Communications Intelligence

U.S.-U.K. Cooperation

A - B


Alvarez, David.

1. "Most Helpful and Co-operative: GC&CS and the Development of American Diplomatic Cryptanalysis, 1941-2." In Action This Day: Bletchley Park from the Breaking of the Enigma Code to the Birth of the Modern Computer, ed. Michael Smith and Ralph Erskine, 152-173. London: Bantam Press, 2001.

2. Secret Messages: Codebreaking and American Diplomacy 1930-1945. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2000.

According to Erskine, AFIO WIN 7-00 (19 Feb. 2000), this work "focuses on the history of American diplomatic (as opposed to military) codebreaking and its influence on American foreign policy.... It covers in detail cryptanalytic operations against friends, foes and neutrals during WWII (with a chapter on work against Russian traffic)" and "contains a lot on the origin and evolution of Anglo American SIGINT collaboration."

Seamon, Proceedings 126.11 (Nov. 2000), notes the author's conclusion that for all the success of U.S. cryptanalysis before and during World War II, it seems to have "had little effect" in Washington. "For example, there is almost no evidence that President Franklin Roosevelt paid any attention to it." Kruh, Cryptologia 24.4, calls this an "excellent work." It is "the most complete account to date of the U.S. Army's top-secret Signal Intelligence Service (SIS): its creation, struggles, rapid wartime growth, and its contribution to the war effort."

For Bath, NIPQ 16.3, this is an "insightful and well documented study." This sentiment is shared by Benson, I&NS 15.4, who sees Secret Messages as a "brilliantly written and argued account." To Winn, Parameters 31 (Winter 2001-2002), Alvarez' work serves as "an operational history" of the Signal Intelligence Service. The author "does not address codebreaking in the military or naval spheres."

Andrew, Christopher.

1. "Anglo-American-Soviet Intelligence Relations." In The Rise and Fall of the Grand Alliance, 1941-45, eds. Ann J. Lane and Howard Temperley, 108-135. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1995.

2. "Intelligence Collaboration Between Britain and the United States During the Second World War." In The Intelligence Revolution: A History, ed. Walter T. Hitchcock, 111-121. Washington, DC: GPO, 1991.

Sexton notes that "Churchill is treated as the moving spirit behind the sharing of ULTRA with the United States, which became the basis for the postwar Sigint partnership of the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand."

2. "The Making of the Anglo-American SIGINT Alliance." In In the Name of Intelligence: Essays in Honor of Walter Pforzheimer, eds. Hayden B. Peake and Samuel Halpern, 95-109. Washington, DC: NIBC Press, 1994.

Bath, Alan Harris. Tracking the Axis Enemy: The Triumph of Anglo-American Naval Intelligence. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Seamon, Proceedings 125.3 (Mar. 1999), views this work as a "remarkably detailed history of Anglo-American cooperation in the arcane art of intelligence gathering and analysis." In telling the story, there is a "consistent undercurrent of conflict," in that "[n]either nation fully trusted the other's methods ... [nor] credited the other's conclusions." Yet, "they did learn to work together." To Maiolo, I&NS 16.3, the author's "prose style is very clear and his research thorough.... While the general tale of Anglo-American naval intelligence ... will be familiar to many, the value of this study is in the details."

For Bates, NIPQ 15.2 (1999), the author "does a good job explaining why intelligence cooperation in the Pacific was so poor in comparison with that developed in the Atlantic and Mediterranean." The reviewer concludes that "[t]his is a book you should read and it would make an excellent classroom text." Kruh, Cryptologia 23.2 (1999), applauds the author's effort "to put in perspective the total contribution of Allied Naval intelligence to victory in WW II." This is "an essential guide to the Anglo-American intelligence labyrinth ... and the role of codebreaking" in World War II.

Beach, Jim. "Origins of the Special Intelligence Relationship? Anglo-American Intelligence Co-operation on the Western Front, 1917-18." Intelligence and National Security 22, no. 2 (Apr. 2007): 229-249.

The author suggests that the World War I "interaction between the intelligence staffs of the British and American Expeditionary Forces was a significant precursor to the emergence of the later relationship."

Budiansky, Stephen. Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II. New York: Free Press, 2000. London: Viking, 2000.

For Alvarez, Intelligencer 12.1, this is "the best survey to date of the role of communications intelligence in the defeat of the Axis in World War II. It is a great story with enough colorful characters and dramatic moments to fill a dozen thrillers.... Battle of Wits, however, moves beyond good anecdotes and great victories to make important contributions to our understanding of the role of wartime communications intelligence....

"Perhaps the author's greatest contribution is to add a powerful voice to the small but growing chorus challenging the 'Ultra Myth'.... The breathless discussion of Ultra and Magic ... often obscures the fact that communications intelligence was only one of several sources that informed (or misinformed) decision-makers during the war.... Engagingly written and carefully researched, Battle of Wits will become the standard survey of Anglo-American codebreaking in World War II."

Although not ready to grant the completeness claimed in the title, Baker, Proceedings 127.2 (Feb. 2001), finds that this is an "exceptionally well-written and easily accessible ... introduction to an extraordinarily complex and broad topic." The book has "several very useful appendices," and the bibliography "shows extensive research in primary sources."

Johnson, Intelligencer 11.2, finds that while this work is hardly "complete," it is "new, fresh, [and] up to date on all the latest scholarship.... Despite ... omissions on the operational front, Budiansky's book represents a successful attempt at one-stop shopping." To Kruh, Cryptologia 25.1, this is "the best account to date on WWII codebreaking.... Budiansky also offers an incisive analysis of the differences in the Army, Navy, and Bletchley Park codebreaking organizations."

Noting that while "[t]his work is comprehensive and thorough," Winn, Parameters 31 (Winter 2001-2002), adds that "[o]nly time will tell if [Budiansky's] story is 'complete' in the absolute sense of the word." The author "provides an excellent summary of the key role" the breaking of the Japanese Fleet Code in March 1942 "played in the Battle of Midway in June 1942."

Bath, NIPQ 17.2, praises the author for producing "a history that is both interesting and technically sound.." Although "there is little that is new or startling in this account,... all that has gone before ... has been carefully researched and distilled into one comprehensive account." Hanyok, I&NS 16.3, gives Budiansky's technical descriptions high marks for clarity. However, completeness is lacking in that the author "spends little time on the Axis cryptanalytic efforts.... Sometimes, too, Budiansky's criterion for inclusion of material is curious."

For Gonnerman, JIH 1.2, "the book is well written and the author has an engaging style.... However, Budiansky is a mathematician and he devotes entire chapters to explaining the mathematics behind codebreaking and the engineering behind the machines. A predisposition to math would serve the reader well in order to fully appreciate these sections."

Budiansky, Stephen.

1. "Bletchley Park and the Birth of the Very Special Relationship." 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, 211-236, 488-492. London and New York: Bantam, 2001.

2. "The Difficult Beginnings of US-British Codebreaking Cooperation." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 49-73. "The Difficult Beginnings of US-British Codebreaking Cooperation." In American-British-Canadian Intelligence Relations 1939-2000, eds.David Stafford and Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones. London: Frank Cass, 2000.

From abstract: "Recently declassified files in Britain and the United States reveal the often bitter mutual suspicions that roiled the codebreaking bureaux of the two nations as they began to cooperate during World War II.... In the evolving British-American relationship, differences between the US Army and Navy were skillfully exploited on both sides of the Atlantic."

Bundy, William P.

Bundy commanded the U.S. Signal Corps contingent at Bletchley Park.

1. "From the Depths to the Heights." Cryptologia 6, no. 1 (Jan. 1982): 65-74.

Petersen: "Review of several important books on Ultra by an American who served at Bletchley Park."

2. "Some of My Wartime Experiences." Cryptologia 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1987): 65-77.

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