- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: ARROW; New Ed edition (1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099784114
- ISBN-13: 978-0099784111
- Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,846,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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SEIZING THE ENIGMA: RACE TO BREAK THE GERMAN U-BOAT CODES, 1939-43 Paperback – Import, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Rarely have I enjoyed such a fascinating read and it says much for the outstanding way in which detailed, technical research is combined with sheer readability that this important historical work reads better than most novels. In order to provide the reader with a taste of what I mean, Baker-Cresswell and U 110 are introduced in the first two paragraphs of Page 1 where the author skilfully begins to set the scene for their historic encounter. By page 7 one is the officer commanding No 3 escort group charged with protecting a convoy from U Boat attack and the other is attacking that convoy. By Page 16 the badly damaged U 110 is forced to the surface where her crew abandon ship. Only now is Baker-Cresswell mindful of the grounding of the Magdeburg.
Pausing there, we are then treated to a full account of the grounding of that German cruiser in 1914 and the resultant effects of her captured documents.Read more ›
Kahn emphasizes the codes used by the German Navy, but also touches on other aspects of WWII. He notes the Katyn massacre, wherein the Soviets murdered tens of thousands of disarmed Polish officers and intellectuals. He points to the irony of the Germans exploiting this tragedy for propaganda purposes while at the same time having killed many more Poles and Jews.
Kahn believes that the ULTRA was the greatest WWII secret after the atom bomb. However, he rejects the premise that the cracking of the "invincible" German codes by the Allies enabled them to win the war. Instead, he supposes that the Allied victory in the European theater would have been delayed by about a year, and with much greater casualties, had the Allies not broken the German ciphers.