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by F.W. Winterbotham

  • ISBN: 0333514254
  • Category: Politics
  • Author: F.W. Winterbotham
  • Subcategory: Politics & Government
  • Other formats: lit mbr docx lrf
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan; First Edition edition (September 1989)
  • Pages: 300 pages
  • FB2 size: 1251 kb
  • EPUB size: 1696 kb
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 567
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Winterbotham acknowledged in the book that he was no cryptologist and had only slight understanding of the cryptologic side of the multi-faceted and strictly compartmentalized Ultra operation. The Ultra Spy: An Autobiography. London: Macmillan, 1989.

Winterbotham acknowledged in the book that he was no cryptologist and had only slight understanding of the cryptologic side of the multi-faceted and strictly compartmentalized Ultra operation. His description of the pioneering work done by Poland's Cipher Bureau before the war is minimal and incorrect. Winterbotham later responded that he had simply passed on the story that he had been given at the time.

This is an autobiography of F. W. Winterbotham, an MI6 agent in WWII, who organized the war time dissemination of Ultra decodes to field operational units. Winterbotham covers his 93 years rather quickly in a small book of only 246 pages. There is sufficient footnoting and reference for accuracy and pointing the reader to further investigation. The war saving miracle of decoding Germany's communications via the Enigma cyper machine is better described in other books. You will not get that here

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Winterbotham grew up in the vanished age of the British Empire before 1914. He volunteered as a soldier at 17 and became a prisoner of war. before 1939 he played a valuable intelligence role in Germany

Winterbotham grew up in the vanished age of the British Empire before 1914. before 1939 he played a valuable intelligence role in Germany. When war broke out he became an MI6 agent and the mastermind of the "Ultra" miracle that decoded wartime German communications. He was at Churchill's right hand during some of the most important and secret decisions of the war. This book tells his story.

Vassall: the Autobiography of a Spy (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1975). Winterbotham, F. The Ultra Secret (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1974). Wise, David, and Ross, Thomas B. The Invisible Government (London: Cape, 1965)

Vassall: the Autobiography of a Spy (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1975). Through the Looking Glass (London: Cape, 1983). The Invisible Government (London: Cape, 1965). The Espionage Establishment (New York: Random House, 1967).

ISBN 10: 0333514254 ISBN 13: 9780333514252.

Winterbotham - Recorded in the spellings of Winterbotham and Winterbottom, this is a very old English north country surname from the Dales region.

Winterbotham's opinion was that the war's outcome "was, in fact, a very narrow shave, and the reader may like to ponder whether or not we might have won had we not had Ultra. Winterbotham - Recorded in the spellings of Winterbotham and Winterbottom, this is a very old English north country surname from the Dales region.

Winterbotham is well-known for his bestselling books The Ultra Secret and The Nazi Connection, which revealed the secret of the Ultra decrypts for the first time

Winterbotham is well-known for his bestselling books The Ultra Secret and The Nazi Connection, which revealed the secret of the Ultra decrypts for the first time.

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Reviews about The Ultra Spy: An Autobiography (2):
Kulwes
This is an autobiography of F. W. Winterbotham, an MI6 agent in WWII, who organized the war time dissemination of Ultra decodes to field operational units. Published in 1989. Winterbotham covers his 93 years rather quickly in a small book of only 246 pages. There is sufficient footnoting and reference for accuracy and pointing the reader to further investigation.

The war saving miracle of decoding Germany's communications via the Enigma cyper machine is better described in other books. You will not get that here.

There are interesting vignettes of charming, pastoral British existence in Winterbotham's pre-WWI youth and early adulthood. Glimpes of a bygone era told first person. He thinly describes the early days of rudimentary aircraft being adapted to military use and later his own development of high altitude spy photography. Winterbotham modestly but sparsely details his introductions to the highest Nazi circles, including Hitler, Himmler and Goring, before the outbreak of war. Thus, he was uniquely situated as a prototype James Bond to obtain invaluable estimates of German air strength before the war. His real claim to fame is that he devised Special Liaision Units, combined allied military intelligence components in the front line areas, that amounted to a real time distribution network of Ultra decrypts valuable to operational planning and decision. They succeeded throughout the war and beyond in keeping the secret that the Allies were reading Hitler's messages within an hour of their origination. What an accomplishment while simultaneously utilizing that information in strategic judgements!

On the whole I found the little book interesting but not fascinating. Winterbotham is far too modest and in some passages too vague. He tells very little of his personal life, feelings and conflicts. For instance, he lightly brushes over how his very early spying days contributed to the dissolution of his first marriage. By Winterbotham's description at the end of his days he simply drifted into being a small landowner and simple farmer, without much fame, glory or riches to indicate his sacrifice, skill and daring were ever really appreciated by England or other Allies.

If accurate, how unfair and sad. If not exactly accurate, an example of how Winterbotham's modesty perhaps squandered the best opportunity to lay bare this important part of WWII history for future generations. He was there. He lived the James Bond lifestyle. He should have told it more clearly when he had the opportunity. A biographer will never get it as exact.
Shadowredeemer
I am not sure how much the author was involved in the Ultra discovery, but he did devise a way to communicate the information received in Ultra to the various personnel involved in the war effort. Thus the Germans did not find out they had been had. He also interacted with Winston Churchill and communicated his findings.
FW was a cavalry officer, fighter pilot, POW, farmer, spy, and airline official. He was also modest and worked within the system.

This is a nice personal book about a man's contributions to winning the war. FW certainly made his contribution. This was a enjoyable read about a spy's contributions in breaking the Ultra secret.

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