WORLD WAR II

Far East and Pacific Theaters

General Works

Q - Z

Richard, Joseph E. "The Breaking of the Japanese Army's Codes." Cryptologia 28, no. 4 (Oct. 2004): 289-308.

This article consists of the author's reminiscences of service as an Army Signal Corps cryptanalyst in World War II, primarily in the Central Bureau, first, in Melbourne and, then, in Brisbane after its move in September 1942.

Showers, D. M. [RADM/USN (Ret.)] "ULTRA: The Navy's First COMINT Weapon." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1994): 8-10. Reprinted, together with "some other materials," as "ULTRA: The Navy's COMINT Weapon in the Pacific," American Intelligence Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring-Summer 1994), 49-53.

"[T]he rate of progress of the entire war, and possibly even the outcome, would have been vastly different without our effective use of the COMINT weapon."

Thorpe, Elliott R. East Wind Rain: The Intimate Account of an Intelligence Officer in the Pacific, 1939-1949. Boston: Gambit, 1969.

Clark comment: This book's major claim to "fame" is Thorpe's two-pronged claim that, one, the Japanese signal "east wind rain" designated their planned attacks in the Pacific and, two, that the message was intercepted and read by the Dutch in early December. Both the nature of the purported message and its actual interception are matters of dispute. Constantinides notes that the author served as General MacArthur's "head of counterintelligence and civil intelligence." However, beyond the controversy engendered by his claims, the author "has relatively little of intelligence interest to tell in this personal narrative."

van der Vat, Dan. The Pacific Campaign, World War II: The U.S. Japanese Naval War, 1941-1945. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.

Surveillant 2.4: "Provides fresh coverage of cryptologic role throughout the war."

Weise, Selene H.C. The Good Soldier: The Story of a Southwest Pacific Signal Corps WAC. Shippensburg, PA: White Mane, 1999.

Kruh, Cryptologia 24.2, finds that the author "offers a unique perspective as a member of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) who served overseas with the Signal Corps."

Whitlock, Duane L. [Capt. USN (Ret.)] "Station 'C' and Fleet Radio Unit Melbourne (FRUMMEL) [FRUMEL] Revisited." Cryptolog 14, no. 2 (Spring 1993): 1, 7-8, 19.

Commenting on the importance of traffic analysis to the cryptanalytic effort, Whitlock states: "[I]t was the cryptanalytic success scored against the Japanese Navy callsign system, not the reading of JN-25, that allowed Nimitz to draw up his estimate of enemy strength and to muster as best he could the forces he needed to oppose it." Whitlock finds no credibility to Rusbridger and Neve's Betrayal at Pearl Harbor.

Winton, John [pen name of John Pratt]. ULTRA in the Pacific: How Breaking Japanese Codes and Cyphers Affected Naval Operations Against Japan, 1941-45. London: Leo Cooper, 1993. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1993.

Kruh, Cryptolog 15.3, finds that this book combines a "well written, chronological format" with a "detailed examination of the practical applications of Ultra intelligence." The material on British FECB work against JN-25 "is basically a rehash" of Rusbridger and Nave. Overall, this is a "fine work that shouldn't be marred by a rash comment."

The MI 21.1 reviewer says that the reader comes "away with a real sense of the skill and devotion that code breakers brought to their work." This is a "balanced work that will appeal to the crypto fan and the historian" and is a "quickly read presentation." Best, I&NS 10.1, concludes that ULTRA in the Pacific "is an entertaining and well written piece of work.... [W]hat separates Winton's book from its peers is its accessibility. This is not a dry academic tome; it is a book that communicates its interest in the subject and shows very clearly both the benefits to be gained from a superior intelligence-gathering capacity and the limits to its utility."

According to Bates, NIPQ 10.3, Winton "does not subscribe to the conspiracy theory that Churchill knew about Pearl Harbor ... but did not tell Roosevelt." He "does, however, say that '...there had been plenty of intelligence in the months before Pearl Harbor which, with hindsight, can clearly be shown to have revealed Japanese intentions'.... Regarding the shootdown of Admiral Yamamoto, Winton states that Admiral Nimitz '... obtained approval from everyone from President Roosevelt downwards.'" The reviewer take issues with these conclusions: "I ... do not believe there was plenty of intelligence before Pearl Harbor to predict the attack.... I also do not believe the decision to shoot Yamamoto down went any higher than Nimitz.... I have some problems with this one, I suggest you approach it with skepticism. But, it's a readable, interesting book that provides some new information and clearly identifies the contribution of radio intelligence in the Pacific in WW II."

Barnhart, I&NS 11.2, says that the "most original parts of ULTRA in the Pacific deal with Great Britain's role ... and its intelligence contributions.... Unfortunately, as Winton admits, Britain left most of the intelligence work to the Americans.... Winton is curiously silent upon the role of the Commonwealth services.... [R]eaders concerned with the role of intelligence in the Pacific[] would do better to consult John Prados' latest work, Combined Fleet Decoded."

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