Captured Material in North Africa

Analysis of captured German and Italian equipment, particularly newly encountered panzers such as the Tiger tank in Tunisia, remained a priority for Allied intelligence and ordnance teams throughout WWII. The following brief summary of these efforts is taken from “Intelligence Lessons from North Africa, Operation Torch” by the Office of Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, Allied Force Headquarters, March 1943.

Captured Material

The problem of getting back captured material is a difficult one as fighting units do not have the technical ability to decide what should be sent back and are usually too busy to make the necessary arrangements. In Tunisia, the situation is further complicated as most captured equipment is at once handed over to the French to make up shortages.

The War Department is shortly sending out a team of ordnance personnel trained in the examination of enemy material, to work under the Intelligence Branch at Allied Force Headquarters. It is proposed to have a portion of this team well forward, to be sent to any part of the line where active operations are taking place. They will be responsible for discovering what material has been captured and for ensuring that it is evacuated to the rear as early as possible. The remainder of the team will be at Allied Force Headquarters under the Technical Intelligence officer to arrange for photographs, measurements and dispatch to U.K. or U.S.

It is recommended that similar teams be organized in future for British expeditions with transport including at least one 30 cwt. truck for the removal of material.


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