Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II

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Free Press, Apr 9, 2002 - History - 448 pages
19 Reviews
A million pages of new World War II codebreaking records have been released by the U.S. Army and Navy and the British government over the last five years. Now, Battle of Wits presents the history of the war that these documents reveal. From the battle of Midway until the last German code was broken in January 1945, this is an astonishing epic of a war that was won not simply by brute strength but also by reading the enemy's intentions.
The revelations of Stephen Budiansky's dramatic history include how Britain tried to manipulate the American codebreakers and monopolize German Enigma code communications; the first detailed published explanations of how the Japanese codes were broken; and how the American codebreaking machines worked to crack the Japanese, the German, and even the Russian diplomatic codes. The compelling narrative shows the crucial effect codebreaking had on the battlefields by explaining the urgency of stopping the wolf pack U-boat attacks in the North Atlantic, the importance of halting Rommel's tanks in North Africa, and the necessity of ensuring that the Germans believed the Allies' audacious deception and cover plans for D-Day. Unveiled for the first time, the complete story of codebreaking in World War II has now been told.

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Review: Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II

User Review  - Sarah - Goodreads

This book clearly supposes that the reader has some familiarity with Word War 2, somewhat familiar with currently obsolete tech , and despite it's claims, it's not really complete. It mostly focuses ... Read full review

Review: Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II

User Review  - Julie - Goodreads

I really enjoyed this book, especially the author's descriptions of how human personalities and national characteristics affected codebreaking during the war. The technical descriptions of the ... Read full review


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About the author (2002)

Stephen Budiansky received a master's degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University and worked on classified military studies as a Congressional Fellow. He is a correspondent for The Atlantic, and his articles have also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, and U.S. News & World Report. He lives in Leesburg, Virginia.

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