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(1) This is a digital copy of a document provided to Robert Bolin by the US Army Military History Institute.

(2) This history was a paper by a student at the Signal Corps Training Center, Camp Gordon, GA.

This history was originally classified “Confidential.”


At the time that this was written, technical intelligence was intelligence about foreign weapons and equipment and about organizations in foreign armies analogous to the technical services. The modern US Army vision of the technical intelligence developed during World War II. The army technical services became responsible for technical intelligence. The technical services were bureaus which supplied weapons, equipment, and services to the army, managed the careers of officers in a particular branch, trained specialists, and organized and trained special purpose military units. There were a number of technical services including the Chemical Warfare Service, the Medical Department, the Ordnance Department, the Quartermaster Corps, etc. The Signal Corps developed, procured, maintained, and operated communication equipment for the Army and ran the Army’s communications networks as well as providing photographic equipment and services. It managed the careers of officers commissioned in the Signal Corps branch. The head of the Signal Corps was a general with the title of the Chief Signal Officer. The office of the Chief Signal Officer was the headquarters of the Signal Corps in Washington, DC. The offices of the chiefs of the technical services were part of the Headquarters, Department of the Army.

During World War II, the importance of studying foreign military equipment had become apparent and procedures for collecting and evaluating of equipment had been developed. Technical intelligence organizations in the Technical Services grew and operating procedures were developed and refined. Technical intelligence came to be defined as production and dissemination of intelligence about foreign weapons and equipment and production and dissemination of intelligence about foreign capabilities analogous to those of the technical services in the US Army.

This history explains how the Signal Corps set up organizations to collect foreign signal equipment and to test and evaluate and prepare intelligence reports concerning that equipment. Much of the history is devoted to World War II when technical intelligence had to be active on many fronts. The history of the post war period explains how the Signal Corps was given the added responsibility for producing intelligence on foreign power and communications grids.

This history was written with the assistance of many key people active in Signal Corps technical intelligence. The acknowledgements contain a list of those people.