WORLD WAR II

MAGIC

K - R

 

Kahn, David

1. "Roosevelt, MAGIC, and ULTRA." Cryptologia 16, no. 4 (Oct. 1992): 289-319.

This is a brief history of the U.S. military cryptographic effort, including organization and message handling. The article concludes that "we historians can only say that we do not know how Roosevelt used MAGIC and ULTRA. And probably we never will." Reprinted in Cryptolog 14, no. 3 (Spring 1993): 1, 5, 11-12. This version does not include accompanying "documentation" published in the original.

2.. "World War II History: The Biggest Hole." Military Affairs 39, no. 2 (Apr. 1975): 74-77.

More research is needed on the role of codes and ciphers (and intelligence matters generally) in and on the war.

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."

Lewin, Ronald. The American Magic: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982. The Other Ultra. London: Hutchinson, 1982. New York: Penguin, 1983. [pb]

Pforzheimer says that Lewin's is an "historically accurate and well-written account from the pre-war breaking of the Japanese diplomatic (Purple) cipher..., through the breaking of the Japanese military and naval ciphers... This volume is highly important in the literature of cryptology in World War II." Sexton sees the book as a "balanced synthesis of the impact of analysis of Japanese military communications on U.S. strategy and operations in the Pacific."

Lowman, David D. MAGIC: The Untold Story of U.S. Intelligence and the Evacuation of Japanese Residents from the West Coast During WWII. Provo, UT: Athena, 2000.

According to Publisher's Weekly, 1 Jan. 2001, declassified "intelligence records, including sources from MAGIC," describe "systematic recruitment of Japanese residents, citizens and noncitizens into networks designed to provide information to Japan both before and after the outbreak of war." The author "makes a solid case that the intelligence community's faith in its credibility contributed significantly to the government's decision" on internment. Nevertheless, "too often Lowman's documents are left to speak for themselves, without a supporting analytical structure."

Kruh, Cryptologia 28.3, notes that the author provides copies of the MAGIC intercepts revealing "the existence of a widespread domestic Japanese threat" and "includes reproductions of declassified reports from three U.S. intelligence organizations that were charged with discovering the true scope of the problem."

After noting the author's extensive use of primary sources, Budiansky, Proceedings 127.4 (Apr. 2001), concludes that "Lowman makes a persuasive case that it was not mere hysteria for the U.S. government to fear that at least some Japanese Americans posed a security risk.... Lowman is far less persuasive, however, in arguing that Magic intelligence provided the smoking gun to U.S. officials who ordered the evacuation.... [And the author] seems simply obtuse at times to the suffering that the evacuees, the overwhelming majority of them loyal Americans, endured."

Mendelsohn, John, ed. Covert Warfare: Intelligence, Counter-intelligence and Military Deception During the World War II Era. 18 vols. New York: Garland, 1989.

This multivolume work consists of photo reproductions of documents from the National Archives.

Vol. 1: ULTRA, MAGIC and the Allies. Intro., Timothy Mulligan.

Sexton terms this an "invaluable collection."

Miller, A. Ray. The Cryptographic Mathematics of Enigma. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 2001.

Nickels, Hamilton. Codemaster: Secrets of Making and Breaking Codes. Boulder, CO: Paladin, 1990.

According to Sexton, the author of this autobiographical account "incorrectly asserts that the Japanese PURPLE cipher machine was copied from the German ENIGMA machine."

Potter, E.B. "The Crypt of the Cryptanalysts." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 109, no. 8 (Aug. 1983): 52-56.

Putney, Diane T., ed. Ultra and the Army Air Forces in World War II: An Interview with Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1987.

According to Sexton, Powell served as Ultra liaison officer with the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe. Here, he gives "valuable insights into the use made of ULTRA in target selection and Anglo American intelligence cooperation." Bates, NIPQ 13.3, notes that the interview "is heavily footnoted. Each time he mentions an individual a footnote provides a short biography. When he mentions an operation, battle or event, it is described in a footnote. These additions make the main text all the more meaningful." See also, Jeffries, Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.: A Biography (1994).

Ratcliff, Rebecca. "Cryptology and World War II: NSA's 1995 History Symposium." Cryptologia 20, no. 2 (Apr. 1996): 135-140.

"ABSTRACT: Highlights of the National Security Agency's Sixth Annual Cryptologic History Symposium [25-27 October 1995] focusing on the War in the Pacific and a Cryptologic Assessment of World War II."

Rohwer, Jürgen.

1. "Signal Intelligence and World War II: The Unfolding Story." Journal of Military History 63, no. 4 (Oct. 1999): 939-951.

The author tracks the opening up of information from U.S. and UK sources (and secondarily from other countries) about the role of Sigint in World War II.

2. "International Historiography about Signal Intelligence." The Enigma Bulletin 2 (May 1997): 3-16.

This is an earlier version of the above article.

Rowlett, Frank B. The Story of Magic: Memoirs of an American Cryptologic Pioneer. Laguna Hills, CA: Aegean Park Press, 1998.

See Rowlett's obituary in Telegraph (London), 18 Jul. 1998.

According to Bates, NIPQ 15.1, these are the memoirs of the man who "was largely responsible for the ciphers used by the United States in the thirties and forties and for duplicating the Japaneses diplomatic cipher machine, PURPLE, through cryptanalysis." Rowlett's story begins in 1930 and ends before Pearl Harbor. The memoir has "no footnotes because this is a first hand account."

Beard, I&NS 15.4, notes that "[t]hanks to this memoir, we know quite a lot more about just how the tiny corps of Army Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) and Navy cryptanalysts solved 'Red,' 'Purple' and other Japanese codes." David Kahn provides a "useful Foreword and Epilogue." For Kruh, Cryptologia 23.2 , this "is one of only a few cryptologic works that merits a place in the personal library of anyone interested in codes and ciphers."

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