The author is a specialist in signals intelligence and has provided an enthralling account of Alastair Denniston and his contribution to modern electronic intelligence. This book follows from his excellent biography of another great of signals intelligence, Gordon Welshman – Most Highly recommended.
NAME: Alastair Denniston, Code-Breaking From Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ FILE: R2625 AUTHOR: Joel Greenberg PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline BINDING:hard back PAGES: 308 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, The Great War. BCCS,WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, codebreaking, signals traffic, signal interception, SIGINT, Cold War, Bletchley Park, GCHQ ISBN: 1-52670-912-0 IMAGE: B2625.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/m5ncdt7 LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The author is a specialist in signals intelligence and has provided an enthralling account of Alastair Denniston and his contribution to modern electronic intelligence. This book follows from his excellent biography of another great of signals intelligence, Gordon Welshman – Most Highly recommended. There is an enormous appetite for books on the intelligence services, yet so little is really known of their work and contribution to military and political victory. At a time when the Internet, already some 50 years old, is still thought to be very new, the computer is now taken largely for granted and is part of almost every device made by man. It is still a surprise to many that the Internet had its roots in Bletchley Park and the need to process huge volumes of signals intelligence. It was at Bletchley that the programmable electronic computer first came to life and the work was to be continued by GCHQ into current times. Incredibly that computer revolution is more than seventy years old. Even more incredibly, its roots go back before the First World War. At that time the Royal Navy had formed a strong grasp of the advantages and weaknesses of the new wireless communication and the first work to develop radio telephony. At the start of the Twentieth Century, wireless telegraphy was rapidly developing and, in only a decade, could not only equip powerful shore stations and major warships, but could increasingly be fitted to the minor war vessels, airships and aircraft. It was also coming into Army use and for diplomatic service as an alternative to line connected telegraph services. This provided great opportunity, particularly for navies in their communication with and direction of warships around the world. Against the advantages, radio had a potentially fatal weakness in that it could be monitored by hostile radio stations, its traffic recorded and the location of the transmitters fixed by triangulation. The Royal Navy quickly understood the weaknesses and began to install monitoring stations around the world. Initially, the only encoding of traffic was in the form of Morse Code, in its various forms, and similar general transmission codes, including short codes like WesternTelegraph abbreviations for commonly used words to reduce transmission times. Progressively, sensitive traffic came to be encrypted on top of the transmission code and that created an urgent need for intelligence services to build teams of code-breakers. This would potentially open the most sensitive transmissions to hostile ears, but even encrypted traffic continued to disclose vital intelligence just by its volume and the location of transmitters. The Royal Navy drove the development of electronic intelligence gathering and processing and Denniston was one of the key players in this development through two World Wars and the period between. He understood the changing needs as encryption became mechanically generated and hired Alan Turing and others as the new breed of code-breakers for WWII. This is an absorbing story that is well told and greatly adds to the public knowledge of what is still a very murky world that guards its secrets jealously.