Best-kept Secret

Best-kept Secret

Canadian Secret Intelligence in the Second World War

Book - 1993
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Publisher: Toronto : Lester Publishing, c1993
Edition: 1st Canadian ed. --
ISBN: 9781895555295
Branch Call Number: 327/.12/0971/Bry
Characteristics: x, 390 p. : ill


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Dec 12, 2013

Best Kept Secret – I struggled with this book for the first 10 to 15 pages – Best Kept Secret – Canadian Secret Intelligence in the Second World War by Canadian author John H. Bryden. There seemed to be so many facts and so much information to absorb; a constant barrage of new names. While I considered putting this book aside, my interest rapidly increased after perhaps 15 pages and I never looked back. During the early stages of WW II ‘The Examination Unit/Communications Branch’ came into being within the umbrella of the National Research Council in Ottawa. This book is ‘A HIDDEN JEWEL!’ It deserves a look by fellow Canadian history enthusiasts with a keen interest in the who’s who in the development of the USA’s - CIA, England’s - MI6, and Canada’s – forerunner to the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). The forerunner came into being on September 1, 1946. This book depicts WWII from an Allied countermeasures point-of-view: spy networks, intrigue; cryptology the scientific study of: cryptography (the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher), and cryptanalysis (1. the solving of cryptograms or cryptographic systems, and 2. the theory of solving cryptograms or cryptographic systems - the art of devising methods for cryptanalysis). It later informs the reader about key Soviet spies like the British traitor Kim Philby, and British scientist Klaus Fuchs as a spy inside the U.S. atomic bomb research program. This book has it all. It was very well researched over a three year period and it was extremely well written. It was interesting reading about the role played by future Canadian Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Lester B. Pearson during and after WW II. Learn how Canada became a player and contributed more than we ever got credit for during WW II. This is a book every Canadian teenager, perhaps above the age of 15, should read. We should be very proud of our contributions to the war effort, see the paragraph at the top of page 285 to learn more. Also acknowledge the many sacrifices that our sparsely populated Nation made leading to the defeat of the Axis Powers during WW II. In addition, you will learn facts and little known secrets about Canada’s Prime Minister Mackenzie King, Britain’s Sir Winston Churchill, Russia’s Joseph Stalin, and US Presidents: Roosevelt and Truman; facts that you never knew. Be prepared to be a little surprised and at times appalled. I was however disappointed, not with the book, but with what I surmised as I read this book. At least from my point of view, the United States and Great Britain did not treat Canada as an equal partner and seemed to keep Canada on the fringes of knowledge gained on Germany, Italy and Japan. It seems that we were encouraged by our Allies to shutdown our countermeasures networks and operations at the end of the WW II; and we almost did. The Gouzenko defection put an end to that poorly thought out plan of action. Thank goodness that sober minds prevailed. While this is a very detailed and what I call a heavy read, it will fascinate and surprise fellow history enthusiasts. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.

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Jan 19, 2014

dixiedog thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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