Espionage In Wwii

Espionage In Wwii Many of us can remember playing childhood games when we were younger. One of my personal favorites was hide and seek. My favorite part of the game was when I was hiding and tried to watch where the seeker looked while he or she searched. Of course I could have been caught, but it wasn’t a big deal at the time. What would happen though if the seeker didn’t know who he was looking for, but knew someone was hiding? How would he go about finding the person? Further more how much more could the person accomplish if they were hiding right in front of them, but the seeker did not know? Well it may sound a little off, but that was basically the game of espionage.

Spies would try to conceal themselves by gathering information at the same time. During times of war it was critical to keep your movements, plans, and technology secret so that enemies could not be prepared or be one-step ahead. Therefore spies would be a very influential on outcomes of wars. One of the wars that the USA needed espionage help was in WWII. Not only did they need to get information but have counter intelligence to keep secrets away from Germany and their allies. Espionage helped the US during WWII in the defeat of Germany and their allies. Spies during WWII were intended to provide the basis for an accurate assessment of other nations’ intentions and military capabilities.

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[Richelson, 103] In such a war a successful surprise attack could leave a victim staggered and ready for a knockout blow. [103] That meant it was critical for the USA to stop espionage from telling their moves and having their spies tell them about the planned attacks of the Axis Powers. This would help the USA to pull off critical assaults on Germany such as D-Day. But before the beginning of the end of the war came many other obstacles to be overcome by the US. At the beginning of the war all the major combatants had a place in code breaking establishments, all of which would experience explosive growth during the war. [173] These agencies would then go on to provide critical information during the war to provide information needed to combat the Axis. One of the most important needs for espionage was in the deciphering of the ENIGMA.

[176] This was used to code and decode German messages sent and received between commanders and such. [176] It was very hard to decipher the ENIGMA because of the way it was set up. [176] What made it so difficult to decipher was the process by which a letter in an original message was transformed into a different one for the transmitted message. [176] The process involved, among other things, three motors in each machine that were chosen from a set of five. [176] Each of them had twenty-six settings, and a plugboard, which connected the keyboard letters to the lampboard letters.

[176] For example the first time the L key was pressed a B might light up, but because the rotors turned further entries of L on the board would not produce another B but rather other letters. [176] US intelligence along with help from other countries was eventually able to make a duplicate machine that would help them in decoding messages. [177] Without help from espionage in this instance the US and their allies would be susceptible to unknown attacks and movements of armies without having a chance to prepare for it. Here to the use of American Espionage was evident in the fight against its oppressors. Without proper deciphering of messages the battles could have been altered for the side of the Axis.

One particular instance in which the US used intelligence to gain an advantage when going to be attacked was the battle of Midway. The US intercepted an encrypted message from a Japanese Admiral and revealed the date in which the attacks were scheduled. [O’Toole, 388] Therefore the US was able to have a task force waiting for the Japanese when they arrived. [389] It was said that Midway marked the turning point of the war for the pacific. [389] Again the use of Espionage provided huge results for American’s throughout the war with the Axis.

Another importance of espionage in the war was that the Axis powers didn’t know that the Allies intercepted their communications. [392] Also, the British intercepted many messages that were given to the US as well. [392] The agreement they came upon to share intelligence was called the BRUSA. [392] This actually helped join the espionage together to use personnel along with technology of each other together with providing security for the operations. [392] Again the intelligence agencies of the USA helped them in winning the war by combining efforts with their allies. Ultra intelligence played a vital role in every major allied operation in the European, North African, and Mediterranean theatres of the war.

[393] For example, it showed the Germans were not prepared for American landings in North Africa in November of 1942. [393] Also it disclosed movement of German forces instantaneously after the landings. [393] As historian Ronald Lewin wrote: Ultra was a fundamental for strategic deception – fundamental for knowing in advanced which of the enemy’s forces were stationed where (the order of battle): fundamental for observing immediately his secret reactions to any attempt to deceive: and fundamental for monitoring any redeployment of his troops which might confirm that he had been taken in. [393] One of the most important uses for Ultra was support in anti-submarine warfare in the Battle of the Atlantic. [394] They used intercepted information to capture the naval Enigma machine from U-110 in May 1941. [394] It helped to guide anti-submarine forces to the German U-boats.

[394] Again Espionage from the US produces striking results in the battles that could’ve easily gone the other way without the information that was provided by the intelligence. The US did not just use their spies against the Germans though. After all, the Japanese were that ones that attacked us to bring us into the war. A man by the name of William F. Friedman played a significant role in the world of American Espionage. [Volkman, 74] After working to decode ciphering machines in World War I, Friedman looked to break the code of the Japanese ciphering machine named PURPLE.

[76] To do this Friedman worked with a the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) to come up with a ciphering machine of their own that was considered unbreakable. [75] It took him a while, but after working seven days a week, for twelve hours a day, for four months and finally cracked the machine. [75] This was the beginning of something huge …


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