Ultra-a significant contribution to the Allied in WWII

Essay by MVO999University, Bachelor'sA, November 2014

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ULTRA - It's Impact on the Allied Victory in World War II

Research Essay

Date: August 6, 2014

While it is now a common view that Ultra contributed to the Allied victory in Europe in World War II, the debate concerning the extent of its contribution, and whether its contribution was paramount continues. This essay will argue that Ultra's contribution was significant to the Allied success in World War II but whether its contribution to shortening the War can be quantified is debatable. Ultra's significance will be examined through discussion of its specific contributions, and its limitations, arguably which have not reduced its contribution. This discussion of Ultra's limits will serve as an illustration of why intelligence, and specifically Ultra, is only one of the many tools employed in war.

Ultra's contribution to the ultimate success of the Allied victory lies in the intertwining of the intelligence it provided, the secrecy that such intelligence was delivered in, and how that secrecy was maintained by its users.

The Second World War was perhaps the true coming of age for intelligence, and a point of no return for its use in wartime and beyond. The benefit of intelligence in wartime was recognized and strongly supported by Sir Winston Churchill. The then Prime Minister funded the increase in staff at Bletchley Park in 1939, which provided the cryptologists and all staff the resources to launch Ultra; the secret operation conducted by the British to break ENIGMA, and which was the greatest secret of World War II after the atom bomb. [1: Kahn, David. Seizing the Enigma. The Race to Break the German U-Boat Codes. 1939-1943. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1991. Pg. 10.]

Intelligence efforts grew exponentially during World War II. "80 percent of important intelligence events in World War II had to do with...