Military Police

SPRING 2014

Military Police contains information about military police functions in maneuver and mobility support, area security, law and order, internment/resettlement, and police intelligence operations.

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MILITARY POLICE . 19-14-1 42 W hile World War II was raging throughout Europe and the Far East, the United States tried to avoid taking sides; however, we were providing materiel support to our allies who were fghting. U.S. factories produced arms and munitions for the Chinese, Russians, French, and English. When we fnally entered the war, we were woefully unprepared in many areas. Our standing Army was small, and the Navy was inadequate for taking on the massive German and Japanese feets. The Army had abolished the Corps of Military Police at the end of World War I; therefore, with the outbreak of World War II in Europe in 1939, a military police corps needed to be created virtually from scratch! In conjunction with rising national concern over possible subversion and the perceived need to control hostile aliens, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson appointed Major General Allen W. Guillon, adjutant general of the Army, as the acting provost marshal on 31 July 1941. To meet the demands associated with an army mobilizing for war, the War Department also recognized the need for a centralized authority above the corps level. On 26 September 1941 (now the offcial birthday of the Corps), the Military Police Corps was established as a permanent branch of the Army. 1 Before the invasion of Europe, there were 236 criminal investigation agents—who were supervised by 20 offcers who were also criminal investigators—operating in the United Kingdom (UK). These agents were under the staff control of the Criminal Investigation Branch, Military Police Division, Offce of the Theater Provost Marshal, and were distributed by unit throughout the Western Base Section, Eastern Base Section, North Ireland Base Section, Southern Base Section, and Central Base Section (located in London). At that time, a basic criminal investigation unit consisted of a frst lieutenant and 10 enlisted agents. In addition to the agents in the basic criminal investigation units, 36 individual agents were assigned to various headquarters within the UK. Several reorganizations and expansions of criminal investigation units took place from May 1944 to April 1945. 2 Supplying these investigative units proved troublesome, especially in the area of photographic equipment. U.S.-based criminal investigation detachments were required to turn in their photographic equipment before they deployed and were unable to get the items reissued upon their arrival in Europe. By Master Sergeant Patrick V. Garland (Retired) Typewriters were also in short supply. While one typewriter per two-agent team was preferred, entire detachments often had access to only one typewriter. In addition, some of the handcuffs that were issued were of a British style and were cumbersome and diffcult to use. 3 Taking the crime rate and the number of available units into consideration, the theater provost marshal assigned incoming criminal investigation units as needed. Five detachments were assigned to the 12th Army Group and, in turn, distributed among the armies. Twelve detachments were maintained at the base sections in France, and six were retained in the UK. One specialized detachment—the 27th Military Police Detachment—provided technical support from Paris, but also had a mobile capability. The fve detachments assigned to the 12th Army Group proved to be inadequate. Consequently, in November 1944, the 12th Army Group urged all armies to use the organic criminal investigation section within each military police battalion (previously used only in the investigation of minor incidents) for the investigation of major crimes. In December 1944, all 11-man criminal investigation detachments were converted to 14-man units commanded by captains. In addition, four more 14-man detachments were created by using qualifed men from within the theater. While Field Manual (FM) 19-5 indicated that "Criminal investigators should be provided separate billeting and separate mess," 4 such facilities were not always available. In many instances, agents were required to share quarters and mess with the men of military police battalions. To more readily accomplish their missions, agents were given credentials and authorized to wear civilian clothing or the standard feld uniform (minus the blouse) that was prescribed for civilians in the theater. When in the civilian uniform, agents displayed a metallic "US" collar ornament, but no insignia or rank. Agents generally did not wear civilian clothing outside the UK. Due to personnel shortages, investigations in the European theater were restricted to major crimes—with some exceptions involving criminal investigation detachments along major supply routes. Investigators along major supply routes often conducted crime prevention surveys that extended to supply Garland.1.indd 44 3/28/2014 10:10:53 AM

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