Tracking the Axis Enemy: The Triumph of Anglo-American Naval Intelligence

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The 1942-43 naval campaign against German U-boats known as the Battle of the Atlantic was a major victory not only for Allied warships but also for naval intelligence. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of submarine tracking rooms in London, Washington, and Ottawa, the antisubmarine forces' search-and-destroy missions helped preserve the safety of the seaways.

Naval intelligence has been an aspect of World War II that has received scant attention. Now former naval intelligence ...

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Overview

The 1942-43 naval campaign against German U-boats known as the Battle of the Atlantic was a major victory not only for Allied warships but also for naval intelligence. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of submarine tracking rooms in London, Washington, and Ottawa, the antisubmarine forces' search-and-destroy missions helped preserve the safety of the seaways.

Naval intelligence has been an aspect of World War II that has received scant attention. Now former naval intelligence officer Alan Harris Bath traces the coordination of Anglo-American efforts before and during the war, identifying the political, military, technological, and human factors that aided and sometimes hindered cooperation. He compares the two nations' different and often conflicting styles of intelligence gathering and reveals ways in which interagency and interservice rivalries complicated an already complex process.

Drawing on archives in the U.S., U.K., and British Commonwealth, Bath describes h ow cooperation took place at all levels of decision-making, in all theaters of war, and at all points in the intelligence cycle, from gathering through analysis to dissemination. He tells how the U.S. learned from Britain's longer experience in the war and how intelligence cooperation was always subordinated to Anglo-American political relations-and how in the final months of fighting intelligence cooperation was impeded by the governments' post-war agendas.

Although victory in the Atlantic was the capstone of this cooperative endeavor, Bath also describes how intelligence relationships fared in the South Pacific, not only between the forces of Admiral Nimitz and General MacArthur but also with those of Australia and New Zealand. Throughout the book, he emphasizes the contributions of Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian naval intelligence to this cooperative effort.

As the first in-depth study of the nature, evolution, and impact of information sharing by Allied navies, Tracking the Axis Enemy is essential reading for historians and buffs alike. By showing how the Anglo-American political and cultural bonds shaped intelligence operations and how those operations shaped campaigns, it contributes a new perspective on the Allied victory.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Former US naval intelligence officer Bath describes how his own area (before he was in it) was as responsible as Allied warships in the successful 1942-43 campaign against German U-boats known as the Battle of the Atlantic. He describes the cooperation at all levels, in all theaters of war, and at all points in the cycle from gathering through analysis to dissemination. He also considers the naval intelligence in the South Pacific, throughout highlighting the contributions of Britain and other Commonwealth states. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700609178
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 11/28/1998
  • Series: Modern War Studies Series
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Part I. The Road to Cooperation

1. Uneasy Beginnings

2. Changing Attitudes

3. Forging Ahead

4. Growth of Wartime Cooperation

Part II. Culmination and Turning Point

5. The Culmination

6. Cracks in the Structure

Part III. The Pacific

7. Interwar Faltering Steps

8. Too Little, Too Late

9. Organizing for Cooperation

10. "Support" Vice "Cooperation"

Part IV. Denouement of Wartime Alliances

11. Twilight of Cooperation

12. In Retrospect

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2003

    Too Much Sand, Too Little Cement

    It ought to be called tracking the bureaucratic enemy within. It might be a chronicle of the victory of necessity over bureaucratic inertia and turf wars, but it is as dull as a gray stone on a gray wall. There are loads of minutiae about personalities, dates, mistrust, etc. No doubt but that this is historical information ought to be recorded somewhere, but not where I might plunk down my money and buy it. There is next to nothing about technique or efficacy. Read the library's copy. This one is going back to the used book store (if they will take it back).

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