WORLD WAR II

General Overviews

S - Z

 

Smith, Bradley F. Sharing Secrets with Stalin: How the Allies Traded Intelligence, 1941-1945. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1996.

Schneider, AHR 103.4, notes that this book "is a comprehensive and critical look at the exchange of military intelligence among Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States." The author uses "a broad range of new declassified archival sources" to produce "an important contribution in the study of the 'sociology of alliances.'"

According to Jonkers, AIJ 17.1/2, Smith finds that "[a] great deal of the intelligence was exchanged.... By the end of 1944 the Allies even provided ULTRA and MAGIC reports to the Soviets." This is a "[w]ell written book by the dean of British authors on intelligence." Stutteford, Publishers Weekly, 30 Sep. 1996, comments that Smith "has thoughtfully catalogued the long sequence of important intelligence materials passed along to the Anglo-Americans by the Soviets." Seamon, Proceedings 123.6 (Jun. 1997), calls this study "detailed and authoritative."

Sommer, Mark. "Getting the Message Through: Clandestine Mail and Postage Stamps." Military Intelligence 18, no. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1992): 35-38.

Examples from World War II and Vietnam.

Stafford, David. Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets. Woodstock, NY: Overlook, 2000.

For Schwab, IJI&C 15.1, the author's "chief contributions are to illustrate the fascination of both leaders with intelligence, and to analyze how this secret dimension both strengthened and complicated their personal relationship.... He contends convincingly that, in spite of occasional disagreements and conflicting long-term objectives, Churchill and Roosevelt built a durable intelligence alliance." However, the work "is often more episodic and anecdotal than comprehensively analytical."

Sterling, George E. "The U.S. Hunt for Axis Agent Radios." Studies in Intelligence 4, no. 2 (Spring 1960): 35-54.

The author discusses how the "routine policing of the ether" by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "became in World War II a multi-purpose defense service and a far-flung counter-espionage operation." Clark comment: This is an interesting article on a liitle-known aspect of the clandestine war.

Steury, Donald P. World War II Chronicles: The Intelligence Wars. New York: MetroBooks, 2000.

Kruh, Cryptologia 25.1, says that the author "vividly describes the covert activities that comprised the secret war from 1939 through 1945. The book is illustrated with full color maps and almost 150 photographs."

Strong, Kenneth W. D. [Maj.-Gen. Sir]. Intelligence at the Top: The Recollections of an Intelligence Officer. London: Cassell, 1968. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1969.

According to Pforzheimer, "General Strong ... served as G-2 for General Eisenhower during World War II" and held important positions in British military intelligence in the postwar years. This book relates (with great discretion) the general's "experiences during his intelligence career, his views of the role of intelligence in government, and important insights into the profession." There is no discussion of the use of Ultra material. Constantinides adds that this is "a mainly autobiographical work that looks at the nature and role of military intelligence rather than intelligence as a whole (except for the final chapter)."

In a biographical sketch, Kenneth Campbell, "General Eisenhower's J-2: Major General Kenneth Strong, British Army Intelligence," American Intelligence Journal 17, no. 3/4 (1997), 81-83, finds several factors behind General Strong's success as Eisenhower's J-2: "his long-term assignment to intelligence, his exceptional dedication to educating himself professionally, his loyalty to his commander, and his talents for working in an international joint command context."

Sweeney, Michael S. Secrets of Victory: The Office of Censorship and the American Press and Radio in World War II. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

According to Hanyok, Studies 46.3 (2002), "[h]ow and why ... information restrictions succeeded are the subjects" of this "well-told, lean history."

Thompson, Richard J., Jr. Crystal Clear: The Struggle for Reliable Communications Technology in World War II. New York: Wiley/IEEE, 2006.

Beard, I&NS 22.3 (Jun. 2007), finds that the book describes well how the United States produced "the millions of quartz crystal oscillators that controlled the frequencies of its radios during World War II." However, the author has failed to put his story into context.

Toscano, Mario. "'Machiavelli' Views World War II Intelligence." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1, no. 3 (1986): 41-52.

From IJI&C Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in Italian in 1963. It also appeared in U.S. in 1970 and was originally entitled "Specific Problems in World War II." The article concerns "the influence which the work of intelligence services had on several important political decisions before and during World War II." Examples include the negotiations leading up to the Soviet-German Pact of 1939 and the origins of the Rome-Berlin axis.

Tyas, Stephen. "Allied Intelligence Agencies and the Holocaust: Information Acquired from German Prisoners of War." Holocaust and Genocide Studies 22, no. 1 (2008): 1-24.

Valero, Larry A. "An Impressive Record: The American Joint Intelligence Committee and Estimates of the Soviet Union, 1945-1947." Studies in Intelligence 9 (Summer 2000): 65-80.

This is an excellent introduction to one of the least known of U.S. intelligence organizations during and immediately after World War II. Although the focus of the article is on JIC's early estimates regarding the USSR for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, broader coverage of JIC formation and operation provide a useful and interesting background.

Warner, Philip.

1. Secret Forces of World War II. Chicago: Scarborough House, 1991.

Surveillant 1.5 calls this a "breezy history of many of the secret military actions of the Second World War that should not be missed. This is more hors d'oeuvres, not a main course." A Publisher's Weekly (via Amazon.com) reviewer sees this as a "cursory review" that "is disappointingly short on details, personalities and drama."

2. World War II: The Untold Story. London: The Bodley Head, 1988.

According to Surveillant 1.1, the military historian author "tells of intelligence triumphs and failures, and with crypto stories skillfully woven into the narrative to make this a realistic and accurate short account of total war."

Weadon, Patrick D. SIGSALY Story. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 2000. [http://www.nsa.gov/about/cryptologic_heritage/center_crypt_history/publications/sigsaly_story.shtml]

"The device's success in protecting voice communications was due to a new development known as 'pulse code modulation,' the predecessor of such present-day innovations as digital voice, data and video transmission. It also was one of the earliest applications of spread spectrum technology, which was key to its effective operation."

Weinberg, Gerhard L. A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Campbell, AIJ 15.2, calls A World at Arms "a magnificent work of scholarship.... In the area of intelligence, the author has integrated into his narrative a massive amount of material derived from signals intelligence.... He also addresses the significance of espionage and SIGINT in this conflict (pp. 544-58), and makes references throughout the book to the uses of intelligence, including critical comments on its limitations. (pp. 551-52 and 556)." However, "[i]t is inconceivable that the Cambridge University Press should have decided to burden this great book with such poor maps. Further, the book needs a bibliography and not just a 'Bibliographic Essay'."

To Foot, I&NS 10.3, this account of World War II "is at once readable and comprehensive." Weinberg "includes 15 pages ... on signals and other intelligence, of which ... he fully comprehends the importance. Here as elsewhere he takes care to point out what is as yet unknown, and what ma[]y prove unknowable." Weinberg "appreciates" -- but does not exaggerate -- "the role of intelligence in warfare."

West, Nigel. [Rupert Allason]

1. Counterfeit Spies: Genuine or Bogus? An Astonishing Investigation into Secret Agents of the Second World War. London: St. Ermin's, 1998.

Periscope 21.3 notes that West manages to debunk "many of the great spy stories" of World War II. "The research is thorough, the writing is excellent, the reasoning persuasive." Wiant, Studies 46.2 (2002), finds that the author combines "keen analysis with recently declassified records" to systematically examine "books purporting to be true accounts of World War II intelligence operations that are, either in whole or in part, rampant embellishments or complete fabrications." Along the way, West "sort[s] out the verifiable historical details from the exaggerations and inventions."

2. Unreliable Witness: Espionage Myths of the Second World War. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1984. A Thread of Deceit: Espionage Myths of World War II. New York: Random House, 1985. New York: Dell, 1987. [pb]

According to Sayle, IJI&C 1.1, West does a "splendid job in addressing the problem of World War II intelligence lore." This book is "recommended [for the] reading list of anyone concerned with counterintelligence analysis." There is a "mediocre chapter" on Pearl Harbor.

Whitehouse, Arch. Espionage and Counterespionage: Adventures in Military Intelligence. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1964.

Constantinides notes that Whitehouse was a correspondent in Europe in World War II. Despite the title, there is little here that would recommend the book to serious students of intelligence.

Whiting, Charles. The War in the Shadows. New York: Ballantine, 1973. [pb]

From cover: "The battle of the spymasters in WWII. The ... story of the most deadly chess game in history, with spies as the chessmasters and nations as the pawns."

Woolsey, R. James, Doyle Larson [MAJGEN/USAF (Ret.)], and Linda Zall. "Honoring Two World War II Heroes: Prestigious Intelligence Rewards." Studies in Intelligence 38, no. 5 (1995): 27-36.

Woolsey, Larson, and Zall remarks at 27 October 1993 ceremony at CIA Headquarters honoring R.V. Jones and Jeannie de Clarens.

 

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