Cover image for Enigma : the battle for the code
Enigma : the battle for the code
Sebag-Montefiore, Hugh.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : J. Wiley, [2000]

Physical Description:
x, 422 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D810.C88 S43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D810.C88 S43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
D810.C88 S43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D810.C88 S43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
D810.C88 S43 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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'Cracking stuff . . . vivid and hitherto unknown details.'-Sunday Times (London)The complete story of the cracking of the Nazi code and those who risked their lives to make it possibleMost histories of the cracking of the Enigma code focus on the work done by the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, Britain's famous counterintelligence station. In addition to providing new details about the genesis of the code and the activities at Bletchley, Enigma tells, for the first time, the hair-raising stories of those who put their lives on the line to give the codebreakers the materials they needed. While researching the book, noted British journalist Hugh Sebag-Montefiore tracked down many of the surviving players in the Enigma drama. These witnesses-some of them speaking on the record for the first time-provide unforgettable firsthand accounts, including gripping stories of the secret agents, naval officers, and ordinary seamen who faced death in order to snatch vital codebooks from under the noses of Nazi officials and from sinking ships.

Author Notes

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore is an attorney and journalist who has written for numerous British newspapers, including the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, and the Observer

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Few of the great espionage successes of the twentieth century were engineered by dashing, James Bond^-type agents. Rather, many of the "heroes" of spying were anonymous people performing seemingly tedious tasks of gathering countless bits of information, analyzing them, and trying to assemble coherent conclusions from them. Sebag-Montefiore is an attorney and journalist. The key players in this saga are not the stuff of which romantic action thrillers are made. Still, the story itself, describing the breaking of the German naval code during World War II, is both engrossing and exciting. Much of the information presented here is based on recently declassified documents. The parade of characters includes ordinary seamen, double agents, and technical experts who manage to decipher what seems indecipherable, even to some of their peers. The result is a real-life thriller that should entice historians, fans of the spy genre, and ordinary readers who appreciate a tense, dramatic, and superbly told story. --Jay Freeman

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. v
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Prologuep. 9
1 The Betrayal (Belgium and Germany, 1931)p. 15
2 The Leak (Poland, Belgium and Germany, 1929-38)p. 21
3 An Inspired Guess (Poland, 1932)p. 31
4 A Terrible Mistake (Poland, 1933-9)p. 39
5 Flight (Germany, Poland and England, 1939-40)p. 46
6 The First Capture (Scotland, 1940)p. 59
7 Mission Impossible (Norway and Bletchley Park, 1940)p. 69
8 Keeping the Enigma Secret (France and Bletchley Park, May-September 1940)p. 79
9 Deadlock (Bletchley Park, August-October, 1940)p. 93
10 The Italian Affair (Bletchley Park and the Mediterranean, March 1941)p. 103
11 The End of the Beginning (Norway, March 1941)p. 117
12 Breakthrough (North of Iceland, May 1941)p. 123
13 Operation Primrose (The Atlantic, May 1941)p. 132
14 The Knock-Out Blow (North of Iceland, June 1941)p. 147
15 Suspicion (Bletchley Park, the Atlantic and Berlin, May-October 1941)p. 156
16 A Two-Edged Sword (The Atlantic and the Cape Verde Islands, September 1941)p. 168
17 Living Dangerously (The South Atlantic and Norway, November 1941-March 1942)p. 178
18 The Hunt for the Bigram Tables (Bletchley Park and Norway, December 1941)p. 188
19 Black Out (The Barents Sea, Bletchley Park and the Admiralty, February-July 1942)p. 202
20 Breaking the Deadlock (The Mediterranean and Bletchley Park, October-December 1942)p. 219
21 The Turning Point (South of France, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, November 1942-September 1943)p. 233
22 Trapped (South of France, November 1942-March 1943)p. 246
23 The Arrest (Berlin, March-September 1943)p. 253
24 Sinking the Scharnhorst (The Barents Sea, December 1943)p. 258
25 Operation Covered (Paris, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, August 1943-March 1944)p. 267
26 The Last Hiccough (Germany, France and the South Atlantic, March-June 1944)p. 286
Epilogue--Where did they go?p. 304
Chronologyp. 310
Glossaryp. 321
Appendix 1 Polish Codebreaking Techniquesp. 324
Appendix 2 The Bombep. 329
Appendix 3 Naval Enigmap. 341
Appendix 4 Cillisp. 354
Appendix 5 Roddingp. 357
Appendix 6 Naval Enigma Offizierp. 368
Notesp. 374
Bibliographyp. 410
Indexp. 413