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What did they do with it?

F.H. Hinsley, 27 July 1989

Ultra and Mediterranean Strategy 1941-1945 
by Ralph Bennett.
Hamish Hamilton, 496 pp., £17.95, April 1989, 0 241 12687 8
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... Ralph Bennett’s first book on intelligence in the Second World War – Ultra in the West – dealt with the Normandy invasion and the campaign in North-West Europe. This volume appears later, in what he calls ‘an unnatural order’, because the material on which both are based was released to the public records without regard for chronological sequence ...

Various Reasons

F.H. Hinsley, 30 August 1990

Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners of War after World War Two 
by James Bacque.
Macdonald, 252 pp., £13.95, August 1990, 0 356 19136 2
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... According to the dust-jacket of this book at least 750,000 German troops died of malnutrition and disease in US Army camps in North-West Europe after the end of the war, and over 250,000 in French Army camps (from about 750,000 prisoners transferred to them from US and British camps). In the text it is claimed that at least 807,190 died in the US and French camps (that is, at least ten times the number killed in combat in North-West Europe from June 1941 to April 1945) of which somewhere between 167,000 and 314,241 died in French captivity ...

Bombes, Cribs and Colossi

R.O. Gandy, 26 May 1994

Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park 
edited by F.H. Hinsley and Alan Stripp.
Oxford, 321 pp., £17.95, August 1993, 0 19 820327 6
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... message was disregarded. In fact, the ships were carrying troops for the invasion of Norway. F.H. Hinsley, who worked on naval traffic analysis and was alert to the slightest clue, describes how at first the Admiralty would not take seriously evaluations made by someone who had never been at sea or worked in Whitehall. Later they took him to sea (and to the ...

In the field

Nigel Hamilton, 5 November 1981

Washington Despatches, 1941-45: Weekly Political Reports from the British Embassy 
edited by H.G. Nicholas.
Weidenfeld, 700 pp., £20, August 1981, 0 297 77920 6
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. II 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 850 pp., £15.95, September 1981, 0 11 630934 2
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Mars without Venus: A Study of Some Homosexual Generals 
by Frank Richardson.
William Blackwood, 188 pp., £5.95, September 1981, 9780851581484
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Soldiering on: An Unofficial Portrait of the British Army 
by Dennis Barker.
Deutsch, 236 pp., £8.50, October 1981, 0 233 97391 5
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A Breed of Heroes 
by Alan Judd.
Hodder, 288 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 340 26334 2
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War in Peace: An Analysis of Warfare Since 1945 
edited by Robert Thompson.
Orbis, 312 pp., £9.95, September 1981, 0 85613 341 8
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... 1940-41 offensive, and Montgomery did not participate in ‘First’ Alamein in July 1942). Harry Hinsley’s British Intelligence and the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations, Volume II, is another impersonal work. He has the strange notion that in order to simulate ‘perfect’ reality he must exclude any mention of individuals. Pas ...

Garbo & Co

Paul Addison, 28 June 1990

1940: Myth and Reality 
by Clive Ponting.
Hamish Hamilton, 263 pp., £15.99, May 1990, 0 241 12668 1
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British Intelligence in the Second World War. Vol. IV: Security and Counter-Intelligence 
by F.H. Hinsley and C.A.G. Simkins.
HMSO, 408 pp., £15.95, April 1990, 0 11 630952 0
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Unauthorised Action: Mountbatten and the Dieppe Raid 1942 
by Brian Loring Villa.
Oxford, 314 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 19 540679 6
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... with contacts in the Ministry of Information. All this comes from the latest volume of F.H. Hinsley’s British Intelligence in the Second World War, written in collaboration with C.A.G. Simkins. It is essentially a history of MI5, which was responsible for the internal security of Britain and parts of the Empire, and of the Secret Intelligence ...

Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... intercepts meant and to reconstruct the assumptions which governed German strategy, was Harry Hinsley. After the war, Hinsley returned to Cambridge as a don. Post-war Cambridge was dominated in the humanities, not so much by Leavis, as by Butterfield and Oakeshott, who had founded the Cambridge Journal. Through his ...

Churchill has nothing to hide

Paul Addison, 7 May 1987

Road to Victory: Winston Churchill 1941-1945 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1417 pp., £20, September 1986, 0 434 29186 2
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... diaries, Churchill’s own six volumes on the war, and the history of British intelligence by F.H. Hinsley. For evidence which has never seen the light of day before, Gilbert has drawn on the correspondence of the Churchill family, the papers and recollections of his staff, and stories sent in by people who responded to a request of his on Desert Island ...

Access to Ultra

Brian Bond, 16 June 1983

Hidden Weapons: Allied Secret or Undercover Services in World War Two 
by Basil Collier.
Hamish Hamilton, 386 pp., £15, April 1982, 0 241 10788 1
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The Other Ultra: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan 
by Ronald Lewin.
Hutchinson, 332 pp., £10.95, April 1982, 0 09 147470 1
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The Puzzle Palace 
by James Bamford.
Sidgwick, 465 pp., £9.95, April 1983, 0 283 98976 9
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... account of what is known now about all kinds of intelligence and covert activities. Professor F.H. Hinsley and his colleagues are fulfilling this task meticulously and with clinical detachment in their official history of British Intelligence in the Second World War, but Mr Collier has meanwhile provided a useful synthesis for non-specialists. As one would ...

World’s Greatest Statesman

Edward Luttwak, 11 March 1993

Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... better than others. Michael Howard (‘Churchill and the First World War’), F.H. Hinsley (... and the Use of Special Intelligence), R.V. Jones, the happy beam-hunter of 1940 and premier intelligencer thereafter (... and Science), Norman Rose (and Zionism) and Roy Jenkins (the Government of 1951-55) are predictably good. The uneven John Keegan ...

Righteous Turpitudes

Basil Davidson, 27 September 1990

British Intelligence in the Second World War. Vol. V: Strategic Deception 
by Michael Howard.
HMSO, 266 pp., £12.95, July 1990, 0 11 630954 7
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... Thanks to the official history of British Intelligence, which so far runs to four volumes by F.H. Hinsley and three collaborators, and now this volume by Michael Howard, the astonishing record is clear and long but also – strangely for a subject of such encrusted deviousness – entirely believable. With admirable skills of exposition and a truly awesome ...

Having it both ways

Peter Clarke, 27 January 1994

A.J.P. Taylor: A Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 468 pp., £18.99, January 1994, 1 85619 210 5
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A.J.P. Taylor: The Traitor within the Gates 
by Robert Cole.
Macmillan, 285 pp., £40, November 1993, 0 333 59273 5
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From Napoleon to the Second International: International Essays on the 19th Century 
by A.J.P. Taylor, edited by Chris Wrigley.
Hamish Hamilton, 426 pp., £25, November 1993, 0 241 13444 7
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... But to pose the options in this way created a wholly false antithesis, as critics like F.H. Hinsley pointed out, between profound causes and specific events. It was as though the whole issue turned on a choice between plan and no-plan, and as though Taylor was simply left with no-plan as his residual alternative. In fact he knew better. He wrote that ...

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