"Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews" - Provided by Rob Jerrard
The History Press, Books Reviewed in 2014

SIGINT ( signals intelligence )
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Peter Matthews
ISBN: 9780752487342
Publishers: The History Press
Price: £18.99
Publication Date: 2nd Sept 2013

Publisher's Title Information

SIGNALS INTELLIGENCE, or SIGINT, is the interception and evaluation of coded enemy messages. From Enigma to Ultra, Purple to Lorenz, Room 40 to Bletchley, SIGINT has been instrumental in both victory and defeat during the First and Second World War. In the First World War, a vast network of signals rapidly expanded across the globe, spawning a new breed of spies and intelligence operatives to code, de-code and analyse thousands of messages. As a result, signallers and cryptographers in the Admiralty's famous Room 40 paved the way for the code breakers of Bletchley Park in the Second World War. In the ensuing war years the world battled against a web of signals intelligence that gave birth to Enigma and Ultra, and saw agents from Britain, France, Germany, Russia, America and Japan race to outwit each other through infinitely complex codes. For the first time, Peter Matthews reveals the secret history of global signals intelligence during the world wars through original interviews with German interceptors, British code breakers, and US and Russian cryptographers. "SIGINT is a fascinating account of what Allied investigators learned postwar about the Nazi equivalent of Bletchley Park. Turns out, 60,000 cryptographers, analysts and linguists achieved considerable success in solving intercepted traffic, and even broke the Swiss Enigma! Based on recently declassified NSA document, this is a great contribution to the literature." THE ST ERMIN'S HOTEL INTELLIGENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2014.
Reviews

This is a great contribution to the literature. | Review by The judges of The St Ermin's Hotel Intelligence Book of the Year Award 2014.
SIGINT is a fascinating account of what Allied investigators learned postwar about the Nazi equivalent of Bletchley Park. Turns out, 60,000 cryptographers, analysts and linguists achieved considerable success in solving intercepted traffic, and even broke the Swiss Enigma! Based on recently declassified NSA document, this is a great contribution to the literature.
 
Shortlisted for The St Ermin's Hotel Intelligence Book of the Year Award 2014.
 


The Fallen By Edition:
Format: Paperback
Author: John Garfield
ISBN: 9780750952040
Publishers: The History Press
Price: £16.99
Publication Date: 3rd March 2014

Publisher's Title Information

The years since the Armistice in 1918 have undoubtedly proved that the cemeteries of the First World War have admirably fulfilled their tragic and sombre purpose. The task which faced the Imperial War Graves Commission at the end of the war was formidable indeed. The results of its hard work, to restore the resting places of the dead of the 'war to end all wars', can be seen in this outstanding book. The Commission, now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, still maintains these beautiful cemeteries to provide a dignified and peaceful resting place for those who sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom. John Garfield captures the poignancy of those cemeteries in Flanders, Marne, Aisne, Artois, Ypres Salient, Gallipoli, Verdun, The Somme, Italy and Macedonia with exceptional photographs. Each is complemented with a short description of the campaigns and with quotations from the contemporary war literature. In a final chapter, 'The Aftermath'€80™99, John Garfield examines the memorials to the dead and murdered from the battlefields, cities and concentration camps of the Second World War, and ends with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. -



A Very Unusual Air War - From Dunkirk to the AFDU
The Diary and Log Book of Test Pilot H Leonard Thorne 1940-45
Edition: 1st
Format: Hardback
Author: Edited by Gill and Barry Griffin
ISBN: 9780752493435
Publishers: The History Press
Price: £16.99
Publication Date: 2nd Sept 2013

Publisher's Title Information

The 20-year-old Len Thorne joined the RAF in May 1940. After two hectic tours of operational duty as a fighter pilot (including some desperately dangerous low-level flying at Dunkirk) he was posted to AFDU (Air Fighting Development Unit) and remained there as a test pilot for the rest of the war. He flew both Allied aircraft and captured enemy planes and was a colleague of many of the fighter 'aces'. Fortunately for us, Len kept an insightful diary, which, set alongside his log book, tells the unique story of a member of the AFDU, tasked with developing operational tactics and testing captured enemy aircraft. Len provides not only an insight into the amazing work done by the test pilots but also into some of the most famous flyers of the RAF, with whom he worked, including Wing Commander Al Deere and Spitfire Aces SL 'Paddy' Finucane, Ernie Ryder, and many others. Len's diary for September 21 1942 records the first sighting of the feared FW190: 'The pilot performed a series of quick rolls…metaphorically sticking up the proverbial two fingers.' In May 1943 Len would be test flying the same type after pilot Heinz Erhardt mistakenly landed one at Marston! - See more at: http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/index.php/a-very-unusual-air-war-from-dunkirk-to-afdu-the-diary-and-log-book-of-test-pilot.html#sthash.60tXh927.dpuf

He was a very gregarious man and was a member of the Bromsgrove branch of The Royal British Legion. He joined the Stratford branch of The Air Crew Association and became President and he was a life member of the Spitfire Society. For several years he was Chairman of the civilian committee of Studley ATC, 480 Squadron.

Len died on the 6th June 2008, four days before his death he wrote, “My interest in the Spitfire will never wane” This book stands as a testament to that. Len kept a copy of this poem in his lounge. Like many other pilots and ex-pilots, Len Thorne was deeply moved by this poem.

High Flight (An Airman's Ecstasy)

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air ...
 
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee No. 412 squadron, RCAF: Killed 11 December 1941

Reviews to Date

“I hold the greatest respect for Len for what he achieved in the RAF” Gordon Mitchell, Son of Spitfire designer R J Mitchell