Hitler's Japanese Confidant
General Oshima Hiroshi and MAGIC Intelligence, 1941-1945
In 1940 the U.S. Army Signal Intelligence Service broke the Japanese diplomatic code. In 1975 Oshima Hiroshi, Japan's ambassador to Berlin during World War II, died, never knowing that the hundreds of messages he transmitted to Tokyo had been fully decoded by the Americans and whisked off to Washington, providing a major source of information for the Allies on Nazi activities.
Resurrecting Oshima's decoded communications, which had remained classified for several decades, Carl Boyd provides a unique look at the Nazis from the perspective of a close foreign observer and ally. He uses Oshima's own words to reveal the thought and strategies of Adolf Hitler and other high-ranking Nazis, with whom Oshima associated.
“In this valuable study, Boyd carefully analyzes Oshima’s messages and reports, places them in political and military contexts, and sheds new light on Germany’s strategies during the war as well as on German-Japanese relations.”
“An illuminative briefing on a little-known but invaluable source of intelligence during WWII.”
—Kirkus ReviewsSee all reviews...
“A fascinating book and an impressive analytical study.”
“An excellent study of SIGINT and the information it can provide.”
“[Boyd’s] sober, careful analysis of the documents, set firmly in the context of the American signals intelligence system, has resulted in one of the finest works to appear in the growing field of World War II communications intelligence.”
—Journal of American History
“Boyd’s book is an important contribution to the understanding of what MAGIC did and why it was important.”
—Journal of Interdisciplinary History
“One can prophesy that Professor Boyd’s book will become an essential part of the library of any student of the Second World War who hopes to rise above the level of the superficial.”
—Intelligence and National Security
“This book presents an informative and entertaining study of the collection and exploitation of signal intelligence during World War II.”
“Carl Boyd has produced a work that significantly advances our knowledge about the German-Japanese alliance as well as intelligence in World War II.”
—Journal of Military History
“This is essential reading for anyone interested in World War II.”
—New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter
“An extremely valuable work. It clears up many puzzles, and it helps to make understandable how high-level communications intelligence was used in Washington during World War II.”
—Ernest R. May, author of Imperial Democracy: The Emergence of America as a Great Power
“An essential contribution to our understanding of major aspects of World War II history. This book will have a special place in the story of the war in Europe and also in that of the wartime relations of Germany and Japan, which has been much neglected.”
—Harold C. Deutsch, author of The Conspiracy Against Hitler in the Twilight War
“Boyd skillfully integrates interviews with surviving American cryptanalysts who worked with MAGIC to reconstruct the distribution system for the precious intelligence. In particular his ingenious unraveling of the complex distribution system in effect during presidential trips strikes me as model detective work. First-rate scholarship complemented by superior writing skills.”
—Edward J. Drea, author of MacArthur’s ULTRA: Codebreaking and the War Against Japan
“Offers new insight into the otherwise obscure story of how American ability to penetrate Japanese codes provided unique, valuable knowledge of German military plans and capabilities.”
—Stanley L. Falk, author of Seventy Days to Singapore
“Every student of the history of the present century, in which the war of 1939–45 formed so crucial a part, must read this—and one uses the word advisedly—definitive account.”
—Robert H. Ferrell, author of American Diplomacy: The Twentieth Century
“In 1944, U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall declared that ‘our main basis of information regarding Hitler’s intentions in Europe is obtained from Baron Oshima’s messages from Berlin.’ Carl Boyd reveals how the Allies got that intelligence and used it to help win World War II.”
—David Kahn, author of The CodebreakersSee fewer reviews...
In addition to providing illuminating insight into Nazi activities and attitudes—military buildup in North Africa, the unwillingness to accept a separate peace with the Soviets—Boyd illustrates the functions of MAGIC. He demonstrates how that intelligence, gathered by teams of American cryptographers, influenced Allied strategy and helped bring about the downfall of Hitler and his Japanese confidant.