Because the book is fairly detailed (though mostly this is because of the many anecdotal stories told by the author), I opted to give it three stars. I was tempted to give it two stars, and here is why: Flicke certainly delves into the nitty gritty of the German Signal Intelligence forces, providing stories and examples from virtually every front in Europe and most countries Allied and Axis alike. He deftly tells how he believes that this SIGINT affected the surrounding battles and campaigns. But I was hoping for a more technically oriented documentation of exactly WHAT crypto systems were broken and at least a brief treatment of how they were broken. This is not to be found in Flicke's tome. I'm not looking for a mathematically rigorous treatment of codebreaking, but Flicke speaks virtually not at all about what types of systems the Germans broke, whether friend or foe. To be fair, he is very objective in pointing out the failures of both the senders and interceptors of signals, making a point about the fact that the very mistakes which the Russians made on the eastern front and allowed the Germans an advantage were repeated by the Germans on the western front. He also makes a good case for the development of integrated intelligence evaluation, something the Allies (grudgingly, in some cases) accomplished but which the Nazis utterly failed to do. Be forewarned that this book is not exclusively focused on WWII. It also covers the First World War and the period between the wars, though not in as much detail. Another complaint is that much of the more "amazing" revelations in this book are actually covered far more extensively and rigorously in other books.Read more ›
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