The Secret Capture, U-110 and the Enigma Story

This is the account of an action at sea which was the most important of WWII. The Allies captured a number of Axis submarines, including one that surrendered to a Lockheed Hudson aircraft, but U110 was fatally damaged and yielded a vital secret and technology – Most Highly Recommended.

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NAME:    The Secret Capture, U-110 and the Enigma Story 
FILE: R3212
AUTHOR: Stephen Roskill
PUBLISHER: Seaforth Publishing
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £16.99                                                               
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT:   World War II, World War 2, World War Two, WWII, Second World War, war at sea, U-Boats, Wolf Packs, Convoys, shipping losses, code breaking, radio intercepts, Royal Navy, boarding crews, code books, Enigma machines, mechanized encoding

ISBN: 978-1-84832-098-7

PAGES: 163
IMAGE: B3212.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y59o272u
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is the account of an action at sea which was the most important of WWII. The Allies captured a number of Axis submarines, including one that surrendered to a Lockheed Hudson aircraft, but U110 was fatally damaged and yielded a vital secret and technology – Most Highly Recommended.


This is the gripping story of how a German U-boat was fatally damaged and forced to the surface. A courageous Royal Navy boarding party was unable to take possession of the prize, but their determination was to yield an undamaged Enigma machine and code books. The story was not to be told until 1959 and then partly to set the record straight after some greatly exaggerated claims relating to the US Navy capture of U-505.

Britain was significantly aided by the Polish intelligence service which provided examples of early Enigma machines, with further information and equipment provided by the Polish Resistance. That enabled the British Codes and Cypher School at Bletchley Park to begin decoding German radio traffic early in WWII. The challenge was that the Germans made changes to the Enigma machines and each German military organization operated with important differences. By May 1941, the Royal Navy was suffering major setbacks and shipping losses were becoming critical to the war effort. The only way to begin a recovery was to be able to decode Germany radio traffic between the U-Boat Command and their Wolf Packs in the North Atlantic.

When HMS Bulldog forced U-110 to the surface on 9 May 1941, it was to prove one of, if not the, defining actions of WWII. A small boarding party under a Sub-Lt was sent across to attempt to secure the obviously heavily damaged submarine and recover anything of value. This was a very dangerous situation. The battle damage alone suggested the U-boat was fatally damaged and in sinking condition. There was also the probability that the German crew had set demolition charges on timers. Going into the cramped conditions aboard a mortally wounded vessel, that could sink at any moment, required an amazing level of courage on the part of the young officer and his boarding party.

Seizing the Enigma machine and the latest code books was only part of the story because ULTRA was still the highest secret and remained so after the war because British intelligence continued to use what had been learned to break Soviet signals during the Cold War that was to follow. The capture of machine and codes had to be kept secret from the German crew and the courage and ingenuity of the RN personnel could not be fully recognized.

This enthralling story includes a new introduction that reveals just how important the action was to the progress of the war and eventual defeat of Germany.