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 US Army Intelligence Bulletins 1942-45

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PostSubject: US Army Intelligence Bulletins 1942-45   US Army Intelligence Bulletins 1942-45 EmptySun 26 Feb 2012, 14:02

This site has the monthly intelligence bulletins issued by the US Army during WW2,with regular updates on enemy weapons and tactics and the experiences of Allied soldiers in combat.The site is still being updated and not all of the articles are as yet online.

http://www.lonesentry.com/intelbulletin/index.html

and the home page;

http://www.lonesentry.com/
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PostSubject: Re: US Army Intelligence Bulletins 1942-45   US Army Intelligence Bulletins 1942-45 EmptySun 10 Nov 2019, 18:44

One wonders just how effective these bulletins were. No doubt the issues detailing enemy weaponry and tactics were of great use but some of the others relating to morale and comments by enemy prisoners-of-war etc seem less obvious and possibly dubious in their value. For instance, the mini-biographies of field marshals Erwin Rommel and Semyon Timoshenko from the October 1942 issue are quite odd:

Who they are

Rommel’s biography is factually incorrect for a start claiming that he was ‘a Nazi party organizer, and later headed Hitler's personal police’ which was untrue. It then goes on to depict Rommel as a mercurial military genius and leader of the famous ‘Ghost Division’.  One wonders if this would have actually had a demoralizing effect both on the officers and men whose job it was then to confront him.
 
The biography of Soviet general Timoshenko is equally odd. This was meant be an ally of the US and yet the most significant military achievement they could attribute to him was that he had been responsible for ‘the cracking of the Mannerheim Line’.  Despite its grand sounding name, the Mannerheim Line was not to be confused with, say, the Maginot Line or the Siegfried Line. The Mannerheim Line comprised barely a few shallow trenches with hastily improvised log and twig barriers strung across narrow isthmuses between lakes. Furthermore, this line had been ‘cracked’ during Stalin’s aggressive invasion launched not only before the US had entered the Second World War but even before Germany and the Soviet Union were at war with each other. It had taken place during the Winter War of 1939-40 and against the tiny army of democratic Finland. Any American soldier reading that particular bulletin could well have been forgiven for thinking “With friends like these …”

Some of the bulletins are actually quite comical. In the February 1943 issue, for example, one Japanese officer, having been taken prisoner, is reported to have said that he wanted to commit suicide and after having been told that that wasn’t allowed he then replied in which case he’d like to have his hair cut:

Comments by prisoners

I suppose such a report was perhaps needed to try to diffuse the view, widespread among US troops at the time, that Japanese soldiers were as likely to try a sneak attack after having ‘surrendered’ and thus ‘the only good Jap is a dead Jap’. This phenomenon could lead to cases of soldiers not taking prisoners (to use a euphemism). Quite apart from any consideration regarding the Geneva Conventions (and older codes of war) this was particularly anathema to the intelligence community for whom a living prisoner to interrogate or eavesdrop upon was simply invaluable. In other words, it seems to have been an attempt to humanise the enemy in what was otherwise a dehumanising campaign.
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