Ultra and Some Command Decisions

  title={Ultra and Some Command Decisions},
  author={Ralph Francis Bennett},
  journal={Journal of Contemporary History},
  pages={131 - 151}
  • R. Bennett
  • Published 1 January 1981
  • History
  • Journal of Contemporary History
'The historian is a natural snob. He sides with the gods against Cato and applauds the winning side', wrote Dean Inge half a century ago. Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa Catoni.' It may seem strange to begin a discussion of Second World War intelligence with a classical tag and the 'gloomy dean' of the 1930s, but his remark neatly points up a familiar historiographical problem which has a double relevance to the task of assessing the place of Ultra in the making of command decisions… 

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This M.A. thesis examines the development of the first centralized intelligence service in the United States during World War 11, the Office of Strategic Services or OSS. From the beginning, the

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Since WWII, the West has moved from a society of nations proudly ordered around the notion of a ‘finest hour’ to a climate today of widespread cynicism and social disengagement. ‘Between the Lies’



British Intelligence in the Second World War

To the German invasion of Soviet Russia from the summer of 1941 to the end of 1942 the first half of 1943 from the summer of 1943 to the summer of 1944 Overlord and the Battle of Normandy the defeat

At the same time, the Allied air forces in Italy were flying an average of 435 sorties every twenty-four hours (excluding anti-shipping operations and attacks on ports)

  • The Mediterranean

Similar misapprehensions can easily multiply. Mr. Nicolson interviewed General Mark Clark in 1970 (Nigel Nicolson, Alex, 233)

  • The Ultra Secret

The Ultra evidence about Arnhem is set out in Ultra in the West

    Intelligence at the Top, 149; C. Ryan, A Bridge too Far

      By Group Captain Winterbotham in The Ultra Secret (1974), which was published before any Ultra documents had been released and was therefore written from memory

        Ultra goes to War, 285), he took the code to be Ultra. So did I — until recently I sought in vain for a remotely similar

          This order may have been transmitted in another code broken by the Allies; alternatively, Clark may have seen it as a captured document after the war and have come by

          • 1970

          When the signals become available, I hope to publish a study of Ultra in the Mediterranean

            But now see Aileen Clayton, The Enemy is Listening