PLEASE NOTE: These pages are in no way an attempt to preview or write a critique on any particular book. Listed here are simply a number of books on the subject of Signals Intelligence that recline on my own bookshelf. Books that I have read and enjoyed and I feel may be of interest to anyone that has been involved in Sigint or is simply just interested to know what it’s all about.
GCHQ: The uncensored story of Britain’s most secret intelligence agency by Richard J Aldrich.
A history of GCHQ from it’s infancy at Bletchley Park during WWII through the Cold War period to today’s anti-terrorist activities. The most comprehensive study of Sigint that I have come across so far. There are details of all Britain’s Sigint stations at home and overseas both past and present. There is much about certain personalities of the day including two RAF NCOs sentenced to long prison terms for spying for the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Published by Harper Press
'Y' OH 'Y': A SPEC-OP'S PROGRESS by Tony Nash
What I believe is the most recent book about Sigint and the Y service.
An interesting and exciting tale of the authors 20 years in the Y service covering much of his employment in Sigint and Elint with a breathtaking foray into the murky world of Humint. His off-duty activities are described in detail and include a sporting occasion spent with a German noble, a risqué liaison with a dangerous and exciting woman, and a brush with a communist spy that almost ended in disaster. Among the serious narrative there is much enjoyable humour with the action taking place during the Cold War in Berlin and in parts of what was then West Germany.
Published on Amazon and Smashwords where one can read more details and sample pages.
BETWEEN SILK AND CYANIDE. A CODEMAKER’S WAR 1941 – 1945 By LEO MARKS
Tales of code making, code breaking and Sigint involvement by Leo Marks, the man who trained some of the most famous SOE agents dropped into France during WWII, including Violet Szabo and the ‘White Rabbit’.
A book of intrigue in the secrert world of cryptography written with passion, there is drama, tales of treachery, much sadness and grief when agents are arrested and executed. There is more than a sprinkling of humour. There is an appendix describing a wireless operator’s fingerprint or ‘fist’ as it is known. Something most Spec Ops reading this will be familiar with and which others are sure to find interesting.
It is a book I have read, treasure and will read again.
Published by Harper Collins.
GEOFFREY PRIME The Imperfect Spy by D.J. Cole.
An excellent book about possibly the most important Soviet Spy in British Sigint since WWII. Geoffrey Prime, a former RAF NCO in Berlin and GCHQ employee had spied for the Soviet Union for 13 years from 1968 – 1981. The author David Cole, a former Detective Chief Inspector paints a lucid picture of Prime’s activities as a spy and his uncontrollable urge to interfere with young females. It was this latter activity that led to his arrest in 1982. Another book on my shelf that I could easily read and enjoy for a second time.
Published by Robert Hale, London.