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Field Security duties, roles and tasks were initially undertaken by Corps of Military Police (CMP) personnel as Field Security Police (FSP).  With the formation of the Intelligence Corps (Int Corps) in mid 1940, FSP duties and personnel were transferred from the CMP to the Int Corps. 

In the early days  training in field security duties was conducted by the CMP at Mytchett, but it subsequently moved to Winchester as the Field Security Training Centre and Depot (via a short period at Sheerness). This centre managed to turn out 77 fully trained sections by December 1940. 

Field Security (FS) duties were covered by the Manual of Field Security (1943). The tasks included:

(1)  Compiling and using Black and White Lists from information provided from multiple sources including the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), Special Operations Executive (SOE), and Ultra.  Black Lists were for the arrest of known enemy intelligence operatives and sympathizers / collaborators.   White Lists used for the contact with local resistance and friendly persons.

(2)  Arrest and Field Interrogation of Black List/high category prisoners (INT CORPS personnel were often selected for language skills) such as the SS, Gestapo, the SD, local Nazi/sympathizers.

(3)  Searching of captured enemy HQ/Intelligence offices, etc for valuable intelligence information and translation of documents.

(4)  Briefing Division and Brigade intelligence staff officers with information derived from the above.

(5)  Key point security and security investigations prior to operational deployment..

Field Security Section (FSS) units were deployed with the British Army wherever it operated.  Successively in North Africa, Italy, France, the Low Countries, Germany and Austria, and the Far East.  They operated normally at Brigade to Division level and usually at the forward edge of advance.

Operationally, the FSS were responsible to the formation HQ General Staff Officers - GSO 2 (Int), working with the GSO 3 (Int) - and for technical and policy issues, FSS were responsible to INT CORPS (Field).  For domestic issues, the parent formation were responsible for things such as: accommodation, equipment, communications, feeding, etc.

When FS tasks were not conducted, that is for example at home, the security of unit and location became a priority, such as before operational deployments (e.g. Op OVERLORD), and on deployment. When FS tasks could not be conducted due to enemy action, the units fought as infantry, such as in Op MARKET in Arnhem, 1944.

 

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6th Airborne Division Intelligence Officers

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Capt. John Max,
6th Airborne Division

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Capt Phillip Hodgson, GSO 3(Int),
 1st Airborne Division HQ

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89FSS, Training

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Capt. John Killick, 
Arnhem 1944

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Capt. Killick's Patrol, Arnhem 1944

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Capt. Killick's Patrol, Arnhem 1944

 








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