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James's Park. However, in May , during a row over clandestine Soviet support for the General Strike and the distribution of subversive propaganda, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin made details from the decrypts public. From the mid-twenties, German Military Intelligence Abwehr began intercepting and cryptanalyzing diplomatic traffic.

The FA was penetrated by a French spy in the s, but the traffic grew to a point that it could not easily be forwarded. In addition to intercept stations in Germany, the FA established an intercept station in Berne, Switzerland. German code breaking penetrated most cryptosystems, other than the UK and US. Secretary of War Henry L. It was replaced by electronic encryption devices. The American Sigint effort began in the early s with mounting tensions with the Japanese. Training continued and cooperation with the British began.

By , such was the extent of penetration of Axis communications and the speed and efficiency of distribution of the resulting intelligence, messages sometimes reached allied commanders in the field before their intended recipients. This advantage failed only when the German ground forces retreated within their own borders and they began using secure landline communications. For this reason, the Battle of the Bulge took the allies completely by surprise. Communications security, on the part of the Allies, was more centralized.

The entire German system of high command suffered from Hitler 's deliberate fragmenting of authority, with Party, State, and military organizations competing for power. German air intelligence, during the Battle of Britain , suffered from the structural problem that subordinated intelligence to operations. Operations officers often made conclusions that best fit their plans, rather than fitting conclusions to information.

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In contrast, British air intelligence was systematic, from the highest-level, most sensitive Ultra to significant intelligence product from traffic analysis and cryptanalysis of low-level systems. Fortunately for the British, German aircraft communications discipline was poor, and the Germans rarely changed call signs, allowing the British to draw accurate inferences about the air order of battle.

In addition to the official Allies and Axis battle of signals, there was a growing interest in Soviet espionage communications, which continued after the war. A key advantage was Bletchley's geographical centrality. Joan Clarke eventually deputy head of Hut 8 was one of the few women employed at Bletchley as a full-fledged cryptanalyst. Properly used, the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers should have been virtually unbreakable, but flaws in German cryptographic procedures, and poor discipline among the personnel carrying them out, created vulnerabilities which made Bletchley's attacks just barely feasible.

These vulnerabilities, however, could have been remedied by relatively simple improvements in enemy procedures, [30] and such changes would certainly have been implemented had Germany any hint of Bletchley's success. Initially, a wireless room was established at Bletchley Park. Coded messages were taken down by hand and sent to Bletchley on paper by motorcycle despatch riders or later by teleprinter.

Winston Churchill was reported to have told King George VI : "It is thanks to the secret weapon of General Menzies, put into use on all the fronts, that we won the war! Eisenhower , at the end of the war, described Ultra as having been "decisive" to Allied victory. Most German messages decrypted at Bletchley were produced by one or another version of the Enigma cipher machine, but an important minority were produced by the even more complicated twelve-rotor Lorenz SZ42 on-line teleprinter cipher machine.

Five weeks before the outbreak of war, in Warsaw, Poland's Cipher Bureau revealed its achievements in breaking Enigma to astonished French and British personnel. Each machine was about 7 feet 2. Luftwaffe messages were the first to be read in quantity. The German navy had much tighter procedures, and the capture of code books was needed before they could be broken. When, in February , the German navy introduced the four-rotor Enigma for communications with its Atlantic U-boats, this traffic became unreadable for a period of ten months. Britain produced modified bombes, but it was the success of the US Navy bombe that was the main source of reading messages from this version of Enigma for the rest of the war.

Messages were sent to and fro across the Atlantic by enciphered teleprinter links. It is unclear why the German submarine command believed that frequent radio communications were not a hazard to their boats, although they seemed confident in the security of their Enigma ciphers, both in the initial three-rotor and subsequent four-rotor versions known as Triton to the Germans and Shark to the Allies. There was an apparent, mutually reinforcing belief that wolfpack attacks by groups of submarines were much more deadly than individual operations, and confidence the communications were secure.

On the other hand, the introduction of a new secure communication system would have interrupted submarine operations for a long time since a gradual shift to a new system was out of the question. The Lorenz messages were codenamed Tunny at Bletchley Park. They were only sent in quantity from mid The Tunny networks were used for high-level messages between German High Command and field commanders. With the help of German operator errors, the cryptanalysts in the Testery named after Ralph Tester , its head worked out the logical structure of the machine despite not knowing its physical form.

They devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, which culminated in Colossus , the world's first programmable digital electronic computer. The first was delivered to Bletchley Park in December and commissioned the following February.

New Intelligence Releases: A British Side to the Story

Enhancements were developed for the Mark 2 Colossus, the first of which was working at Bletchley Park on the morning of D-day in June. Flowers then produced one Colossus a month for the rest of the war, making a total of ten with an eleventh part-built. The machines were operated mainly by Wrens in a section named the Newmanry after its head Max Newman. The "Radio Security Service" was established by MI8 in to control a network of Direction Finding and intercept stations to locate illicit transmissions coming from German spies in Britain.

This service was soon intercepting a network of German Secret Service transmissions across Europe. Successful decryption was achieved at an early stage with the help of codes obtained from the British XX Double Cross System that "turned" German agents and used them to misdirect German intelligence. The combination of double agents and extensive penetration of German intelligence transmissions facilitated a series of highly successful strategic deception programmes throughout WWII. Breakthroughs were also made with Italian signals. When Italy entered the war in an improved version of the machine was used, though little traffic was sent by it and there were "wholesale changes" in Italian codes and cyphers.

She solved the signals revealing the Italian Navy's operational plans before the Battle of Cape Matapan in , leading to a British victory. The exception was the Italian Navy , which after the Battle of Cape Matapan started using the C version of the Boris Hagelin rotor-based cipher machine , particularly to route their navy and merchant marine convoys to the conflict in North Africa. They succeeded in deciphering Japanese codes with a mixture of skill and good fortune. In early , a six-month crash course in Japanese, for 20 undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge, was started by the Inter-Services Special Intelligence School in Bedford, in a building across from the main Post Office.

This course was repeated every six months until war's end. After the Normandy landings, Army SIGINT units accompanied major units, with traffic analysis as - or more - important than the tightly compartmented cryptanalytic information.

Allied and Axis Signals Intelligence in World War II : David Alvarez :

Until Central Bureau received replacement data processing equipment for that which was lost in the Philippines , as of January , U. Army or Central Bureau in Australia. Central Bureau broke into two significant Japanese Army cryptosystems in mid As a real-world training exercise, the new analysts first solved the message center identifier system for the Japanese Army. Until Japanese Army cryptosystems were broken later in , the order of battle and movement information on the Japanese came purely from direction finding and traffic analysis.

Traffic analysts began tracking Japanese units in near real time. A critical result was the identification of the movement, by sea, of two Japanese infantry divisions from Shanghai to New Guinea. Their convoy was intercepted by US submarines, causing almost complete destruction of these units.


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It also sent radio operators to the guerillas, and then moved with the forces invading the Philippines. US COMINT recognized the growing threat before the Pearl Harbor attack, but a series of errors, as well as priorities that were incorrect in hindsight, prevented any operational preparation against the attack.

Organizational tuning corrected many prewar competitions between the Army and Navy.


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  • Perhaps most dramatically, intercepts of Japanese naval communications [60] yielded information that gave Admiral Nimitz the upper hand in the ambush that resulted in the Japanese Navy's defeat at the Battle of Midway , six months after the Pearl Harbor attack. Soon after the Pearl Harbor attack, Lieutenant Howard Brown, of the 2nd Signal Service Company in Manila , ordered the unit to change its intercept targeting from Japanese diplomatic to air force communications.

    The unit soon was analyzing Japanese tactical networks and developing order of battle intelligence. They learned the Japanese air-to-ground network was Sama , Hainan Island , with one station in Indochina , one station near Hong Kong , and the other 12 unlocated. Traffic analysis of still-encrypted traffic helped MacArthur predict Japanese moves as the Fil-American forces retreated in Bataan.

    An Australian-American intercept station was later built at Townsville , Queensland. The th was eventually placed under operational control of U.

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    Description The importance of codebreaking and signals intelligence in the diplomacy and military operations of World War II is reflected in this study of the cryptanalysts, not only of the US and Britain, but all the Allies. The codebreaking war was a global conflict in which many countries were active. The contributions reveal that, for the Axis as well as the Allies, success in the signals war often depended upon close collaboration among alliance partners.

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    Policing Politics Peter Gill. Espionage: Past, Present and Future? Eternal Vigilance? From Information to Intrigue C. Controlling Intelligence Glenn Peter Hastedt. Dieppe Revisited John P. Intelligence for Peace Hesi Carmel. Intelligence Investigations Ralph Bennett. This volume is a refreshing exception. While some essays will impress informed readers as more original than others, it stands to reason that these ten essays collectively constitute a fine volume.