What kind of methods (after breaking the Enigma) and data were applied to estimate the extent to which the information got in a such a manner could be used in direct military purposes?
Germany’s Enigma in World War II proved to be quite the menace for the Allied forces. Ironically, after the British managed to crack Enigma via the use of Ultra, the information they uncovered could not entirely by distributed, even at the cost of lives. When decoded information was fit to be shared, however, it was done by Liaison officers and often to the Submarine Tracking Room in a “subtle” (Northridge, 2011) manner.
Namely, the biggest problem about the cracking of the Enigma codes was that the British could not let Germany know of it. If the British reacted to each and every code they cracked, the Germans would have known that they had, and then the Germans would have changed their means of communication, thus locking the British out of what they were trying to accomplish in the first place. It is because of this reality that great care was taken to control both the information and knowledge of how it was obtained. Liaison officers were appointed for each field command to manage and control dissemination (Calvocoressi, 2001).
In addition, the British Intelligence at Bletchley informed the Submarine Tracking room of the pertinent information they found that could be used to “reroute convoys away from wolf packs” (Carper, 2009), for example. Eventually, crypt-analysts read German messages within 3 hours of their decoding (2009). Essentially, just enough information was being shared to help the Allied forces win and shorten the war (2009).
It is important to point out that not all of the information that those at Bletchley uncovered was shared until much later, when the information was not as much of a risk (44). Still, with the breaking of the Enigma codes, the British were allowed to send the information through Liaison officers and often to the Submarine Tracking room, allowing them the ultimate victory.
Calvocoressi, Peter. (2001). Top Secret Ultra. Cleobury Mortimer, Kidderminster,
England: M & M Baldwin, 90.
Carper, Colleen. (2009). Bletchley’s Secret War: British Code Breaking In The Battle Of
The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://ashbrook.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2009-Carper.pdf, 28-29, 44.
Northridge, A. R. (2011). Pearl Harbor: Estimating Then and Now. Central Intelligence
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