5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Composite History of WW2 intelligence,
This review is from: British Intelligence in the Second World War Abridged version (Hardcover)
I read this book as, being educated in the 1950's and 1960's when there was little public knowledge of the overall effect of intelligence on WW2, there was a gap in my understanding about how the war was won by the Allies.
This book admirably fulfills the purpose.
It is a very informative 642 page book and through its organisation it's easy to pick and put down; each chapter discusses a separate theatre of war over the different time periods.
There are a couple of niggles however; the number of spelling mistakes in the text is alarming and the persistent use of abbreviations was annoying (GAF apparently stands for German Air Force, PR stands for Photo Reconaissance to mention but two). There is a list of abbreviations used but it is tiresome to have to keep turning to the list for clarification.
Having said that, the book is very good at illuminating the Fog of War - so much intelligence .... but which intelligence is correct and which can be used effectively?
It's easy to know with hindsight, but Hinsley manages to convey that it was no trivial task to sort through the different information sources to confirm the enemies' intentions.
I especially like that as well as having access to British archives, Hinsley has also referenced German sources to double check whether British intelligence and British assumptions were actually correct at the time.
All in all a very comprehensive summary of the effect of intelligence on the war and well worth reading.