INTERWAR PERIOD

United States

E - K

Egerton, George. "Diplomacy, Scandal, and Military Intelligence: The Craufurd-Stuart Affair and Anglo-American Relations, 1918-20." Intelligence and National Security 2, no. 4 (Oct. 1987): 110-134.

The author argues that this diplomatic incident played "a major role in the seminal events which transpired in Anglo-American relations and Washington politics in 1919." See also, Maechling, "Scandal in Wartime Washington: The Craufurd-Stuart Affair of 1918." IJI&C 4.3 (Fall 1990): 357-370.

Elphick, Peter. The Far Eastern File: The Intelligence War in the Far East, 1930-1945. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997.

For Best, I&NS 13.2, this book is "interesting [but] contains some deep flaws." The author "has uncovered previously obscure episodes which shed light on the infighting and inefficiency which hampered the [British] intelligence effort in East Asia." Additionally, his "knowledge of the personalities and the degree of detail here is laudable." Nevertheless, Elphick "has only really skimmed the surface of the documentation held at the PRO"; and "there are whole areas of intelligence activity which are largely ignored."

Unsinger, IJI&C 11.2, points out several themes in this work. The first theme concerns "the issue of Japan versus the future Allies in Asia in the pre-World War II years." The second theme focuses on the kind of intelligence, primarily signals intelligence, used by the British and Americans in running the war against Japan. And the third, lesser theme involves the struggle between the Comintern and all the intelligence services in Asia, both Japanese and Allied. For the reviewer, Far Eastern File is not a total success, providing "only a superficial look at the intelligence services' work in the region." Nevertheless, it gives the reader "a quick overview and some interpretation of events as they unfolded. It accomplished that well."

Fishel, Edwin C. "Mythmaking at Stimson's Expense: What Did the Secretary Say (or Not Say)?" Foreign Intelligence Literary Scene 4, no. 5 (1985): 4-6.

Ford, Douglas. "'The Best Equipped Army in Asia'?: U.S. Military Intelligence and the Imperial Japanese Army before the Pacific War, 1919-1941." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 21, no. 1 (Spring 2008): 86-121.

The author concludes that "defective intelligence led the U.S. Army establishment to believe that its forces were capable of dealing effectively with whatever challenges the IJA might put up. The fact of the matter was that the War Department had neither the material nor the intellectual resources needed to formulate an accurate image of its Japanese opponent."

Glantz, Mary. "An Officer and a Diplomat? The Ambiguous Position of Philip R. Faymonville and United States-Soviet Relations, 1941-1943." Journal of Military History 72, no. 1 (Jan. 2008): 141-177.

From abstract: U.S. Army Col. Philip Faymonville "played a significant and controversial role in United States-Soviet relations in the 1930s and 1940s. The first U.S. military attaché to the Soviet Union, Faymonville provided dispassionate, accurate assessments of the Red Army's military worth. Yet he earned the enduring hostility of his military and diplomatic colleagues. During World War II, Faymonville returned to Moscow as lend-lease expediter. He reported directly to the White House, and worked independently from the military attaché and the Embassy, solidifying his position as outsider and raising questions about the role of military officers in the conduct of diplomacy."

Hannant, Larry. "Inter-War Security Screening in Britain, the United States and Canada." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 4 (Oct. 1991): 711-735.

The internal security forces of Canada (RCMP), Britain (MI5), and the United States (FBI) all declined in numbers of personnel from the early 1920s into the 1930s. Nevertheless, these services worked "to broaden the range of their security operations." One of the "important new enterprises they launched in this time" was "systematic security screening of civil servants and even industrial workers."

Hessen, Robert, ed. Berlin Alert: The Memoirs and Reports of Truman Smith. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1984.

Smith was U.S. military attaché in Berlin from 1935 to 1939. See Truman Smith, Air Intelligence Activities: Office of the Military Attache, American Embassy, Berlin, Germany -- August 1935-April 1939 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Library Holdings, 1954-1956). See also Kenneth J. Campbell, "Truman Smith: American Military Attaché," Intelligencer 9, no. 3 (Oct. 1998): 16-17.

Kahn, David. The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail: Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Intelligence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004.

Clark comment: This is an excellent biography of a difficult human being. That it reads easily should extend its reach beyond those just interested in cryptology and the beginnings of American COMINT. Kahn does not paint over Yardley's weaknesses, but in the end gives him the honor that he could not win in life.

After referring to Kahn as "the ultimate historian of cryptology," Levine, JIH 5.1 (Summer 2005), goes on to note that this "book is much more than the story of Yardley. Periodically, Kahn presents the various interfaces between Yardley and Friedman, contrasting their personalities, skills and weaknesses. He also shows the relationships Yardley had with other early U.S. cryptologist[s].... It is a must read for those interested in this history. Extensive endnotes and lists of core and published sources will be invaluable for those who wish to pursue this interest."

Johnson, Studies 48.2 (2004), finds that "Kahn has achieved the balance that all biographers hope for." The book "makes a fascinating read" but does not rehabilitate Yardley, as "Kahn condemns Yardley for his character flaws, his perpetual self-promotion, and his lack of imagination." For Powers, NYRB 52.8 (12 May 2005), the Yardley "who emerges in Kahn's briskly paced portrait is gifted, complex, resourceful, and often disappointed." The work includes "wonderful accounts ... of some of Yardley's greatest feats. Here Kahn's mastery of the field gives his book genuine intellectual excitement."

To Goulden, Washington Times, 1 Aug. 2004, this is "[a] lively read, even for those of us who know not the slightest thing about ciphers and codes." Freedman, FA 83.4 (May-Jun. 2004), comments that this book "includes more than one needs to know about Yardley, but it is at least an entertaining read." Kruh, Cryptologia 28.2, says that the author "does a magnificent job in detailing" Yardley's life. "This is a terrific book about an extraordinary individual."

Kahn's conclusion that Yardley could not rise above his personal limitations is endorsed by Hanyok, I&NS 20.4 (Dec. 2005). The reviewer notes that, writing in "his usually clear and crisp style, Kahn breathes life into the story of Yardley and American codebreaking." Stout, JIH 7.1 (Summer 2007), says that "Kahn has succeeded admirably in describing Yardley and explaining and bounding his significance."

Klooz, Marie Stuart. Ed., Emil Levine. Japanese Diplomatic Secrets (1933 Manuscript). The Only Publication Ever Seized by the U.S. Government with Analytical Articles from Cryptologia. Published as a CD. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 2001.

Kahn, JIH 1.2, notes that this CD "pictorially reproduces the original document but also permits its text to be searched for individual words." This work, long thought to be Herbert O. Yardley’s second book on the Washington naval disarmament conference, was actually written by "a young free-lance journalist, Marie Stuart Klooz.... The manuscript consists essentially of hundreds of intercepted Japanese diplomatic dispatches with scraps of connecting text.... Its literary merit is nil -- Klooz is banal ... and unperspicacious. And its historical value is small. The intercepts carry no code designation and, most importantly, no date of solution, making them useless to the historian who needs to know when the American negotiators received them." Yardley's memoir, The American Black Chamber, "flaunted the most significant solutions; the new ones given here add little. Still, the work gives many more Japanese messages than ever before ... and they are in English. They will be of most use, despite their flaws, to the historians of disarmament and of Japanese politics."

Komatsu, Keiichiro. Origins of the Pacific War and the Importance of "Magic." New York: St. Martin's, 1999.

According to Kruh, Cryptologia 24.3, this is a "scholarly examination of Japan-U.S. relations in the twentieth century leading to the outbreak of the Pacific War.... [The author] shows how mistranslations of Magic messages produced significant elements of misunderstanding, followed by mistrust and deep suspicion. He believes it suggests the war could have been averted." For Boyd, I&NS 16.3, the author convincingly demonstrates the existence of mistranslations, but also overstates their strategic importance.

Kislenko, H-Diplo, Mar. 2001, and Intelligencer 12.1, finds that Origins of the Pacific War "offers much to the continuing debate on the U.S.-Japanese war. The book is immaculate in detail, and draws upon a wide array of both English and Japanese language sources. There is a good historiographical essay, an extensive bibliography, a very useful list of important MAGIC mistranslations, and a large selection of period diplomatic communications in both Japanese and English.... [This] is must-read for those interested in U.S.-Japanese relations, or the role that intelligence plays in shaping decision-making."

 

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