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Series title: Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) publications
AJRP details
AJRP module: Australian War Memorial official records
Location details
Institution: Australian War Memorial
Institution series: AWM55
Series qualities
Quantity: Approx. 4,800 items
Access: Open
Series type: Unpublished, Published, Official
Finding Aids: Published index
Series content
Creation date range (year):1942 to 1947
Conflict code: Pacific War (1941-1945)
Australian unit names:
Allied unit names:
Japanese unit names:
Languages: English
Area:Melanesia (PNG, Irian Jaya & Solomon Islands)
Netherlands East Indies (Indonesia)
Biographical / Institutional info:The Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) was formed on 19 September 1942 by a directive from General Headquarters South-West Pacific Area. ATIS combined personnel from across the services and from the various Allied countries to provide intelligence functions. These included the administration of captured documents, translation and dissemination of intelligence material, and the examination and transfer of prisoners of war. ATIS was intitially based at Indooroopilly in Brisbane, but from January 1943, also established several advanced echelons closer to the battlefields to the north of Australia to provide preliminary examination and translation of captured material, and interrogations of prisoners.
Content:The collection AWM55 contains publications and other material related to ATIS activities. These materials are arranged in twelve sub-series, though only three of these are described in detail in this database, namely: interrogation reports, research reports, and enemy publications. These materials are an invaluable resource for the study of the Japanese experience of war. In most cases, the original documents, from which the translations were made, have been destroyed or lost.

This series contains descriptions of approximately 650 interrogation reports of prisoners of war including: Japanese soldiers, aircrew and seamen; Korean conscripts; and Chinese and Japanese civilians employed by the Japanese army. Prisoners were typically asked a standard set of questions, such as: basic details such as rank, unit, place of capture, by whom captured, height, weight, age, home location, education, civilian occupation, and a basic chronology of their service life. Prisoners were often given one or more supplementary interrogations, in which prisoners were often more likely to provide accurate information.

This series also contains description of 130 research reports, which were typically written in response to specific requests from Allied commanders and strategists. The reports were used to assist tactical plans and Allied propaganda efforts. The reports cover a wider range of topics including: the technical attributes of Japanese weapons and equipment; military operations; naval operations; bombing and aerial operations; aircraft and naval losses; casualties; military geography; Japanese place names throughout the South-West Pacific Area; the psychological impact of Allied tactics; treatment of prisoners of war; the Japanese concept of suicide; entertainment; army brothels; social control in Japan; atrocities committed against Allied prisoners of war; and supporting documentation for the trial of Japanese war criminals. Some of the reports are coloured by wartime propaganda, and should be used with some caution.

The last sub-series described in this collection contains translations of Japanese publications captured during the Second World War, predominately in Melanesia, the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. The enemy publications series contains material on a wide range of topics including: instructional and technical manuals for Japanese weapons and equipment; administrative documents (transfer lists, convoy lists, postal addresses); operational orders; intelligence reports; observations about Allied tactics and general characteristics; field diaries; identification sketches; accounts of lessons learnt from various battles and campaigns; military geography; Japanese morale and propaganda; regulations for handling prisoners of war; battle reports; and accounts of naval and aerial operations.
Other information
Notes: The AJRP database contains descriptions of approximately 1,200 items from the total number of approximately 4,800 items in the series AWM55.
Last modified:10/31/2005 03:26:23 PM

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