Another short (120 Pages) but very interesting insight to the breaking of the German Enigma code during World war II. This is my third such book and the difference with this one is it provides a lot more detail of the pre war breaking of Enigma. As with the others its very interesting stuff.
It deals not only with the introduction of the commercial machine and then the breaking of German version back in the early 1930's but also the the interesting aspect of were they got the intelligence that helped them break the code. The German that fed the information to the French intelligence is covered and the amazing fact the French Office had to go rounding touting this information to countries to find someone interested in using it. Embarrasingly the Brits and French weren't interested at that point. Fortunately the Poles where and made good use of it.
How the the Poles code breaking is fed to the Brits and French, when war is imminent, is covered and is equally interesting and almost as embarrasing.
The authors contribution to code breaking at Bletchley Park, Herivelismus or the Herivel Tip, is covered towards the end and makes fascinating reading. Its amazing to see how the code breaking of these machines had so much to do with human error in there operational use.
I've been a bit mean and only given the book fours stars. Its well written and superbly interesting but it's only got four as the thrust of the books name Herivelismus is only covers a small part of the book, about 30 pages, and seemed meaningless for the first 80/90 pages.
The fascination of this book is that it is written by the man who actually made the crucial breakthrough in early 1940 into the breaking of German Military Enigma. It is amazing that John Herivel has only now written his personal account after 65 years, and it throws entirely new light on the importance of 'The Herivel Tip' not just in 1940, but for the rest of WW2. A 'must' for all those interested in the Bletchley Park/Enigma story.
Many aspects of the success of Bletchley Park have been side lined by those like Alan Turning and Gordon Welshman. Not wishing to take anything away from these gentlemen we should also consider the achievement of others like John Herivel. Written by himself this account gives a background to the part he played in the success of Bletchley Park.