F.H. Hinsley

F.H. Hinsley Master of St John’s College, Cambridge, is the author of British Intelligence in the Second World War.

Various Reasons

F.H. Hinsley, 30 August 1990

According to the dust-jacket of this book at least 750,000 German troops died of malnutrition and disease in US Army camps in North-West Europe after the end of the war, and over 250,000 in French Army camps (from about 750,000 prisoners transferred to them from US and British camps). In the text it is claimed that at least 807,190 died in the US and French camps (that is, at least ten times the number killed in combat in North-West Europe from June 1941 to April 1945) of which somewhere between 167,000 and 314,241 died in French captivity. If the higher of these last figures is deducted from 807,190, the number who died in US camps would be about 500,000 rather than at least 750,000.

What did they do with it?

F.H. Hinsley, 27 July 1989

Ralph Bennett’s first book on intelligence in the Second World War – Ultra in the West – dealt with the Normandy invasion and the campaign in North-West Europe. This volume appears later, in what he calls ‘an unnatural order’, because the material on which both are based was released to the public records without regard for chronological sequence. The book loses nothing in interest and value on this account: how could it, when the basic material is the signals which conveyed to the Allied commands the product of the decryption of the Axis high-grade cyphers? And when the author was among those who scrutinised the decrypts and composed the signals?’

Bombes, Cribs and Colossi

R.O. Gandy, 26 May 1994

Just before the outbreak of war the Government Code and Cypher School (GC & CS) moved from London to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. In 1939, some hundred or so people were working there;...

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Garbo & Co

Paul Addison, 28 June 1990

Winston Churchill wrote the heroic version of 1940. In the story as he told it the British were redeemed from the sloth and decadence of the Thirties by the catastrophes of Dunkirk and the fall...

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Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

There are at least three books at present being written on Anthony Blunt and the Cambridge Spies. Already the sleuths are nosing out the Fifth Man – the master control, an older don who...

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In the field

Nigel Hamilton, 5 November 1981

Some weeks ago Sir Isaiah Berlin gave a broadcast in which he described his first visit to the legendary Russian poet Anna Akhmatova in Moscow in 1945 – a visit cut short in its prime by...

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