From the BRE Archive
Following the end of the Second World War the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-committee was set up to examine aspects of German industry. This particular team was tasked with investigating technical developments in the ‘Heavy Clay and Refractories Industries’. Comprising six members and a translator, BRS was represented by Basil Butterworth (1929 – 1967), then Head of the Brick Section. A total of 54 sites, known as ‘targets’ were listed for possible investigation in both the BR, the FR and US zones. It was not known if Berlin would be included. As well as specific sites, ‘Personal Targets’ of individuals were listed.
Basil was given the temporary rank of Major and flown by RAF Transport Command to Buckenberg on the 10th August 1945. He was supplied with and required to wear a uniform – to be returned on completion of the inspections. Passes were issued for the Commanding Generals Mess at the Carlton Hotel.
B.I.O.S. Final Report No 473 lists the 22 targets that were visited between 13th and 28th August 1945. These included Clayworks, Clayworking Machinery Works, and miscellaneous manufacturers. The inspections concluded that the plants were well designed for a particular output and an outstanding amount of mechanical conveyance was used. Fundamental difference from British practice was that drying was carried out in multi-story buildings over the kilns. The main recommendations were for British machinery manufacturers to visit three particular plants and that firing of klinker bricks should be studied.
Although many published reports are available, it is most unusual for supporting documentation to have been retained. In this case even a flight ticket, security pass and mess cards were contained with the report. These items have been scanned for the Archive and can be viewed on request to any of the Archivists.
Peter Trotman — 10 February 2015
B.I.O.S. Final Report No 473 (7MB)
BREWF.2014.086 German Works and Manufacturers (6MB)
BREWF.2014.086 Investigating Team and Targets (4MB)
BREWF.2014.086 Notes on visit (6MB)
BREWF.2014.086 Targets for Investigation (9MB)
From The Guardian, Wed 29 Aug 2007
How T-Force abducted Germany’s best brains for Britain: Secret papers reveal
post-war campaign to loot military and commercial assets — Ian Cobain
How T-Force abducted Germany’s best brains for Britain (86KB)