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Churchill/MLBE contains:
1 McLachlan's "Room 39" Papers
2 Beesly - "Very Special Intelligence" Papers.
3 Beesly - "Very Special Admiral" papers
4 [Reference number not allocated]
5/1 Papers of Commander Lloyd Hirst
6 McLachlan's "Room 39" - Additional
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British Naval Intelligence Papers, mainly of Donald McLachlan and Patrick Beesly.

Title Beesly - "Very Special Intelligence" Papers.
Reference MLBE 2
Creator Beesly, Patrick (1913-1986), author and intelligence officer
Covering Dates 1938–1980
Content and context

Patrick Beesly was born on 27th June 1913 and was educated at Oundle School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read History and was Captain of 1st Trinity Boat Club. Private education at Bonn, Vienna and Brussels followed. In June 1939 he joined the RNVR as a Sub-Lieutenant (Special Branch) and was appointed to NID 2, the French, Spanish and Low Countries Section. In July 1940 he transferred to the Operations Intelligence Centre (OIC) as Assistant to Lieutenant-Commander (later Vice-Admiral Sir Norman) Denning. There he first specialised in the field of Armed Merchant Raiders, but in 1941

He moved to the critically important Submarine Tracking Room as Deputy to Commander (later Lord Justice) Rodger Winn with whom he remained until the end of the war. After the defeat of Germany he was appointed Staff Officer Intelligence to the Commander-in-Chief, Germany, and served at Flensburg and Minden in the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. He was demobilised in December 1945 and received the American Legion of Merit (Degree of Legionaire); but surprisingly he received no British recognition of his work. He then joined Henry Hope & Sons Ltd., metal window manufacturers in Birmingham, finally becoming Managing Director in 1967. After retiring in 1974 he boldly decided that, as the ban on publishing anything about cryptography and cryptanalysis had been partially lifted, he would produce an account of the work of the OIC. The first fruit of that decision was the book titled Very Special Intelligence (Hamish Hamilton 1977 and Sphere Books paperback 1978) which was outstandingly successful. He followed up with a biography of Vice-Admiral John Godfrey, the DNI under whom he first worked during the war, titled Very Special Admiral (Hamish Hamilton,1980), which also achieved well-deserved success

This section of the Archive comprises the papers and correspondence collected by Beesly while working on "Very Special Intelligence".

Further information

A copy of Beesly's "Very Special Intelligence: The story of the Admiralty's operational intelligence centre in World War II" (Sphere, London, 1977) is available for consultation in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre (classmark 940.548641 Bee).

Index Terms
Beesly, Patrick (1913-1986) author and intelligence officer
Churchill/MLBE 2 contains:
1 Captain Rodger Winn RNVR (later Lord Justice). Letters about him (died 4 June 1972, aged 68).
1 file.
2 Vice-Admiral Sir Norman Denning. Papers and correspondence by and about him. Denning on Captain Winn. . Memo for Donald McLachlan about clash between Admirals of the Fleet Fraser and Cunningham over Captain Winn, with marginal comments by Beesly refuting it.
1 file.
1966
3 Correspondence with Captain S.W. Roskill. Story of disaster to convoy PQ 17, July 1942.
1 file.
1978–1979
4 Correspondence with Rear-Admiral I.G.Aylen. On Winterbotham's book.
1 file.
1975
5 Correspondence about escape of German warships up Channel, Feb 1942.
1 file.
1977
6 Correspondence about HF/DF ('Huff-Duff') by officers experienced in its use.
1 file.
1977–1978
7 Correspondence about Bismarck operation 1941, and the 'Athens telegram' about her destination being Brest. Failure of Gibraltar D/F station to get bearings of her signals, and the incorrect plotting of D/F signals in the Fleet Flagship.
1 file.
8 German correspondents. Konter-Admiral E. Godt . Kapitän zu See H. Meckel . Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz . Heinrich Wesemann . Walter Meyer (not to be confused with F.A.P. Meyer, filed separately. See 2/11). . Jürgen Rohwer . David Enticknap . Map of German Naval Command organisation in Norway. . Map of Tirpitz in Tromso 12 Nov 1944. . Essay by Grand Admiral Dönitz on' The War at Sea', dated 24 Sep 1945.
1 file.
1944–1977
9 Correspondence with Captain G.E. Colpoys.
1 file.
1975
10 Correspondence with Admiral of the Fleet Earl Mountbatten. Foreword by him to book.
1 file.
1977
11 Correspondence with F.A.P. Meyer who worked in B-Dienst 1941-5, on decryption of British signals.
1 file.
1977–1978
12 Correspondence with Professor F.H. Hinsley, author of British Intelligence in the Second World War. Record of interview.
1 file.
1975–1976
13 Correspondence with Dr. Margaret E.C. Stewart, formerly of the OIC, who became a distinguished archaeologist, and her brother Sir Stuart Mitchell, one of the most brilliant naval officers of his generation. Note especially:. Dr. Stewart on a woman working alongside men in Intelligence, and on the organisation of the OIC. . Mitchell on Dudley Pound as 1st Sea Lord ('a disaster') and on other senior naval officers. . Mitchell on adoption of the Oerlikon gun by the US Navy 1940. . Mitchell's remarks on Beesly's book, the Roskill war history, etc.
1 file.
14 Correspondence with Mrs. Daphne Baker (nee Humphreys), former 2nd Officer WRNS. The first German speaking Wren recruited into the 'Y service' (i.e. W/T monitoring). . Account of beginning of that service May 1940. Tribute to Wrens so employed.
1 file.
1977
15 Correspondence with Guy Hughes, formerly of NID 9 and GCCS (Bletchley Park) and after his death in with his widow. Note criticisms of Winterbotham's "The Ultra Secret".
1 file.
1976–1980
16 Correspondence with Air Chief Marshal Sir Edward Chilton.
1 file.
1976–1977
17 Correspondence with The Hon. Euen Montagu, formerly of NID, author of "The Man Who Never Was" (Evans, 1953). Again note criticism of Winterbotham's "The Ultra Secret". 1975–1977
18 OIC. Correspondence with Miss Elizabeth Gant, former member of OIC, 1976. . Nominal List of OIC staff. . Copy of Admiral Godfrey's circular of Sep 1942. . Copies of press cuttings on Wing Commander Cohen (Air Liaison Officer in OIC). . Copies of extracts from OIC Christmas Magazine, produced by the staff, with cartoons and poems.
1 file.
1942–1977
19 Correspondence with Captain P. Tupper-Carey, formerly of NID as Duty Commander, Main Plot.
1 file.
1975
20 Correspondence with Commander R.F. Braidwood. Account of formation of the Merchant Shipping Section of OIC, 1939.
1 file.
1975
21 Correspondence with Commander F.W. Lipscomb, author of The British Submarine (A & C Black, 1954). Paper 'The Submarine Command and OIC'.
1 file.
1975
22 Correspondence with Mrs. Gwen Clark (nee Nash) a member of OIC. Nominal list of naval and civilian staff of OIC. . Extracts from her diary 1938-43 (1939 missing). Letter from Miss D.I. Salmon, also of OIC.
1 file.
1938–1976
23 Correspondence with Captain H.M. Denham, Naval Attache Copenhagen, then Stockholm until end of war.
1 file.
1975–1976
24 Correspondence with Captain J.S. Cowie, author of Mines, Minelayers and Minelaying (OUP, 1949). Autobiographical notes, valuable for remarks on senior staff officers, e.g. Admiral Tom Philips, VCNS. . Account of plan to frustrate 'Channel Dash' by German warships, Feb 1942 . Involvement in 'ruses de guerre'.
1 file.
1975–1976
25 Correspondence with Miss Barbara Brice, Clerical Officer in OIC throughout war.
1 file.
1975
26 Correspondence with Lieut-Commander Eric Fiske, RNVR, Number 3 in OIC Submarine Tracking Room.
1 file.
1976–1977
27 Correspondence with Lieutenant H. McMicking RNVR, Member of OIC Submarine Tracking Room.
1 file.
1975–1976
28 Correspondence with Mrs Margaret Godfrey, widow of Admiral J. Godfrey, DNI 1939-43.
29 Correspondence with Commander P. Barrow-Green, Member of OIC from 1938, responsible for Italian and Japanese Intelligence.
1 file.
1975–1976
30 Correspondence with Commander Sir Clive Loehnis, Head of NID 9Y, then of GCHQ, Cheltenham, member of GCCS (Bletchley Park) and later of SIS. His career outlined. Note strong criticism of Winterbotham's book "The Ultra Secret".
31 Correspondence about Rear-Admiral J.W.Clayton (DDIC) with his widow. Paper 'Ideas on Clayton' by Beesly.
1 file.
1975
32 Correspondence with Commander R.A. Hall (son of Admiral Sir Reginald ('Blinker') Hall, DNI 1915-18), Head of Trade Plot in OIC. Mostly about routing and actions.
1 file.
1975
33 Correspondence with Commander Michael Craig-Waller. German raider plot. . Notes on Atlantis v Devonshire and Python v Dorsetshire actions Nov-Dec 1941 and other German disguised raiders. . Also with Commander R.D. East re Kormoran v Sydney and Thor v Voltaire actions of 19 Nov and 4 Apr 1941.
1 file.
1975–1977
34 Correspondence with Commander G.T.W. Clements, member of OIC.
1 file.
1975–1977
35 Correspondence with Michael Montgomery, re Kormoran v Sydney action 19 Apr 1941 and involvement of S.S. Scharnhorst. Intervention by Admiral Sir Norman Denning.
1 file.
1979
36 Correspondence with Roderick H. Marsden, formerly of Marconi's. Employed to set up a M/F transmitter at Freetown 1942. Story of adventurous passage out.
1 file.
1979–1980
37 Correspondence with Paul Campbell. Story of USS Francis M. Robinson (DE 220) under his command and action in defence of a UGS convoy in Gibraltar Straits 17 Feb 1945.
1 file.
1980
38 Correspondence with Lt. Colonel Don. E. Gordon, US Army, chiefly about refuelling of U-boats.
1 file.
1980
39 'The Future Operations Enemy Section' (FOES). Paper by Vice-Admiral Sir T. Troubridge, n.d. . 'The Joint Intelligence Staff' (JIS). Paper by Captain S.H. Paton, 19 Jan 1949 with letter of comments by G. Fletcher-Cooke 18 Mar 1949. Transcript of tape recording of Captain Drake's recollections of JIS, n.d.
1 file.
1949
40 Small collections of letters, many of them are 'fan mail' after publication of the book, but some contain interesting information or comments. Mrs Erica Adams (widow of Commander Adams of OIC and a cypher Wren). . John Anderson . H.A. Ball re story of HX 212, Oct 1942. . Mrs (?) Joyce Benton. Clerk in OIC. . F.L.G. Bevan. Formerly of NID. Writes about post-war experiences in NID. . Bevan Brooks re his war service, . K.B. Calkin re his war service as Intelligence Officer, Home and Med. . Admiral Sir P Cazalet re Captain A.G. Talbot's dismissal as DASW. . J.A. Davidson, Governor, British Virgin Islands, re destruction of Uckermarck. . Admiral Sir R. Durnford-Slater re war experience in convoys. . J.C.K. Everett re experience in N. Russia. . Professor M.R.D. Foot (author of SOE in France) . John Foster, formerly of OIC. . G. Freimarck, American graduate student, re Lewis Namier in Admiralty. Matthew Hale re experiences at Freetown. . Michael Hulton re error over 'Charybdis Shambles'. . Commander D.A. Irvine re mining of Wrestler and the Roskill history. . A.P.P. Jacques re characters in a novel he is writing; and U-boats reaching Argentine 1945. . Eric Keen re experiences with Army in Norway 1940. . P.M. Kingswell re HMS Fidelity. . Major-General C. Lamplough RM. . Captain D.V. Peyton-Ward (Liaison Officer at Coastal Command HQs): note criticism of Winterbotham's book. . Professor E.B. Potter (US historian) re revision of his book Sea Power. . Richard E. Reynolds re service in Radio Security. . Sheridan Russell re service in GCCS and in Malta. . Captain A.B. Sainsbury re Beesly's book. . Jack P. Mallman Showell re sinking of U.377. Lieut-Commander B. Mitchell Simpson, USN, re his biography of Admiral H.R. Stark. . A.J.P. Taylor - commends books but declines to review it. . Wing Commander J. Weaver re P.R.U. with Sidney Cotton and Paymaster-Lieutenant Whittoe re encounter with A.V. Alexander (First Lord). . John Winton (nom de plume of Pratt) re sinking of Haguro.
1 file.
41 Memo by Beesly to Admiral Godfrey re work in the Submarine Tracking room in World War II (Genesis for 'Very Special Intelligence').
1 file.
1967

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