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Naval Intelligence

Fubuki class, Naval description

Fubuki class, Naval description

Cryptanalysis was only one facet of the Allied Intelligence system.  The Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas (JICPOA) grew to hold 1,767 specialists in each branch of service.  The Central Bureau was a joint American-Australian organization.

The Seventh Fleet’s Fleet Radio Unit, Melbourne (FRUMEL) analysed Japanese codes.  When these codes changed, FRUMEL would temporarily use traffic scans from reconnaissance submarines and aircraft.

The Combat Intelligence Division (F-2), as described by Admiral King, “Combat Intelligence is the term applied to information of enemy forces, strength, disposition and probable movements…”  For the first 18 months of the war, the Fleet Intelligence Officers (F-11) in the Plans Division, would head the Chart Room and the Operational Information Section (F-35) of the Operations Division.  This complex situation was made more distinctive with a Combat Intelligence Division being established on 1 July 1943 with Rear Admiral R.E. Schuirman as Assistant Chief of Staff.

Admiral Ernest King

Admiral Ernest King

Combat Intelligence performs the following  duties:

1 – Passes current intelligence such as location of enemy submarines to U.S. Naval Forces.

2 – Maintains plot of current situation for Headquarters officers.

3 – Keeps track of location of own ships and aircraft.

4 – Maintains plot of enemy ships and aircraft.

5 – Evaluates radio intelligence.

6 – Secures intelligence reports from O.N.I. and through O.N.I. from M.I.S. and other agencies on any subject which other divisions of Headquarters need or request.

7 – Advises O.N.I. as to priorities required in the production of monograph material.

Japanese submarines did not play a major role in the Pacific War, watched by the F-22, but the need for the combat intelligence was far greater than in the Atlantic.  A daily summary was prepared for COMINCH, Naval aide to the President, Vice CNO, Director of Naval Intelligence, the Military Intelligence Service of the War Dept. and the British representative of the Combined Joint Chiefs of Staff.  A weekly report on the Japanese Fleet, aircraft and merchant shipping was made and sent to all of the above, plus the Commanders of the 3rd, 5th and 7th Fleets.  The 10th Fleet Intelligence in the Atlantic was far more active and effective.

ULTRA was the American version of the British military intelligence used to decipher high-level messages. The U.S. used the code name “Magic” for it’s decryption service. In the Pacific Theater, the Japanese cipher machine was given the designation “Purple” and that decoded the enemy’s diplomatic messages. The Japanese Navy used a system code-named JN-25.

Magic "Purple" machine

Magic “Purple” machine

Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, had received a translated message about the attack on Pearl Harbor long before the Japanese diplomats had finished typing their document notification. Hull had to pretend his surprise when he read their version.

Despite people, such as, General Marshall doing their utmost to conceal the work of MAGIC, the “Chicago Tribune” ran a series of stories that began on 7 June 1942. These articles explained how the victory at Midway Island was largely due to the United States breaking the Japanese crypto systems. The Japanese did not see to notice this breach in security. (which more and likely came from the White House itself). Gen. Marshall himself discovered that, at one time, as many as 500 people were reading the intercepted messages at the White House.

Naval Intelligence for Okinawa proved to be wrong – for the better. Where they believed the enemy guns were situated, was actually 360 shinyo, mass produced suicide boats, 20′ long. These would have destroyed the U.S. warships had they not been discovered. Intel was using a radar system developed from Japanese plans and the boats appeared to be artillery. A helpful mistake.

Click on photos to enlarge.

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Farewell Salutes –

Vernon McGarity – U.S. Army, 99th Infantry Division, Battle of the Bulge, Medal of Honor

Sidney Roye Hinds – British Army WWII, originally from Jamaica, W.I.

Dwight J. Mayer – U.S. Army, WWII, Germany, originally from Stockton, CA.

Harley “Mac” McGhee – U.S. Army Signal Corps, WWII, Guam, originally from Ohio

Eugene J. Center – USMC, So. Pacific WWII, Purple Hearts for Iwo Jima and Saipan, originally from Simpsonville, SC.

Lester Allen Goldberg – U.S. Army, WWII, originally Syracuse, NY

Reynolds Beckwith – Captain USN Ret., Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam, originally from Coral Gables, FL.

Anthony Claude Cardinale, Jr. – U.S. Army, WWII ETO, Bronze Star, originally from Pittsburg, CA.

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Resources: U.S. National Archives; Administration of the Naval Dept. in WWII [Chapter 3], by Rear Admir. Julius Augustus Furer, USN (Ret.); Pacific War Online Encyclopedia; ibiblio.org; The Palm Beach Post; Wikipedia; The Week magazine.

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