Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £8.99

Save £1.00 (10%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Emperor's Codes: Bletchley Park's role in breaking Japan's secret cyphers by [Smith, Michael, Erskine, Ralph]
Kindle App Ad

The Emperor's Codes: Bletchley Park's role in breaking Japan's secret cyphers Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£8.99

Kindle Books from 99p
Load up your Kindle library before your next holiday -- browse over 500 Kindle Books on sale from 99p until 31 August, 2016. Shop now

Product Description

Amazon Review

While Allied Forces understandably pursued a "Europe-first" policy in the Second World War, the Japanese threat in the Far East grew with every month. Popular history credits the Americans with breaking Japanese codes and saving perhaps two years of conflict. This is not Michael Smith's view. Building on the success of Station X, which heralded British success in cracking the German Enigma cipher, The Emperor's Codes uses recently released British archive records to fill in the details of British and Australian involvement in the Far East. In fact, Smith goes further, and controversially concludes that internal bickering in the US military, compounded by a less than open exchange of information with the British, "must have cost many lives, the majority of them American". In addition, he observes that the Allies knew a Japanese "unconditional surrender", dependent on Emperor Hirohito remaining on the throne, was on the cards before the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, throwing into considerable doubt the need for such demonstratively horrific tactics.

As well as major players such as John Tiltman, Eric Nave and Joe Rochefort, Smith plays out the controversy, as well as the intricacies of cryptography, through recourse to witness statements from the "ordinary" men and women slavishly dedicated to "stripping"--that is, removing the cipher additive. The urgencies and peculiarities of war saw numerous marriages, Oxbridge linguists learning Japanese in six months (experts had predicted five years), a radio broadcast of a concert from Britain's most secret location and an over-optimistic colour-coded ticket scheme at Bletchley Park for meals; bread and butter, so to speak, for the hungry workers. Charting efforts in Ceylon, Singapore, India, Kenya, Australia and, of course, Bletchley Park, Smith's revisionist reading gives proper due to the grass roots co-operation between Allied intelligence which, though unable to prevent the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, helped accelerate Hirohito's surrender. As he makes plain, that it succeeded more in spite of than due to senior US Navy command scathingly undermines the conventional heroic narrative the American military was so quick to proclaim. It's a damning conclusion, but an enthralling read. --David Vincent

Review

Smith provides plenty of technical information, including three appendices, to satisfy even the most ardent lover of cryptography. But less numerate readers are far from short-changed. Some of the book's most fascinating reading lies in the personal testimonies of the many veterans that Smith has interviewed, 'Anything', confesses one, 'was better than learning to march and salute.' --David Stafford, The Literary Review

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1601 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Biteback Publishing (29 Jun. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DAJ7SWQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #326,277 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 8 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
The history of cracking the German codes during World War II has emerged slowly over the last ten years, and is now fairly fully described. By comparison, relatively little has been revealed about the comparable efforts aimed at Japanese codes. Recent declassification of British documents, privileged access to secret Australian histories of these events, and extensive new interviews with participants by Mr. Michael Smith (who spent 9 years in codebreaking for British Intelligence) provide the basis for the most complete and interesting account yet of the efforts aimed at Japan. The book is a success as a riveting history of individuals, for explaining the techniques involved, changing your view of how the war was won, and for raising fascinating new questions about military activities (did the atomic bomb really have to be dropped, or did Truman drop the ball?).
Right after World War II, the American cryptographers broke the story of how they had cracked the Japanese diplomatic code (the so-called Purple code). What was not known, until recently, is that almost all of success with the other Japanese codes involved British and/or Australian codebreakers. Even more surprising is that the U.S. Navy kept intercepts and code books from the British codebreakers despite agreements to share. Undoubtedly, many lost their lives and the war was prolonged because of these U.S. errors.
But there were also errors in using the coded output. Some commanders just wouldn't take it seriously, and placed their ships in harm's way. Consider the irony of the British decoding an impending attack on their codebreaking home in Ceylon which the British Navy largely ignored after the attack was delayed for a few days.
Read more ›
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
The history of cracking the German codes during World War II has emerged slowly over the last ten years, and is now fairly fully described. By comparison, relatively little has been revealed about the comparable efforts aimed at Japanese codes. Recent declassification of British documents, privileged access to secret Australian histories of these events, and extensive new interviews with participants by Mr. Michael Smith (who spent 9 years in codebreaking for British Intelligence) provide the basis for the most complete and interesting account yet of the efforts aimed at Japan. The book is a success as a riveting history of individuals, for explaining the techniques involved, changing your view of how the war was won, and for raising fascinating new questions about military activities (did the atomic bomb really have to be dropped, or did Truman drop the ball?).
Right after World War II, the American cryptographers broke the story of how they had cracked the Japanese diplomatic code (the so-called Purple code). What was not known, until recently, is that almost all of success with the other Japanese codes involved British and/or Australian codebreakers. Even more surprising is that the U.S. Navy kept intercepts and code books from the British codebreakers despite agreements to share. Undoubtedly, many lost their lives and the war was prolonged because of these U.S. errors.
But there were also errors in using the coded output. Some commanders just wouldn't take it seriously, and placed their ships in harm's way. Consider the irony of the British decoding an impending attack on their codebreaking home in Ceylon which the British Navy largely ignored after the attack was delayed for a few days.
Read more ›
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 15 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
I had spent quite a while reading books on cryptology and like many others I had come to accept 'The Codebreakers' as the definitive popular work. Certainly it remains so with regard to the codes and ciphers of antiquity and into the beginning of this century. Recently, however, a great deal of information has been revealed about the British role in cryptology during the Second World War and much of it is contrary to the information previously available. This marvellous book explodes the myth that the Japanese cryptosystems were largely penetrated by the US military and explains how the British carried out a great deal of the work. While it should not be interpreted as a denigration of the US efforts which were considerable, the culture of secrecy in Britain has prevented important credit being given where due. Michael Smith has described the conditions prevalent in British minds at the outbreak of the Pacific war, the difficulties with getting resources from a government already committed to 'total war' with Germany and the remarkable story of the cryptanalysts themselves and the methods used to crack the codes. The book is clearly written and contains (to me at least) almost entirely new material.
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The role of The US Navy in breaking the japanese code prior to Midway is well documented.

This book shows how Bletchley park assisted a great deal as well with decoding Japanese Communication but also reveals some tragic miscommunication between the US and the UK which reflects badly on those responsible. A fascinating read that shows Bletchley was not only dealing with the Enigma during WWII.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
click to open popover