Hitler's Japanese Confidant

General Oshima Hiroshi and MAGIC Intelligence, 1941-1945

Carl Boyd

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.

—Publishers Weekly

“An illuminative briefing on a little-known but invaluable source of intelligence during WWII.

—Kirkus Reviews
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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.

About the Author

Carl Boyd is professor and graduate program director of history at Old Dominion University. He is the author of The Extraordinary Envoy: General Hiroshi Oshima and Diplomacy in the Third Reich, 1934–1939 and numerous journal articles on communications intelligence in World War II.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series