• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Intelligence is a necessary but not sufficient condition for victoryin war. Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Intelligence is a necessary but not sufficient condition for victory in war. Do you agree? In a world that is typified by independent states, above which there is no higher authority, and a scarcity of resources, such states often compete with each other. The most deadly form of such competition is war, whether in the name of territory, self-defence, religious belief, or any other reason. When such competition exists, there is ample motivation to be well prepared, for one state to know what other states are planning, and not to have others know their intentions. Essentially, this is the role of intelligence; to use information acquired through various means to create an advantages for one state over others. But in a war situation, with all the other factors that have to be taken into account, such as technology, manpower, and training, how can the importance of intelligence be measured? Is good intelligence, knowing what ones enemies are doing, sufficient to ensure victory? This essay attempts to analyse the importance of intelligence in war by looking at historical examples. It will be seen that intelligence is not sufficient for victory, but it probably is necessary, and hugely influential in determining the outcome. ...read more.

Middle

However, through the use Sigint by the British and Americans, the effects of the German patrols were limited. Made famous in many novels and films,7 the role of the British cryptanalysts was crucial to Britain's ability to remain resilient to German forces. Through a combination of 'listening stations' based throughout the UK, German transmissions between U-Boats and headquarters were acquired. However, these messages were encrypted by an Enigma machine,8 the most advanced encryption method ever devised. The interpretation element of intelligence was carried out by teams of cryptanalysts, linguists, and mathematicians at Bletcley Park in Britain. Often slow, laborious work, the Enigma code was eventually broken, and thus the British and Americans could read German communications. The resulting intelligence, known as Ultra, allowed American convoys to avoid U-Boat patrols, and ensure the supply of resources continued. The importance of this intelligence operation is immense. F.H. Hinsley went as far as to argue that it shortened the length of the war by three or four years.9 Sigint can thus be described as crucial in ensuring victory in this chapter of World War Two. Another example demonstrating the importance of intelligence is found in the Battle of Midway, in World War Two, which involved conflict between the Japanese and American Navies. ...read more.

Conclusion

This essay has asserted that intelligence, though an important and increasingly necessary condition for victory in war, is not sufficient in itself. It was seen that intelligence encompasses many distinct aspects, from acquisition to implementation, and to effectively influence the outcome of war on a large scale, all are necessary. In the Battle of the Atlantic, it was seen how Sigint made a huge contribution to the resilience of Britain while under threat of invasion. By allowing for American assistance, the breaking of Enigma and the defeat of the U-Boats, made a significant contribution to winning the war. However, without the technology of interception, the personnel of the navy and the perseverance of the British, all the intelligence in the world may not have helped. The same picture emerges from the Battle of Midway. Excellent intelligence allowed for a successful defence of the islands, but it was the knowledge of the fleet commanders, lack of it in their Japanese counterparts, and a bit of luck, that ensured victory. In the Battle of Crete, the limitations of intelligence were highlighted. Even when coupled with excellent foreknowledge, a lack of command ability, internal communications, and a more dedicated enemy, means victory would be unlikely. Other factors have been highlighted and though its importance should rarely be underestimated, "intelligence can only work through strength. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. The Battle of the Atlantic.

    This, coupled with the major advances in anti-U-boat warfare meant that the German objective, to close the supply route by sinking an unsustainable rate of British vessels in the Atlantic to force the country into submission was almost certainly unachievable.

  2. American History.

    could the colonists justify their opposition to certain acts w/o challenging Parliament's authority over them? *1765: The Stamp Act Crisis* - Initially, when the Stamp Act was passed, the response was pretty underwhelming as well. It seemed hopeless to resist.

  1. Armed forces.

    Half a century after the death of Nelson and the Royal Navy had barely changed at all; even the ships were the same. The only serious innovation that made serious inroads into these traditions was the advent of steam. Even then, the Admiralty were reluctant converts to this latest technology and pined for the days of sail.

  2. Many peoples have contributed to the development of the United States of America, a ...

    to pump up consumer buying power. In 1933 he had decided to take the nation off the gold standard, except in international trade. Setting the price at which the government would buy gold at $35 an ounce, he induced so massive a flow of gold into the country that its

  1. For what reason did Japan bomb Pearl Harbour?

    show the Americans that they were vulnerable to Japanese attack, and would scare the Americans back into the 'cave they crawled out of'. In conclusion to this study, I would say that the reason Japan had bombed America could be seen as a 'two sided coin'.

  2. Do the Writings of Clausewitz have contemporary relevance?

    "The destruction of the enemies forces in war must always be the dominant consideration"16 While this may have been the ideal way of winning wars in the 19th Century it is arguable that in today's world this view is obsolete for a variety of reasons.

  1. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    During the siege many hundreds of civilians died many because of a lack of medical supplies and also as a result of the water being purposely cut off causing epidemics to break out. The Missile Crisis The Israeli attack caught Assad by surprise.

  2. War Photography

    Photographers go through very situations to achieve that 'special shot'. They can be described as the companions of the conflict. They almost share the same discomfort as civilians and the troops. From some of the war photographers we see, we can almost figure out how close they are to the conflict.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work