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Well, what does it all mean? How can the contribution of codebreaking to the Allied victory be summed up?
Early in the war, as I said, radar was more important…But later int he war, I believe, codebreaking became more important. Its powers exceeded those of other kinds of intelligence….I think, in other words, that it provided the most valuable intelligence of all in the realm of military operations that lies believe tactics and strategy–the area that the Germans call operational. This deals with the movement of such large bodies as armies and army groups.
Where it helped, however, it helped enormously. Statement after statement of top commanders testify to this. Here’s Eisenhower to the administrative overseer of Bletchley: “The intelligence which has emanated from you before that during this campaign has been of priceless value to me. It has saved thousands of British and American lives and, in no small way, contributed to the speed with which the enemy was routed and eventually forced to surrender.” George Marshall said practically the same thing.
Excerpts from David Kahn, “The Significance of Codebreaking and Intelligence in Allied Strategy and Tactics.” from remarks delivered 1976 before the Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, reprinted in Cryptology.
In the summer of 2015 I was contacted by an author interested in the stories of the Sugar Camp WAVES–one of my favorite topics. Now their story as well as that of the WACS at Arlington Hall is available and wonderfully successful.
“Code Girls is an extraordinary book by an extraordinary author. Liza Mundy’s portraits of World War II codebreakers are so skillfully and vividly drawn that I felt as if I were right there with them—mastering ciphers, outwitting the Japanese army, sinking ships, breaking hearts, and even accidentally insulting Eleanor Roosevelt. I am an evangelist for this book: You must read it.”
author of The Good Girls Revolt – Lynn Povich