Voices of the Code Breakers: Personal Accounts of the Secret Heroes of World War II

By Michael Paterson | Go to book overview

8
WAR IN THE PACIFIC

Up at Commilla Slim was getting all he
needed to know from London,
Washington and Australia. ULTRA
certainly provided the information on
which the Battle of Imphal and Kohima
was cunningly fought by General Slim
and Admiral Mountbatten, the battle
which was the turning point of the
campaign
.

Perhaps the cryptographers’ greatest
naval triumph in the Pacific was the
way in which Admiral Nimitz used it so
skilfully at the Battle of Midway, the
last great sea battle, where the big ships
never saw each other and where the
battle was entirely fought by aircraft.i
.

While the expanding might of Hitler’s Germany had been causing growing unease in Europe, a parallel process had been taking place in the Far East. The Japanese Empire had, in less than a century, developed from a feudal backwater, which foreigners were not even allowed to visit, into an industrial and military giant that dealt on equal terms with the leading nations of the world.

In World War I, Japan had sided with the Allies and its armed forces had taken part with British troops in capturing the German colony of Tsingtao on the China coast. Japan was affectionately dubbed ‘the Britain of the East’, but it had not joined World War I out of idealism. Its government and emperor were heavily influenced by militarists who had a single-minded desire to expand the country’s possessions on the Asian mainland.

In 1921, the Japanese signed a naval treaty with America and Britain, consenting to restrictions that would give them a smaller navy than either. The story of how this agreement was reached has become one of the epic tales of codebreaking. Colonel Herbert Yardley had headed America’s cryptographic organization during World War I and afterwards he retained his interest in this field by working on diplomatic codes. He was particularly concerned with those relating to countries with which the US had any sort of rivalry. A history of cryptanalysis described what happened:

Japanese is a unique language. While it
may be expressed in ideograms or
brush-stroke characters, like Chinese, it
may also be written in phonetic symbols
like our alphabet, whereby each symbol
corresponds to a syllable, not a sound.
Thus a relatively short code book can be
used to represent everything in the
Japanese language except proper
names
.

Yardley and his associates attacked
the Japanese code with spectacular
success, the more remarkable since
Yardley could not speak the language.
On November 28, 1921, while the
Washington Naval Conference was in
progress, a communication in cipher
from the Japanese Government to
Prince Tokugawa, its representative at
the negotiations, was intercepted and
turned over to Yardley. It turned out to
be one of the most important secret
communications in world history, and
Yardley succeeded in unscrambling it
.

The decoded cable revealed that if
pressed hard enough the Japanese
would agree reluctantly to build only
three battleships to every five
constructed by the United States and
England. This information was all the
stubborn American and British
negotiators needed to put Japan in a
subordinate position
.

-149-

Notes for this page

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book 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 book

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

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 page

Bookmark this page
Voices of the Code Breakers: Personal Accounts of the Secret Heroes of World War II
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iv
  • Foreword vi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- Codes and War 3
  • 2- Bletchley Park 26
  • 3- 1940- A Fateful Year 46
  • 4- Battle of the Atlantic 60
  • 5- North Africa and Italy 78
  • 6- The Resistance 102
  • 7- Towards Victory in Europe 130
  • 8- War in the Pacific 149
  • Endnotes 175
  • Chronology 176
  • Bibliography and Sources 179
  • Acknowledgments 181
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

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?

Help
Full screen
/ 181

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.