WORLD WAR II

Germany

Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Oshima

Boyd, Carl. "Anguish Under Siege: High-Grade Japanese Signal Intelligence and the Fall of Berlin." Cryptologia 13, no. 3 (Jul. 1989): 193-209.

Sexton: "Intercepts of Ambassador Oshima's messages gave Allied officials detailed knowledge of conditions in Berlin during the closing days of the Third Reich."

Boyd, Carl. The Extraordinary Envoy: General Hiroshi Oshima and Diplomacy in the Third Reich, 1934-1939. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1980.

Petersen: "Based on Japanese diplomatic messages deciphered by U.S. codebreakers."

Boyd, Carl. Hitler's Japanese Confidant: General Hiroshi Öshima and Magic Intelligence, 1941-1945. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993.

According to McGinnis, Cryptolog 15.2, Japanese Ambassador in Berlin Oshima "in effect, became one of the greatest assets of the American government because all of his messages to Tokyo, and the replies from the Japanese Foreign Office, were read using the American PURPLE machine.... Some of the things Oshima reported were: the forthcoming attack on the Soviet Union...; German indecision about where the Allied landings in western France would occur; an excellent insight into the types of fortifications the Germans had in place on the French west coast; and toward the end of the war, information concerning the Japanese government's thoughts about capitulation.... This is a well organized book recommended to ... readers."

Unsinger, IJI&C 7.3, notes that reading Oshima's traffic kept Allied leaders "fully apprised of what the Germans were thinking and Japan's reactions to them." The book has been "written ... with an eye to showing the significance of the radio traffic." This is "a fine book, sufficiently well documented to be useful to scholars." It is "easy to read." To Bigelow, MI 20.4, Hitler's Japanese Confidant is readable, superbly researched, informative, and illuminating. Although the author "occasionally overstates the importance of Oshima's reports while discounting other intelligence sources," this is an "excellent study of SIGINT and the information it can provide."

For Watt, I&NS 10.1, it is possible to "prophesy that Professor Boyd's book will become an essential part of the library of any student of the Second World War who hopes to rise above the level of the superficial.... It is not too much to say that the detailed reports of General Oshima were among the most valuable sources of Allied intelligence." Rich, WIR 13.4, says that the book documents "one of the most interesting relationships of World War II, that between Oshima and Hitler, and the way Magic was able to use that relationship."

Rose, http://www.cdsar.af.mil [no longer available], finds that the author "carefully explains General Oshima's observations and speculations in terms of political and defense concerns." Scholars of World War II "will want to review this work thoroughly for the new light it sheds on information about German intentions and actions that Allied commanders had at their disposal." Barnhart, I&NS 9.3, counters with a comment that it is "surprising how little these accounts add to our overall knowledge of German strategic thought.... Oshima himself does not clearly emerge as a character in these pages."

Boyd, Carl. "Significance of MAGIC and the Japanese Ambassador to Berlin." Intelligence and National Security. 5 parts.

1. "(I) The Formative Months before Pearl Harbor." 2, no. 1 (Jan. 1987): 150-169.

2. "(II) The Crucial Months after Pearl Harbor." 2, no. 2 (Apr. 1987): 302-319.

3. "(III) The Months of Growing Certainty." 3, no. 4 (Oct. 1988): 83-102.

4. "(IV) Confirming the Turn of the Tide on the German-Soviet Front." 4, no. 1 (Jan. 1989): 86-107.

5. "(V) News of Hitler's Defense Preparations for Allied Invasion of Western Europe." 4, no. 3 (Jul. 1989): 461-481.

Fischer, Ben. "The Japanese Ambassador Who Knew Too Much." Center for the Study of Intelligence Bulletin. 9 (Spring 1999): 6-9.

This article provides a brief review of U.S. Army intelligence's interception and decryption of Oshima's cables from Berlin to Tokyo. In addition, Fischer notes that the Soviets were also reading these cables prior to the beginning of World War II due to the efforts of a well-placed spy under the direction of Walter Krivitsky.

Lee, Bruce. Marching Orders: The Untold Story of World War II. New York: Crown, 1995. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2001. [pb]

According to Surveillant 4.2, Lee uses U.S. decrypts linked to a chronology of events to show the impact of this intelligence "on Chief of Staff George C. Marshall and how [it] influenced his strategic prosecution of the war." McGinnis, Cryptolog 17.3, says that the "author has done a commendable job in obtaining information about the U.S. planning process as well as obtaining copies of the related decrypted messages. He managed to pull the two together in a very readable format. This is an excellent book."

For Kruh, Cryptologia 20.1, this "is a remarkable book" that makes "a significant contribution to the historiography of World War II." Sexton also sees Marching Orders as a "valuable contribution to intelligence literature," but believes the book "could have benefitted from careful editing." Publishers Weekly (via Amazon.com) finds that Lee "significantly overstates the direct connection between Magic code intercepts and Allied decision-making. Much of his information is also available in Carl Boyd's Hitler's Japanese Confidant, a significantly superior work of analysis and interpretation."

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