HIST490 – In Class Notes
March 3 , 2014
- Intelligence in the Second World War. Big change in the sources of Intelligence. A
- Italy declines during this era, and they no longer can break into the systems that do
matter. The Soviets also continue in their strengths during WWII, but decline. The
Italians cannot break into the new high grade British/American systems. For the Soviets,
this is unpunctuated by the purges. Soviets among the worst when it comes to military
intelligence in 41-42. The purges also mean that the Soviets lose contact with their major
agents throughout the world. It becomes clear that the Soviets are receiving intelligence
that is useful, but Stalin will not take it.
- Information processing: confronting the need for states to deal with communication
systems and make them useful. First state to effectively do this is the Germans. The
German army, navy, and air force are looking for force multipliers. They do not want to
get sucked into a war of attrition, correctly so. Looking for means for fight a quick victory
and maneuver-based war. The German army was still awful…everyone else was just
worse. Has a slightly better core, allowing it to move quicker and gamble a lot more.
- Germans get the C3I system on the operational level: assuming everyone has the best
doctrine and assume that everyone will search for the best possible intelligence. Can
give you security that allows you to be amazingly fluid and short-term. The German army
on the Eastern front is an army driven by intelligence. The problems with the Germans
lies that in the highest levels the German intelligence is irrational. Hitler is convinced he
will do what he wants. Worse than anywhere except Tokyo. Explains in the long run why
the Germans gradually continue to make worse and worse decisions. Hitler doesn’t
listen to information, because he has a system that encourages multiplicities of
intelligence systems that don’t really cooperate. The Japanese do not even have
strategic intelligence, but at the beginning of the war they have good tactical
intelligence…but never get beyond that.
- The British in WWI developed the most effective C3I, and this is usually the case that
they have the best available. Making sense of the huge amount of content that comes in
and then finding valuable means to process all of the information. This is a tiny army with
a bad middle officer which suddenly has to expand to a large military force. Part of why
the Germans do so well is that they have a larger army with a couple years to train. The
fact that the Commonwealth and the Western worlds have a slight disadvantage for a
while is largely due to the nature of their army size.
- Aircraft intelligence increases and leads to large uses of C3I, but it is impossible to
communicate with the aircraft once it is in the air, and hard to track at night. But SIGINT
allows them to tell when an attack will be coming the day before.
- British try to adopt this and they are the first military institution to implement radio
transmissions on planes, and also work on RADAR development. How you incorporate
that data and apply it to all the other information coming in. Germans technically have better radar in the 40s but do not utilize it to its best extent. They put it on the planes, but
British create a huge collection of information and can give direct control to aircraft
vessels. They are the only intelligence system to use ground control, operation-level
intelligence. They take the aircraft to the exact spot where the enemy is where they need
to be. Germans think this ground-intelligence is so silly because they think the aircrafts
need help on the ground to do anything. One reason why they are crushed is that C3I
works well in the favor of the Brits.
- ULTRA: once British begin to break into high value German papers, in the late 30s is
they start reading lots of NKVD and soviet information, but what they do is that they only
write down the names of important officers. When ULTRA is introduced, they begin to
index every name and event in German traffic and becoming expert in understanding
what it means. So further down the line, if you need information on a certain officer, you
can simply look at the index and figure out strategic patterns and behaviors that precede
the types of things the Germans do. Also makes communications with commanders
much more effective.
- Americans adopt the British system and thus become better at intelligence processing
and use than anyone else. Senior officers at the time belief that SIGINT is a very
valuable source at the time that they can actually get. British and Germans have equal
tactical systems, but have a better strategic sector than the Germans and the Anglo-
American countries have a better system than anyone else.
- Radar is complicated for historians and intelligence to deal with because it isn’t clear
whether or not it is an intelligence source or not. It is regarded as one, because of how it
is used in WWII and hereafter, it overlaps with sources that are regarded as intelligence
sources in order to do a job. If you leave radar out of the story, the story isn’t complete.
The military source of aircraft during the war overlaps with SIGINT with traffic analysis
and radar. Strategic naval and submarine defence also. The way radar is adopted or not
by states is very important with how states use and gather intelligence and makes a
difference. It is pursued worldwide, most by the Brits since they believe they need radar
to do their job to protect London on attacks. Spends more on applied science than any
other militaries on earth. Only in Britain in the 20s and 30s do you find the modern
relationships between scientists and military personnel. The British develop radar and
apply it immediately and this gives them advantages beyond everyone else. The
Germans develop this in the late 30s, but don’t know how to use it. British give all their
information to the Americans to show that they are serious and America succeeds as
well. No one else is in the game. Soviets and Japanese are heavily dependent on their
allies for intelligence.
- People know if a war breaks out, aircraft reconnaissance will break out, but no one is
prepared. Germany first to catch on. Puts cameras on civil aircraft to acquire imagery on
other countries. When the war breaks out, they do have better knowledge on how to use
aircraft reconnaissance. The British are about a year behind, but an Australian pilot
convinces SIS that they should try to create an imagery capability. They do, and it is
handed out to the Royal Air force and they are hot on the German’s heels. Again, initial
German led which is lost and the following and surpassing of the British and Americans.
These are they actors doing what no one else is.
March 5 , 2014 - SIGINT in WWII is mainly focused on military traffic. On occasion, the Germans by
tapping interception can listen in on British and American discussions. Radio/telephone
traffic is a tertiary means of communications in WWI and a famous notice is put up
saying “He who uses radio is a traitor.” The 1930s held very few military institutions who
realized they had to use intelligence in that aspect.
- Two major forms of SIGINT known to exist after WWII: Traffic analysis (useful but
vulnerable to wireless interception; everyone has traffic analysis) and also radio
communications (easily broken into and read – famous incidents of Germans and
Austrians reading Russian traffic and Room 40 for the Brits reading German traffic).
Strangely enough, the British think that after Room 40 no one will use radio intelligence,
so they get easily read.
- Clear that there are lots of individual intelligence capabilities.
- Germans are doing significantly better than anyone else in the 30s – they use the
enigma machine, generate good SIGINT, and the German navy has great COMINT
against the British. They are better than the Soviets by far, however. The Germans also
suffered significant problems with enigma, however.
- Cipher machines are developed to deal with radio traffic. If security system is not
mechanized requires a huge labor force working behind it. If you are sending radio traffic
you are aware it will be intercepted. The more you send, the easier it is for a
cryptanalysis to solve. A good codebook system is extremely hard to break. The British
break the Italian enigma system, but suffer while breaking their naval code.
- If you want to send a lot of traffic and keep it secure, a mechanized system is a lot more
useful. This system can corporate a high degree of security. If it is used by human
operators, the machine can do most of the ciphering for you and securely transmit a high
volume of traffic.
- New type of intelligence introduced – the teletype machine. Cannot rely on any hand
system and must mechanize. People begin to treat cypher machines seriously, but the
problem with most of them is that they suck and are usually easily broken.
- Linked to the first electronic computer with advancement of the cryptographic system –
starting with the British’s COLLOSUS. Leading edge electrical engineering and
programming. Very advanced technology for the time. Have an idea for a code and
translate that onto a code and do so so that the machine doesn’t fall apart and allows the
machine to still work. A genuine problem that doesn’t work mechanically for some codes.
- The majority of what the Germans are doing is a lesson.
- When codebreakers are looking at machines to use, enigma becomes famously chosen.
Professional codebreakers see the commercial enigma as too vulnerable. The British
think it is too basic and they try and find a machine that is the most advanced on earth
and they fail. The Germans say they can work with enigma. So over a period of 3 years,
German intelligence adopts enigma. Enigma becomes compromised for Germany
because they spend 13 years testing it. In the final version, rotors could be switched out,
and each enigma set has a number of different rotors that can be put in. Every time you
click a letter, the rotor moves forward one. Also an electronic component and on the outside of each rotor, little pieces of metal are attached to the machine itself that creates
an electronic link to the machine as well. Several different means of encipherment. It
allows you to change any letter into any other letter. The final version also has a plug
board and you can change the location of where you plug in the machine on the plug
board as an extra layer of encypherment. Assuming you have done this properly, you
have created a way of changing every letter into all the other possible letters. In theory,
you have a simple means to convert any message into an encypherment system that
gives one over a million ways to change a message. So by any human standard this is
very secure. When used properly, this is mathematically impossible to break into. But the
Germans did not use it properly.
- Different reasons why it is infiltrated: the Poles begin to break into German systems so
they begin to understand the German settings for enigma through the French. Thus,
you’ll know the initial letters and rotors used. They are then able to follow up with the
German system for ma