The Info List - Harry Hinsley

--- Advertisement ---


SIR FRANCIS HARRY HINSLEY OBE (26 November 1918 – 16 February 1998) was an English historian and cryptanalyst . He worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and wrote widely on the history of international relations and British Intelligence during the Second World War. He was known as Harry Hinsley.


* 1 Early life * 2 Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park
* 3 Career as a historian * 4 References * 5 Sources * 6 External links


Hinsley was the son of a coal merchant. His mother Emma Hinsley (née Adey) was a school caretaker, and they lived in Birchills
, in the parish of St Andrew's, Walsall. Harry was educated at Queen Mary\'s Grammar School , Walsall, and in 1937 won a scholarship to read history at St. John\'s College , Cambridge
. In October 1939, while still at St. John's, he was summoned to an interview with Alastair Denniston , head of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), and was thereby recruited to Bletchley Park's naval section in Hut 4 .


At Bletchley Park, Hinsley studied the external characteristics of intercepted German messages, a process sometimes termed "traffic analysis ": from call signs, frequencies, times of interception and so forth, he was able to deduce a great deal of information about the structure of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine 's communication networks, and even about the structure of the German navy itself.

Hinsley helped initiate a programme of seizing Enigma machines and keys from German weather ships , such as the Lauenburg , thereby facilitating Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park
's resumption of interrupted breaking of German Naval Enigma.

In late 1943, Hinsley was sent to liaise with the US Navy in Washington , with the result that an agreement was reached in January 1944 to co-operate in exchanging results on Japanese Naval signals

Towards the end of the war, Hinsley, by then a key aide to Bletchley Park chief Edward Travis , was part of a committee which argued for a post-war intelligence agency that would combine both signals intelligence and human intelligence in a single organisation. In the event, the opposite occurred, with GC a Revised Account (Appendix 30, pages 945–959).

* Volume 4: Security and Counter-Intelligence, F.