World War II



Calvocoressi, Peter.

1. Threading My Way. London: Duckworth, 1994.

Sisman, Spectator, 7 Jan. 1995, regards this book as "a gruff, old-fashioned memoir of a distinguished, if not outstanding career." Calvocoressi "was admitted to RAF Intelligence on the outbreak of war, joining the Government Codes & Ciphers School.... His description of the work of Bletchley -- not an easy subject to grasp -- is judicious and clear." Surveillant 4.1 says: "Calvocoressi charts a public life of great variety and unflagging interest."

2. Top Secret Ultra. London: Cassell, 1980. New York: Pantheon, 1980. New York: Ballantine, 1981. [pb]

Pforzheimer calls Top Secret Ultra "lean, lucid, and authoritative," while Sexton gives it a "[h]ighly recommended" notation. To Constantinides, the book is "an important additional contribution to the growing literature and knowledge" of Ultra's strategic cryptologic success.

Campbell, John P. "The 'Ultra' Revelations: The Dieppe Raid in a New Light as an Example of Now Inevitable Revisions in Second World War Historiography." Canadian Defence Quarterly 6 (Summer 1976): 36-42.

According to Sexton, the author contends that RAF claims of victory over the Luftwaffe during the Dieppe raid "should be reevaluated in light of ULTRA intercepts."

Carter, Frank.

Commenting on Carter's Bletchley Park materials overall, Christensen, Cryptologia 35.2 (Apr. 2011), finds that the author "has done an excellent job exploring and explaining the technical aspects of Bletchley Park codebreaking."

1. Codebreaking with the Colossus Computer. Bletchley Park Report no. 1. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1996. New ed. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Trust, 2008.

Kruh, Cryptologia 22.2: "[I]ncludes details of the German Lorenz machine and its five pairs of wheels." Christensen, Cryptologia 35.2 (Apr. 2011), notes that this report "is a technical supplement to the Colossus Rebuild display at the Bletchley Park Museum."

2. Codebreaking with the Colossus Computer: An Account of the Methods Used for Finding the K-wheel Settings, including an Illustrated Example. Bletchley Park Report no. 3. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1997.

Kruh, Cryptologia 22.2: "[A] more detailed account of the technique of 'wheel setting' than previously given in Report No. 1."

3. Breaking Naval Enigma. Bletchley Park Report no. 3. New ed. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Trust, 2008.

This numbering is from Christensen, Cryptologia 35.2 (Apr. 2011).

4. Codebreaking with the Colossus Computer: Finding the K-wheel Patterns. Bletchley Park Report no. 4. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1997.

Kruh, Cryptologia 22.2: "Readers should be familiar with Report No. 1."

5. and John Gallehawk. The Enigma Machine and the Bombe: The Story of the Breaking of the Enigma Cipher over the Period 1932-1945. Bletchley Park Report no. 9, rev. ed. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1999. New ed. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Trust, 2008.

Kruh, Cryptologia 24.4: The authors "provide an outline description of the Bombe and historical notes." Christensen, Cryptologia 35.2 (Apr. 2011), notes that this is the least technical of the listed reports.

6. The First Breaking of Enigma: Some of the Pioneering Techniques Developed by the Polish Cipher Bureau. Bletchley Park Report no. 10. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1999. [Christensen, Cryptologia 35.2 (Apr. 2011): Bletchley Park Report no. 2. New ed. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Trust, 2008.]

Kruh, Cryptologia 24.4: "An account of three remarkable methods developed by the Polish Cipher Bureau from 1932-1938, to decrypt intercepted German Enigma messages."

7. The Turing Bombe. Bletchley Park Report no. 16. New ed. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Trust, 2008.

Christensen, Cryptologia 35.2 (Apr. 2011), says this report "explains how the Turing bombe operated and the logic behind using cribs."

Carter, Frank. "Keith Batey and John Herivel: Two Dustinguished Bletchley Park Cryptographers." Cryptologia 35, no. 3 (Jul. 2011): 277-281.

Chadwick, John. "A Biographical Fragment : 1942-5." In Action This Day: Bletchley Park from the Breaking of the Enigma Code to the Birth of the Modern Computer, eds. Ralph Erskine and Michael Smith, 110-126, 475. London and New York: Bantam, 2001.

Ciechanowski, Jan Stanislaw, ed. Living With the Enigma Secret: Marian Rejewski 1905-1980. Bydgoszcz, Poland: Bydgoszcz City Council, 2005.

Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), notes that this "is a collection of reminiscences" in honor of Marian Rejewski, one of the Polish cryptographers who broke the German Enigma machine cipher in 1933 and gave their results to the British just before World War II. The book "is an important, long overdue contribution to the history of cryptology and sets straight the record of Marian Rejewski's role." (footnote omitted)

Clarke, William F. "Bletchley Park 1941-1945." Cryptologia 12, no. 2 (Apr. 1988): 90-97.

Cochran, Alexander S., Jr.

1. "'Magic,' 'Ultra,' and the Second World War: Literature, Sources, and Outlook." Military Affairs 46, no. 2 (Apr. 1982): 88-92.

2. "Protecting the Ultimate Advantage." Military History 1 (Jun. 1985): 42-49.

Sexton notes that this is an interview with Donald B. Bussey, who was the 7th Army's Ultra liaison officer and the author of "ULTRA and the U.S. Seventh Army," in American Commanders and the Use of Signal Intelligence, ed. Arthur L. Funk (Manhatten, KS: Military Affairs/Aerospace Historian Publishing, Sunflower University Press, 1984).

Copeland, B. Jack.

1. "Colossus : Its Origins and Originators." IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 26, no. 4 (2004): 38-45.

2. "Colossus and the Dawning of the Computer Age." In Action This Day: Bletchley Park from the Breaking of the Enigma Code to the Birth of the Modern Computer, eds. Ralph Erskine and Michael Smith, 342-369, 499-505. London and New York: Bantam, 2001.

3. "Tunny and Colossus: Breaking the Lorenz Schlusselzusatz Traffic." In The History of Information Security: A Comprehensive Handbook, eds. Karl de Leeuw and J.A. Bergstra, 447-478. Amsterdam and London: Elsevier, 2007.

Copeland, B. Jack, et al. Colossus: The Secret of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Erskine, Times Higher Educational Supplement, 6 Oct. 2006, notes that “Colossus was the special-purpose electronic computer used by Bletchley Park code-breakers to solve messages enciphered on the German Lorenz SZ 40/42 teleprinter cipher machine, which was code-named Tunny. Colossus entered service in February 1944, but Bletchley had attacked Tunny manually from 1941 onwards. A substantial part of this book explains how Tunny messages were broken…. Colossus includes contributions by the machine's designers and the cryptanalysts … and operators who used it, as well as intelligence historians." This book "is inevitably quite complex at times…, but with application, non-mathematicians should be able to follow most of it"; it "will appeal to anyone interested in Colossus, code-breaking or Blechley Park. Copeland and the other contributors have rightly done … the Tunny code-breakers proud." This review is worth reading beyond its review purpose for the observations on Tunny that Erskine has included.

For Kruh, Cryptologia 30.4 (Oct. 2006), the authors "draw[] on a wide variety of sources to paint a complete picture of Colossus and its wider importance." The work mixes essays with personal accounts; it "is an outstanding, enjoyable book." Cohu, Telegraph (London), 12 Mar. 2006, comments that "Copeland ... gets around the paucity of detail about Colossus by marshalling a multilayered, broad picture of Bletchley's work and personalities, using contributions from eye-witnesses" and academics, such as Simon Singh, Stephen Budiansky and Michael Smith.

Comparing Copeland's treatment of Colossus to Gannon's, Ferry, The Guardian, 29 Jul. 2006, comments that Copeland's work "has the great advantage (if you are prepared to forgive some repetition) that he has gathered first-person accounts from many of the protagonists, which provide a wealth of incidental colour."

Burke, I&NS 21.6 (Dec. 2006), was less pleased by this volume than many other reviewers. He notes that "[o]nly a handful of the articles are based on any new research"; and "only two" of the volume's "major articles appear to be new," with most being "versions of previously published works." He also criticizes Colossus because the articles "are not integrated, they do not share a uniform volcabulary or format, they are directed toward varied audiences, and they are not in full agreement about facts and interpretations."

Copeland, B. Jack, ed.

1. Alan Turing's Automatic Computing Engine: The Master Codebreaker's Struggle to Build the Modern Computer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

2. The Essential Turing: Seminal Writings in Computing, Logic, Philosophy, Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Life plus The Secrets of Enigma. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 29.2 (Apr. 2005), the editor of this work, who is Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing, introduces Turing's "key writings on a variety of subjects" and puts them into context. Selby, I&NS 21.2 (Apr. 2006), comments that the editor writes his "historical and explanatory notes ... in a clear factual style.... The reader who is not mathematically inclined would probably not find much comfort" in chapters 1-4 or 15-17. However, chapters 5-14 are "considerably more accessible."

Cragon, Harvey G. From Fish to Colossus: How the German Lorenz Cipher Was Broken at Bletchley Park. Dallas, TX: Cragon Books, 2003.

Kruh, Cryptologia 28.1, says that Cragon "thoroughly details the breaking of Fish.... The author credits individuals for their contributions but mainly focuses on the electronic designs and details that led to success."

Croft, John. "Reminiscences of GCHQ and GCB 1942-45." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 4 (Winter 1998): 133-143.

The author served at both Bletchley Park and Berkeley Street.

Currie, Helen. "An ATS [Auxilliary Territorial Service] Girl in the Testery." In Colossus: The Secrets of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers, ed. B. Jack Copeland, 264-268. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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[1. Photo of Enigma machine from: https://www.cia.gov/cia/information/artifacts/enigma.htm]