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Inside Room 40: The Codebreakers of World War 1 (Hardback)Paul Gannon (author)
Hardback Published: 05/11/2010
- Not available
When the German cruiser Magdeburg ran aground off the Estonian coast in August 1914, little did the British Admiralty realise that what was onboard the ill-fated vessel would hand them a decisive advantage in the battle for North Sea supremacy, and subsequently lead to the birth of the Government Communications Headquarters. Onboard the Magdeburg was a collection of clandestine codebooks and maps, containing coded squares, which offered invaluable clues as to the whereabouts of the German High Seas Fleet. Before long, the codebooks used by German warships, U-Boats and naval zeppelins, and the ciphers used by the Germans to communicate with their naval attaches and embassies, had also fallen into the Admiralty's possession. Having been gifted with such priceless information, Admiral Oliver, the Director of Naval Intelligence, assembled a team comprising the most talented British cryptologists who, by the end of the war, had deciphered over 15,000 German communications. Operating out of their humble base in Room 40 of the Admiralty Headquarters, and led by Alfred Ewing, who constructed ciphers as a hobby, the team played an integral role in the naval engagements during the war, most notably in detecting major German sorties in the North Sea that led to the battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland. This book will profile those who worked within the smoky, claustrophobic confines of Room 40, their sometimes trying relations with one another, as well as analyse the vital parts each member played throughout the conflict. Critically, their knowledge of the infamous Zimmerman Telegram, the U-Boat menace and the tragic and controversial sinking of the Lusitania, placed them, sometimes reluctantly, at the vanguard of all British naval strategy. Several of those in Room 40 would later go on to break the Enigma codes at Bletchley Park during World War 2, however, the contributions made by these modest few during our nation's darkest episode were just as crucial and cannot be underestimated in their importance...
Publisher: Ian Allan Publishing
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 33 mm
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