Monday, October 29, 2012

Bradsher on the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS)

Greg Bradsher recently had an interesting post on The Text Message (one of the National Archives blogs) called "Seventy Years Ago: Colonel Sidney F. Mashbir and the Allied Translator and Interpreter  Section (ATIS), September - October 1942" available here. It begins:
Seventy years ago, on September 19, 1942, one of the most important intelligence organizations in the Southwest Pacific Area was created and not long afterwards its commander, Sidney F. Mashbir, arrived in the theater to take command of it.  This was the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section, commonly referred to as ATIS. 
After the Allied Forces seized the offensive in the Southwest Pacific Area, the increasing number of prisoners and documents captured necessitated the consolidation and expansion of such Allied linguistic units as already existed.  As a result, General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, issued on September 19, 1942, a directive establishing the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) as a centralized intelligence organization composed primarily of language personnel and designed to systematize the exploitation of captured documents and the interrogation of prisoners of war.  
A manual created by the ATIS concerning the restoration of captured records was earlier featured here.