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Prisoners - Introduction

Who were they?

Reconstruction U-boat crew in cell

In the early part of the war, only few prisoners from the German Army were held by British Intelligence. The prisoners were mainly Luftwaffe pilots whose planes had been shot down over England, or German Navy Sailors and U-boat crew who had been pulled out of the sea after their vessels were sunk. After the successful D-Day landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944, this unit received many more German Army prisoners, including most of Hitler's Generals. In intelligence reports, British Intelligence referred to the German Generals as 'the guests'.

Over the six years of the war, the three sites of Trent Park, Latimer House and Wilton Park bugged the conversations of over 10,000 German prisoners-of-war, all recorded in over 10,000 transcripts. It was a highly organised and well-planned operation to gain as much intelligence as possible from the prisoners.

Did you appreciate how important the work was at the time?
Did you appreciate how important the work was?
How were prisoners organised?
How were prisoners organised?