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The codes of World War I

First-ever published articles on the work of the US Military Intelligence Division offer insights on Germany’s espionage and deciphering during America’s participation in WWI

Heidelberg, 12 May 2016

Book cover: Codes, Ciphers and SpiesWhen the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, the Americans were woefully unprepared to wage a modern war. Whereas the Europeans had already three years of experience in using code and cipher systems in a war, American cryptologists had to build a military intelligence unit from scratch. This is described by a collection of articles written by John Matthews Manly, a former cryptologist in the American Military Intelligence Division. In the new Springer book Codes, Ciphers and Spies: Tales of Military Intelligence in WWI by John F. Dooley these articles are published for the first time.

In 1917, John Matthews Manly was teaching English at the University of Chicago. In addition to his academic work, he was interested in cryptology. When he volunteered for service in the US Army later that year, he was inducted and served in the Code and Cipher Section of the Military Intelligence Division. Ten years later, he wrote a dozen articles about his time in this division and his experiences during the war for Collier’s magazine which were never published and were lost for more than 80 years.

These articles contain stories about German espionage in America during WWI, for example coded letters, plots to blow up ships and munitions plants, secret inks, arms smuggling, treason, and desperate battlefield messages. The messages Manly deciphered reveal the thoughts of prisoners of war, draftees, German spies, and ordinary Americans with secrets to hide, providing a fascinating insight into the state of mind of a nation at war. The articles and analysis in this book present a new American perspective on WWI.

John F. Dooley holds the positions of the William and Marilyn Ingersoll Professor of Computer Science at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Before returning to teaching in 2001, he spent more than 15 years in the software industry as a developer, designer, and manager working for companies such as Bell Telephone Laboratories, McDonnell Douglas, IBM, and Motorola. Since 2004 his main research interest has been in the history of American cryptology, particularly of the inter-war period. His previous publications include the Springer titles A Brief History of Cryptology and Cryptographic Algorithms and Software Development and Professional Practice.

John F. Dooley
Codes, Ciphers and Spies
Tales of Military Intelligence in World War I
2016, 280 p. 39 illus., 6 illus. in color
Softcover 27,99 € | £22.00 | $27.99
ISBN 978-3-319-29414-8
Also available as an eBook

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