Saturday, February 20, 2010

Five best books about British military deception

Nicholas Rankin is the author of A Genius for Deception: How Cunning Helped the British Win Two World Wars (2009).

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of books about British military deception.

One title on the list:
'Blinker' Hall
by David Ramsay
Spellmount, 2008

As David Ramsay recounts in this fascinating biography, Britain's Machiavellian director of naval intelligence in World War I, Reginald "Blinker" Hall, was a man whose talent for tricks and bribes made the U.S. ambassador consider him "the one genius that the war has developed." Hall's organization, working out of Room 40 in the Admiralty offices, "tapped the air" for German wireless messages and scanned diplomatic cables. The codebreakers' greatest coup came in 1917 with the interception and deciphering of "the Zimmermann telegram," a secret message from Germany to the Mexican government offering money and the return of the American Southwest if the Mexicans would help wage war on the U.S. The furor that ensued after the message's contents were revealed helped impel the U.S. into the war, thus clinching final victory for the British and their allies.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue