World War II


O - R

O'Halpin, Eunan.

1. "According to the Irish Minister in Rome: British Decrypts and Irish Diplomacy in the Second World War." Irish Studies in International Affairs 6 (1995): 95-105.

2. "Small States and Big Secrets: Understanding Sigint Cooperation between Unequal Powers during the Second World War." Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 3 (Autumn 2002): 1-16.

The author discusses "signals intelligence ... understandings contemplated and arranged between Britain and smaller European states" during World War II. He focuses on deals with Ireland and Finland.

Parrish, Thomas. The Ultra Americans: The U.S. Role in Breaking the Nazi Codes. New York: Stein & Day, 1986. The American Codebreakers: The U.S. Role in Ultra. Chelsea, MI: Scarborough, 1991. [pb]

Miller, IJI&C 1.3, sees Parrish providing "much fresh material concerning Ultra and its uses" and the "best picture of what day-to-day life was like at Bletchley." This is an "excellent book." McGinnis, Cryptolog 14.4, finds that The Ultra Americans is "probably the best unclassified source of information, in the field of cryptology, concerning actions taken by the US Army during WWII in Europe." It is a "very interesting book and I recommend it."

For Filby, I&NS 3.4, Parrish succeeds "admirably in recording how the American contingent fitted in [at Bletchley Park] and helped to continue the effort" against the Germans' top ciphers. This is "[d]efinitely a book for anyone with Second World War and intelligence interests."

Paterson, Michael. Voices of the Code Breakers: Personal Accounts of the Heroes of World War II. London: David and Charles, 2007.

Christensen, Cryptologia 32.2 (Apr. 2008), has a problem with the title of this work, as "[o]nly one of the eight chapters actually focuses on the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. There is a badly done introductory chapter about cryptology" (it is described elsewhere in the review as "riddled with inaccuracies"), with the remaining chapters covering other aspects of signals intelligence in World War II. Quoted material makes up a substantial part of the book, but the method of reference is "[e]specially frustrating." There are better books on the subject.

Payne, Diane. "My Secret Life with Ultra." After the Battle 37 (1982): 9-16.

According to Sexton, the author provides a firsthand look at the working, living, and security conditions confronted by the more than 2,000 Wrens who tended the Bombes that were so vital to the work against the daily Enigma keys.

Pearson, Joss, ed. Neil Webster's Cribs for Victory: The Untold Story of Bletchley Park's Secret Room. Clifton-upon-Teme, UK: Polperro Heritage Press, 2011.

Christensen, Cryptologia 36.2 (Apr. 2012), finds that "Webster's description of his work and the value of 'fusion' is worth reading."

Pröse, Michael. Chiffiermaschinen und Entzifferungsgerate im Zweiten Weltkrieg: Technikgeschichte und informatikhistorische Aspekte. [Cipher Machines and Cryptanalytic Apparatuses in the Second World War: Technical History and Informational-Historical Aspects] Munich: Martin Meidenbauer-Verlagsbuchhandlung, 2006.

Kahn, I&NS 23.2 (Apr. 2008), says that this "book will be especially useful to those threading their way through the complexities of wartime encipherments and solutions."

Putney, Diane T., ed. Ultra and the Army Air Forces in World War II: An Interview with Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1987.

According to Sexton, Powell served as Ultra liaison officer with the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe. Here, he gives "valuable insights into the use made of ULTRA in target selection and Anglo American intelligence cooperation." Bates, NIPQ 13.3, notes that the interview "is heavily footnoted. Each time he mentions an individual a footnote provides a short biography. When he mentions an operation, battle or event, it is described in a footnote. These additions make the main text all the more meaningful." See also, Jeffries, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.: A Biography (1994).

Rabinovich, Abraham. "The Code-Breakers." Jerusalem Post, 4 Feb. 1999. [http://www.jpost.com]

"Two Israelis [Walter Ettinghausen/Eytan and Michael Cohen] who took part in World War II's 'Ultra' project recall how Britain's successful effort to crack Germany's top-secret military codes played a decisive role in the defeat of the Nazis."

Randell, Brian. "Of Men and Machines." In Colossus: The Secret of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers, eds. B. Jack Copeland, et al., 141-149. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Ratcliff, R. A. [Rebecca Ann] Delusions of Intelligence: Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Freedman, FA 86.1 (Jan.-Feb. 2007), calls this a "superb work of forensic history." The author explores the reasons why the Germans were so surprised when the story of Ultra finally became public in the mid-1970s. "Reading the book requires attention to organizational structures and the principles of cryptanalysis, but it is well worth the effort." Goulden, Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007) and Washington Times, 15 Oct. 2006, finds this to be "a sprightly account" that "is a splendid contribution to signals intelligence." It "covers much new material" and is "[h]ighly recommended as a fi[n]e cloak-and-dagger read."

For Peake, Studies 51.1 (Mar. 2007), even the author's "illustrations and thorough documentation ... provide[] no basis for concluding communications cannot be secure in the future." To Kruh, Cryptologia 31.3 (Jul. 2007), the author has written an "excellent" and "exceptionally informative book." Gallehawk, Cryptologia 32.1 (Jan. 2008), finds "some loose or inaccurate descriptions of technical matters, and indeeed, some omissions." Nonetheless, it "is a major addition to the existing literatrure on code breaking" during World War II.

Rejewski, Marian.

On 10 November 2007, a monument to Rejewski and his compatriots in the breaking of the Enigma was dedicated in Poznan. Marek Grajek, "Monument in memorium of Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rózycki, and Henryk Zygalski Unveiled in Poznan," Cryptologia 32, no. 2 (Apr. 2008): 101-103.

1. Tr., Joan Stepenske. "How Polish Mathematicians Deciphered the Enigma." Annals of the History of Computing 3, no. 3 (Jul. 1981): 214-234.

Sexton: The author "describes the grid and clock methods he used to uncover ENIGMA settings and briefly discusses the first bombes."

2. Tr., Joan Stepenske. "Mathematical Solution to the Enigma Cipher." Cryptologia 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1982), 1-25.

Sexton: An expansion of the earlier article.

3. Memories of My Work at the Cipher Bureau of the General Staff Second Department, 1930-1945. Eds., Magdalena Jaroszewska, et al. Poznan, Poland: Adam Mickiewicz University Press, 2011. (The text is in both English and Polish.)

According to Christensen, Cryptologia 37.2 (2013), this work consists of two manuscript, one written by Rejewski in 1967 and the other in 1974. "The editors [footnote omitted] have done excellent work preparing this book," and their "editors' notes are generally excellent."

Reynolds, David. "The Ultra Secret and Churchill's War Memoirs." Intelligence and National Security 20, no. 2 (Jun. 2005): 209-224.

The author discusses why and how Winston Churchill's 6-volume The Second World War was censored in such a fashion as to continue to shield the secret of codebreaking during World War II.

Roberts, Jerry. "Major Tester's Section." In Colossus: The Secret of Bletchley Park's Codebreaking Computers, eds. B. Jack Copeland, et al., 249-259. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Rohwer, Jürgen.

1. "Signal Intelligence and World War II: The Unfolding Story." Journal of Military History 63, no. 4 (Oct. 1999): 939-951.

The author tracks the opening up of information from U.S. and UK sources (and secondarily from other countries) about the role of Sigint in World War II.

2. "International Historiography about Signal Intelligence." The Enigma Bulletin 2 (May 1997): 3-16.

This is an earlier version of the above article.

Roskill, Stephen W. The Secret Capture. London: Collins, 1959.

According to Constantinides, the author presents the story of the capture of German U110 from a tactical perspective and in terms of the intelligence meaning of the capture. He is more precise with regard to the former, failing in the latter regard to explain the cryptographic importance of the capture and its relationship to Enigma.


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