Code Breakers by Craig Collie

Code Breakers by Craig CollieCode Breakers: Inside the shadow world of signals intelligence in Australia's two Bletchley Parks by Craig Collie
Published by Allen & Unwin on March 29th 2017
Genres: War
Pages: 400
Format: Ebook

Code Breakers by Craig Collie is the story of the Australian efforts in World War 2 to spy on the Japanese military through the use of radio interception and code-breaking. Working alongside, and not infrequently, in opposition to, the Americans and British who were making similar efforts at places such as Bletchley Park.

I am fascinated that even after more than 70 years, there are still new stories emerging from the shadows of secrecy which covered a lot of this kind of work. There have been numerous books written, and movies made about the work at Bletchley Park, but I was unaware of the role that Australia had in intercepting and breaking the codes which contributed so heavily to winning the war. A large portion of the book takes place in my home town of Brisbane, but like many stories, it seems to have fallen by the wayside over the years.

Code Breakers is not a technical manual on code breaking, by any means, and does not allow itself to be bogged down in the nitty gritty of mathematics. Instead, it is the story of the people who were doing the work, in Australia, and on the ground in various jungles of the South Pacific – and various other countries. While reading the story of the competitive nature of the units who were working on the codes, it is somewhat astounding that anyone managed to do anything constructive. Whether it was inter-service rivalry between the army and the navy, or between the various allied countries, everyone wanted to claim credit, and no one wanted to share their toys with the other children.

This is a very readable book, and should be of interest to anyone with an interest in the history of code breaking, or Australia’s involvement in the Second World War. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Rating Report
Overall: five-stars

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