Re: Arthur T Harris
- From: "Don Phillipson" <e925@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 28 Jan 2010 12:32:29 -0500
"SolomonW" <SolomonW@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
I am not saying that only Harris was responsible for this policy. Onethen
strong point in Harris favor is that unlike Portal and Churchill, he did
not have access to Ultra. So Portal and Churchill had more information
This point seems irrelevant.
Ultra (Enigma cipher) was used only to render secret
messages that had to be sent by radio (and thus might
be intercepted en route) because of their urgency or
their being addressed to multiple recipients. Where
domestic telephone/teleprinter circuits were available,
they resisted interception and were preferred for speed
(ordinary language incurring no delay for encipherment.)
1. In the last 12 months of war, as Germans fought
defensively near to or on home soil, the German telephone/
teleprinter circuits were usually available for urgent messages:
Ultra intercepts thus contained a reducing amount of the
most secret or most important messages.
2. Reports of bomb damage (either civilian casualties or
losses to industrial production or transport infrastructure)
took time to draft and were seldom of urgent tactical
value. The German civilian officials who wrote such reports
did not have military Enigma machines.
So while it is true that top officials briefed by Ultra "had
more information" than the CinC of Bomber Command,
the extra information they possessed covered a much
larger field than the bombing campaign. When target-
relevant information was obtained (e.g. news of the
relocation of weapons production) it was Portal's duty
to pass it on to Harris. Portal had himself been AOCinC
Bomber Command (for 6 months in 1940) and no
historian ever reported negligence in his passing on
Ultra information Harris could use.
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