I.S.9 History—A Final Installment

This is a final post in a series drawn from a History of I.S.9 (CMF) in the British National Archives.

I am indebted to researcher Brian Sims for access to the report.

For earlier postings on I.S.9 history, see “I.S.9 History—Organization,” “I.S.9 History—Tasks,”I.S.9 History—Methods,” “I.S.9 History—Communications,,” “I.S.9 History—Agent Choice and Training,” “I.S.9 History—Air Operations,” “I.S.9 History—Sea Borne Operations,” “I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 1,” and “I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 2,I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 3,” “I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 4,” “I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 5,” and “I.S.9 History—Operations in Italy, Part 6.”

After the I.S.9 history’s lengthy chapters on operations in Italy, it offers chapters on operations in Yugoslavia, Greece, Austria, Albania, the Balkans (Bulgaria and Roumania, and Central Europe (Hungary and Slovokia).

The history also includes chapters on preventative training, I.S.9 newsletters, and a short section entitled “THE RESULTS AND THE COST.”

Concerning “the cost,” the report states:

“We make no attempt to assess the cost in terms of money. To do so we should require to know the answer to ‘What is the monetary value of human life and the cost of human suffering?’.

“Nor do we make any attempt to assess the cost of supplies dropped, the cost of operating aircraft and so on.

“We can however set down the cost in human life to I.S.9 personnel in the service of E & Es. Rather baldly it reads:-

“British Officers – 1 Killed. 1 Missing believed killed.
British O/Rs [other ranks] – 2 Killed.
American Officers – 1 P/W.
Italian personnel – 6 Killed. 4 Missing believed killed.

“A number of Allied and Italian personnel received injuries and wounds whilst on operations but fortunately apart from 2 cases (Italian personnel) no permanent injury resulted.”

Finally, a short “CONCLUSIONS,” which offers recommendations for future operations, ends with these words:

“…It is strongly recommended that the goodwill and the intelligence value of the thousands of helpers of E & Es throughout ITALY, GREECE, AUSTRIA and the Balkans is not allowed to go to waste.

“Already the records of thousands of such helpers are in the possession of M.I.9 and at the conclusion of the work of the various Allied Screening Commissions, records of many more thousands will be available.

“It is hoped that, by then, thousands of homes in those countries will have permanent proof in the shape of Certificates of thanks of the gratitude of the British people for the help rendered to E & Es.

“The potential goodwill and intelligence value is enormous and must not be wasted. The Foreign Office and the Intelligence branches of the War Office should be made aware of the fact that in thousands of homes in the above countries there exists a friendly feeling, in a good many cases amounting to love, of the E & Es helped during the dark days of War.

“This feeling which now exists and which, if fostered and encouraged, would be of inestimable value to the British Commonwealth of Nations in the years that lie ahead.”

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