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The Broken Seal

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  40 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Was there a conspiracy in the White House to maneuver the Japanese into war? Were the commanders in Hawaii derelict in their duty? Exactly how much did the United States know about Japanese intentions on the eve of Pearl Harbor? Here for the first time is the whole secret history of Japanese and American code-breaking operations between 1921 and 1941--a fascinating progres ...more
paperback, 464 pages
Published July 1968 by Bantam Books (first published 1967)
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Erik Graff
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: espionage/WWII fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: history
Dad was an army cryptanalyst during WWII, serving on shipboard during the actions in N. Africa, Sicily and the Philippines, all instances involving army troops transported from navy ships. At the same time author Farago was with Naval Intelligence as chief of research and planning. Dad's involvement in this aspect of the war has led me to read many books on the topic, several of them by Farago.

This particular, rather well written book details the decipherment of Japanese cyphers and codes from 1
...more
Karl Jorgenson
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Flawless, detailed research and solid, near-narrative writing. Farago brings this story alive. After WW I, by chance and by curiosity, some clever people broke some Japanese codes, enabling them to keep track of Japanese intentions. Fast forward to the late 1930s. Teams of code breakers have beaten the unbreakable Japanese diplomatic codes and are able to read all the communications between the Tokyo government and its embassies, including the consulate in Hawaii.
Late 1941. Will the Japanese bac
...more
Jennifer Morefield
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. It explores the events leading up to Pearl Harbor. I found this compilation to be interesting and pretty disturbing. I was shocked to learn that warnings could have been given prior to the events on that fateful day, but because of bureaucratic ineptitude, warnings were not issued. I thought it was a great opportunity to learn more about the day that went down in infamy. A very worthy read. I learned a lot.
Realini
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Tora! Tora! Tora! Written by Gordon Prange, Ladislas Farago, Akira Kurosawa and three other screen writers


Akira Kurosawa has worked on the script of Tora! Tora! Tora!

Furthermore, Tora! Tora! Tora! Has won an Academy Award

Having said that, one must add that:
One: Akira Kurosawa must have had a small contribution, for he was initially not listed on the writers list.

Second: the Academy Award was for technical achievement: Special Effects.
Moreover, it is a remarkable achievement, the film has been
...more
Charlotte
I read this book in a Reader's Digest Condensed Books version from 1967, and I have not read many of their condensed books. I do not ordinarily read books about war, but I thought a book about code-breaking would be interesting.
I found it difficult to keep track of all the people mentioned in the book. One paragraph mentioned a president of another country, and in a later sentence mentioned The President, and I wasn't sure whether the reference was to the president of the United States or the
...more
Brian Meadows
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in World War II
I had a special interest in this book that has been on our bookshelf for some time. William Friedman, who broke the Japanese code PURPLE, was my wife's great uncle, and my father-in-law, Evans R. (Sam) Thomas, was aboard the U.S.S. Utah when it was torpedoed and sunk at the attack on Pearl Harbor. I never had the privilege to meet either as both were deceased before I met Lynne, my wife. It was very fascinating to read this book on the various events that led up to Pearl Harbor. The book was nec ...more
Ginny Thurston
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very frustrating to read all the chances we had to either
stop Pearl Harbor or to at least save many lives. The lack of communication between branches of the military foiled many of the chances of getting decoded messages that made it clear the Japanese were heading towards Pearl Harbor. I wish I could say all this red tape, bureaucracy, and lack of coordination has been remedied, but with our warring Congress, it probably has not been repaired. It is a book that all military people and politicia
...more
Robert Snow
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In 1941 there were two code names in American Naval Intelligence for the Japanese diplomatic and Naval codes. They were Purple and Magic, this book takes you into the days leading up to December 7, 1941 and the rush to break the codes. It also brought up some interesting insights about moving the Pacific Fleet from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor in 1940 which was a direct threat to Imperial Japan. Much of the movie "Tora Tora Tora" is based on this book, if you know very little about the Pearl Ha ...more
George
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read how the ASA, the Army Security Agency, known as the SIS, Signal Intelligence Service, in World War II, solved the Japanese diplomatic code and designed a machine to decipher it.

" 'the basic trouble was,' Admiral Ernest J. King, Stark's successor as CNO, told Admiral Zacharias, 'that the Navy failed to appreciate what the Japanese could and did do.' " (page 368)
Michael Spires
Jun 21, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Dated in places, and a little too inclined toward the point of view that the Roosevelt administration let the attack on Pearl Harbor happen for my taste. But overall, a good read and made some valuable contributions to the chronology especially.
Diane Wachter
The Broken Seal: The Story of Peration Macig and the Pearl Harbor Disaster. RDC-B, @ 1967, 9/70. Was there a conspiracy in the White House to maneuver the Japanese into war? Interesting book.
Wayne
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Jose Recaman
rated it it was ok
Sep 17, 2018
Jim
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
loved the detail.
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Ladislas Farago was a military historian and journalist who published a number of best-selling books on history and espionage, especially concerning the World War II era.

He was the author of Patton: Ordeal and Triumph, the biography of General George Patton that formed the basis for the film "Patton" and wrote The Broken Seal, one of the books that formed the basis for the movie ''Tora! Tora! Tora
...more

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