The Innards of Intelligence II–Intercepted Radio Messages

Much ink has been spilled over the famous 3./N56 (3rd company, Corps Signals Battalion 56), under the command of Captain Seebohm, Rommel’s radio interception company.  I have below appended an actual intercept note, and translated it. Every day there would have been a number of these, which were submitted to the Ic (Staff Officer Intelligence) of Panzergruppe Afrika, and which he used to build the intelligence picture of the enemy’s position, situation, and intent. While relevant information seems to have been passed on immediately, it was also neatly typed up and comments were added (in brackets) based on previous intel results.The example below is of this variety. I am guessing these were handed into the Ic once or twice a day.

The ability to break Empire troop codes and the relative lack of discipline of Empire troop signallers, made it relatively easy to assemble orders of battle, and be well informed about the other side of the hill. You can find a short overview of the history of this unit at this link (note where it refers to FAK621, this would have been 3./N56 in 1941).

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17 Jan 42 Received 15.00 hours
Intercepted Radio Message from 3.N.56
RASC Company of 2nd Armoured Brigade to Supply Officer 11.15 Hours
8th Field Regiment (formerly 1st Army Tank Brigade) and 2n S.A. AT Rgt. (formerly Gialo Group) are now with the Brigade. I have ammunition for 8th Field Regiment but not yet for 2nd S.A. AT Rgt.