British Government Secret Intelligence and Foreign Policy files
Sourced from the National Archives U.K., this fascinating collection of primary source material enables rich research into intelligence, foreign policy, international relations and military history.
Files date from 1873 to 1953 and include cabinet office papers, daily signals intelligence reports and the files of the Permanent Undersecretary's Department (PUSD), releated to The Spanish Civil War, The Second World War, The Cold War, and The Korean War.
28 June 1919
Signing of the Treaty of Versailles
A file including conversations between Hess and various officials, manuscript notes, translations and records. This specific page notes how the Treaty of Versailles, arguably, the most important peace treaty that brought World War I to an end, was broken in one of the most important categories by Germany; disarmament.
30 January 1933
Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany
This file contains a cablegram which refers to Adolf Hilter as 'Chancellor Hitler', discussing his supposed willingness to abdicate as a contribution to European Peace. The cablegram was intercepted from a newspaper man in New York. sent to Switzerland.
26 April 1937
Bombing of Guernica, Spain
This report is based on information received from the outbreak of the Civil War in Spain in July 1936 until the end of July 1937, details of which are scheduled in chronological order. The report details how "Thirty aeroplanes patrolled the road back from the heights of Solluve to near Munguia dropping bombs in hundreds while a column from Guernica led by 6 tanks pressed heavily on the Basque positions in front of Rigoitia."
First codemakers arrive at Bletchley Park
The file contains correspondence regarding the employees situated at Bletchley Park. The letter notes that some employees "appear to assume that they should be provided with amenities far in advance of those to which they are entitled".
First Enigma messages broken by intelligence officers at Bletchley Park
A file of intelligence reports and related correspondence to and from the British prime minister in the years 1940 to 1945. The file consists of Winston Churchill's correspondence with British military commanders and intelligence personnel on a variety of topics relating to the progress of the war, including the deciphering of Enigma and the need for more wireless operators in 1940.
7 July – 2 August 1945
A file containing correspondence from the Secretary at the Joint Intelligence Committee, detailing evidence of contravention of the Potsdam Agreement.
2 September 1945
End of World War II
A report complied by the Combined Intelligence Committee regarding the prospects of German collapse of surrender. The file discuses how the stragegic situaton for Germany is rapidly deteriorating, and although causes for collapse are undoubtedly present, German national life is still supported behind the war effort, and their support is not likely to break down until the final military debacle is advanced.
Watch the video below to discover what lies within this collection
"Secret intelligence has long been regarded as the 'missing dimension' of international relations. However, thanks to the Secret Files from World Wars to Cold War project, Britain's spies, security agents, codebreakers and deceptioneers are no longer missing in action"
Denis Smyth, University of Toronto, Canada.