WORLD WAR II

General Overviews

A - E

Ambrose, Stephen E.

1. "Eisenhower and the Intelligence Community in World War II." Journal of Contemporary History 16, no. 1 (Jan. 1981): 153-166.

The author concludes that the Allies' superior intelligence "was a central factor" in their victories in the Atlantic and Normandy.

2. with Richard H. Immerman. Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981.

Clark comment: Ambrose is a respected historian and Eisenhower biographer. The focus of the first part of the book is on the World War II years, including Ultra, Torch, and Overlord. Ambrose compares the Allied surprise at the beginning of the Battle of Bulge to the German surprise on D-Day. The second part of the book covers intelligence issues during Eisenhower's presidency.

To Constantinides, the "principal fault of this book is the authors' exaggeration of Eisenhower's direct role and first-hand participation in intelligence matters as distinct from his general responsibilities as commander and president.... Little evidence is produced to show that he took more than a normal leader's interest in intelligence operations and techniques." There are enough errors to "cause the reader to be cautious," but there are "some good passages" as well. Lucas, I&NS 12.3/197, comments that Ike's Spies "illuminated covert action's importance within US strategy" but also "fell prey to the myth of Eisenhower as controlling influence."

Anonymous. "Agent Radio Operations During World War II." Studies in Intelligence 3, no. 1 (Winter 1959): 125-132.

This article reviews clandestine radio operations and operators in World War II -- Allied and Axis, agent and base.

Bennett, Ralph.

1. Behind the Battle: Intelligence in the War with Germany, 1939-45. London: Sinclair-Stevenson, 1994.

Hunt, I&NS 9.4, notes that Bennett is a historian who worked at Bletchley Park. It is "natural ... that he would concentrate on Sigint, and particularly on Ultra." He presents a "synthesis, lucid despite its necessary concision, which brings together the main conceptions of Allied and German Grand Strategy." He is "scathing about one supposed source of intelligence: espionage. Agent information produced nothing of any value throughout the war."

The "campaigns in Italy and NW Europe are admirably covered. Deception gets good billing.... It is [in] the accuracy of his analysis of the influence of Intelligence on Grand Strategy that Bennett's great merit lies." This book will take "its place with the author's other books among the classics of military history."

For Kruh, Cryptologia 19.1, Behind the Battle fills the absence of a review of the entire field of military intelligence available to the Allies in a "commendable fashion."

2. "Intelligence and Strategy in the Second World War." In British and American Approaches to Intelligence, ed. K.G. Robertson, 130-150. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan, 1987.

Bigelow, Michael E. "Eisenhower and Intelligence." Military Intelligence 17, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1991): 19-25.

Boone, J.V., and R.R. Peterson. The Start of the Digital Revolution: SIGSALY, Secure Digital Voice Communications in World War II. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: Center for Cryptologic History, National Security Agency, 2000.

Kruh, Cryptologia 28.1, says that this is "[a]n excellent brochure though necessarily limited by space restraints" (24 pages).

Breuer, William B. Undercover Tales of World War II. New York: John Wiley, 1999.

Wannall, AFIO WIN 28-99 (5 Jul. 1999), describes this as a "compendium of vignettes" about intelligence and espionage in World War II. "[V]ital undercover operations" are "skilfully portrayed in this attention-capturing book." For Kruh, Cryptologia 24.1, this is "a fascinating collection of more than 70 ... stranger-than-fiction stories of clandestine activities."

Brown, Kathryn E. "The Interplay of Information and Mind in Decision-Making: Signals Intelligence and Franklin D. Roosevelt's Policy-Shift on Indochina." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 109-131.

Calvocoressi, Peter, Guy Wint, and John Pritchard. Total War: The Causes and Courses of the Second World War. 2d ed. New York: Pantheon, 1989.

Petersen: The authors "skillfully incorporate new information on intelligence aspects of the conflict, particularly Ultra."

Camp, Dick. Shadow Warriors: The Untold Stories of American Special Operations During World War II. Minneapolis, MN: Zenith, 2013.

Booher, Proceedings 140.1 (Jan. 2014), notes that the author has selected "some well known and a few unfamiliar scenarios, which hr c;early and descriptively illuminates." This "is a finely woven historical tome."

Collier, Basil. Hidden Weapons: Allied Secret or Undercover Services in World War II. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1982. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword, 2006. [pb]

From publisher: The author "throws fresh light on the low priority given to Intelligence between the wars; the tendency of ministers and senior officials to rely less on intelligence reports than their own individual hunches; the failure to foresee the invasion of Norway; why, even with the aid of Enigma it was impossible to turn the scales in Crete, and why the Americans, though privy to some of Japans most closely guarded secrets, allowed the Pearl Harbor attack to take them by surprise."

Cull, Nicholas John. Selling War: The British Campaign against American "Neutrality" in World War II. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Rawnsley, I&NS 12.2, comments that the author reminds readers that "the sustained British propaganda" using "every conceivable method -- overt and covert --" had, by Pearl Harbor, "created a climate where the idea of involvement might flourish.... This is a populist history, a readable story elegantly written." For Kearney, Air & Space Power, this is an "enlightening, informative, and important" work. The author "skillfully ... documents the information campaign that our ally waged from 1937 through 1941."

Destremau, Christian. Ce que savaient les Alliés [What the Allies Knew]. Paris: Perrin, 2007.

Deutsch, Harold C.

1. "Clients of Ultra: American Captains." Parameters 15 (Summer 1985): 55-62.

The author discusses the attitudes of major U.S. commanders toward the Ultra intelligence. Patton may have made the best use of the material.

2. "Commanding Generals and the Uses of Intelligence." Intelligence and National Security 3, no. 3 (Jul. 1988): 194-260.

Deutsch surveys the use made of intelligence during World War II by nine commanders, eight Allied and one German. This is one of those articles that should be on the "must read" list of anyone interested in the use of intelligence.

3. "The Historical Impact of Revealing the Ultra Secret." Parameters 7, no. 3 (1977): 16-32.

"Whatever the verdict on the hotly debated question of whether the ULTRA revelations require a 'complete' rewriting of World War II history, there can be no argument that they will demand the reexamination of a vast complex of historical problems."

4. "The Influence of Ultra on World War II." Parameters 8, no. 3 (Dec. 1978): 2-15.

This and the immediately preceding article should be read together, as they deal with two aspects of the same problem: assessing the impact of Ultra (and intelligence generally) on World War II. Deutsch makes clear his belief that the intelligence factor must be an important factor in discussing the history of the war. He wrote at that time that the then-new Ultra revelations would be more likely to impact the "why" questions of the war than the "what" questions. Thirty years later that still looks like a good analysis.

Ellis, John. Brute Force: Allied Strategy and Tactics in the Second World War. New York: Viking, 1991.

Surveillant 1.6 notes that this book includes "[s]everal references to ULTRA intelligence, Air Technical Intelligence Group, Sorge, Stalin, and German intelligence."

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