U-boat intelligence, 1914-1918

Title:                      U-boat intelligence, 1914-1918

Author:                  Robert M. Grant

Grant, Robert M. (1969). U-boat intelligence, 1914-1918. London: Putnam

LCCN:    74423831

VB230 .G7


Date Updated:  January 29, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

According to a RUSI review, Grant, an ordained minister and professor of theology, wrote this attempt to show how the British Admiralty’s intelligence division played its part in defeating the German submarines in World War I. It is difficult to understand how Grant felt he could accomplish this purpose by basing his study largely on German records captured in 1945. Grant’s methodology was to rely on the search of statistical records and the compilation of a “bean count”; but here again, he does not explain how British naval intelligence’s part could be fully and satisfactorily covered by this method. Nor does one have the feeling that the accumulated facts are properly put in perspective. The same RUSI review calls the work “scholarly, concise, accurate and sound” but allows that the value of the study is “methodological.” A number of interesting anecdotes are found; had they set the pattern, the book would have made more interesting intelligence reading. Some of these, such as the story of the German attempt to deceive the Allies in an operation directed at the U.S. naval attaché in Copenhagen in June 1918, were previously known to only a few.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

An account of how the development of naval intelligence in interception of radio signals, cryptography, radio direction finding, prisoner interrogation, and analysis of captured documents led to actual U-boat sinkings in World War II.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp., pp. 216-217

[2] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 62


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One Response to U-boat intelligence, 1914-1918

  1. Pingback: Strange Intelligence | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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