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Though it is well known that US naval intelligence contributed greatly to the Allied victory in the Pacific War, less is known of the dedicated men who worked so long and hard to understand a complicated language and foreign culture. Each of the 59 entries has a photograph of the officer; an excerpt from his entry in The Lucky Bag, the Annapolis yearbook of the Naval Academy; and a discussion of his life and how he contributed to the effort to crack Japan's codes. These interesting details help readers understand the difficult but ultimately successful analytical work and the bitter bureaucratic battles. As expected, the book is extensively documented with excerpts from various sources, footnotes, bibliography, and references at the end of each entry. The author, a retired associate director of the McDermott Library at the US Air Force Academy, has written other books on intelligence topics. This unique tool is a much-needed tribute to these unsung heroes and can be used when researching the pre-WW II era and the attack on Pearl Harbor. Also available in electronic format, it is most suitable for the reference collections of academic or large public libraries. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduates through researchers/faculty; general readers. CHOICE Maffeo's book fills a longstanding gap in the literature of Navy cryptology. This volume will remain the standard reference for information about the Navy's intelligence personnel before and during World War II. Proceedings As a retired Air Officer and student of military history, I found Steve Maffeo' s book, U.S. Navy Codebreakers, Linguists, and Intelligence Officers against Japan, 1910-1941, to be absolutely fascinating-as it will be to anyone who wants to get the true history of naval intelligence before the start of World War II. His biographies of these 59 intelligence and cryptology pioneers tell the story of how these dedicated people-who were underfunded, undermanned, and usually under appreciated-helped win the eventual war against Japan. Fortunately, because Captain Maffeo has written this outstanding history, their deeds and names will live on. This is a must read. -- Steve Lorenz, General, U.S. Air Force, Ret., formerly Commander, Air Education and Training Command Steve Maffeo's new book is a winner in the fields of intelligence and cryptology before and during World War II. While other authors have dealt with the intercepted intelligence itself and its contributions to naval and military operational planning, he delves into the previously secret aspects of the process of code breaking by focusing on the people involved. By describing in considerable detail what it cost many of them as individuals, he humanizes their personal contributions to the war effort. Overall, this book will be of interest to anyone interested in pre-war and wartime intelligence and especially to students in the field of intelligence studies-as well as the descendants of the men Maffeo writes about who were forbidden to tell their own stories. In a real sense, while the details vary, their experiences reflect the pressures and demands on code breakers and intelligence officers in other wars past and present. -- John Kenneth Rowland, Ph.D., Colonel, USAF (Ret.); emeritus (program director and associate dean), U.S. National Intelligence University ...A scholarly monument to the brilliant men and women who contributed mightily to the U.S. victory in World War II over Japan-and helped lay the foundations for today's National Security Agency. -- Stephen Coonts, New York Times best-selling author of Flight of the Intruder, Fortunes of War, Combat, Deep Black, and AmericaReseña del editor:
This unique reference presents 59 biographies of people who were key to the sea services being reasonably prepared to fight the Japanese Empire when the Second World War broke out, and whose advanced work proved crucial. These intelligence pioneers invented techniques, procedures, and equipment from scratch, not only allowing the United States to hold its own in the Pacific despite the loss of most of its Fleet at Pearl Harbor, but also laying the foundation of today's intelligence methods and agencies.
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