May 02, 2009

Watcher's Council results

First place in the Council category was Wolf Howling with Words Have Meaning Rick.

First place in the non-Council category was Legal Insurrection with Which city would you sacrifice?

Full results are here.

Posted by Hube at May 2, 2009 08:56 AM | TrackBack

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Legal Insurrection's post reminded me of Winston Churchill's decision to allow the city of Coventry to be bombed, rather than to alert the Nazis to the fact that we has broken the Ultra code. (I wrote a paper on it in grad school - Ethics for MBA's) As the story goes, at least according to Sir William Stevenson in his memoir, A Man Called Intrepid, the Brits intercepted an Ultra transmission which identified Coventry as a target by name, rather than by codeword, which was the standard practice. Stevenson advised Churchill not to evacuate the city or to increase air defenses, in case the Germans had used the clear spelling of the name to determine whether their code had been broken. FW Winterbottom's later book, The Ultra Secret, also relates this story.

Now, the Churchill Historical Centre (won't let me post "questionable" link here) denies that Coventry was sacrificed to protect Ultra, and instead argues that the warning came too late to be acted upon. They furthermore deny the claim that the firebombing of Dresden was Churchill's revenge for the destruction of Coventry.

Funny how nobody can ever agree about secret history, even 60 years after the fact.

Posted by: G Rex at May 4, 2009 01:34 PM

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