John Robert Ferris

A - M

Ferris, John. "'Airbandit': C3I and Strategic Air Defence during the First Battle of Britain, 1915-1918." In Strategy and Intelligence: British Policy during the First World War, eds. Michael Dockrill and David French, 23-66. London: Hambledon, 1995.


Ferris, John. "Before 'Room 40': The British Empire and Signals Intelligence, 1898-1914." Journal of Strategic Studies 12, no. 4 (Dec. 1989): 431-457.

According to Sexton, this article discusses Britain's "lack of preparation to exploit the potential value of Signals Intelligence prior to World War I."


Ferris, John. "The British Army and Signals Intelligence in the Field during the First World War." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 4 (Oct. 1988), 23-48.


Ferris, John. "The British Army, Signals and Security in the Desert Campaign, 1940-42." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 255-291.

Sexton notes that this is an overview of British difficulties in maintaining communications security in the Western Desert.


Ferris, John. "The British 'Enigma': Britain, Signal Security and Cipher Machines, 1906-1946." Defense Analysis 3, no. 2 (May 1987): 153-163.


Ferris, John. "A British 'Unofficial' Aviation Mission and Japanese Naval Developments, 1919-29." Journal of Strategic Studies 5 (1982): 416-439.


Ferris, John. "Coming In from the Cold War: The Historiography of American Intelligence, 1945-1990." Diplomatic History 19, no. 1 (Winter 1995): 87-115.

The study of intelligence as an academic discipline shows a high degree of integration of the topics and techniques of the subdisciplines of military history and strategic studies.


Ferris, John. "'Consistent with an Intention': The Far East Combined Bureau and the Outbreak of the Pacific War, 1940-41." Intelligence and National Security 27, no. 1 (Feb. 2012): 5-26.

With the outbreak of war in Europe, British military and naval intelligence agencies "were moved from Hong Kong to Singapore, and joined into an interservice organization, the FECB." Britain "rejected the FECB's assessments of Japanese capabilities, which were accurate enough to enable effective preparation, while accepting views on intentions, which were wrong, and shaped by enemy deception."


Ferris, John. "Double-Edged Estimates: Japan in the Eyes of the British Army and the Royal Air Force, 1900-1939." In The History of Anglo-Japanese Relations, 1600-2000. Vol. 3 : The Military Dimension, eds. Ian T. M. Gow, Yoichi Hirama, and John W. M. Chapman, 91-108. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.


Ferris, John. "'Far Too Close a Gamble'? British Intelligence and Policy During the Chanak Crisis, September-October 1922." Diplomacy and Statecraft 14, no. 2 (Jun. 2003): 139-184.


Ferris, John. "'FORTITUDE' in Context: The Evolution of British Military Deception in Two World Wars, 1914-1945." In Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel, eds. Richard K. Betts and Thomas G. Mahnken, 117-165. London: Frank Cass, 2003.

[UK/WWII/Overviews; WWI/UK; WWII/Eur/DDay]

Ferris, John. "From Broadway House to Bletchley Park: The Diary of Captain Malcolm D. Kennedy, 1934-1946." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 3 (Jul. 1989): 421-450.

Kennedy worked as a Japanese translator, including in the Japanese Diplomatic Section, in the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) from 1934 to 1946. His diary from that period is "unusually discreet," but still offers a number of insights into the work at Broadway House, Bletchley Park, and Berkeley Street. The pages from 430 to 444 consist of selections from Kennedy's diaries. Sexton calls this a "very valuable source."

[UK/Interwar; UK/WWII/Ultra][c]

Ferris, John. "Intelligence." In The Origins of World War Two: The Debate Continues, eds. Robert W. D. Boyce and Joseph A. Maiolo, 308-329. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.


Ferris, John. "The Intelligence-Deception Complex: An Anatomy." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 4 (Oct. 1989): 719-734.

Ferris attempts to "mediate" the dispute between the historian, Klaus-Jürgen Müller, and the political scientist, Michael Handel, on the issue of how to assess the effect of deception -- and by extension, of intelligence -- in warfare. The main problem rests in the fact that often the only evidence available of effect/noneffect is circumstantial in nature. Clear standards of proof are needed in such situations.

[MI/Deception; WWII/Eur/Deception][c]

Ferris, John. "Intelligence and Diplomatic Signalling during Crises: The British Experience of 1877-78, 1922 and 1938." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 5 (Oct. 2006): 675-696.

The author of these "case studies of playing chicken" provides some intriguing thoughts. These include: "The strategic literature assumes crises are there to be managed. In fact, they are something to survive.... Crises cause systems failures on all sides.... Crises are dominated by emotion, factionalization, missed signals and unintended consequences."

[UK/Historical; UK/Interwar/Gen]

Ferris, John. "Intelligence and OVERLORD: A Snapshot from 6 June 1944." In The Normandy Campaign 1944: Sixty Years On, ed. John Buckley, 185-200. London: Routledge, 2006.


Ferris, John Robert. Intelligence and Strategy: Selected Essays. London: Routledge, 2005.

Peake, Studies 50.2 (2006), finds that for the author "the role of intelligence in both diplomacy and military operations today is quicker paced, subject to greater confusion, is still vulnerable to false data or interpretation and the refusal of decisionmakers to accept well-documented truth. No revolution has occurred in these areas, and thus the human role is even more important. This is an important work."

Erskine, I&NS 22.2 (Apr. 2007), notes that most of this book's chapters "are revised versions of articles ... that have appeared previously." However, "[m]ost have also been significantly expanded.... John Ferris's work attains the highest standards, as this impressive collection of his personal favorites among his many articles attests. These revised versions reveal his deep knowledge of his subjects, and the wide range of his research." Regrettably, the hardback is priced such as to "put it beyond the reach of most individuals -- and too many libraries."


Ferris, John. "'The Internationalism of Islam': The British Perception of a Muslim Menace, 1840-1951." Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 1 (Feb. 2009): 57-77.

"Between 1840 and 1951, British ideas of an Islamic menace focused first on the political self-consciousness of all Muslims, then on subterranean bodies which tried to bind masses and elites for political ends, and moved to nationalist movements with a narrow popular base, and finally to those with a mass base."


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