In This Review

Ultra And Mediterranean Strategy
Ultra And Mediterranean Strategy
By Ralph Bennett
Morrow, 1989, 496 pp

Like the author's ULTRA in the West (reviewed in Foreign Affairs, Winter 1980/81) this account and analysis, by a professional historian who was deeply involved in ULTRA, is carefully documented, penetrating and critical. The range of decisions in the Mediterranean was wide, and many remain controversial, so that the use of recent interviews with top officers in the British command on how particular decisions were (or should have been) affected by ULTRA adds a particularly important dimension in an area the official historians of British intelligence have been too constrained to address in any systematic fashion. The result is new insights on the North African campaigns, the 1941 decision to stand in Greece, whether the Italian front was short-changed from mid-1944 on, an enlightening chapter on ULTRA's contribution to the crucial decision to support Tito rather than Mihailovic in Yugoslavia, and a coda packed with wisdom on the link between intelligence and operational decisions necessarily based on inadequate evidence. In all, this belongs, together with his first book, on the short shelf of genuine classics in the literature of ULTRA and thus the Allied conduct of World War II.