Mac Arthur's Ultra

Edward J. Drea, Author
Edward J. Drea, Author University Press of Kansas $29.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7006-0504-0
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
Paperback - 312 pages - 978-0-7006-0576-7
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The acronym ``ULTRA,'' as employed here, refers to special intelligence derived from the interception and decryption of Japanese radio traffic and its use by Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his New Guinea and Philippines campaigns. Drea's excellent study uncovers the motivation behind certain command decisions that have puzzled historians, particularly in regard to the 1944 Hollandia operation in New Guinea. He demonstrates how ULTRA enabled MacArthur to select the weakest point in the enemy's defenses and then strike with overwhelming superiority. On the other hand, Drea also shows that MacArthur's use of ULTRA became a ``hit or miss proposition'' after Hollandia, and comes to the surprising conclusion that the general did not rely heavily on ULTRA, usually dismissing intelligence that failed to mesh with his preconceived strategic vision. The book presents a detailed illustration of the interplay between intelligence-gathering and operational planning, and uses one of history's most successful commanders as its model. Drea is chief of the research and analysis division at the Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. Photos. (Dec.)
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