A history of British signals intelligence wouldn’t normally be my subject of choice. However I was loaned a copy of ‘Enigma’ and got stuck in. This is a substantial piece of work (more than 700) pages and leaves the reader with the tantalising question: what sort of person has an aptitude for this kind of work?

The book has almost too much information. For example opening other people’s’ letters ( largely confined to history I suspect) was a tricky job in the pre WW1 era because it took time to surreptitiously open, read and seal a letter. Back then the postman called four times a day, so you might reasonably expect something was wrong if it failed to turn up as expected.

Also the world’s oldest radio signals station (1912) is in Scarborough N Yorks. where they discovered that the Soviet ships involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis had turned back.

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