SIGINT

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aurora
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SIGINT

Postby aurora » Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:19 pm

World War II has been described as a Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) war. According to historian Ronald Lewin the efforts to intercept, locate, and decrypt the radio communications of the enemy became a salient characteristic of the conflict. Never before in history had belligerent nations expended so much effort in intelligence gathering to such great effect.

On the allied side, tens of thousands of people across the world, labouring with some of the most sophisticated technology of its day, resulted in an intelligence triumph, which staved off defeat, shortened the war, and saved lives. From discovering the Japanese plans to attack Midway, to eavesdropping on Admiral Donitz’s orders to his wolf packs, to decoding Admiral Yamamoto’s flight schedule, to confirming German belief that the invasion was yet to come at the Pas de Calais, SIGINT provided a decisive edge. The secret war of 1939 – 1945 was the original example of what is now known as ‘information warfare’.

On the Axis side, similar (although not as effective) efforts were carried on throughout the war. These intelligence efforts by both sides were rooted in the history of radio technology. Almost as soon as navies began using wireless in the early years of the 20th century, their opponents began listening in on them. In the first world war radio intelligence had important political and military effects. The casual eavesdropping on Russian radio communications prior to the battle of Tannenberg directly led to the German’s victory, nullifying the Tsar’s effort to invade Imperial Germany from the East.

In Britain, the famous Room 40 of the Admiralty was able to track the movements of the German fleet in near real time, warning them in time of the sortie that became Jutland. A year later their cryptanalysts decoded the famous Zimmerman telegram, causing the entry of the United States into the war, and ultimately, victory for the Allies.

The experience of the war showed that SIGINT was the premier intelligence source. Human agents were often unreliable, could be turned into double agents, or if reliable, could take days or weeks to report. Photo Reconnaissance required clear weather, and could only show what was there, not what was going to happen. Only signals intelligence could peer into the mind of the enemy, and its authenticity was impeccable. Despite the challenging efforts involved, the value of SIGINT to decision makers was so great that the enterprise continued to grow in peacetime, dwarfing other forms of intelligence to this day.
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Jim

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aurora
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Re: SIGINT

Postby aurora » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:51 pm

MIDWAY

The Allied Forces had cryptographers who deciphered Japanese radio messages. It was learned that they were going to make an attack. However, they were unable to learn where and when the attack would take place. Someone came up with the brilliant idea of sending a phony message (since they knew the Japanese were deciphering their messages).

The phony message said that" Midway Island's desalinization machine was not working so there is limited fresh water". A new machine was requested. So the Japanese sent a radio message to mainland Japan to tell them the desalinization machine was broken at the attack location. Then the Allied Forces knew the Japanese were going to attack Midway.They were ready for the attack by the Japanese and the rest is history

http://www.ticomarchive.com/home/singit-in-ww-ii
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Dave Saxton
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Re: SIGINT

Postby Dave Saxton » Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:59 pm

The occasions of Sigint being a major factor are too numerous to list. Sigint's influence on the road to Pearl Harbor, and the loss of Force Z is so vast that it is beyond the scope of an internet thread.

One example on the tactical battlefield as oppossed to the usual more strategic scope, is the Marianas Turkey Shoot. American's listened in as the Japanese strike coordinator issued streams of orders and were thus able to put the Hell Cats in exactly the right places at exactly the right times. When the coordinator called for his relief to take over, it was suggested that fighters be vectored in to shoot him down too. Arliegh Burke, who was then Mitscher's Chief of Staff, said: "Indeed no, he's done us too much good this day!"
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.

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aurora
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Re: SIGINT

Postby aurora » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:16 pm

Thanks for that Dave-a good illustration of just how the system worked at the Mariannas Turkey Shoot-good to see the eminent "31knot" Burke back amongst it -quite a USN hero- your Arleigh Burke- famous for his exploits at the Battle of Cape St George. :clap:
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Re: SIGINT

Postby aurora » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:39 pm

In WW2 was the Y Service in any way attached to Sigint-both dealt with radio messages- which soungs like duplication to me-be gratful if anyone could throw some light on these apparently independant services. :? :? :?
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