How much remains classified?

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JKindred
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by JKindred » 11 May 2011 21:51

phylo_roadking wrote:
It would make sense that code breaking and its methods are so sensitive issues that secrecy even 70 years later may feel justified. At least if you're a government official.


And of course preserve the reputation of a beloved father of the nation like FDR who might have given the orders to spy on an ally...


Or the other way around with Churchill being the benefactor of the information.

The source rather than the informaton itself giving reason for classification could be as simple as the angle of a photograph showing, in the cases of photos I dealt with in the early 80s, Soviet armor on training exercises. The classification was given to protect the individual who took the photo. Given the angles and locations it would have been quite easy for the KGB or Stasi to learn the location of the photographer and arrest him for providing information.
Books: The original search engine.

Interested in original M1918 BAR and M1917A1 BMG related items.

ninaszabo
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by ninaszabo » 22 Mar 2015 19:00

This is an interesting thread thanks for posting it.

I have become interested in declassified material regarding ww2, especially as I believe that many things and info still remains to be revealed.

It would most certainly help if info was declassified sooner than the 100 years.

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thatfloridaguy
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by thatfloridaguy » 10 May 2015 06:48

There is still so much stuff..just for example the the FBIs files on hitler alone was something like a thousand pages. Im sure that there is still a ridiculous amount of stuff that is classified. Im just imagining a warehouse full of file cabinets for like a million square feet.

UMachine
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by UMachine » 20 Aug 2015 22:11

Some material has been agreed upon by all involved to keep under wraps.Shaped the world as we know it today.

Fides Germania
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by Fides Germania » 19 Oct 2017 17:53

Hi Guys,
The gentleman who said that all the Hess papers have been released ( as at 19/10/2017 ) is incorrect. None of the Hess papers are available. At the end of 50 years the UK Govt extended another 50 years!!!!!! There are two locations as far as I know. The Brit. Govt Archives and also the Royal Family Archives have letters/papers relating to the Hess flight.
David Irving used in his book, "Hess the missing years", a bundle of diaries that ended up in US hands in 1945, were not destroyed, and ended up in Mr Irving's hands while he was in US archives researching his book about Nuremberg, "Nuremberg the last battle".
Why the UK Govt hides the facts is intriguing, it can only suggest that they are hiding something.
Unfortunately there are tons of documents, yes tons, many tons of papers that relate to WW2. Many of the historians today can not even speak German, so that's why we seem to read the same rehashed version of events over and over.
It's a pity we amateur historians cant get a good interpreter for cheap and get into the archives ourselves!
The only problem is that the Archives who protect and keep safe all the documents will not let us in. Only ACCEPTED historians are allowed in! So that means that us blokes are out! Now we might understand why we have to read the same old rehashed version of history again and again, unless you read David Irving and a couple of others, mainly German, which poses the bi-lingual problem.
Thanks for all your feed,
Rob from Aus.

tzt4
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by tzt4 » 21 Oct 2017 14:38

For my research of my grandfather's service in Normandy+Northern France with the 287th MP Co (PCS), I found that the 287th and the 294th, were security units for HQ Forward Echelon, Communications Zone (FECOMZ), when it went to Normandy on July 14 (same day as the first WACs), and of the larger HQ COMZ (Com Gen John CH Lee, head of the ETO supply corps) when it arrived from England. Assigned to Provost Marshal, HQ ETOUSA. A great amount of material is in RG498, available on Fold3.com. I'd say that plus Morning Reports allowed me to determine 80-90% of what I wanted to know about his service.

BUT, these 3 possibly relevant RG498 records about ("the MP daily work at FECOMZ") are not. Each says: “Addl. Material will be found on a classified roll of microfilm”

RG 498 File 292 "Security"
RG 498 File 484 Daily Journal, Provost Marshal, Daily Incident Reports, OPMG, ETOUSA, Jan-Aug 1944
RG 498 File 470 G-2 Weekly Report Data, ETOUSA, Jan-Aug 1944

I submitted an inquiry to NARA a few YEARS ago, with no response about when these might be classified. I understand there are probably:
A) records of incidents of US service members brought in by the MPs ( would fall under Privacy Act at least)
B) Methods - Security of HQ COMZ (I wonder how much is still sensitive these many decades later?) as well as some possibly sensitive operations that bleed into the Intel world.
C) Sources - identity of helpful members of local French population, worthy of protection but at some point it could cease.

It would be great if the material could be redacted. I hope to ask again in-person some day in the next year or so by going to NARA II.

Tom Z

Mori
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by Mori » 21 Oct 2017 20:24

Fides Germania wrote: David Irving used in his book, "Hess the missing years", a bundle of diaries that ended up in US hands in 1945, were not destroyed, and ended up in Mr Irving's hands while he was in US archives researching his book about Nuremberg, "Nuremberg the last battle".
Irving, even without mentioning the revisionist thesis, is not a reliable historian. His statements tend to lack sources and he interprets way too much.

The material he collected is available on a web site. There is little of value for a contemporary scholar (except, maybe, the diaries of Hughes and Butcher, if you are into the SHAEF history). Even the few interviews Irving conducted himself are of little use.
Fides Germania wrote: The only problem is that the Archives who protect and keep safe all the documents will not let us in. Only ACCEPTED historians are allowed in!
Sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory... But truth is the opposite: Archives are open and there is no roadblock for anyone to access them. I have visited enough of them to tell. Main hurdle is actually to know where to look: the war diary of a given unit is not always the best place to understand what happens. It takes time and quite some trial and error to spot where the information you want are filed.

Also, I believe most scholars think global and have no mindblock travelling abroad to get data. What you don't find in the UK you can often find in the US or in Canada. What you don't fine at NARA II may just be at War College or at West Point Library. Etc.

Mori
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by Mori » 21 Oct 2017 20:28

tzt4 wrote: A great amount of material is in RG498, available on Fold3.com. I'd say that plus Morning Reports allowed me to determine 80-90% of what I wanted to know about his service.

BUT, these 3 possibly relevant RG498 records about ("the MP daily work at FECOMZ") are not. Each says: “Addl. Material will be found on a classified roll of microfilm”
Fold3.com only published a very limited series of documents, more or less what was unclassified in 1980 or so. Don't consider it reliable when they mentioned "classified rolls": these rolls are not anymore. And... I believe that the originals (rather than microfilms) are at NARA.

tzt4
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by tzt4 » 22 Oct 2017 03:48

Mori wrote:
tzt4 wrote: A great amount of material is in RG498, available on Fold3.com. I'd say that plus Morning Reports allowed me to determine 80-90% of what I wanted to know about his service.

BUT, these 3 possibly relevant RG498 records about ("the MP daily work at FECOMZ") are not. Each says: “Addl. Material will be found on a classified roll of microfilm”
Fold3.com only published a very limited series of documents, more or less what was unclassified in 1980 or so. Don't consider it reliable when they mentioned "classified rolls": these rolls are not anymore. And... I believe that the originals (rather than microfilms) are at NARA.
Thanks Mori. That is actually encouraging. Guess I'll find out for sure when I can make it there.
Tom

Larry D.
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by Larry D. » 23 Oct 2017 00:36

Hi Mori -

From my own experiences at NARA downtown, Suitland and then College Park, the Library of Congress, NASM/Smithsonian WashDC, at Carlisle Barracks near Harrisburg, at AFHRA Maxwell outside of Montgomery, and at BA-MA Freiburg im Breisgau, PRO (BNA) Kew/London - dozens of research trips in all beginning in 1979 - the consensus among WWII researchers and archivists is that misfiled and mis-stored material are the biggest problem. But this is not to say that it is the only problem. The CIA reportedly still holds a large amount of the sogenannt "Gehlen" Abwehr documents (hundreds of boxes, it is said) and have never been able to find them so they could be turned over to NARA for cataloging. The Library of Congress supposedly "misplaced" a large collection of WWII material that was last seen in in a warehouse in suburban Maryland in the early 1970's but not since.

So there are probably a lot of documents that we may never see and are lost for all time.

L.

Mori
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by Mori » 23 Oct 2017 20:34

Larry D. wrote:H
From my own experiences at NARA downtown, Suitland and then College Park, the Library of Congress, NASM/Smithsonian WashDC, at Carlisle Barracks near Harrisburg, at AFHRA Maxwell outside of Montgomery, and at BA-MA Freiburg im Breisgau, PRO (BNA) Kew/London - dozens of research trips in all beginning in 1979...
I don't dare ask when you were born ;)

What publications did all this research lead to? Just curious - take this as a genuine question.

Larry D.
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by Larry D. » 23 Oct 2017 23:33

Mori -

I was already 41 in 1979. I remember WWII quite well.

Four books between 2007 and 2012, some articles and lots and lots of reference material on the internet. You can find the latter on web site http://www.ww2.dk. Go to the menu along the left margin of the home page and click on "Luftwaffe Officer Career Summaries" and on "Luftwaffe Airfields 1935-45".

Henry L. deZeng IV

steve248
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Re: How much remains classified?

Post by steve248 » 08 Nov 2017 12:58

The problem with classified and declassified documents depend on the nature of what you are looking for. Here in the UK for example at UK National Archives I doubt there is very little WW2 military campaign material that is not available to researchers.

My declassification problem stems from the the security service (MI 5) and secret intelligence (MI 6) files. MI 5 have had a declassification program going for almost 20 years, releasing "Name Files", "Subject Files" and "Policy Files". The "Name Files" are over 4,000 now but WW2 intelligence officers, maybe 250. Where are the other approx. 10,000? How do I know the number - in 1944 they began a new numbering series for these men and women beginning at PF600,000; the last number I have seen is PF 611,000 or so. The numbers by the way are on the file covers.

MI 6 files are usually declassified under a Foreign Office Undersecretary of State reference (FO 1090). These files are hardly of great WW2 interest.
In an effort to keep the names of MI 6 officials secret, including those from 1945, where they appear in other files these are literally cut out, or blocked out and only a photocopy of that page appears in the file. However they are not always as clever as they think they are.

Another post above mentions the Rudolf Hess files available at UK National Archives. What a disappointment. The files released as far as I recall do not have any missing pages according to the minute sheet listing the enclosures. Unless there is another set of files still classified, the government would have us believe Rudolf Hess was never interrogated in Britain. Seems far fetched to me, but then, other files about leading Nazi government ministers make no mention of Hess. So just maybe he was not interrogated.

There is a FOI system in place at UK NA and at Government ministries. Unfortunately MI 5, MI 6 and GCHQ are excluded.

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