• Welcome, Guest. Please login.

When you rely too much on one source of information

Started by winterset, March 16, 2021, 12:59:22 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

winterset

Enigma.

The Poles gifted the British with Enigma early in the war. It took the British a while to figure it out.  IT was ahead of its time so that was no real surprise.

I have read accounts where the first real attempt to use information garnered from Enigma was when Churchill warned Stalin he was about to be attacked.

Stalin beino stalin ignored it (Stalin actually came close to rivaling Hitler for huge stupid mistakes but he had a much larger military and thus survived them)

Enigma was extremely valuable.

But the trap that all intelligence officers are taught to look out for is to rely too much on just one source of information.

By late 1944 the Allies were ignoring everything else but Enigma.

And thus came the Battle of the Bulge.

How you can ignore a quarter million men and 1000 tanks massing right opposite the weakest section of your line on the whole front IN THE SAME PLACE that the Germans had successfully  attacked four times in the past (1870, 1914, 1918, 1940)?

They did and the consequences were long term.  The Yalta Conference came just after that battle and the Western Allies looked weak. Stalin took advantage of this and pressed for concessions that he mostly got. With severe postwar consequences.   

Hoofer

April 08, 2021, 06:05:12 AM #1 Last Edit: April 08, 2021, 06:12:49 AM by Hoofer
Seems to be a weird thing about the Brits, they expect everyone else to "rise to their level of warfare".

Tea breaks, for instance, but this is one of the quotes I was looking for:

https://nationalinterest.org/article/cultures-of-spying-772
"n the United States, spying has often been regarded as necessary, at times even as vital. But it has never been regarded as a normal peacetime pursuit. During the Second World War, the CIA's precursor, the OSS, mounted a vast cryptographic effort against Germany and Japan, thanks in part to the support of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. Yet Stimson was also the man who, as Secretary of State in 1929, closed up the State Department's cryptographic section with the famous quip that "gentlemen do not read each other's mail." With its post-Victorian overtones, that quip now has the resonance of a bygone age. Not so, however, the assumption that lies behind it: Spying has no place in a "normal" world."


More food for thought
https://www.historynet.com/ultra-the-misunderstood-allied-secret-weapon.htm
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...

winterset

Quote from: Hoofer on April 08, 2021, 06:05:12 AM
Seems to be a weird thing about the Brits, they expect everyone else to "rise to their level of warfare".

Tea breaks, for instance, but this is one of the quotes I was looking for:

https://nationalinterest.org/article/cultures-of-spying-772
"n the United States, spying has often been regarded as necessary, at times even as vital. But it has never been regarded as a normal peacetime pursuit. During the Second World War, the CIA's precursor, the OSS, mounted a vast cryptographic effort against Germany and Japan, thanks in part to the support of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson. Yet Stimson was also the man who, as Secretary of State in 1929, closed up the State Department's cryptographic section with the famous quip that "gentlemen do not read each other's mail." With its post-Victorian overtones, that quip now has the resonance of a bygone age. Not so, however, the assumption that lies behind it: Spying has no place in a "normal" world."


More food for thought
https://www.historynet.com/ultra-the-misunderstood-allied-secret-weapon.htm

Article is very interesting but there are some statements made that are misleading.

Ultra messages were in several different levels of importance.  The ones mentioned about prior to the Battle of the Bulge the germans moving supplies into that area was contradicted by other ultra messages that showed no movement of units supposedly using those supplies.  And more important there were no messages regarding any attack that came from ANY major german unit.  Thus the assumption made was that no attack was coming. Ignoring NON Ultra intelligence was a major problem later in the war in favor of anything- or in that case nothing- from ultra.   This article talks up Bletchley Park like they were gods and frankly THAT was wrong; they made some serious mistakes themselves. 
Now the fact that the Germans were sloppy with Signint security was very true. Their master race orientation at the top level did not help.

The major problem on the Allied side as regards intelligence was too many senior British intelligence officers were too much of the mindset that if THEY did not develope the intelligence it was not worth that much. This was made blindingly obvious prior to Market Garden as the Dutch were very consistent about increased German strength around Arnhem.

Hoofer

Quote from: winterset on April 09, 2021, 04:07:51 AM
Article is very interesting but there are some statements made that are misleading.

Ultra messages were in several different levels of importance.  The ones mentioned about prior to the Battle of the Bulge the germans moving supplies into that area was contradicted by other ultra messages that showed no movement of units supposedly using those supplies.  And more important there were no messages regarding any attack that came from ANY major german unit.  Thus the assumption made was that no attack was coming. Ignoring NON Ultra intelligence was a major problem later in the war in favor of anything- or in that case nothing- from ultra.   This article talks up Bletchley Park like they were gods and frankly THAT was wrong; they made some serious mistakes themselves. 
Now the fact that the Germans were sloppy with Signint security was very true. Their master race orientation at the top level did not help.

The major problem on the Allied side as regards intelligence was too many senior British intelligence officers were too much of the mindset that if THEY did not develop the intelligence it was not worth that much. This was made blindingly obvious prior to Market Garden as the Dutch were very consistent about increased German strength around Arnhem.
Well stated!   Another reason why we keep bailing them out of their family entanglements (or wars).
All animals are created equal; Some just take longer to cook.   Survival is keeping an eye on those around you...