What Role Did Military Intelligence Play in World War Ii? Essay

3107 Words Feb 4th, 2008 13 Pages
What role did military intelligence play in World War II?

What role did military intelligence play in World War II?

Joseph Reeder

It is undeniable the principal role, military intelligence occupied in both the successes and failures of the main events that transpired in World War II, ranging from the breaking of the enigma code at Bletchley Park, to the D Day landings that arguably determined the outcome of the whole war. Military intelligence in the war encompasses not only spies and counterintelligence but also radar, signal, weather and mapping intelligence. Having preemptive knowledge via military intelligence, enabled both the Axis and Allies to preplan their attacks with maximum efficiency; reducing casualties and achieving
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This essentially facilitated an increase in counterespionage efficiency. Keegan writes how Sir Harry Himsley; one of the official British military intelligence historians on the Second World War downplays the importance of his chosen field in the course of the war stating that "it did not, ….. ,win the war, but it did shorten it". This disposition on military intelligence is dubious at best, as the intelligence campaigns waged on the U-Boats led to the freedom of British trading which the country relied on to capacitate their contribution to the war effort. Keegan is agreeable in his belief that if not for Britain's ability "to survive U-boat attack on its oceanic supply", "Hitler would have completed his conquest of Western Europe, perhaps defeated the Soviet Union and then been able to deny the United States entry to the continent". This conjecture may seem too implausible for ones taste but it definitely draws away the attention placed on numeric advantage, technology and strategic and tactical operations in military history, and instead focuses on the efforts of the mathematicians, code breakers and telecommunication engineers on the domestic front.
Straying away from the success of military intelligence, the events surrounding Pearl Harbour have

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