Far East and Pacific Theaters

Other Battles

Included here:

1. General

2. Coral Sea

3. Guadalcanal and the Solomons Campaign

4. Leyte

5. Okinawa

6. Savo

7. Tarawa

8. Tinian

1. General

Biard, Forrest R. [CAPT/USN (Ret.)] "Breaking of Japanese Naval Codes: Pre-Pearl Harbor to Midway." Cryptologia 30, no. 2 (Apr. 2006): 151-158.

Speech by Biard at National Cryptologic Museum Foundation on 14 June 2002. He relates his first-hand experience as part of the team that broke JN25.

Drea, Edward J. "Ultra Intelligence and General Douglas MacArthur's Leap to Hollandia, January-April 1944." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 323-349.

This is an excellent article on the operational use of intelligence. Ultra was not responsible for MacArthur's success, but he made use of the knowledge given him by Ultra to plan his operations.

Parker, Frederick D. A Priceless Advantage: U.S. Navy Communications Intelligence and the Battles of Coral Sea, Midway and the Aleutians. Ft. George Gordon Meade, MD: Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency, 1994.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 29.3 (Jul. 2005), the author has produced "a masterfully detailed account of the comint associated ... with the Coral Sea and Midway actions" and with events in the Aleutians. He provides "a marvelous context from which to view the unfolding history of U.S. naval comint in the Pacific."

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

This is the standard biography of Admiral Nimitz.

2. Coral Sea

Lundstrom, John B. "An Episode in the Battle of the Coral Sea." Cryptologia 7, no. 2 (Apr. 1983): 97-117.

Sexton sees this as "[a]n informative study focused on the value and limitations of Radio Intelligence in the Battle of the Coral Sea."

Potter, E.B.

1. "Admiral Nimitz and the Battle of Midway." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Jul. 1976, 60-68.

2. "L'Admiral Nimitz et Son Utilisation Des Renseignements Secrets dans la Pacifique." Revue d'histoire de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale et des Conflits Contemporains 34 (Jan. 1984): 29-42. See also "Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and the Use of Intelligence in the Pacific Theater." In American Commanders and the Use of Signal Intelligence, ed. Arthur L. Funk. Manhatten, KS: Military Affairs/Aerospace Historian Publishing, Sunflower University Press, 1984.

Sexton says that this is an "adaptation" of Potter's "Admiral Nimitz and the Battle of Midway," but "with the addition of an account of Comint in the Battle of the Coral Sea."

Rochefort, Joseph J. "Finding the Kido Butai." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 118, no. 6 (Jun. 1992), 76-78.

The author was commander of the Fleet Radio Unit (Station HYPO) at Pearl Harbor. Here, he looks at the work of breaking Japanese naval signals leading up to the battle of the Coral Sea and Midway.

Smith, Myron J., Jr. The Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, 1942: A Selected Bibliography. Bibliographies of Battles and Leaders Series. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1991.

3. Guadalcanal and the Solomons Campaign

Jacobsen, Philip H. [LTCDR/USN (Ret.)] "Station AL -- Guadalcanal: A Full Service WWII Cryptologic Unit." Cryptologia 31, no. 1 (Jan. 2007): 57-75.

The DF station on Guadalcanal went operational on 15 September 1942. On 5 November 1942, the personnel (including the author) arrived to establish a "small intercept, cryptanalysis, traffic analysis and reporting unit." The article has details about the work and life of the unit under dangerous and trying conditions.

Merillat, Herbert C. "The 'Ultra Weapon' at Guadalcanal." Marine Corps Gazette 66 (Sep. 1982), 44-49.

According to Sexton, the author argues that "U.S. forces might have been defeated had it not been for Sigint."

Prados, John. Islands of Destiny: The Solomons Campaign and the Eclipse of the Rising Sun. New York: New American Library, 2012.

Frank, Proceedings 139.5 (May 2013), notes that the author "acknowledges that many factors contributed" to the successful outcome of the Solomons campaign, but "he singles out the importance of what he refers to as 'the pillars of intelligence.' These included not only radio intelligence but also particularly the Australian-led 'coast watchers' and photo reconnaissance." Regretably, however, this work "is blemished by an excessive numbers of factual errors, mostly but not exclusively about details."

Prados, John. "US Intelligence and the Japanese Evacuation of Guadalcanal, 1943." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 294-305.

"One of the key factors that enabled South Pacific Theater forces to beat the Japanese in numerous encounters over and on Guadalcanal, or on the approaches to that island, was a substantial intelligence advantage.... Thus it remains startling that, given the Allied advantages which existed, the Imperial Navy was able to pull off the Guadalcanal evacuation almost without interference. The Japanese evacuation turned into one of the worst Allied intelligence failures of the Pacific war."

4. Leyte

Ahlstrom, John D. "Leyte Gulf Remembered." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 110, no. 8 (Aug. 1984): 45-54.

Vego, Milan. The Battle for Leyte, 1944: Allied and Japanese Plans, Preparations, and Execution. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2006.

Kruh, Cryptologia 30.4 (Oct. 2006), finds that this work "addresses all aspects of the two-month-long ground, sea, air invasion and presents a complete evaluation of theater-wide command, organization, intelligence, and logistics."

5. Okinawa

Colwell, Robert N. "Intelligence and the Okinawa Battle." Naval War College Review 38 (Mar.-Apr. 1985): 81-95.

Petersen: "Account by chief photo intelligence officer."

6. Savo

Loxton, Bruce, with Chris Coulthard-Clark. The Shame of Savo: Anatomy of a Naval Disaster. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994.

Bell, I&NS 11.3, notes that much of this book "deals with the question of how the Allies, who generally outgunned the Japanese in intelligence between 1942 and 1945, could have been caught so completely off guard by this enemy attack." The surprise attack ranks as "one of the most dramatic failures in operational intelligence to befall Allied naval forces during the war." The author finds failures "in Allied communications, planning and training," showing that the explanation behind the disaster is more complex than commentators have generally assumed.

Warner, Dennis, and Peggy Warner. "HMAS Canberra -- the U.S. Cover-up." Asia-Pacific Defence Reporter, Aug-Sep. 1992, 8-10.

According to Sexton, the authors maintain that "U.S. naval commanders misinterpreted Signal Intelligence that could have saved HMAS Canberra and three American cruisers lost in the Battle of Savo Island."

7. Tarawa

Naugle, David K. "FRUPAC Invades Tarawa." Cryptolog 16, no. 1 (Winter 1995): 1-3, 5-9, 14.

This is a nicely written remembrance of a small slice of the Mid Pacific D/F Net. The author went ashore at Tarawa (on the island of Beteo or "Helen" as code-named by the U.S. military) on 25 November 1943 to set up and operate a direction-finding radio station. He finally wound up on Nanikai ("Cathy") on 11 December, where on 21 December a station with call letters of WVNE was established. The station was decommissioned in November 1944.

8. Tinian

Moore, Jeffrey M. "Pacific Island Intelligence: The Assault on Tinian." American Intelligence Journal 18, no. 1/2 (1998): 81-86.

The campaign for Tinian began on 24 July 1944 and ended nine days later, with relatively light U.S. casualties. The author attributes the success of the campaign to "near perfect intelligence on Tinian's hydrography, geography, and Japanese order of battle."

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