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MI19 was a section of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence, part of the War Office. In World War II it was responsible for obtaining information from enemy prisoners of war.

It was originally created in December 1940 as MI9a, a sub-section of MI9. A year later, in December 1941, it became an independent organisation, though still closely associated with its parent.[1]

MI19 had Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centres (CSDIC) at Beaconsfield, Wilton Park and Latimer as well as a number overseas.[2]

MI19 operated an interrogation centre in Kensington Palace Gardens, London, commanded by Lt. Col. Alexander Scotland OBE, known as the "London Cage". It was a subject of persistent reports of torture by the prisoners confined there, which included war crimes suspects from the SS and Gestapo held in the facility after World War II.[3]

The BBC reported that MI-19 staff were sent to the Channel Islands in 1945 to look for evidence of collaboration during the German occupation. The intent may have been to silence speculation. The Channel Islands were demilitarised by Britain when France fell, and were occupied by substantial German forces. The islands had no strategic value, unlike Malta, and any tactical value would have been outweighed by the effort to maintain forces there. The Channel Islands did contribute to the war effort, by tying up large numbers of German troops who were not available for more aggressive military tasks. There was also a very substantial investment in fortifications, all of which were in the end pointless.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Foot, M.R.D; Langley, J.M (1979). MI9 : Escape and Evasion 1939-1945. London: Book Club Associates. 
  2. Hoare, Oliver (2000). Camp 020: MI5 and the Nazi Spies - The Official History of MI5's Wartime Interrogation Centre. London: Public Record Office. ISBN 1-903365-08-2. 
  3. Scotland, A.P. (1957). The London Cage. London: Evans Brothers Ltd. 
  4. "Churchill sent MI-19 to find evidence of collaboration". BBC News. London: British Broadcasting. 20 December 2010. http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/jersey/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8674000/8674493.stm. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 

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