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Joe Rochefort's War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamoto at Midway Hardcover – October 15, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Elliot Carlson's new book tells that story in superb fashion, and we quickly learn that its title is a metaphor for Rochefort's entire life, not just his WW2 experience. The first several chapters are a novelette themselves, describing the rigors of his early life, his rocky path to a Naval Reserve commission, his close call with a court martial aboard his first ship, his posting as naval liaison and language student in Tokyo, and the tribulations of his seagoing assignments throughout the 1930s.
But Rochefort's "war" really begins with his posting as the officer in charge of Hypo in June 1941. The book joins others in debunking the excessively popular myth that Rochefort could read the Japanese navy's radio code, dubbed JN-25, and thus had prior knowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack. But the book isn't just a copy of the now-known history of ComInt in the war.Read more ›
In "Joe Rochefort's War", Elliot Carlson presents a wonderfully researched and engagingly narrated history of the events that led Joe Rochefort to the basement spaces at Pearl Harbor that would mine Japanese communications treasure for Nimitz. In doing so, Carlson does a masterful job of illuminating many of the organizational and cultural clashes present in the WWII navy (some of which would still be around when my service began more than 30 years later). Carlson pulls no punches in describing the the politics of the officer corps --especially the mid-20th century gap between Academy and non-Academy educated officers-- and the lack of regard "operational" officers held for intelligence (especially intelligence as unproven as the kind Rochefort was delivering...which was virtually the only intelligence available to fleet decision makers at the time).Read more ›
One topic that Carlson touched upon but didn't elaborate on was the subject of Japanese efforts to break U.S. codes. As he pointed out briefly, the Japanese had some success in this area; and perhaps given the focus of his book, Japanese code breakers should be the subject of another effort. In addition, Carlson also made mention of spies for Japan; not only Japanese citizens, but also Americans, some of whom were in the U.S. military. Again, this is perhaps the subject for another study, but one that would add to what Carlson has done in his excellent study of Joe Rochefort and his band of code breakers, Japanese linguists and radio traffic analysts--definitely five stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've read in a long, long time. Extremely well written, and in extraordinary detail. A history lesson in itself. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Charles
If you are at all interested in a little known facet of Intelligence and how it actually played out, this is a must read. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Henry J Koebler, Jr
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will now go back and reread my copy of Kahn's "The Codebreakers" which I read years ago and have in my library. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Michael T Kennedy
If you want to know about the codebreaking of the Navy before Pearl Harbor, this book is one of about three books to start with. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rick Albert
Incredible story of a time I lived through; I'm looking forward to the author signing it (as he agreed).Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I first learned of this story in the 1980s in a documentary on PBS. I was a workaholic who was disillusions by all the office politics and yearned for the days of WWII when the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tom
Forget Hal Holbrook's caricature of Cmdr. Rochefort in "Midway" and read this.
Having read David Kahn's "The Code Breakers" and W.J. Read more
A book long overdue, this will set the record straight about Mr. Rochefort's contributions to winning World War II. Read morePublished 6 months ago by TruxtonSpangler