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A Most Enigmatic War

R V Jones and the Genesis of British Scientific Intelligence 1939-45

Author : James Goodchild

A Most Enigmatic War : R V Jones and the Genesis of British Scientific Intelligence 1939-45


General - Pages : 658 | Images : 23 ills/photos, 13 diags, 3 tables

Hardback - Date of Publication : December 2017 | Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781911512554 | Helion Book Code : HEL0792

The history of scientific intelligence – its birth, its importance during the Second World War, and its unique wartime qualities – has relied almost entirely on the memories of its pioneer, R. V. Jones. Through scrutiny of Jones’s post-war literature (especially his war memoirs entitled Most Secret War), his archival papers as well as those of his colleagues and contemporaries, and other mediums he used to promote his account of scientific intelligence, this ground-breaking book constitutes a critique of the genesis of scientific and technical intelligence. Examining chronologically all of the key events Jones became famous for – the Battle of the Beams, the Bruneval Raid, the Radio War, the Battle of the V-Weapons – and comparing Jones’s account of these (and many other) events with contemporary documentation, this book provides a rich understanding of the internal machinations within the British wartime air scientific intelligence organisation defined as ADI (Science), and their relationships with the many other political, military and intelligence sections that pursued similar and often closely-linked quests. This book importantly connects science and technology with the collection and collation of intelligence, is an analysis of wartime intelligence of a scientific and technical nature, and argues that scientific intelligence was much more than one man’s accomplishments, involved many more individuals and organisations than has been perceived, and was much more crucial to the development of twentieth century history than has been portrayed.


“ … this work deserves to be read in detail by everyone concerned with the history of Allied Scientific Intelligence in World War 2 – the work James Goodchild has done in setting straight the story of the V-Weapons would alone have been worth the book, and there is much, much more besides ... An essential book both to read and to study – buy it!” e-Defence Electronics Newsletter


“ … Shining a light on a hitherto neglected area of the Second World War, that of the role of Scientific Intelligence, it is a substantial contribution to the history of that period. As such, it comes highly recommend.” Army Rumour Service


"Featured in Military History Monthly's roundup of the latest military history titles." Military History Monthly

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