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

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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.
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 article

Swedish Signal Intelligence, 1900-1945
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen

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.