MI6, Operation Overlord, World War II and a secret kill list

The British National Archives recently released files related to intelligence operations during World War II. This particular set of declassified documents contain discussions about the possibility of the British Foreign Office and Security and Intelligence Services (SIS – also known as MI6) “providing a list of French and Germans who would be priorities for assassination (possibly by Special Operations Executive) at the time of Operation Overlord” (codename for the battle of Normandy).

Charles Peake, attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), wrote to Peter Loxley from the Foreign Office on April 15, 1944 that from the German side Stulpnagel, Runstedt, and Rommel look likely, but there may be some Vichy collaborators whose removal from the scene would assist.”

Another ‘Top Secret’ letter from Thomas E. Bromley to SHAEF’s Peake in May 1944 states:

“If we go on record in any way as having started assassination and having designated victims, there may be a revulsion of feeling later on and the Germans may also take reprisals on our prisoners, a game at which they always win. A further consideration is that if German officials and officers are murdered in France, this may start a wave of murderings which will probably last when we are in occupation of enemy territory, with the result that the lives of members of our control and other commissions will also be endangered.”

Read all the declassified documents related to this here

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