Patrick Beesly

Beesly, Patrick. "Convoy PQ17: A Study of Intelligence and Decision Making." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 292-322.

In what Sexton terms an "excellent study," Beesly looks at Adm. Dudley Pound's decision to disperse Convoy PQ17 as an example of the Allies' superiority in intelligence not working to their advantage.

[WWII/Atlantic][c]

Beesly, Patrick. "Operational Intelligence and the Battle of the Atlantic: The Role of the Royal Navy's Submarine Tracking Room." In The Royal Canadian Navy in Retrospect, 1910-1968, ed. James A. Boutilier, 175-186. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1982.

Beesly, Patrick. Room 40: British Naval Intelligence, 1914-18. London & New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1982.

Pforzheimer views this as the "most comprehensive history now [1985] available of ... the British Admiralty's World War I codebreaking organization." The author "writes lucidly of organizational problems and lessons learned." For Sexton, the book sheds "light on Churchill's passion for and use of ULTRA."

[WWI/Zimmermann; WWI/UK]

Beesly, Patrick. "Special Intelligence and the Battle of the Atlantic: The British View." In Changing Interpretations and New Sources in Naval History: Papers from the Third United States Naval Academy History Symposium, ed. Robert V. Love, 175-186. New York: Garland, 1980.

Sexton gives this article, which stresses the limitations of Ultra, a "highly recommended" notation.

[UK/WWII/Services/Navy; WWII/Atlantic]

Beesly, Patrick. Very Special Admiral: The Life of Admiral J.H. Godfrey, C.B. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1980.

Beesly, Patrick. Very Special Intelligence: The Story of the Admiralty's Operational Intelligence Centre 1939-1945. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1977. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978. New York: Ballantine Espionage/Intelligence Library, 1981. [pb] London: Greenhill, 2000. [reprint] Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2000. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2006.

For Pforzheimer, this book is "important" and "one of the most accurate of its kind." The author served as Deputy Chief of the submarine tracking room in the Operational Intelligence Centre throughout the war. Constantinides calls the work a "first-rate product" by "a serious and honest writer." However, Beesly does not deal with the Pacific or the Mediterranean.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 24.4, the 2000 reprint "includes a new introduction by W.J.R. Gardner, an excellent 22-page Afterword, 'Codebreaking in the Battle of the Atlantic[,]' by the ubiquitous Ralph Erskine, and a revised bibliography compiled by Gardner and Erskine." Writing on the 2000 edition, Hamilton, I&NS 16.3, finds that "[d]espite basing itself on much personal memory, sometimes unsupported by documents, Very Special Intelligence remains a reasoned and remarkably objective work."

Also, with regard to the 2000 edition, Rohwer, JIH 1.1, comments that "[w]e must be very grateful to ... Greenhill Books for re-publishing this most important book about the naval war 1939-1945 as seen from the 'back rooms' of the British Admiralty, and for asking two great experts to write a new introduction and an afterword. 'Jock' Gardner from the Naval Historical Branch in London ... gives a broad and instructive overview about the historiography of the naval war and the Battle of the Atlantic.... And Ralph Erskine ... delineates in his afterword the results of the 25-years of research into the role of signal intelligence in the Battle of the Atlantic."

Commenting on the 2006 edition, Bruns, DIJ 15.2 (2006), calls Beesly's "a thoughful story for serious intelligence professionals about the evolution of the bureaucracies created to fight other nations."

[UK/WWII/Services/Navy; WWII/Atlantic]

Beesly, Patrick. "Who Was the Third Man at Pyry?" Cryptologia 11, no. 2 (Apr. 1987): 78-80.

According to Sexton, "Beesly identifies Humphrey Sandwi[th], not Stewart Menzies of SIS, as the third member" of the British group that met with the Poles in July 1939.

[OtherCountries/Poland/Enigma; UK/WWII/Ultra]

Beesly, Patrick, Jurgen Rohwer, and Kenneth Knowles. "Special Intelligence and the Battle of the Atlantic. The British, the German, and the American View." In Changing Interpretations and New Sources in Naval History: Papers from the Third United States Naval Academy History Symposium, ed. Robert V. Love, 413-449. New York: Garland, 1980.

[WWII/Atlantic]

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