Far East and Pacific Theaters

General Works

M - P


Maneki, Sharon A. The Quiet Heroes of the Southwest Pacific Theater: An Oral History of the Men and Women of CBB and FRUMEL. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency, 1996.

Kruh, Cryptologia 21.4, notes that this volume brings together the "recollections of more than 30 people who were involved in the varied functions that comprise codebreaking.... These fascinating reminiscences provide a revealing and accurate view of the work" by Central Bureau Brisbane (CBB) and Fleet Radio Unit Melbourne (FRUMEL) personnel.

McCune, Shannon. Intelligence on the Economic Collapse of Japan in 1945. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1989.

Surveillant 1.5: "Economic intelligence on Japan was disseminated in the last months of WWII ... in the Weekly Summary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The editing and writing of this economic intelligence was the responsibility" of McCune as "the Foreign Economic Administration's representative on the Joint Intelligence Staff. With the Weekly Summary now declassified, McCune gives us a measured and contemporary view of Japan's economic collapse as it was going on in 1945."

McGinnis, George P. Intelligence in Alaska Through the Eyes of Those Who Served. [Corvallis, OR]: Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association, 1991.

Surveillant 2:1: This book consists of "31 Articles on cryptologic assignments by the individuals who served in the military communications group in WWII."

Melinsky, Hugh. A Code-Breaker's Tale. Norfolk, UK: Larks Press, 1998.

Kruh, Cryptologia 25.1, notes that this is the "fascinating story" of a young man's wartime experiences from learning Japanese and codebreaking at the Inter-Services Special Intelligence School to service with MacArthur's Central Bureau in Wireless Units throughout the South West Pacific.

Moore. Jeffrey M.

1. "JICPOA: Joint Intelligence During WWII." Military Intelligence 21, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1995): 35-39.

The author surveys the creation and organizational structure of the Joint Intelligence Center Pacific Ocean Area (JICPOA), which emerged during the war "because of the constant expansion and merging of other intelligence agencies." The JICPOA provided the Pacific Fleet operational intelligence support.

2. Spies for Nimitz: Joint Military Intelligence in the Pacific War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004.

See author's Website at:

Ennis, AFIO WIN 5-04 (24 Feb. 2004), finds that the author "profiles the history and operations of America's first effective, all-source, joint military intelligence agency known as JICPOA [Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas]. JICPOA is credited with providing Adm. Nimitz with intelligence needed to win the Pacific war."

For Darron, NIPQ 20.3 [reprinted from Marine Corps Gazette 89.2 (Feb 2005)], this work "is a bit tough to read" given the author's lack of military experience and lack of fluency in the military's language. However, it "should be required reading in every intelligence schoolhouse." Moore "has done extensive research into intelligence structure and process in the Pacific war and his footnotes reference many JICPOA (and its immediate forerunners) reports as primary sources."

Peake, Studies 48.4, refers to Spies for Nimitz as "the first full examination of how this group of all-source analysts [JICPOA] functioned and contributed to the war." The author evaluates "the sources, the quality of intelligence that JICPOA produced -- terrain, aerial, and cryptographic data, interrogation reports, and order of battle -- and the importance of the intelligence to the outcome for each of the major Pacific battles." This is a "valuable and very interesting book."

To Wirtz, NWCR 58.4 (Autumn 2005), this book is about "what is referred to in today's parlance as 'intelligence preparation of the battlefield.'" The author "links the intelligence provided [by JICPOA] to planners ... to the outcome of the major amphibious assaults against Japanese-occupied islands.... When intelligence analysts provided accurate pictures of the battlefield, operations generally went smoothly and U.S. casualties were light. When they underestimated enemy strength, failed to warn the assault of strange topographic conditions, or failed to anticipate shifts in enemy strategy, the outcome was a grinding attritional battle that generated high losses."

Potter, E.B. Nimitz. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1976.

This is the standard biography of Admiral Nimitz.

Prados, John. Combined Fleet Decoded: The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II. New York: Random House, 1995. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2001

Clark comment: Prados is a prolific but not always critically acclaimed writer on military and intelligence-related subjects. With Combined Fleet Decoded, he seems to have produced his best work thus far, as the reviews have been almost uniformly positive.

According to Surveillant 4.2, Prados has examined "every aspect of the secret war ... -- from radio dispatches to espionage to vital information obtained from prisoners, document translations, and deep-sea divers' recoveries of critical material from wrecks at the bottom of the sea." Speer, Proceedings 122.10 (Oct. 1996), says that this "is a masterful account of the role played by intelligence in the Pacific theater." The author provides "[q]uite a few" special insights. Similarly, Kruh, Cryptologia 20.1, calls this "a superb book with sufficient new information and details to satisfy discrimnating readers and World War II buffs."

Carpenter, WIR 14.6, calls Combined Fleet Decoded "a book for all students of the Pacific War against Japan.... Prados has sought out every available piece of the mosaic that made up the unseen war between the two determined antagonists and has put them together in an informative and fascinating narrative.... Intelligence ... made Allied victory more certain and more rapid than otherwise would have been possible."

To Jacobsen, Cryptolog 17.1, this book is "the most complete narrative of naval cryptology TARGETED AGAINST [emphasis in original] Japan from its inception through WWII in print today. It details the training of language officers in Japan, pre-war cryptologic efforts against the Japanese Navy and successes during WWII.... Despite a few minor errors, this book should be of great interest to ... those interested in naval cryptologic history."

The Periscope 21.3 reviewer found it to be "the most comprehensive discussion of intelligence activities in the WW II Pacific area"; it is "[h]ighly recommended." Bates, NIPQ 12.3, suggests that Combined Fleet Decoded would be "an excellent text for ... teaching the war in the Pacific." Hull, at, says that Prados "has written an impeccable work of great depth and range. This book provides a dramatic new focus on the Pacific war and is likely to challenge many previous conceptions. It is an epic chronicle."

Commenting on the 2001 edition, Krebs, JIH 2.2, expresses regret that the author has not updated his material since there have been so "many studies published since then on this subject and related fields." Nonetheless, "much of the contents is still of great value."

Dean, DIJ 14.1 (2005), criticizes the author for getting "too bogged down in the various historical controversies" that surround the Pearl Harbor catastrophe; for failing "to develop his discussion of coalition intelligence" over the last half of the book; and for leaving "tantalizing threads of ideas" hanging and not following them throughout the war. However, the book "has a wealth of information about U.S. and Japanese naval intelligence bureaucracies.... Overall, it is an important work..., but the reader must be patient mining this tome."

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