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Delusions of Intelligence

Delusions of Intelligence
Enigma, Ultra, and the End of Secure Ciphers

$51.00 (G)

  • Date Published: August 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521855228

$ 51.00 (G)
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About the Authors
  • In 1974, the British government admitted that its WWII secret intelligence organization had read Germany’s ciphers on a massive scale. The intelligence from these decrypts influenced the Atlantic, the Eastern Front and Normandy. Why did the Germans never realize the Allies had so thoroughly penetrated their communications? As German intelligence experts conducted numerous internal investigations that all certified their ciphers’ security, the Allies continued to break more ciphers and plugged their own communication leaks. How were the Allies able to so thoroughly exploit Germany’s secret messages? How did they keep their tremendous success a secret? What flaws in Germany’s organization allowed this counterintelligence failure and how can today’s organizations learn to avoid similar disasters? This book, the first comparative study of WWII SIGINT (Signals Intelligence), analyzes the characteristics that allowed the Allies SIGINT success and that fostered the German blindness to Enigma’s compromise.

    • Tells the full story of Ultra and Enigma, including a full analysis from the German perspective
    • A comparative study of German and Allied WWII intelligence successes and failures
    • A historical case study examining organizations' best practices for recognizing and preventing communications security lapses
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "We have all heard how the Allies' solution of German cryptosystems helped them win World War II. Now R. A. Ratcliff tells us for the first time the hidden underside of that story: how the Germans lost the code war and then the whole war."
    David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers

    "In Delusions of Intelligence, Dr. Ratcliff has gone beyond the standard and somewhat inadequate explanations for the Allied success and Nazi failure in cryptology. Ratcliff has written the first thorough analysis of the fundamental reasons why Nazi Germany did not (and perhaps could not) win the war of codes and ciphers."
    Robert J. Hanyok

    "It is a splendid contribution to signals intelligence and covers much new material."
    Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Post

    "Delusions of Intelligence is well written and accessible and is indispensable to any student of wartime intelligence. For the general reader, it is an excellent introduction to the topic of wartime code breaking."
    Roderick Bailey, Imperial War Museum, Times Higher

    "Who would have guessed that signal intelligence could make such a riveting read!...The book not only amazes the expert, but is eminently readable for anyone interested in matters of intelligence, past and present.... Ratcliff has written a fabulous book. It is well-researched, well-argued, and beautifully written. I sincerely hope that it will find a wide array of readers from all walks of academic and non-academic life. It holds insights and lessons aplenty."
    -H-German, Katrin Paehler, Department of History, Illinois State University

    "Ratcliff, a freelance scholar and consultant, offers a provocative analysis of WWII signals intelligence from a German perspective." - Publisher's Weekly

    "Ratcliff has written an exceptionally informative book that belongs in your personal library and for use as a gift for a friend interested in WWI Sigint." - Louis Kruh, Esq.

    "Ratcliff has written an intriguing and well-argued book..."
    Arnold Krammer, Texas A&M University, German Studies Review

    "Ratcliff's book is a valuable, and original, addition to the historical literature on British intelligence in the Second World War."
    Calder Walton, The International History Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521855228
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the traitor in our midst
    1. Enigma: the development and use of a new technology
    2. Early triumph: German intelligence successes
    3. Of no mutual assistance: compartmentalization and competition in German signals intelligence
    4. The work of Station X: centralizing Allied cryptology at Bletchley Park
    5. Protecting Boniface: Allied security, disguise, and dissemination of Ultra
    6. The illusion of security: the German explanations for Allied successes
    7. Determined answers: structural problems in German signal intelligence
    8. A long-standing anxiety: Allied communications security
    9. Enter the machines: the role of science and machines in the cryptologic war
    Conclusion: ending the era of security.

  • Author

    R. A. Ratcliff
    R. A. Ratcliff, who currently lives and consults in the hills above Silicon Valley, has taught history and rhetoric at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of San Francisco and has lectured at the National Security Agency's intelligence school. In addition to working in the high tech industry, Dr Ratcliff has written articles for Cryptologia, Intelligence and National Security, and the NSA's internal newsletter.

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