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More About This Title SIGINT


Communicating in the chaos of war is complicated, but vital. Signals intelligence makes it possible. In World War I, a vast network of signals rapidly expanded across the globe, spawning a new breed of spies and intelligence operatives to code, de-code and analyze thousands of messages. Signallers and cryptographers in the Admiralty’s famous Room 40 paved the way for the code-breakers of Bletchley Park in World War II. In the ensuing war years the world battled against a web of signals intelligence that gave birth to ENIGMA, LORENZ and ULTRA, and saw agents from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, America and Japan race to outwit each other through infinitely complex codes. For the first time, the secret history of global signals intelligence in the world wars is revealed.


Peter Matthews is Secretary of the Foreign Press Association and regularly works with a wide range of international journalists. He has written numerous articles on military history and international relations. He served in the Army in Berlin post-WW2 and developed an active interest and role in Signals Intelligence.


Acknowledgements 9
Preface 13
Introduction to Signals Intelligence 17
The SIGINT Battlefeld 17
The Value of SIGINT 19

1 From Cables to Codes 21
Cable Wars 21
Wireless Telegraphy Pioneers 23
The History of Codes 26
Codes and Codewords 29
Interceptions and Encryption 33
Decryption 36
Frequency Analysis 41

2 Intelligent Warfare 43
Intelligence in Signals 43
Politicians and Intelligence 54

3 The Pre-War Intelligence Scene 58
German Intelligence 58
Germany’s Allies 60
Allied Intelligence 62

4 Europe’s War 65
The Reasons for War 65
The Battle of Tannenberg 68
SIGINT in Galicia 73
The Miracle of the Marne 74
The Race to the Sea 76
In the Trenches 78
The Direction Finding Service 80
The French Goniometric Service 81
Romania and Russia 83

5 The War at Sea 87
Room 40 at the Admiralty 88
Codes in the War at Sea 92
Directionals at Sea 96
U-boats and Convoys 99
Surface Raiders 101
The North Sea 103
Jutland 106

6 The War in the Air 113
Zeppelins and Gothas 113
Air Battles in France 114

7 The War’s End and SIGINT 116
America Drifts into War 116
The Lusitania 117
Zimmermann and America 120
1918 and the End Game 123
The Yanks are Coming 124
Brest-litovsk 125
Compiègne and the Armistice 127

8 The Inter-war Years 129
Minor Wars 129
Polish Con-Men 130
TiCOM Analysis 132
The Players 132
German intelligence 133
Cipher Machines 141
Non-Belligerents 147

9 The Second World War – The Beginning 150
Czechoslovakia and Poland 150
The Phoney War 151
Norway 152
The Battle for France and Dunkirk 154
Britain’s Air War 160
The Battle of the Atlantic 162
Raiding Europe 166
Germany’s Surface Fleet 169
The Balkans 174
The Middle East 176
The Desert Campaign 178
The Afrika Korps 180
The Torch Landings 184

10 The Second World War – The Middle 186
Russia 186
Russian Battlefeld Intelligence 196
Japan 198
Sicily and Italy 205
Counter Intelligence 207
Scandinavian Resistance 210
France 212
Belgium 216
Holland and the North Pole 217

11 The Second World War – The End 221
D-Day 221
The Battle for France and the Bulge 224
Middle Europe – Poland and Czechoslovakia 226
The Bomb Plot 227
The War’s End 229
Beginning Again 230

In Conclusion 233
Appendix 240
Bibliography 253
Index 255