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Battle of Wits By Stephen Budiansky

Battle of Wits
by Stephen Budiansky

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This work uses nearly 5000 declassified documents and oral testimonies to detail American and British codebreaking during World War II.
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Battle of Wits Summary

Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II by Stephen Budiansky

Based on newly declassified documents, this is the first complete story of Allied code-breaking in World War II - the compelling tale of codebreaking's golden age. In 1939 cryptoanalysis was in its infancy, its practitioners' skills rudimentary and untried. The codebreakers faced huge barriers of official indifference and - from the military bureaucracy - even contempt for their work. Yet during the course of the war these men and women accomplished extraordinary feats of mathematical wizardry that turned the tide of many critical battles. New Stephen Budiansky tells their story. From the fight against the Nazi U-boats in the Atlantic, to the climactic showdown against Yamamoto's aircraft carriers at Midway, and the success of the D-Day invasion, "Battle of Wits" reveals the "shadow war" that lay behind the famous events of World War II, and breathes life into unsung heroes whose work has been wrapped in secrecy for decades. Drawing on literally thousands of previously unseen files, Budiansky provides lucid explanations of how the most impenetrable of Axis codes were actually broken - including the German ENIGMA and Japanese "Purple" machines - and traces the origins of the top-secret project, codenamed VENONA, that broke the Soviet spy codes in one of the most incredible cryptoanalytic feats of all time.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 "No good, not even for intelligence": the end of the black chamber; William F. Friedman picks up the pieces; "I had the good sense to get out of it!"; room 40; Winston Churchill, an early convert; the Foreign Office, a late convert; the Soviet intercepts; a strategic future for intelligence. Part 2 Nature of the beast: the birth of codebreaking; machine ciphers, Poland and the Enigma; depth reading; the distinct limitations of thievery; solving the red machine. Part 3 "Il y a du nouveau": 1939, a dark new year; meeting at Pyry Forest; Marian Rejewski's mathematical feat; recovering the daily Enigma keys; Alan Turing and other "men of the professor type"; Bletchley Park; the Poles' flight. Part 4 Fighting back: British mathematicians vs. the Enigma; the bombe takes shape; "a pile of dull, disjointed and enigmatic scraps"; cryptanalytic talent; Norway and yellow; France and red; HMS Glorious. Part 5 Impossible problems: the sinking of U-33; naval Enigma and the bombe; operation Ruthless and other straws; American isolationism; purple; the British charm offensive; a mission to Bletchley, bearing gifts. Part 6 Success breeds success: the Blitz; Cape Matapan; Boniface, Barbarossa and Bismarck; naval Enigma, U-110 and the trawler pinches; the eastern front and German atrocities; Trafalgar Day; cribs and continuity. Part 7 The machines: the British make polite noises; IBM machines and JN-25; the machine attack on Floradora; Washington at war; military vs. civilians; an American ultimatum; better bombes; high-speed analyzers. Part 8 Paranoia is our profession: Donitz's suspicions; the evacuation of Corregidor; the Midway leak; some bungled operations; "do not talk at meals"; suspicions among friends. Part 9 The shadow war: calling the shots in the Mediterranean; Torch and deception; the flight from Vichy; Atlantic convoys; U-559 and the breaking of Shark; the hunt for leaks; the American invasion; pressure and diversions; women in uniform. Part 10 Command of the ether: Russian espionage and project Venona; GEE and fish; masters of deception; Yamamoto; the Water Transport code; failure in the Ardennes; signalling the end. Part 11 Epilogue: legacy; appendices.

Additional information

Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II by Stephen Budiansky
Stephen Budiansky
Used - Very Good
Penguin Books Ltd
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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