SOE Codenames Glossary / Directory

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Chris Murray, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Chris Murray

    Chris Murray Member

    Anyone doing research into SOE documents (HS Collection) at the National Archives in Kew will come across a pile of codenames and although one can usually make sense of it the job of keeping it straight can be maddening. This forum, it is hoped, we become a crowd-sourced Glossary / Directory of all things codename related for easy reference.
  2. Chris Murray

    Chris Murray Member

    To get things started ....I suspect that this is far from gospel and I hope that there are folks out there who can improve upon it.

    I am also attaching a guide posted by Malcolm Atkin, author of 'Section D for Destruction' to his profile. It's already avialable to the public so I don't think he would mind. That said, all credit goes to him.

    SOE Designations

    12-land = Germany
    19-land = Denmark
    21-land = Finland
    22-land = England
    26-land = Norway
    31-land = Latvia
    35-land = Yugoslavia
    36-land = Sweden
    38-land = Serbia
    43-land = Estonia
    46-land = Lithuania
    93-land = Scandinavia
    95-land = Russia

    A of G-40,000 = Maj. Farish, OSS
    A/D – George Taylor - Chief of Staff to CD Frank Nelson
    AD/E = Director of SOE London Group/Head of SOE in NW Europe
    AD/F = [?] London Yugoslav Desk
    AD/H = Director of Mediterranean Operations
    AD/M = Musgrove
    AD/P = Air Commodore A.R. Boyle – Security Intelligence Liasion
    AD/3 = Glenconner
    AD/Z = Lt.Col. F.T. Davies – Army & R.E. Supplies Scientific Research W/T supplies
    A/H2 = Dr. Alfred Heinrich Hugo Julius Becker
    AH 31 = Mihailović
    AH 69 = Rapotec
    A/HA = Julian Amery
    AHG = Alexander ‘Sandy’ Richard Glen
    AL = Air Operations
    AL Air = Operations
    AMX = Massingham Mission
    AQ/F = FANY personnel
    AQ/H = HQ Admin
    AQ/O = Stationery
    AQ/S = Stores and Equipment

    B/B = Delhi Group

    C = Stewart Menzies
    Caesar = Julius Hanau
    CD = Director of SOE; but also refers to SOE's board of Directors. [Nelson, (Feb 42) Hambro]
    CD = Executive Director of SOE
    CEO = Chief Executive Officer [Gladwyn Jebb]

    D = Head of Section D (one of SOE’s forerunners)
    D/A = Administration
    D/AF = Offices, furniture and telephones
    D/AG = Air Raid Precautions
    D/AT = Transport
    D/CA = Arms
    D/CAM.F = Special Supplies
    D/CE = Security
    D/D = Devices
    D/E = Wireless
    D/FIN = Director of Finance [Group Capt. J.F. Venner]
    D/H = Balkans and Middle East (Cairo Group)
    D/H – George Taylor
    D/H 2 = Bailey
    D/H 3 = Leslie Charles D’Oyly Harmar
    D/H 4 = NERO, Trevor James Glanville
    D/H 21 = A.H. Rogers
    D/H 21 = P. Walkden
    D/H 18 = Basil Davidson
    D/H 19 = Robert George Head
    D/H 20 = John Still Bennett
    D/H 24 = Frederick Lawrence
    D/H 36 = Geoffrey Hugh Swinburne Frodsham
    D/H 70 = Boughey
    D/H 72 = H. Seton-Watson
    D/H 94 = Capt. K.J. Elliott
    D/H 134 = Deakin
    D/H 178 = Maclean (also Z)
    D/H 245 = Atherton
    D/H 286 = Robertson
    D/H 363 = Lofte
    D/H 366 = Kebel
    D/HS = Bickham Sweet-Escott
    D/HSS – Stephan H. Clissold
    D/HV = Lt-Col. Pearson [SOE] Head of the Balkan and Middle East Desk
    D/HY = Tom S. Masterson [Head of the SOE Belgrade Office then @ Cairo Balkan political subversion][ii]
    D/HZ = Duane Tyrell ‘Bill’ Hudson
    D/N = Persian staff
    D/O = may be the Minister of State ME
    D/P = Russia
    D/PLANS = Future Planning
    D/PROPS = Land and Buildings
    D/Q = Press Propaganda
    D/R = French, Dutch and Belgian Sections
    D/S = Scandinavia
    D/SD = War Establishments
    D/T = Security
    D/YC = Codes, Cyphers and Telegrams
    D/Z = Shipping
    DM = looks like C-in-C ME / Wilson
    DSP = Special Propaganda Directorate, Middle East
    DSO = Directors of Special Operations
    DSO(B) = Directors of Special Operations (Balkans)
    DSR = Director of Scientific Research
    DSS = Security Special Section
    DT = Liaison with SIS

    E = Director of Services
    E = Equipment & Supplies/Director of Services
    E/C = Codes
    EU/P = Poles abroad, Minorities

    F = France
    Felix = Vladimir Feller

    G-60,000 = President Roosevelt
    G-50,000 = Donovan OSS
    G-50,100 = Sherwood
    G-40,000 = OSS
    G-710 = British JSM?

    H = Spain and Portugal (Iberia)

    J = Italy, Malta and Switzerland

    K = Special Liaison and Far East

    L = Planning and Intelligence

    M = (Operations) Directorate See Bickham Sweet-Escott
    M = Gubbins [?]
    MG = General Staff (London Group)
    MP = Poland
    MS = Communications
    MT = Training
    MTH = Hungary
    MY = Czechoslovakia

    N = Netherlands

    O = Far East
    OSA = Official Secrets Act

    PTC = ‘Put through the cards’, Used in SOE personal files indicating when the subject was negatively vetted, i.e. when a check was carried out of the MI5 card index to see if anything was recorded against the person.

    Q = North Africa

    ResMin Med – Macmillan
    RF = Allied French

    S = Scandinavia
    SO = Minister of Economic Warfare (Ministerial head of SOE) Dalton, Selborne
    STS = Special Training School

    T = Belgium

    U = USA and South America
    UKCC = United Kingdom Commercial Corporation

    V/CD = Brig. Stawell

    W = East and West Africa
    Wix = Brig. Armstrong (BLO to Mihalovic)

    X = Germany and Austria

    YM = Military Attaché
    YP = Embassy / Ambassador

    Z[?] = seems to refer to outside ministries
    ZA – The RCAF / Air ministry / COAS Sinclair
    ZC = UKCC Headquarters
    ZE = Ministry of Economic Warfare (MEW) Headquarters
    ZM = War Office
    ZN = [?] Navy ; One of them has to the Navy
    ZP = Foreign Office
    ZNO = Zone non-occupée (Vichy France)
    ZO = Zone occupée (Occupied France)

    SOE Individuals
    CD is the Director of SOE; but also refers to SOE's board of Directors.
    [I have letters from Selborne – (including one to CD ?possibly) that seem to suggest I am not necessarily correct here]

    DM – looks like C-in-C ME / Wilson
    D/O may be the Minister of State ME
    When someone from SOE says “Dear Top” it’s Selborne they are writing to
    Massingham – SOE Station Algiers (est. Late 42) forward stations in Brindisi and Naples
    DADDY – Mihailović commander, Split area
    ME – Middle East?

    FO files list Prince Paul as “F”

    FO Files: Moley = O. Sargent

    Pimlott, Diary of Hugh Dalton, 243, 253

    [ii] Pimlott, Diary of Hugh Dalton, 236

    Attached Files:

  3. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    A brief SOE symbol list from my website, although I think you've already covered most of them here already: SOE Section Symbols and Code Numbers

    An important note about SOE symbols is that they denote a position (and sections) in SOE and are not always unique to a single person.

    As an example the symbol 'X' firstly represents the SOE German and Austrian section but is also used to denote the head of the section. A couple of individuals were head of the section and were referred to as 'X' while in that role.

    Therefore any SOE symbol may refer to different individuals at different times and conversely an SOE staff member was likely allocated more than one symbol throughout their service.

    Saying that more specific agent symbols usually just referred to a specific individual.

    Another possible source of confusion is the career summary page in an SOE personal file. For example these pages usually note when a staff member was 'Put through the cards', and contain bullet points on their SOE career. Along the top of the page is a list of symbols the person was assigned - however, the very first one listed is the department symbol they were first recruited into.

    E.g "X X.1 J.123" shows that the individual was first recruited into the SOE X section and assigned symbol X.1, later being assigned J.123 - perhaps when deployed into the field.

    4jonboy, JimHerriot and papiermache like this.
  4. Chris Murray

    Chris Murray Member

    Excellent addition!
    Indeed, you're right it's very tricky.

    Many folks have more than one designation which, as you point out often deals with a position. In this case I have tried to represent both. With some of them like CD and SO I have tried to note the position as well as the individuals who held it with dates. The hope is to build from this to make a more comprehensive guide.

    I just realized that CEO = Chief Executive Officer [Gladwyn Jebb] fails to note his replacement by Colonel Harry Sporborg

    My post should definitely be treated as a very rough starting point only.

    My hope is with the help of others to grow this into something more comprehensive and representative of these changes. I am approaching this purely form the perspective of a researcher who is digging through HS looking for files dealing with the subject of a particular country (Yugoslavia in my case). I notice many files where it's just 'A' to 'B" and I wanted to help future researchers who end up in my boat so they might avoid some of the struggles I have had to contend with.

    If we are able to help even a little I would call it a win. Perhaps one day it will lead to the publishing of an SOE directory.
    Thanks so much for your contribution, a most welcome and helpful clarification.
    PsyWar.Org and JimHerriot like this.

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