For example, a four-man team from MI6, attached to SHAEF, was on the strength of T Force as of Sept 3, billeted at 18 Rue Petrarque and attached to the T Force SCI Unit. The team leader was Maj Arthur G. Trevor-Wilson and included Maj Malcolm Muggeridge, Lt Col Lord Victor Rothschild, and Sgt Tridel. There were also Air Ministry, MIS, APWIU from 9th Air Force, CIC, 30 AU, Alsos, and other special agencies attached to T Force. The S2’s Information Room disseminated the target information, S3 Operations would issue the instructions to the teams, and all teams were required to submit reports on their targets. (10) On Oct 9, 1944, Maj Dana B Durand, commanding SCI Unit 12-AG, wrote a letter to the CO T Force in which he stated:

Through the T Force operation, SCI succeeded in obtaining a large volume of important CE material, documents seized in various headquarters of the German Secret Services, the SIPO, and SD. This material is now being subjected to long-range exploitation by the present staff of X2 OSS, now established in Paris. Moreover, through the arrest of numerous agents and informers, carried out by T Force Target Teams, SCI has been able to make a substantial contribution to short and long-range military security. Important members of the Abwehr and SD were picked up, several of whom have given us valuable information for both French and German clean-up operations. More than one of these individuals is now working for us in penetration or deception capacities. (11)

Maj Charles Hostler, a member of the 31 SCIU, was placed in command of one of the specialist teams covering Paris 5th and 6th arrondissements. Among his targets were known enemy agents high on the priority list for turning into double agents (the main task of SCI), and the securing and safe-keeping of Madame Curie’s laboratories, where they were researching atomic theory. He located this objective, only to find the Alsos Team already there. (12) After negotiations at a higher level the Alsos Team was left in control of that target. The main Alsos target in Paris had been Jean Frédéric Joliot-Curie and the Curie laboratories. They found the man and some of his staff wearing resistance armbands at the Collège de France, and spent several days debriefing him on the activities of German scientists who had made use of his laboratory. While they went to some pains in trying to hide the reasons for their interest, it was soon clear that Joliot-Curie had realized why they had such an interest. Alsos also used Paris to get information on new targets not available from CIOS, OSS or the US MIS.

After Paris, Pash went with an Alsos sub-team to Bruxelles. Col David Strangeways, commanding R Force, a deception unit similar to A Force in Italy and North Africa, provided support units to enable them to collect information from the factories at Olen, 28 KMs East of Antwerp. The information concerned uranium ore which had been sent to the Germans from Olen.

CIOS teams were also ordered to send representatives to Bruxelles to participate in the occupation of Eindhoven, while Alsos was charged with securing 70 tons of uranium ore at Olen, supported by Strangeways’ R Force. A Philips plant in the area was already under the protection of a strong detachment from the R Force, who refused to even let an officer from one of the CIOS teams have access! Strangeways also had over 400 men searching Eindhoven for intelligence targets. The Eindhoven operation came under the command of British Lt Col Johnny Cave, who had participated in the liberation of Paris and had been an IO in the Rome S Force, so he was well aware of the potential opportunities in intelligence collection. Bruxelles itself had been an intelligence target occupied by a British ad-hoc Intelligence Corps Battle Group, with a strength of 155 men, and with the task of securing all the Intelligence Targets in the City. (13)


According to a history of T Force activities in the 21-AG, no special T Force was created in the 21-AG during operations in France and Belgium, despite a SHAEF Directive of July 1944 recommending such an organization This was partly due to a lack of manpower, but also because of a desire to try out T Force activities with existing resources designed for other purposes. (14) The history goes on: A T Force role was allotted, first for Rouen and then Bruxelles, to certain engineer, signal and intelligence units, whose normal occupation was deception and camouflage. (A probable reference to R Force mentioned above). While the staff for this force undertook the T Force operations, they were not entirely successful, mainly due to the extreme meagreness and lateness in the arrival of information on the targets. (15) Strangeways, Commander of the R Force Deception Unit, had been in charge of the first S Force operation in Tunis in 1943.(16) The S Force operation in Tunis and the lack of other designated forces lead to his R Force being co-opted for similar operations in Northwest Europe: the operation was a success and much later on during the war, Strangeways was asked to do similar jobs in Rouen and Bruxelles. (16)

The 2 I/C of R Force, Maj Philip Curtis, discussing the activities of this unit after the main deception operations had been completed, reportedly said: I think the great value of the R Force then was that we would rush ahead and capture all the maps and bits of intelligence. We were generally searching for German documents to find out whether we’d been doing any good or not. The fighting troops never had a chance to do that, they were too busy chasing the enemy. All the way, to Caen and on to Bruxelles, we were always looking for enemy plans and in particular any reaction to what the R Force had been doing. (17)

These units were unable to continue long-term as the T Forces, and staff shortages within the 21-AG made the creation of a separate T Branch impossible. It was decided instead in Oct 1944 to add the responsibilities of T Force to those of the Brigadier, Chemical Warfare, within the 21-AG. His staff read through the existing material on the T Forces and prepared dossiers on potential targets and guides for the sub-units of the 21-AG to explain their purpose. In early 1945, it was realized that the T Forces of the 21-AG would need to be highly mobile and capable of being split into several self-contained units. At this time several units were allocated to operate as part of the T Force, including two Bomb Disposal companies. Selected NCOs from these companies attended safe-breaking/burglary courses back in the UK and had specialist equipment allocated to assist them in this role. In Feb 1945, the 5/Kings Regiment became the lead unit of the British T Force in Belgium. On Mar 30, 1945, the T Force was placed under the command of the UK 2-A, which was advancing on the Rhine. On Mar 31, the main T Force moved to occupy Maasbree, while detaching companies to Hengelo in Holland under the US 43-ID and to the US XII-Corps for targets in Rheine. Sean Longden’s book T-Force describes the activities of the Kings and other military units involved in British T Force operations. The Order of Battle for the British T Forces attached to UK 2-A and CA 1-A between March and May 1945 were:

2nd British Army

– 5 Kings Regt with 2 attached companies 1 Bucks Regt
– 805th Pioneer Company
– 806th Pioneer Company
– 845th Pioneer Company
– 846th Pioneer Company
– 803rd Pioneer Company (1 Plat.)
– 19th Bomb Disposal Company RE

1st Canadian Army

– 1st Bucks Regt (minus 2 companies)
– 30th Royal Berkshire Regt (for ops in West Holland)
– 803rd Pioneer Company (minus 1 Plat.)
– 810th Pioneer Company
– 5th Bomb Disposal Company RE

Both units also had Detachments from the 30 AU of the 21-AG Documents Teams, and Interpreters from the 21-AG Interpreters Pool as well. (18)

The British T Force received its first specialist assessors in the German city of Gescher, near the border with the Netherlands. An impromptu intelligence and briefing organization was immediately set up. There would generally be a floating population of 40-90 British and American officers from all services to be fed, briefed, and housed. The following procedure was evolved for conducting the T Force operations. When a target area was about to be taken, the G2 of the 21-AG would arrange for the T Force to come under local command. When the targets were important, G2 would provide a dossier and maps to the Corps Staff, who would then brief the forward troops to guard the locations until the T Force relieved them. Once the T Force had control of the target and the area was deemed safe, assessors would be dispatched to investigate the site. The assessors would inform the 21-AG if any further investigators were required after they had done a preliminary inspection. This system was similar to that used by the US T Forces.

Local Military Government (Mil Gov) units would often provide the T Force with additional targets of opportunity, as well as the T Force doing its own reconnaissance. In this way the physics laboratory of Dr. Wilhelm Groth (an expert on centrifuges) was located by accident, hidden in a silk factory in Celle. The find was reported to the T Force who immediately secured the site. According to the T Force Bulletin for the 21-AG, at the Focke-Wulf Factory in Celle many technical documents and much equipment in this large underground plant have been seized and are under guard. (19) The next weekly report recorded that: an eminent scientist, evacuated from the Hamburg University, was discovered to be conducting experiments of a highly secret nature, on behalf of the OKW (German Military High Command), in a laboratory in a silk factory in this town. He has subsequently been flown to the UK for detailed interrogation. The laboratory remains under guard pending evacuation of the equipment. (20)

When the T Force HQ moved to Osnabrück two companies were dispatched to Hannover to assist the US 9-A. They secured the HQ of Wehrkreis XI in almost complete working order. This was an important intelligence target as it enabled the occupying forces to quickly take control of the civilian authorities. The T Force company in Celle sent out detachments to secure the Chemical Warfare Station at Raubkammer and the Ordnance Testing Station at Munster Unterluss. Both sites came under attack from SS troops hiding in nearby forests. At Munsterlage (Soltau-Fallingbostel) they found the central OKW CW research station which had been evacuated from the Spandau Citadel in Berlin. A preliminary investigation found few personnel but indicated that much information on the enemy CW offensive policy would be forthcoming. Shortly afterward, Oberst Dr. Walter Hirsch – a senior officer from the station surrendered himself and admitted to full knowledge of German CW development and was debriefed.


10. HQ T Force 12 AG Draft “T Force Report on Target ‘PARIS’”, dated October 1944, RG331/Box 53
11. “Activities of SCI in connection with T Force Paris”, SCI Unit 12 AG letter dated 9 Oct 44, RG331/Box 53
12. Operatives, Spies and Saboteurs, by Patrick K O’Donnell, Citadel Press Books 2004, 204-205
13. FSS – Field Security Section (reminiscences of W. Sedgwick-Rough), by Bob Steers, 1996, 225
14. History of ‘T’ Force Activities in 21 Army Group, undated, FO 1031/49 (UK National Archives)
15. Frontline Intelligence in WW2 – (II) Allies in N Africa and Italy, by Keith Ellison, 2012
16. Trojan Horses, by Martin Young and Robbie Stamp, 1989, The Bodley Head Ltd, London, 38
17. Trojan Horses, by Martin Young and Robbie Stamp, 1989, The Bodley Head Ltd, London, 51-52
18. A Short History of T Force Operations In Northwest Europe During the Second World War, produced by the 5th King’s/No 2 T Force Old Comrades Association
19. T Force Bulletin No 2 – Period 10-15 Apr 45, 21 Army Group Area, US National Archives ref: MR/CRR/243/15W4-19-9-D, ENV 69, Section 3
20. T Force Bulletin No 3 – Period 16-24 Apr 45, 21 Army Group Area, US National Archives ref: MR/CRR/243/15W4-19-9-D, ENV 69, Section 3

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