Far East and Pacific Theaters


See Peter Dunn's Website "Australia@War," located at, for general information about Australia in World War II. For Sigint-related materials see "Allied Signal Intelligence Units and Other Secret Units in Australia during WW2," at

Click for additional information on the Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB) and the Coastwatchers organization.

Ball, Desmond J. "Allied Intelligence Cooperation Involving Australia during World War II." Australian Outlook: Journal of the Australian Institute of International Affairs 32 (Dec. 1978): 299-309.

Sexton calls this a "good survey of the Allied Intelligence Bureau and cryptanalytic organizations established in Australia during World War II."

Ballard, Geoffrey. On ULTRA Active Service: The Story of Australia's Signals Intelligence During World War II. Richmond, Victoria, Australia: Spectrum Publications, 1991.

For Sexton, On ULTRA Active Service is a "valuable source [that] should not be overlooked." Ballard served with Australian Comint units and the Allied Intelligence Bureau. Skillen, I&NS 7.2, sees Ballard putting into place the last piece of the World War II Y Service puzzle. To Unsinger, FILS 11.5, this is an "excellent" and "well-written" book; however, there are "no great revelations." Cain, I&NS 7.4, notes that Ballard "traces the slow but determined development of Sigint activities by the Australian Army and to a small extent by the Australian Air Force. The Australian Navy's developments are little touched upon."

Bell, Roger J. Unequal Allies: Australian-American Relations and the Pacific War. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1977. [Petersen]

Berends, A. A. Chasing Enigma: Procurement of German Army ENIGMA Messages in the North West Europe Campaign, 1944-45. Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia: Ancestral Publications, 1995.

Kruh, Cryptologia 21.3, notes that the author served as an officer in Australia's 30 Wireless Group Intelligence Station (WGIS). The focus here is on intercept activities, and the result "is especially interesting because it provides an insider's view with details only available from someone on the scene."

Bleakley, Jack. The Eavesdroppers. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service, 1991.

For Unsinger, FILS 11.5, this work on Australian SIGINT in World War II is an "excellent" and "well-written" book. The I&NS 9.4 reviewer comments that the book describes "how signals intelligence was collected on a day-to-day basis and how it was applied on a daily basis by lower level commanders." Bleakley's "account is lively" and a "splendid and easy read," but it is not footnoted.

Cain, Frank. "Signals Intelligence in Australia during the Pacific War." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 40-61.

Australian Sigint people worked alongside their American counterparts in the Central Bureau after MacArthur and his people arrived from the Philippines in 1942. Personnel at the Bureau were "roughly 50 per cent American, 25 per cent Australian Army and 25 per cent Australian Air Force."

Chapman, John W.M. "Pearl Harbor: The Anglo-Australian Dimension'" Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 3 (Jul. 1989): 451-460.

"[T]here seems to be no intrinsic reason on the British side, even less than on the Australian side, for there to be any cover-up surrounding the British role in Allied intelligence co-operation against Japan in connection with the attack on Pearl Harbor."

Davies, Kevin. "Field Unit 12 Takes New Technology to War in the Southwest Pacific." Studies in Intelligence 58, no. 3 (Sep. 2014): 11-20.

"During 1943-45 a small unit of soldiers from the Australian Army was trained to provide ELINT/EW support in the field, sometimes very close to enemy lines, in order to collect Japanese radar signatures, radar, and radio sets and to warn Allied units of approaching enemy air and sea units."

Ephron, Henry D. "An American Cryptanalyst in Australia." Cryptologia 9, no. 4 (Oct. 1985): 337-340.

The author worked at the Ascot Park, Brisbane, intercept site during World War II.

Feuer, A. B. Commando! The M/Z Units Secret War against Japan. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996.

The Australian M/Z Units of World War II consisted of the M Units, the information-collecting coastwatchers, and the Z Units, the offensively oriented commandos. The author highlights the dangerous work of U.S. and British submarines in supporting the Australian commandos.

Anderson, Air & Space Power Journal, n.d. [], says that this "is a relatively enjoyable and easily read book. It provides new and interesting material about a little known aspect of the war." However, readers should "approach this book as a collection of individual accounts, not expecting them to tie together and form a complete history.... Background knowledge of operations in the Western Pacific would be beneficial to the reader to place these events in context.... [T]he book has no footnotes, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact source of much of the information."

Horner, D.M. "Special Intelligence in the South-West Pacific Area in World War II." Australian Outlook: Journal of the Australian Institute of International Affairs 32 (Dec. 1978): 310-327. [Petersen]

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.

Meo, L.D. Japan's Radio War on Australia, 1941-1945. Carlton, Victoria: Melbourne University Press, 1968. [Winkler]

Pfennigwerth, Ian. A Man of Intelligence: The Life of Captain Theodore Eric Nave, Australian Codebreaker Extraordinary. Dural, NSW, Australia: Rosenberg Publishing, 2006.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 30.4 (Oct. 2006), Neve's skills gained him "widespread respect and admiration within the closed confines of Allied codebreaking before, during, and after World War Two." Peake, Studies 52.2 (Jun. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), comments that "conspiracy devotees" will ignore this book, because the author shows that the critical parts of Rusbridger and Nave's Betrayal at Pearl Harbor (1991) were written without Nave's involvement. The biography will, however, be "accepted with gratitude by intelligence historians and clear-thinking readers."

Coish, Canadian Military Journal 8.2 (Summer 2007), calls this "an objective account of the life and times" of Nave. The author "has carefully ... documented some excellent examples of how Nave's cryptanalysis efforts directly or indirectly contributed to both the pre-war indicators and the many operational Allied successes in the Pacific theatre." This book "is a necessary read for the military historian, and an excellent signal intelligence for the budding intelligence student -- or the interested amateur."

Richard, Joseph E. "The Breaking of the Japanese Army's Codes." Cryptologia 28, no. 4 (Oct. 2004): 289-308.

This article consists of the author's reminiscences of service as an Army Signal Corps cryptanalyst in World War II, primarily in the Central Bureau, first, in Melbourne and, then, in Brisbane after its move in September 1942.

Winter, Barbara. The Intrigue Master: Commander Long and Naval Intelligence in Australia, 1913-1945. Brisbane, Australia: Boolarong Press, 1995.

Clark comment: Commander Rupert Basil Long was effectively the leader of Royal Australian Naval intelligence after 1934; from 1939 until his retirement in 1946, Long held the title of Director, Australian Naval Intelligence. Bates, NIPQ, Spring 1997, found the book less than easy to read, noting that it "is lengthy, in fine print, with a myriad of facts and much trivia, done in a rather choppy style." Nonetheless, it will be "a treasure trove for researchers."

According to Unsinger, WIR 15.1, "Winter tells the story not only of Commander Long's career but also of the fledgling years of Australian Naval Intelligence." Long's contribution to the lore of intelligence was the development of the coastwatchers, the basis for which was laid in 1921. The coastwatchers later became the foundation stone for the Allied Intelligence Bureau. The author, "who devoted ten years preparing the manuscript, has produced an excellent book." For Cain, I&NS 12.3, Winter provides a "great amount of detail," but fails "to analyse the more important details of the intelligence events."

Wyatt, Ray A. Yank Down Under: From America's Heartland to Australia's Outback. Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1999.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 24.1, the author served as an intercept operator with MacArthur's Headquarters in Melbourne, as chief operator of the Advanced Headquarters Signal Corps station in Darwin, and at the Signal Center in New Guinea. This "is a fabulous story with many wartime photographs."


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