John Ferris

N - Z

Ferris, John. "Netcentric Warfare, C4ISR and Information Operations: Toward a Revolution in Military Intelligence?" Intelligence and National Security 19, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 199-225.

"Operation Iraqi Freedom provides.the first serious test" of the ideas associated with the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). "C4ISR multiplied some forms of power more than others.... Little, however, seems to have changed below the corps level in land warfare." The RMA "has multiplied American strengths but not reduced American weaknesses."


Ferris, John. "A New American Way of War? C4ISR, Intelligence and Information Operations in Operation 'Iraqi Freedom': A Provisional Assessment." Intelligence and National Security 18, no. 4 (Winter 2003): 155-174.

"In Operation 'Iraqi Freedom,' the success of C4ISR [command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] and IO [Information Operations] was mixed at strategic-political levels, and overwhelming at operational ones, better at action than calculation."

[MI/Ops/Iraq/03; Overviews/Gen/00s/I&NS]

Ferris, John. "'Now that the Milk Is Spilt': Appeasement and the Archive on Intelligence." Diplomacy & Statecraft 19, no. 3 (2008): 527-565.


Ferris, John. "Ralph Bennett and the Study of Ultra." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1991): 473-486.

The author surveys the historiographical implications of the revelation of Ultra for historians. Bennett's Ultra and Mediterranean Strategy (1989) is offered as a model for historians to look to in assessing the Ultra's impact on decisionmakers.


Ferris, John. "The Road to Bletchley Park: The British Experience with Signals Intelligence, 1892-1945." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 53-84.

The author examines "the state of the evidence and the literature on British signals intelligence between 1892 and 1945,... consider[s] how the evidence in the public domain has changed since the Waldegrave Initiative,... [and] sketches an alternative history of British signals intelligence during 1892-1945."

[RefMats/Release/UK; UK/Overviews]

Ferris, John. "Tradition and System: British Intelligence and the Old World Order, 1715-1956." In Imperial Defence: The Old World Order 1856-1956, ed. Gregory C. Kennedy, 176-196. London: Routledge, 2008.


Ferris, John. "The 'Usual Source': Signals Intelligence and Planning for the Eighth Army 'Crusader' Offensive, 1941." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 84-118.

The author seeks to "demonstrate that intelligence," especially signals intelligence, "was fundamental" to the "strategy of [Eighth] Army authorities in Cairo during ... their planning for 'Crusader.'" What was "really gained from intelligence was the ability to intervene before the enemy struck Tobruk, and the knowledge that the enemy could not fight a prolonged battle of attrition. These were significant gains."


Ferris, John. "Whitehall's Black Chamber: British Cryptology and the Government Code and Cypher School, 1919-29." Intelligence and National Security 2, no. 1 (Jan. 1987): 54-91.

"[I]n the 1920s the GCCS was at least as able as, and quite possibly superior to, any other cryptological organisation in the world. Despite its flaws of the 1930s it remained efficient, and more than able to take full advantage of the cryptological windfall which it received in 1939."


Ferris, John. "'Worthy of Some Better Enemy?': The British Estimate of the Imperial Japanese Army, 1919-41, and the Fall of Singapore." Canadian Journal of History 28 (1993): 223-256.


Ferris, John, and Michael I. Handel. "Clausewitz, Intelligence, Uncertainty and the Art of Command in Military Operations." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 1 (Jan. 1995): 1-58.

This article explores (1) "the connections between intelligence, the conduct of military operations and the art of command" as reflected in the arguments of Clausewitz; (2) in the modern era, using Drea's MacArthur's Ultra as a case study of the use and misuse of intelligence; and (3) in the future. The authors suggest that intelligence can be used to reduce uncertainty and thereby affect the actions of generals. The article also contains a detailed "review" of the merits of Drea's work.


Ferris, John, and Uri Bar-Joseph. "Getting Marlowe to Hold His Tongue: The Conservative Party, the Intelligence Services and the Zinoviev Letter." Intelligence and National Security 8, no. 4 (Oct. 1993): 100-137.

The debate, which began in 1928 of an event in October 1924, goes on, after all these years! "In 1966-67,... Chester,... Fay and ... Young[] concluded that the Zinoviev Letter was a forged document, deliberately leaked to the press in order to destroy the election chances of the Labour Party.... By the mid-1970s, however, some of the relevant government documents were released and this case as a whole was crushed.... Crowe and Christopher Andrew separately refuted every argument used to prove that the Zinoviev Letter was primarily a forgery." This is not the same, however, as saying it has been proved to have been authentic. The article represents a new marshalling of facts, with analysis and speculation.

West, I&NS 9.3/595-596, provides a response to the criticism in this article of the lack of footnoting, etc. in his work: "There is certainly no need for the [speculation], which make[s] the Ferris/Bar-Joseph concoction, with all its absurdities, so unpalatable." Ferris and Bar-Joseph reply in I&NS 9.3/597-602: "Mr. West mistakes abuse for argument, name-dropping for evidence and his own opinion for authority.... [S]erious historians do not take MI5 and MI6 seriously."


Ferris, John Robert, ed. The British Army and Signals Intelligence during the First World War. London: Army Records Society, 1992. Wolfeboro Falls, NH: Alan Sutton Publishing, 1992.

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