy main units, with particular reference to positions of engine and boiler rooms and magazines and also underwater fittings.

    2. The following are points on which Admiral (Submarines) requires further information:-

    (a) Details of the 750-ton U-boat.
    (b) Whether the Germans are employing any methods of submerged propulsion without using electric batteries
    (c) Training, efficiency and morale of personnel.

    3. Admiral (Submarines) presumes that no opportunity will be lost of obtaining such things as diaries and papers whenever possible.

    4. It is not considered necessary to employ a fully trained submarine officer in this work. Admiral (Submarines) considers that the personnel instructed to obtain the information such as that mentioned in 2(a) above, should have two or three days’ instruction in any convenient Submarine Flotilla.

    (Sgd.) S.M. RAW
    for ADMIRAL (S)

  4. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Mobile Intelligence Unit

    During operations in the field the German Intelligence Service usually co-operates with the armed forces by employing mobile intelligence units. The lowest unit is the Abwehrtrupp. 3 or 4 or 5 of these are under the orders of an Abwehrkommando.


    The Abwehrtrupps move with the front line troops. It is their duty to search for material likely to be of use to the High Command, to affect arrests among the civilian population etc. The materialthey collect and the information they obtain is sent to the Abwehrkommando which is stationed some way behind the lines. The Abwehrkommando arranges the distribution of the material to those interested.



    1 officer 2 cars
    1 interpreter 1 lorry
    1 N.C.O 1 motor-cycle
    6 O.R’s


    2 officers 7 cars
    1 interpreter 3 lorries
    7 N.C.O’s 3 motorcycles
    13 O.R’s 1 tank lorry.

    Special features

    In large scale operations several Abwehrkommandos may be centralised under a still higher authority, a KOMMANDOSTAB.
    Again the work of sorting the materials obtained by the Abwehrtruppe may make the establishment of special sorting posts necessary. These are known as SICHWUNGSSWELLEN.
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    There is a good history of 30 AU called Attain by Surprise written by Nutting

  6. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    From:- Rear Admiral J.H Godfrey



    2nd June 1942
    Brigadier J.H Kirkman
    Air Vice-Marshal C.E.H Medhurst
    Brigadier S.G Menzies
    Brigadier Sir David Petrie

    Copy to:- Secretary, J.I.C

    One of the most outstanding innovations in the German Intelligence organisation has been the formation of German Intelligence “Commandos”

    2. These “Commandos” accompany the forward troops when a port or naval installation is being attacked, and if the attack is successful their duty is to capture documents, cyphers etc before these can be destroyed by the defenders. They also have other duties in connection with immediate operational intelligence, and a good account of their activities is contained in a paper prepared by a section of S’s organisation with the reference number v.w.14/19/12/41, entitled “German Reconnaissance with Private M/T Service”

    3. I have prepared plans for using the German organisation as a model in connection with naval intelligence requirements on future raids on the Continent or in Norway, and which would operate in the event of a major offensive. I had intended that certain naval intelligence targets should be particularly borne in mind during Operation SLEDGEHAMMER, but since this Operation has been cancelled it occurs to me that we now have time to develop the scheme on inter-service lines so that the requirements of all services can be worked out in a combined plan.

    4. If it is agreed that the formation of a Combined Intelligence Assault Units is desirable I suggest details should be discussed at an early date, and my own view is that our requirements would be somewhat on the following lines:-

    (a) On the appointment of a Force Commander for anything between a small raid and a major operation, the Force commander should set aside or be provided with personnel having the requisite qualifications whose main task during the raid or operation would be attacking of intelligence targets under the instruction of the Intelligence Departments.

    (b) For instance, in Operation SLEDGEHAMMER, N.I.D. targets would have consisted of naval cyphers held by the authorities of the port concerned, charts, German Fleet orders, special gear connected with the mining and defences of the port, reconnaissance of the port defences and facilities generally, and details of navigation lights etc. These targets would probably have needed between 10-20 officers and men trained in N.I.D requirements.

    (c) The Assault Unit would be charged with obtaining the required information or materiel and ensuring that it reached the reception committee at a specified rendezvous with the least possible delay.

    5. I am particularly concerned that the whole question should be examined, since the first targets are bound to be of naval significance, i.e ports or coast defences, information on which is the responsibility of the Admiralty. Security, military or air targets of equal importance would be encountered during any considerable penetration of the enemy’s coast defences, and, of course during any operation to re-enter the Continent.

    6. I would suggest that planning for all eventualities on the lines i have described should take place without delay and that an effort should be made to include an Intelligence Assault Unit in Operation RUTTER.

    7. As a first step, a discussion between the Deputy Directors, a representative of “C” and of Security Service seems indicated.
  7. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Fleming -

    I think this is the gist of what D.D.N.I had to say on Wednesday, with a bit of my own added. I have buttoned all this bunch together, as it is all relevant.

    Leaplough has had a quick look over all this (the attached) and so has Nicholls

    (Signed) Lt. Cdr. Rees-Millington



    Paragraphs 1, 2 and 2(e) of the minutes, paragraphs 2, 4 and 5 of draft letter to C.C.O and paragraph 2 of draft letter to Commands all make mention of G.H.Q Intelligence Officers, only, to work with this organisation, and as A.D.I.C points out in minute the whole of the gist of these drafts will have to be altered, in order to ensure that specially selected Naval Officers can take their proper part in the organisation.

    In connection with the above I append the copy of a letter, from C.G.S to Commands, obtained by me from Lieut. Col. Hill Dillon, and would invite special attention to paragraph 6, sections b and c, and paragraphs 7, 8, 9 and 10, which will be seen to have special relation to the employment of Field Security personnel on the duties originally envisaged for our (N.I.D) I.C Unit as set out in the docket which was started some months ago.

    The procedure as to reception of the documents in this country seems to be fully covered by accompanying minutes, but the matter of the constitution on the I.C Unit is still outstanding and should be settled at the earliest possible moment in order to avoid another two or three months’ unnecessary delay in the establishment of the Unit as an operating entity.

    I suggest that a suitable number of trained Commando troops should be detailed a fortnight before each operation for special training as to their objectives. They should be under the charge of one of their own junior officers, who would receive his instructions from me, such as instructions being taken by me from the officers and departments concerned. I suggest further that the training of the Unit concerned should be my special responsibility in each individual case, and that whenever the occasion warranted it I should proceed with the unit to its destination, the tactical command, of course being vested with the combatant officer, which should satisfy G.H.Q. who appear to feel that we should be usurping their prerogatives.

    Further I suggest that if it is necessary (as it will most certainly be) to detail certain Naval and/or R.A.F. ratings to work with the I.C , these men should join the unit at the time stated, i.e. a fortnight before the operation is due. They should be dressed alike and should be toughened physically and mentally in just the same manner as are the regular Commando troops, and the whole should receive combined intelligence instruction as outlined in previous paragraph. The size of the unit should not exceed the equivalent of a platoon, and the number of regular Commando troops should be reduced on each occasion by the number of specialists embodied - such specialists should never exceed 25% of the stregnth of the platoon, as it should be quite possible to train the average Commando man in nearly all intelligence requirements in a fortnight.

    (Signed) Rees Millington

  8. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    See Item 310528163722 currently on Ebay. - This is a modern pin badge of the 30 Commando Assault Unit badge.
  9. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I was very interested to learn about 30AU and in particular its involvement in the Dieppe Raid.
    After thinking that the Dieppe operation was a disaster I saw a docu recently explaining that 30AU were actually on the raid and looking for an Enigma machine.
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

  11. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    Very Interesting. Dont accept the raid was a cover for the mission however it could certainly have been incorporated into the plan.
  12. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    Section’s Remarks and Suggested Action.

    Strongly concur with F’s [Fleming] proposal. The scope of the German Organisation went far beyond ‘intelligence’ and there are clear advantages to be gained from using the same organisation to restore port facilities and at the same time gather information. Prseume C.C.O would divide the scope of the organisation in conjunction with N.I.D.

    (signed) Gower 21/3

    Concur with proposals. It might be as well to confer with Col. Nicholls (M.I.8) who is training a party of soldiers for a similar purpose - though I think for the present this party are confining their activities to accompanying raiding parties to pick up documents.

    (signed) [illegible] ADIC 22/3


    Demolition is almost invariably carried out in a hurry, with objections and evasions by the owners.

    This must be intensified in occupied countries - especially France.

    The French have a parsimonious habit and a loathing of the destruction of any material which they think may be of use to them. This feeling was evident in our own evacuation.

    It is essential to get in touch with local people who may be able, if asked in time, to save further destruction. Demolition does not always have full effect at once and may depend on other factors than explosives alone (e.g tides)

    Explosives are often not in an unlimited supply and consequently some machinery may be put temporarily out of action by only demolishing important working parts.

    Suggest a technical expert be asked to signal details of spare parts necessary to re-start the machinery.

    The French place the utmost importance on their comforts and town facilities. Their sympathy will at once be gained if every endeavour is made to get town facilities, such as lighting, running as soon as possible. This should open their mouths.

    (signed) M.M Chatwin



    The larger the operation, the more important, indeed indispensable, such a party becomes.

    One can imagine a case where the Germans have demolition or blocking operations laid on and where timely action might prevent them. A direct contact between the Commando and NID might be invaluable in such a case.

    In any event nothing but good could come of an organisation which would enable our intimate knowledge of the port to be constantly at the disposal of the attacking force.

    (signed) Guy 1(L) 23/3/42

    Intelligence Assault Unit

    On the theory that it is better to start things small and to avoid accumulating further paper on this subject I would like to suggest that the opportunity offered by the appointment of Commander Murphy as S.O.(I) to C.C Dover for Operation SLEDGEHAMMER should be utilised to put the above scheme into practice on this operation.

    I would like to suggest that Commander Murphy, assisted by Lieut. Commander Gonin and Lieut. Commander Rees-Millington, should decide what possible intelligence targets there are likely to be during Operation SLEDGEHAMMER and how these targets might be attained.

    I do not consider that any special stores will be required or that special communications need be arranged through “C”. It will be a question, as I see it, of Commander Murphy arranging with C.C.O. that certain troops led by officers (preferably Marines who have been trained in our requirements) shall have our targets as their special concern.

    (signed) Fleming


    Yes, with Capt Haines and go ahead.
    D.N.I approves (signed) Godfrey


    Intelligence Assault Unit

    The following is the position at present:

    Captain Haines, Commander Murphy, Lieut. Commander Gonin and Lieut. Commander Rees-Millington are ready to provide the necessary targets and instruction to the nominees of Force Commander of any future suitable operation. Preperations were in hand for SLEDGEHAMMER but have now been cancelled.

    The field security police are working on somewhat similar lines with regards to lower grade objectives and Captain Haines is taking up with the War Office the use of field security personnel for our purposes.

    It is proposed that Lieut. Commander Rees-Millington shall be the base organiser for our purposes on future operations if you approve.

    Permission is required for Commander Arnold-Forster to be put in the picture. It is probable that he will be able to supply facilities such as personnel and communications which may be of value to us to reinforce those placed at our disposal by the Force Commander.

    There are at present no problems confronting the scheme which can be solved before the appointment of Force Commander for a future operation.

    (signed) F

    N.I.D. (17)

    (footnote) spoke to DNI 24/5. Approved. F
  13. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    The circulation of this paper has been strictly limited. It is issued for the personal use of Rear Adml J.H. Godfrey


    It is requested that special care may be taken to ensure the secrecy of this document.


    Circulated for the consideration of the Chiefs of Staff

    J.I.C.(42)233 (O) (FINAL)

    12TH JUNE 1942



    Note by the Secretary

    The attached memorandum, which has been forwarded for the consideration of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, is circulated in Final form. Will departments please return all previous drafts to the Secretary.

    (Signed) Denis Capel-Dunn

    Great George Street, SW1

    12th June, 1942

    Memorandum by the Joint Intelligence Sub-Committee
    The Germans have formed Intelligence Commandos which accompany the forward troops when a port or naval installation is being attacked, and if the attack is successful, their duty is to capture documents, cyphers etc. before these can be destroyed.

    We feel that many opportunities for obtaining intelligence in a similar manner must arise during raids and operations on the continent, and there recommend that:-

    A detachment composed of suitable intelligence personnel should accompany future raids and operations on the continent. The main task of this personnel, during the raid or operation, would be to deal with such intelligence targets as were recommended by the various Departments and Services and accepted by H.Q. Home Forces or C.C.O.

    Departments and Services should forward to Home Forces or C.C.O. at an early stage of planning, their requirements arranged in order of priority. Home Forces or C.C.O. should then decide which requirements could be met within the scope of the operation.

    As regards personnel for theses purposes, the Force Commander should find these from Field Security Sections or Field Security personnel made available by Home Forces, and from the Naval and Air Personnel under his command for the operation. The relative strength of personnel of the three services will vary according to the nature of the operation and the particular requirements.

    Personnel Selected for this duty should be briefed prior to the operation by the Departments or Services for whom they will be required to obtain information. If possible selected personnel should be made available to the Department or Service concerned for brief specialised training.

    The above proposal should be implememted, as an experiment, in connection with operation “RUTTER”





  14. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Room 055,
    War Office,

    12th June, 1942

    Dear Capel-Dunn

    Reference J.I.C. (42)223(0) (Draft) dated 11th June, I have no comments to make on this paper as drafted, except to say that it takes us down the straight up to the first jump. There are other jumps ahead which may require slightly different treatment. The various people concerned are thinking over these matters but I feel that before very long we ought to meet and discuss because there in not too much time.

    There are really three main features of this problem:

    (a) The small raid with a limited objective, which is dealt with in the above J.I.C. paper.

    (b) Larger scale operations on the Continent which I think we all feel will require something greater in the way of Intelligence personnel than we have at present at our disposal.

    (c) Intelligence activities of a similar nature in an Army of Occupation.

    Although (b) and (c) look somewhat alike they will actually require slightly different training and different language qualifications. I mention these points now just to emphasise that the J.I.C. paper on solves (a).

    Yours (signed) H. Allen (Brigadier)
  15. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    31st July, 1942.
    To: The Secretary,
    Joint Intelligence Committee


    With further reference to my minute P/INT/112/1225 of the 5th July, 1942, a meeting was held at my Headquarters on 22nd July to discuss the formation of Special Intelligence Units. I enclose a copy of the minutes of this meeting, which shows that agreement was reached in principle and that I should form this unit on an experimental basis.

    2. A further meeting was held on 27th July to discuss item (b) of the conclusions to the attached minutes, namely, the suggested composition of the Special Intelligence Unit proposed. The following decisions were taken at the second meeting, subject to the concurrence of the Joint Intelligence Committee:-

    (a) The proposed body should be called “Intelligence Assault Unit” (I.A.U)

    (b) Personnel, with certain exceptions mentioned at * below, will be provided by the C.C.O. from the Special Service Brigade;

    (c) Special Service Brigade officers and men with the necessary qualifications would be drawn for the unit from the Royal Marine Commando and Army Commandos; and the A.C.A.S.(I) is invited to state his own requirements in personnel to be provided and attached to the unit;

    (d) Full provision would have to be made for the highest standard of security requirements to be met in selecting and drafting the unit;

    (e) Subject to the agreement of the Joint Intelligence Committee and Director General of the Security Service, it was proposed that Major W.G Cass* should be transferred to the Special Service Brigade to take charge of the Military Section of the unit whilst it was requested that D.N.I would make available a naval officer* to be in charge of the Naval Section. An officer to command the unit will be appointed by C.C.O

    3. As regards the accommodation for the I.A.U., owing to the urgency of the requirements and the shortage of suitable sites, permission is requested for the Joint Intelligence Committee for the use of the new premises of the C.S.D.I.C. as a temporary measure, subject to the availability and on the understanding that the premises could be vacated at short notice by the I.A.U.

    4. When selected, personnel of the I.A.U. will be at the disposal of the Directors of Intelligence for special training

    X X X
    for Chief of Combined Operations.
  16. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake The Mayor of London's latest dress code

    Because of Fleming the Navy gets the puiblicity. However the Army were i the business of collecting Technical intelligence too. The 1st Battalion the Buckinghamshire Regiment were a T Force unit in 1945. The CO Lt Col Boehm was awarded an OBE for this work.

    I read the heavily hyped book about 30 Assualt Unit and gained the impression that they were more than a bit shambolic and yet another private army didn't seem to do much that justified their reputation.
  17. Bluebell Minor

    Bluebell Minor Junior Member

    5th Battalion The Kings (Liverpool) Regiment, 30th Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment and a number of Royal Pioneer Smoke Companies were also part of the T (Target) Force operating in the British Zone of Occupation throughout Summer/Autumn 1945
  18. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Reference Q.320/2.



    Major General J.C. Haydon (Chairman)...... V.C.C.O.
    Colonel R. Neville, R.M..... R.M.A
    Lt.-Col. S. Hill-Dillon,..... G.H.Q, H.F.
    Cmdr. C. Arnold Forster, R.N..... M.I.6
    Cmdr. I. Fleming, R.N.V.R..... N.I.D
    Major W.N Cass..... M.I.5 & M.E.W.
    Major R.E Williams Thompson..... S.I.O.C.C
    Captain I.G. Colvin, R.M. ..... Con. Sec.

    The Chairman opened the meeting by referring to the minute to the Joint Intelligence Committee from C.C.O. explaining the requirement for special intelligence units to perform special intelligence duties during combined operations.

    2. Speaking on behalf of the Admiralty, Commander Fleming stated that there was an urgent requirement for personnel who could be intensively trained to carry out special naval intelligence duties. There could be no question of imparting such knowledge and training to other than selected personnel who would be kept together as a unit. The principle was generally agreed by the meeting. Commander Fleming went on to say that the Admiralty had pointed out the urgency of this requirement as long ago as March, and he emphasised the now increasingly urgent need for a permanent body to which this type of naval intelligence work could be entrusted.

    3. The representative of M.I.6, Commander C. Arnold Forster, R.N. stated that M.I.6. did not dispute that some of their intelligence targets could be divulged to and probably successfully dealt with by normal Field Security Units. M.I.6. would however prefer to entrust it’s requirements to a permanent body who as a result of special training would be likely to obtain better results and would also be preferable from the security point of view.

    4. Similar opinions were expressed by Major Cass on behalf of I.S.R.B. He added that that Commodore Boyle agreed with his views.

    5. Lt. Col. Hill Dillon, G.H.Q. Home Forces, expressed the view that it might be lowering to the morale of Field Security Units if tasks which they could discharge were to be allotted to special intelligence units, and that if such units were formed it might have a detrimental effect on the F.S.P. There was also the question of the general shortage of specialised personnel, linguists, etc. Moreover, during the first phase of battle operations there was less security work to be done, and the Field Security units might well devote themselves to collecting operational intelligence.

    6. After some discussion, the meeting agreed that C.C.O. should initiate a trial on a small basis, with a special unit of say 20 men, including a high proportion of officers and that expansion might be found desirable if the unit proved its worth and obtained valuable results. This view was accepted by the Admiralty, I.S.R.B, M.E.W, and M.I.6 and Lt. Col Hill-Dillon agreed to the proposal as an experimental measure the future of which should depend upon results.

    7. It was considered that as regards training, the officers of such a unit should have detailed knowledge of the intelligence work of all services, while the N.C.O’s should have particular knowledge of their own branch of work and a more general knowledge of the work of the unit.

    8. Commander Fleming estimated that for the immediate future and following year, the Admiralty would probably find that one platoon of Royal Marines specially trained for naval intelligence targets would be sufficient.

    9. The Chairman emphasised, and the meeting agreed, that there was little likelihood of special naval and Air Force Intelligence units duplicating the duties of the Field Security Police. A more careful definition of the responsibilities of those covering military intelligence in the proposed special intelligence unit would be necessary to avoid duplication with the Field Security of any unit taking part in a combined operation.

    10. C.C.O. would circulate to those represented at the meeting, as well as to the Secretary, J.I.C., a paper containing:-

    (a) The definition of responsibilities between Field Security duties and the special intelligence duties to be entrusted to the type of unit it was now proposed to form.

    (b) The suggested composition of the Special Intelligence Unit now proposed.
  19. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    Colonel R. Neville, R.M (Chairman)..... R.M.A
    Brigadier R. Laycock (for part of the meeting)..... S.S. Bde,
    Lt.-Col. S. Hill-Dillon..... G.H.Q, H.F.
    Cmdr. C. Arnold Forster, R.N..... M.I.6
    Cmdr. I. Fleming, R.N.V.R..... N.I.D
    Major W.N Cass..... M.I.5 & M.E.W.
    Major R.E Williams Thompson..... S.I.O.C.C
    Captain I.G. Colvin, R.M..... Con. Sec

    1. The meeting agreed to the title Intelligence Assault Units (I.A.U.) for the proposed formation.

    2. It was agreed that the body should be under the command of C.C.O., as a permanent body that would not be disbanded without the agreement of the Joint Intelligence Committee.

    3. It was essential that it should be established near London so that S.I.S. and S.O.E. instructors could reach it without difficulty.

    4. Cmdr. Fleming stated that the Naval Section would be given Naval Intelligence courses.

    The Naval section requirement were:

    2 Officers, R.M.
    5 N.C.O’s
    10 Marines
    to be produced as soon as possible from the Royal marine Commando and trained by D.N.I.

    5. It was estimated that the military requirements would be:-

    4 Officers
    24 O.R’s (of whom 6 should be N.C.O’s)

    6. After some discussion it was agreed that all officers should speak German as a first qualification in languages and should have French, Dutch or Flemish as a second qualification, and that there should be one officer who could speak Norwegian.

    7. It was most desirable that N.C.O’s and O.R’s should also know languages and have technical and mechanical knowledge as well, and be of a type that would assimilate specialised technical and mechanical knowledge. Special technical and mechanical aptitude would be considered as a qualification in itself without addition of languages.

    8. The command of the force was discussed, and it was decided that it would be preferable for it to remain within the framework of the Special Service brigade.

    9. The name of major Cass was put forward as Commander of the Military section of the I.A.U. Colonel Neville emphasised that owing to the distinction between naval and military targets the Naval Section would have to be under a Naval Officer for instruction and training. It was agreed that C.C.O. should ask for the Commanding Officer by name and that it would also be necessary to have a “Q” officer to deal with supply, administration etc.

    10. The meeting agreed that C.S.D.I.C. would be a most suitable side for training the I.A.U and C.C.O. should ask the Joint Intelligence Committee whether this accommodation could be made available on a temporary basis.
    A.C.W.S.I. should be asked what officers and men he wished to add to the I.A.U

    11. Cmdr. Fleming drew attention to the approval of the Chiefs of Staff obtained for the formation of the I.A.U. in J.I.C. (42) 223 (0) Final of 12th June, 1942. In view of their approval being already given it would be sufficient of C.C.O. to propose to the J.I.C. the composition which he intended for I.A.U.. It was agreed that a letter should be drafted for C.C.O. in this sense.

    12. The appointment of Major Cass would be subject to the approval of the Director General of Security Service, which could be obtained from the Joint Intelligence Committee. C.C.O. should request the D.N.I. to select a Naval Officer.

    13. At this point Brigadier Laycock, Commander of the Special Service Brigade, joined the meeting, and Colonel Neville explained to him the requirements that had been stated for a special intelligence body which could be kept permanently together and could therefore be most highly trained and deal with the most highly secret and most highly technical targets.

    14. It was agreed that it was not desirable that Officers or men selected should be other than British Nationality, and that personnel of No.10 Commando would not be suitable.

    15. Personnel of the proposed new units would continue to wear the Commando flash and although it was not desirable to reveal in advance the full nature of their duties to the volunteers for the I.A.U., it could be stated that their participation in all raids of Combined Operations was most probable and that their work would be related to that of their own Commandos. They would not lose pay or opportunities by joining the I.A.U.

    16. Brigadier Laycock undertook to obtain volunteers for the unit as required, and to inform Lt. Col. Phillips, R.M (O.C. Royal Marine Commando) of the requirement stated by Commander Fleming.

    17. It was most urgent that the units should begin training forthwith.

    18. At the conclusion of the meeting a proposed draft letter to the J.I.C. was drawn up to be submitted to C.C.O.
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  20. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.


    16th September, 1942.

    Meeting in C.P.C’s Office 16.9.42

    Colonel R. Neville R.M......C.P.C
    Commander R.E.D Ryder R.N
    Wing Commander Casa Maury......S.I.C.
    Commander Ian Fleming R.N.V.R......N.I.D
    Paymaster Lieut. Miller R.N
    Major Cass......M.I.5.

    1. Approval of naval and military unit establishments urgently required.

    2. Letter to Military Secretary requesting that Major Cass may be attached to these Headquarters pending approval of establishment.

    3. Appointment of Brigadier Laycock’s nominee as Administrative Officer of Unit to be arranged as soon as possible.

    4. The two Army Officers to be attached to these Headquarters to work for a short period with Major Cass before remainder of Army personnel join up.

    5. Question of parachute-trained men’s inclusion in Army Unit to be examined.

    6. Commander Ryder to be appointed to C.O.H.Q. for part-time duties with Intelligence Assault Unit.

    7. Commander Ryder to work in N.I.D. for a couple of days before Commander Fleming leaves for America on 22nd September. D.N.I. has appointed Payr. Lieut. Miller to be Commander Ryder’s Secretary for Intelligence Assault Unit duties.

    8. Commander Ryder to visit Shanklin at an early date to interview Royal Marine personnel for Naval Unit.

    9. All personnel to be carefully vetted. Major Cass will make special arrangements to accelerate procedure.

    10. C.C.O. to be urged to visit B.P. {Bletchley Park} so that he may see what may be achieved with Intelligence Assault Unit.

    (Signed) R. Neville

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