The book Ultra» la fine di un mito. La guerra dei codici tra gli inglesi e le marine italiane. 1934-1945 -‘Ultra’ the end of a myth. The war of the codes between the British and Italian navies. 1934-1945’, by Enrico Cernuschi has been published recently.
Cernuschi is an authority on the Italian codebreakers of WWII and he has written
several books on the Italian Navy. He has also co-authored with Vincent O'Hara Dark
Navy: The Italian Regia Marina and the Armistice of 8 September 1943 and the
War College Review article ‘The Other Ultra: Signal Intelligence and the
Battle to Supply Rommel's Attack toward Suez’.
His new book presents
the code war in the Mediterranean in a different light and points out mistakes
and exaggerations in the previous accounts such as the official histories
‘British Intelligence in the Second World War’. There is information on the
Italian codebreakers and their successes with Royal Navy codes as well as French,
Greek, Yugoslav and USA communications. This played a role in the convoy
battles as the Italians could reroute their ships once they had been sighted by
enemy forces and were in danger of attack. On the other side of the hill the
author points out mistakes in the standard accounts of the compromise of the German
Enigma and Italian Hagelin C-38 cipher machines and their importance for the
For this book
the author has researched the British national archives and the ‘Archivio
dell'Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare’ in Rome. According to him the codebreaking story in the
Med must be rewritten.
difesa has interviewed the author about his latest book.