Swedish Signal Intelligence, 1900-1945

By Van Nederveen, Gilles | Air & Space Power Journal, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview

Swedish Signal Intelligence, 1900-1945


Van Nederveen, Gilles, Air & Space Power Journal


Swedish Signal Intelligence, 1900-1945 by C. G. McKay and Bengt Beckman. Frank Cass Publishers (http://www.frankcass.com), 5824 NE Hassalo Street, Portland, Oregon 97213-3644, 2002, 310 pages, $49.50 (hardcover).

Signals intelligence (SIGINT) is seldom covered in historical texts, which makes McKay and Beckman's first authoritative account of Sweden's SIGINT both valuable and unique. It is published in English and charts the path of a neutral Sweden as it sought to keep a fine balance between the Russians and Germans in World War I and the Allies and Germans in World War II. The authors are to be commended for their detailed, up-front explanation of SIGINT: how radio and telegraph coding was used between various countries and their diplomatic missions, what kinds of transmissions third parties could intercept, and the numerous tasks involved in decoding that data.

As an integral part of the book, the authors documented Sweden's ties to Finnish independence groups in 1917 and its associations with the independent Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania prior to their conquest by the Soviet Union in 1939. Those conquests and the 1939 Winter War in Finland brought home to the Swedes the threat they faced from an expanding Soviet Union. The Swedes reorganized their military repeatedly during the interwar years in response to potential adversaries and developed a SIGINT organization that would serve it well during World War II.

The outbreak of World War II and the German occupation of Denmark and Norway made the Swedish position of neutrality more precarious. Soviet codes were difficult at first but were eventually mastered; the German Enigma keys were even harder to break. German landline communications ran through Swedish territory and could be monitored and exploited. That opportunity allowed the Swedes to eventually break the encryption codes used by the German Geheimschreiber teleprinter. That successful work on its simultaneous machine encryption required both an understanding of codes and electro-mechanics. With a staff of fewer than 400 people, the Swedes achieved impressive results: Soviet, German, and American codes were broken, and Swedish code security was monitored and corrected when necessary. Interestingly, while the Germans realized that the integrity of their communications crossing Sweden had been compromised, their own bureaucratic bungling prevented any improvement in their signal security.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Swedish Signal Intelligence, 1900-1945
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.