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  #1  
Old 06-27-2000, 01:53 PM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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From 12 O'clock High!:

Artie Bob
End of war document collection
Thu Jun 1 13:15:49 2000


Actually there was a well organized effort to collect documents at the end of the European war, althought the main thrust was technical and war crimes related and
less toward military operational items. My current main interest is in the Allied captured document center in Paris, which was used by ADI(K) (and distributed to other
RAF intelligence sections), USSBS, and USN ONI for starters. IMHO it was probably used by CIOS, War Crimes Tribunal, etc. If there can be found records of this
organization, it seems likely that the accessions lists of what documents were held and their destinations might be possible. I have seen copies of some of the ADI
(K) lists from this source.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2000, 06:07 PM
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From 12 O'clock High!:

Artie Bob
German documents
Sat May 20 02:45:37 2000


I have never done research in GB, but much of the original documentary material related to a/c production went there. I have looked at accesssion lists for
ADI(K)captured documents and the descriptions indicated that much of the W.nr. and Stkz info I have been searching for was in captured documents transferred after
the end of the war to the British AI branch dealing with Luftwaffe production. I do not have any idea whether the original documents are still in GB (probably not) or
whether they might have been microfilmed. There were also additional destinations for captured documents including the war crimes investigators and an Allied
captured document repository in Paris. Apparently, the JFM technical library in its entirety was absorbed into the US Library of Congress. One of my next USA
search destinations will be the US Navy shipyard in DC. IMHO the only "mother lode" left is in the USSR archives and I do not hold out much hope of ever seeing
much of that material. However, there are "pockets" of information scattered in various US archives which at first glance would not seem to be sources for Luftwaffe
information. Hopefully, after 50 years of looking, I am getting more knowlegeable how to search, but there is just so much stuff to go through. I have no concerns that
as I retire, I will not be able to fill up the next 20 or 30 years with research on the Luftwaffe.
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2000, 09:02 PM
Jaap Woortman Jaap Woortman is offline
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In Die deutsche Luftwaffenführung 1935-1945 von Horst Boog I found at page 13 a footnote saying:"Vgl. Robert Endres: Zum Verbleib der Luftwaffenakten beim Zusammenbruch 1945 und danach, in: Fünfzig Jahre Luftwaffen- und Luftkriegs-Geschichtschreibung, S.29:"Bis zum 8.Mai 1945 hatte die Luftwaffe also den Befehl, alle für den Feind wichtigen Unterlagen zu verbrennen, weitgehend ausgeführt". First gives this the reason why there are so few documents left and secondly there is an article about Luftwaffenakten after the war. Does anyone know this article?

Jaap

In translation:"See Robert Endres: The place of Luftwaffe files at the collapse in 1945 and afterwards, in: Fifty years Luftwaffe- and Airwar-History Writing, Page 29:"Till Mai 8th, 1945 the Luftwaffe had alsmost executed the order to burn all papers that could be important to the enemy".

[This message has been edited by Jaap Woortman (edited 15 July 2000).]
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2000, 02:12 AM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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Dear Jaap,

First, can you or anyone translate this into English? Second, I can't tell that there is a relationship to the archives at the postwar center in Paris. If there isn't, I suggest reposting as a separate topic with an appropriate topic description - in English, please, except where you are quoting a specific organization or document which happens to be in German.

Regards,
Richard
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  #5  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:45 AM
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From 12 O'Clock High!:

Steve Coates
French Intelligence / Disarmament
Sat Aug 25 18:50:46 2001


On a number of occasions I have asked French researchers whether any documents or photos exist covering the material the French evaluated at the end of the war. These requests have always drawn a blank yet several targets must have been identified in the French Zone and reports compiled - factories, workshops, airfields etc. I am unaware of the existence of any reports of this nature. Equally, the French must have chronicled their disarmament activities. Can anyone point me in the direction of this material ?
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  #6  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:47 AM
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From TOCH!:

christophe gelis
gelis@istar.fr
Re: French Intelligence / Disarmament
Tue Aug 28 05:44:57 2001


In the december 2000/january 2001 issue of "Histoire de guerre" (number 11) you can find an article of Philippe Varnoteaux about the french "scientific mission" which try to collect german material before the US one.
you can contact me, if you want the email address of this magazine.
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:48 AM
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From TOCH!:

Lucien Morareau
lucien.morareau@wanadoo.fr
German materials in French hands
Sun Aug 26 16:02:49 2001


In the September issue of Le Fana de l'Aviation, you will find an article written by Olivier Huwart which explain how a French mission "captured" Willy Messerschmitt in 1945. You may find some answers to your questions. Of course the article is written in French...
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:49 AM
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From TOCH!:

Artie Bob
German Documents in France
Sun Aug 26 13:17:18 2001


This probably is not an answer to your question, but may point you in a direction that may help. Much of the French territory occupied by the Germans was liberated by US and British forces. Moving with and sometimes attached to these forces were a number of specialized "intelligence exploitation" teams collecting material of many types. Some of the results can be seen in the records of the war crimes trials, CIOS reports, RAF, USAAF, USN, USSBS, etc. In Paris, was a collection center which apparently acted as a clearing house for material from both liberated areas (i.e.,France, Belgium, Netherlands),as well as occupied territory. Allied intelligence and other organizations, would evaluate, sometimes microfilm, and in some cases requisition this material, going to the USA or GB. Possibly some of this material also went to France. I have searched to see if the records of this facility exist somewhere. I have seen some accession lists of documents which, as a Luftwaffe researcher would tempt me to trade various parts of my anatomy for an opportunity to copy. My guess is the good stuff (at least by the standards of the 1945 clientele) was carted away and we have a pretty good idea of what happened to that, but a certain residual was left over. What happened to that and where it went is my quest. If you have any ideas, please let me know.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:50 AM
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From TOCH!:

Rabe Anton
Postwar Disposition of Documents
Mon Aug 27 00:16:16 2001


Steve,

Please permit me an extended commentary on your question and a recommendation that should be absolutely essential to any really serious Luftwaffe researcher. After writing these lines, I hope my dear friend Larry de Z will chime in with amendments, for no authority active today knows more than he about Luftwaffe materials in Allied hands. . . .
Larry would, I think, bow as I do in the direction of Fhr. Harry Fletcher, but Fhr. Fletcher has been retired some dozen years now. . . .

It appears likely that the very small contingent of French troops involved in liberating the continent tended to preclude the French seizure of any significant quantity of German documents or of much a technical intelligence operation. Historically speaking, the French eventually were given a zone of occupation in postwar Europe that far exceeded the area initially liberated by them. No doubt this was done for purely political reasons, that is, to maintain chummy relations in the tense postwar period. It would seem, however, that the French occupation of the aviation complexes on the Bay of Biscay and in southern France would have swept up at least a small collection of captured German materials. . . .

One would expect German technical intelligence materials to have found their way to the Centre d'Évaluation de Vol
(CEV), but who knows?

If captured German materials survive today in French hands, the staff of the Service Historique de l'Armée de l'Air (SHAA) at the Château de Vincennes in Paris should be able to speak authoritatively about them. I for one know nothing of what captured materials were retired to the Archives Nationales and which to the SHAA, but the staffs of these institutions certainly should know. I rather doubt that the Archives Naitonales départmentales hold very much, if any, captured German or intelligence-related material.

Having said all the above, there is one little-known but absolutely essential reference to the Allies postwar disposition of captured German records. That is Harry R. Fletcher's essay "The Use of Captured German and Related Records by the United States Air Force" in Robert Wolfe, ed., Captured German and Related Records: A National Archives Conference (Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press, 1968). Every serious Luftwaffe researcher interested in the allocation and postwar perigrination of German materials should give Fletcher's article a careful reading.

RA
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:51 AM
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From TOCH!:

Larry deZeng
French Document Captures?
Mon Aug 27 13:52:51 2001


Steve and Rabe Anton -

Rabe, you summarized the matter in a nutshell as no one else could. I can only confirm your Précis. Representatives of the Free French forces served with the Allied enemy document recovery teams at one level or another during the last year of the war. Very clear instructions dictated that all "captures" of Luftwaffe origin were to be placed in or remain in A.I.12 (Post-Hostilities) custody and assembled at the captured documents centre on Monck Street in London. This included anything picked up by the Free French. There is ample archival evidence to indicate that these rules were following across France and into the Reich, as well as during the summer-fall of 1945 in Germany. As far as anything that might have been taken following the surrender of the holdout Atlantic fortresses along the Bay of Biscay is concerned, I can only speculate that this material was forwarded to London also. Perhaps some of our French participants can further enlighten us on this matter.
Cheers,
(Larry)
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:52 AM
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From TOCH!:

Steve Coates
Thanks for your input
Mon Aug 27 20:08:40 2001


All,

Thanks for your contribution to this thread. Lucien, I shall seek out a copy of this article, many thanks. Yves, unfortunately, your posting did not address my query in any way shape or form. I think it would be more helpful if you did not construe every sentence containing the word 'French' as automatically derogatory. It's a lot easier to live life working from the reverse premise. I certainly did not read Rabe's comments the way you did and am well aware that he's capable of being brutally concise should he choose to be. If you have anything to add which solely deals with the document trail, I should be interested to read it.

Rabe (but thanks also to Larry and Artie Bob), I am largely in agreement with your comments. The only other guy I am aware of who has a knowldge approaching Larry's as regards the document trail is Richard Bateson but I don't know if Richard is a visitor to this board. Richard, if you're out there, I'd welcome your input.

My own view for what it's worth is that French troops did unearth some important caches, notably Messerschmitt but also from my own perspective, Focke Achgelis. The bulk of this material (but not all) found its way back to London where some of it still resides in the Imperial War Museum's GDC (German Document Centre) collection. Certainly, some items were retained by the French, such as Focke Achgelis blueprints. These presumably went to SNCASE but where they might now be is anyone's guess. Some bits and pieces found their way to the MdA, i.e. any number of drawings of unknown Dornier projects.

Equally, during 1945 French Intelligence was undoubtedly heavily involved in interrogating a number of individuals, yet I have only seen snippets from these papers. So it is my belief there must be a good few interesting files at the SHAA.

I would also be interested to learn how the French went about disarmament in their Zone of Occupation as I have never seen this covered. I am quite sure this would have been approached in a meticulous and thorough fashion, so some record of this activity must remain.

All further useful contributions to this thread are most welcome.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:53 AM
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From TOCH!:

Artie Bob
Paris
Tue Aug 28 00:25:39 2001


As I mentioned, apparently before captured material left the continent, it was collected in Paris, where it was accessed by a number of organizations, including the war crimes tribunal. I have sen the lists and dispositions to various organizations other than A.I.2(g). The particular documents I saw had been collected by ADI(K) and microfilmed at Paris IIRC, some but not all was destined for London(and I of course am referring to Luftwaffe related material, in these cases mostly from manufafacturing sources, but I believe I remember afew of Luftflotte origin. Do you have any pointers to the records of this facility? What I really would like to find is if a complete accession list exists. The few lists I have seen appear to be the "raw" input i.e. just description and quantity of materials coming through the door.
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  #13  
Old 09-25-2001, 12:56 AM
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From TOCH!:

Steve Coates
Steven.Coates1@btinternet.com
Slightly off my original point, but ...
Tue Aug 28 20:04:24 2001


Artie Bob,

I'll answer your query as best I am able from what I understand. The manufacturing material (the Speer Collection and the Milch Documents) ended up at the IWM as part of the FD (Foreign Documents) Collection. This was quite heavily used by David Irving for 'The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe' but has now been largely restituted to the BA-MA and can be accessed via RL 3, although the IWM retained microfilmed copies and has an index of sorts to this material. Certain items remain at the IWM such as the 1943 and 1944 Henschel Year Books.

Other technical material, emanating from individual companies, can be found in the GDC (German Document Centre) collection. There are a number of good index books to this material.

Equally, a number of weaponry related documents, principally those amongst the hoard found at Unterluess are also retained by the IWM as part of the HEC (Halstead Exploitation Centre) collection. Again, the IWM has a useful index to this material. I have a representative list of files but this is far from complete.

The operational material went to the AHB (Air Historical Branch) but as far as I am aware has now all been restituted to the BA-MA. AHB translated portions of this material and these translations can now be accessed at the PRO under AIR 20 / 7700 upwards. This material appears to be an exact duplicate of the material available at the AWM.

Equally, AHB microfilmed a number of 8th Abteilung documents and these are available at the IWM in various grubby boxes. There's some interesting material here. I have a catalogue of these if you're interested. Please feel free to contact me off board.
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  #14  
Old 10-10-2001, 06:04 PM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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The following picks up within a thread on 12 O'clock High! and deals with the microfilm holdings at the Garber archives:

Artie Bob
ADI(K) document filming
Tue Sep 4 21:55:20 2001


There was a similar thread, a few days ago and apparently most ignored what I said then. My point was documents collected by ADI(K) , at least some of them, were microfilmed, not at the "Torpedo factory" in the USA, but at the document collection center in Paris in 1945 by US intelligence. These are not part of RG242 and probably are not at NA. I have seen some of the reels and they are very specific as to the date organization and location of the filming.
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Old 10-10-2001, 06:07 PM
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From TOCH!:

Richard T. Eger
ADI(K) microfilms
Tue Sep 4 22:38:52 2001


Dear Artie Bob,

Would you mind telling us just where you saw these microfilms? Could the set at the NASM Garber archives be the same?

The one I looked at, ADI(K) 153, contained a number of items, one of which was item 1305, cataloged as a report on the Me 262 nightfighters, with photos. It actually turned out to be initially as claimed, but also included a bunch of non-related material, all of which was of a technical nature. The Mil designated microfilms, as I mentioned the other day, did contain operational material. I'll try to get a better understanding of the microfilm holdings at Garber when I go back within the next 2 months.

Going back to the ADI(K) microfilms at Garber, it was Larry Wilson, a Garber archivist, who zeroed in on this document. In his searching, he deduced that the item numbers ran consecutively from reel to reel. Thus, he was able to quickly locate the reel that item 1305 was on. A stamp on the first page of this document says:

U. S. NAVY - USSTAF

Microfilm No. 1305

153

Larry believes that the ADI(K) group in London created these microfilms in liaison with or at the behest of the US Navy, as a Navy officer resided where the microfilming was being done.

Hindering locating information on these reels is a lack of frame numbers.

Regards,
Richard
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  #16  
Old 10-10-2001, 06:09 PM
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From TOCH!:

Richard T. Eger
Additional comment
Tue Sep 4 22:41:59 2001


I forgot to mention that the cataloger of the item 1305 document appeared to not be aware that it was composed of a number of documents and that the photos appeared in the non-nightfighter related documents.

Regards,
Richard
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  #17  
Old 10-10-2001, 06:11 PM
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Email from Artie Bob
Tues Sep 4, 2001

I believe that most of what Larry knows about those films may have been what I gave him several years ago. At that time I went through many of the reels very fast, just to see what type of material was there. I gave my hand scribbled notes to Larry and the lady (can't remember her name) as they had no information on the content. Much of it, I had not seen before. Contrary to what Larry says, if you look at the trailers, it is clear they were filmed for ONI at Paris in 1945! Most interesting were the accession lists describing the material collected, and here you would see the notations for material taken by the war crimes tribunal, A (1) a, etc. My belief is the approximately 150 reels at Garber are the tip of the iceberg, or at least was at some point in time. Just how much was microfilmed before it left Paris by US intelligence and where it might have gone is something I am working on. So much for now,
Artie Bob
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2001, 06:13 PM
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Email to Artie Bob
Re: German Records on Microfilm
Tues Sep 4, 2001

Dear Artie Bob,

Thank you for writing to me.

To the best of my knowledge, there were intelligence gathering and probably microfilming functions in both Paris and London. I would really like to know more about these. Were these efforts coordinated? Who was responsible for each office?

As for the Garber ADI(K) microfilms, I think I need to get a look at the leader of a few of these to see if I can get organizational information. ADI(K) put out intelligence reports. To do this, it was necessary for them to gather primary material. Whether the primary material was ever microfilmed, I'm not sure. Vaguely, I think I read or heard that the primary material was eventually disposed of by the British. A lot of stuff ended in the trash bin after interest in it subsided. Just think of the Arado 234 in the landfill at Anacostia, I think it was. We were just fortunate enough that interested folks hung in there at the Torpedo Factory to microfilm as much as they did and that the USAAF very seriously undertook the extensive microfilming of technical reports, the fruits of which are now at Garber. The NASM, NARA, and AFHRA archives are literal goldmines for Luftwaffe researchers. Virtually always underfunded and undermanned, it is not unreasonable to think that these resources are not utilized to the extent that they might be.

Warmest regards,
Richard
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2001, 06:15 PM
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Email from Artie Bob
Re: German Records on Microfilm
Tues Sep 4, 2001

My point is that when I was last there, the Garber people had simply not looked at the content of the ADI(K) reels. BTW, the filming info is on the trailers , not the headers, so you don't see it unless you have gone through the reels. It is not a professional disagreement, it is simply the facts. Look at the reels for yourself. As for helpfulness, the Garber people have always been pretty good to work with, but they are not real knowledgeable on the provenance of the Luftwaffe material. And rightly so, for their first priority should be the preservation of USA aviation history. That they ended up holding the Wright Field German documents is probably a minus for them with the limited facilities they have for outside research personnel to work. My continuing ! interest in how much of the ADI(K) material was filmed at Paris is based upon the descriptions in accession lists of documents that hold the key to several areas for me. How about a Stkz assignment list for Fw 190 or Do 217?, Just an example!
Another Larry, Dezeng, is the undisputed master of RG242, but not all the USA material apparently came by the same route, nor was it handled in the same manner. The information concerning the % of material filmed may well be correct for RG 242, the "Berlin" collection, but may not be for Wright Field. And there are other collections, USSBS, the NA technical manual collection, the JFM library, apparently now folded into the L of C, etc, etc. Some contain only tantalizing fragments, others have considerable quantities of material, depending on your interests.
One of my current projects, running at low priority is a contact in Germany who is comparing the BA documents against the Wright Field document lists to see just how much was not filmed.

Best regards,
Artie Bob
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  #20  
Old 10-10-2001, 06:31 PM
Richard T Eger Richard T Eger is offline
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Email to Artie Bob
Re: German Records on Microfilm
Wed Sep 5, 2001

Dear Artie Bob,

My guess is that you are correct that these were microfilmed in Paris, rather than London, since you have looked at the ADI(K) reel tails. Perhaps I messed up in my recall of what Larry Wilson told me. A check of some of the tails the next time I am at Garber should confirm what you say.

It was on my third 2001 excursion to Garber that, fortunately, Larry Wilson got involved. He had a researcher's intuitiveness to figure out that a reference in the Desk Catalog to Captured German and Japanese Air-Technical Documents (I refer to them as DDC, for short, as they came to the NASM from the Defense Documentation Center in Alexandria, VA) microfilm card catalog, which listed the document as being in RUSN 1305, F...., was incorrect and that the document was actually in ADI(K) reel 153, Item 1305, instead. He seemed to have some understanding as to the history of the microfilms, but it could well be incorrect in spots.

Warmest regards,
Richard
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