Besides the T Force, there were a number of other specialist teams who had been assigned specific targets of their own, such as

– TICOM, a joint US-British mission to collect Sigint
– Special Mission V-2 Team – a US Rocket Branch mission to obtain V2 technology and personnel
– Watson’s Whizzers (Operation Lusty) – tasked to collect aircraft technology
– GOLDCUP Teams from the US Group Control Council (to uncover intact parts of the German government and its archives). GOLDCUP Teams by the end of May 1945 collected 750 tons of documents and nearly a thousand German ministerial personnel. In the summer, GOLDCUP’s collection increased to 1420 tons of documents, 46 tons of microfilm, and 1300 Germans. (44)
– GOLD RUSH/SAFEHAVEN Teams (trying to track down Nazi treasures and funds moved abroad which were intended for rebuilding German industry post-war)
– Library of Congress Foreign Mission – sent to gather books and journals published in Germany (and the rest of Europe) and not available for purchase through normal channels once the war had been declared
– The Documents Research Center, A-2, United States Army Air Forces in Europe – organized to collect and process all captured German air documents. USAAF’s Air Technical Intelligence (ATI) Teams were the active arm in the field. The organization was moved to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, in 1946. Before the move to Europe, it was estimated that the total collection of German air documents would be between 1000 and 1500 tons. However, the final screened library and collection sent to Wright Field consisted of approximately 220 tons. (45) Large technical libraries held by various German aircraft manufacturers were left virtually untouched – and most of the German aircraft industry was located in the Russian-occupied zone.

While members of these teams might occasionally have operated under the umbrella of the T Force, quite often they worked alone – in part because they had agendas which did not agree with those of the T Force, which was organized so that information and equipment might be shared by the Allies equally; and also because they operated in areas outside the main T Force target zones, much like the smaller independent T Force Teams mentioned above. Many of these organizations only became operational after the war in Europe ceased, when they then made use of the T Force/FIAT facilities to aid their investigations. One author states that as of March 1945, in western Germany alone, the United States had fourteen scientific intelligence teams from the army, navy, and air corps operating independently and often in competition with each other as well as their allies. (46) Some of these specialist teams have been covered in more detail in books and articles, as well as online.

For example, the ATI Teams competed with 32 allied technical intelligence groups. (47) In April 1945, the USAAF combined technical and post-hostilities intelligence objectives under the Exploitation Division as Operation LUSTY. To exploit captured German scientific documents, research facilities, and aircraft, the ATI Teams and Watson’s Whizzers under Operation LUSTY swept up 16.280 items (6200 tons) for examination, of which 2398 separate items were chosen for technical analysis. (48)


Post-war, the T Force work was continued by an American operation, the Field Information Agency Technical (FIAT), which had been set up by the SHAEF as a combined organization. FIAT was conceived as a post-hostilities agency early in 1945 by Secretary of War Stimson. It was to inherit a wartime mission from the Special Sections Subdivision, searching for information to use against Japan; but the longer-term goal was aimed toward civilian interests. Chief among its interests would be the securing of the major, and perhaps only, the material reward of victory, namely, the advancement of science and the improvement of production and standards of living in the United Nations by proper exploitation of German methods in these fields. (49) FIAT’s scope was extended to take in scientific and industrial processes and patents having civilian as well as military applications. Since the new organization would have to remain a combined operation for as long as the SHAEF existed, British Brig R. J. Maunsell, who was already chief of the SHAEF Special Sections Subdivision, was designated head of the new organization.

Although envisioned as having exclusive control and actual handling of operations concerning enemy personnel, documents, and equipment of scientific and industrial interest, in its charter, issued at the end of May, FIAT was authorized to coordinate, integrate, and direct the activities of the various missions and agencies interested in scientific and technical intelligence but prohibited from collecting and exploiting such information on its responsibility. (50) The one new T Force operation in the FIAT period was conducted in Berlin in July and August.

FIAT investigators scoured Germany looking for anything that might be suitable war compensation. Once the SHAEF ceased to exist, the organization came under the joint administration of the US Group Control Council and USFET. Mobile FIAT Microfilm Teams were sent to major plants and industrial facilities to copy material identified by FIAT experts as valuable. The targets included human resources. About 1000 Germans – many scientists and technicians from Germany’s rocket and nuclear programs were recruited to work in the USA. (51) German scientists were prime targets of FIAT investigators, whose job included finding suitable candidates for a top-secret program called Overcast. As Simpson reported in his book Blowback, the Joint Chiefs of Staff initiated that program in July 1945 to, according to a military memo, exploit chosen rare minds whose continuing intellectual productivity we wish to use.

Overcast evolved into Operation Paperclip. It was the responsibility of FIAT investigators to screen German scientists, supposedly to ensure that no war criminals were brought to the United States. Instead, they amended the records of Nazi Party members and war criminals to allow their immigration to America. FIAT provided (from its office in Frankfurt and branches in Paris, London, and Berlin, the accreditation, the support, and the services to the civilian investigators from the Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee (Foreign Economic Administration) who were sent to Europe in large numbers to comb German plants and laboratories for information on everything from plastics to shipbuilding and building materials to chemicals. Also, FIAT often became the custodian of the documents and equipment collected by military units being redeployed from gathering technical intelligence.

The military intelligence projects were completed and phased out in late 1945 and early 1946, but the civilian investigations increased. By the end of the first year of the occupation, FIAT had processed over 23.000 reports, shipped 108 items of equipment (whole plants sometimes were counted as single items), and collected 53 tons of documents. (52) FIAT separated into its British and US components with the dissolution of the SHAEF. (53) FIAT continued operating until the summer of 1947. The French Occupation Forces maintained liaison detachments with FIAT, and an exchange of information was done through joint Allied operations and trading of investigators. The Russians, in asking for German reparations, estimated the cash value of the FIAT efforts alone at ten billion dollars. (54)


While the British, the Americans, and the French were busy scouring the newly liberated and occupied territories in Northwest Europe, the Russians appeared slower to grasp the opportunity on offer. Although the Russians entered Berlin in the first place and were reported to have their intelligence collection units working in the area, the Americans believed they found their prime intelligence targets untouched when they were finally permitted to enter the city. This was important as many of the targets provided the Allies with intelligence on the Soviet Union. The targeting of such intelligence had become more important to the T Force as the British intelligence services saw the potential of places like German map depots, which would be expected to have up-to-date coverage of Soviet territory. Col Andrew J Boyle, the officer in overall command of the T Force operations in the SHAEF, described the Allied preparations to search Berlin:

We had organized a parachute operation for Berlin purely for intelligence. We had the T Forces with targets in Berlin. We had hoped to jump into Berlin as a part of a larger operation. Obviously, of course, with our agreement with the Russians to permit them to capture Berlin it never came off. As a consequence, we didn’t get into Berlin for some time after the Russians had gotten in there. It was very interesting that the Russians had not organized any such intelligence effort like this at all. All the prime targets that we wanted were still in Berlin. (55)

It should be noted, however, that the Soviets were much more effective in gathering up intelligence, technical information, and staff than previously believed. Several websites provide details of the Soviet search for aircraft technology, rocketry, atomic technology, and raw materials. (56) The work of the intelligence services on these areas as well as counter-intelligence is covered in several books and the current evidence indicates that Col Boyle grossly underestimated the efforts of the Soviets. (57)


While the Allies succeeded in sweeping up a large amount of technical information, much of the information on industrial and technological developments was released to the public and its foreign allies at no more than the cost of copying the CIOS and FIAT reports issued by the various specialist teams. President Truman had established the Publications Board to review all scientific and technical information developed with government funds during the war to declassify and publish it. Post hostilities, the President also ordered: prompt, public, and general dissemination of scientific and industrial information obtained from the enemy. (58)

The Russian Mission to the USA made full use of this opportunity to obtain copies of the information. It might therefore be legitimately claimed that the Soviets obtained much of the information far more cheaply and easily, and in some cases in a more digestible form, through the Americans than if they had obtained the information firsthand. (You should not forget that the Russians in the German-occupied territories at ‘better’ things to do than searching for intelligence …) The acquisition of the scientists and technical staff of the Third Reich proved a more precious treasure; their work in the USA and the UK was more closely guarded by their new employers as the Iron Curtain fell over war-torn Europe.


44. The US Army in the Occupation of Germany: 1944-1946, By Earl Frederick Ziemke, Center of Military History US Army 1975, quoting: (1) Lt Col Joseph S. Piram, Background, and History of Field Information Agency, Technical, 8 Jul 44-30 Jun 46, in EUCOM, T 298-1/2. (2) OMGUS, 7771 Document Center, General History, 28 Apr 47, in OMGUS 21-1/5. (3) Memo, SHAEF, AG, for CG, 12-AG, sub: Ministerial Collecting Center, 13 Jun 45, in SHAEF G-2, GBI/CI/CS/091.1-3. (4) Memo, SHAEF, AG, for CG, 12-AG, sub: Special Detention Centers, 27 May 45, in SHAEF G-2, 383.6-4
45. Aeronautical Science. German Documents.’ By Richard Eells, Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions 3 (4) Aug. 1946
46. Secret Weapons of World War II, by William B Breuer, Castle Books NY 2000, 212
47. Operation “LUSTY”, National Museum of the USAF, Posted 2/7/2011, www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets
48. The Wind and Beyond. By Theodore Von Karman, Little, Brown & Co. Boston, MA 1967
49. Memo, SHAEF, ACofS G-2, for CofS, sub: Establishment of a Field Information Agency, Technical, 2 Jun 45, in OPD, 336, sec. V, Class 104
50. (1) SHAEF, CoS, sub: Establishment of FIAT, 31 May 45, in OPD, 336, sec. V, Class 104-. (2) Memo, Hqs, US Gp CC, for Distribution, sub: Establishment of FIAT, US Gp CC, 14 Jul 45, in USFET SGS 322
51. The 6860th Headquarters Detachment Intelligence Assault Force (“T” Force), by Les Hughes, 1977
52. FIAT continued investigations until 30 June 1947 and continued microfilming until 30 September of that year. The US Army in the Occupation of Germany: 1944-1946, By Earl Frederick Ziemke, Center of Military History US Army 1975, quoting: (1) Background and History of Field Information Agency, Technical, 8 Jul 44-30 Jun 46, by Lt Col Joseph S. Piram in EUCOM, T 298-1 /2. (2) Memo, Actg Ch, CAD, for Sec War, sub: Termination Date for FIAT, 11 Jun 47, in CAD, 014
53. EUCOM, Office of the Chief Historian, Organization and Administration of the European Theater and Its Headquarters, 1947, in CMH file 8-3.1, CA 5
54. The Army’s Technical Detectives, by Maj Franklin M Davis Jr, in May 1948 Military Review, Vol XXVII, Number 2
55. Interview between Lt Gen AJ Boyle and Lt Col Frank Walton, Vol 1, The Andrew J Boyle Papers, US Military History Institute
56. See www.russianspaceweb.com for soviet research into German rocketry and space flight; www.airpages.ru/eng/ru/troph.shtml for Soviet acquisition of aircraft technology; and www.tutorgig.com/ed/Russian_Alsos for the race for atomic research materials and personnel
57. See SMERSH, by Vadim J Birstein, Birebeck Publishing CO London 2011; Special Tasks, by Pavel & Anatoli Sudoplatov with J L & L P Schecter, Little, Brown & Co (USA) 1995; Loyal Comrades, Ruthless Killers, by Slava Katamidze, Lewis International Inc 2003; and Ultimate Deception, by Jerry Dan, Rare Books & Berry, Porlock Somerset UK 2003
58. Executive Order 9568, 8 Jun 45, and Executive Order 9604, 28 Aug 45, in Federal Register, vol. 10, pp. 9568 and 10960.

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