Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Battle of Wits: The Complete Story of Codebreaking in World War II by Stephen Budiansky I really hate sales departments that put the word "complete" in the titles of their history books because history is never complete. That complaint out of the way this is an excellent book that describes the breaking of German and Japanese military codes in WWII. There's a nice balance between anecdotes about the personalities and highly technical accounts of the decryption. Not surprisingly the story mostly revolves around Enigma and Purple there's also a fascinating section on American attempts to break Russian codes. Finished off with some notes onwhat the Germans were reading. There are a few general history errors he brings up the old canard about Polish cavalry charging tanks and mistakenly refers to the MKVD as the KGB.