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Brand: Patrick Beesly

Very Special Intelligence

by Patrick Beesly

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Very Special Intelligence : The Story of the Admiralty's Operational Intelligence Centre 1939-1945

The Operational Intelligence Centre (OIC) was the nerve centre of the British Admiralty in World War II, dedicated to the collection, analysing and disseminating of information from every possible source that could throw light upon the plans and deployment of German naval and maritime forces throughout the War. This highly readable account tells the story of how the results of Enigma decoding at Bletchley Park and other intelligence was used mainly in the titanic struggle against the U-boat menace. In the OIC operations room beneath the Admiralty, teams sifted through a combination of radar direction tracking information, secret reports of U-boat departures from the French ports, code-breaking from Bletchley, as well as information from the Americans and Canadians, often contradictory, to anticipate and counter the U-boat threat; and Godfrey Winn, in charge of U-boat tracking, was said to be able to almost read the mind of Donitz.

Through the author's experiences of this intelligence world his riveting story adds a new dimension to those dramatic episodes such as the hunt for the Bismarck, the tragedy of Convoy PQ17, and the long war against the U-boats in the wastes of the North Atlantic, and other naval events that were critical to the outcome of the War. 'This is the best book so far, and likely to remain so, about British intelligence in World War II.' THE GUARDIAN

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