M.C. Van Deventer


Upon the establishment of the Union Defence Force in 1912, no provision was made for a military intelligence capability. During the First World War various so-called intelligence units were raised and a Military Intelligence function was established within the General Staff section. After the war, this function went into gradual decline. By 1937, a renewed interest in intelligence resulted in the part-time appointment of Lieutenant Colonel B.W.Thwaites as head of Military Intelligence.

After the declaration of war in 1939, Military Intelligence experienced a rapid growth. Intelligence officers were trained as such and agents were recruited. The Military Intelligence organization was divided into two upon the appointment of a Director Intelligence (Civilian Security) and a Deputy Director Military Intelligence. After initial organizational problems, an Intelligence Clearance Bureau was established. The Intelligence Directorate was disbanded and only the Military Intelligence Sub-directorate continued to exist. An Intelligence Corps was developed for the Mobile Field Force (MFF), from a "shadow structure" named Section Ix within Military Intelligence. In 1943, Military Intelligence was upgraded to a full directorate and was responsible for information, intelligence, security and censorship.


Union Defence Force; military intelligence; Director Intelligence (Civilian Security); Deputy Director Military Intelligence; Mobile Field Force (MFF); Section Ix; information; intelligence; security; censorship

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5787/25-2-250


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