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Like many works in relatively untapped areas of rare knowledge, where specialization has yet to become necessary, Cloak and Cipher is something of a potpourri of historical anecdotes and how-to charts, in this case, all relating to cryptography, secret writing, codes and ciphers. The authors go all the way back to Caesar's triumphs, claiming that the famous ""Veni, vidi, viei"" was enciphered using simple substitution and actually read, ""Yhqi, yigi, yifi"". The significant genius of Antoine Rossignol, cryptographic sleuth par excellence is explored. ""Time after time"", contend the authors, ""due to the uncanny skill of Rossignol, the French nobles fell victim to that most fatal and subtle of all maladies, bad secret writing."" Moore and Waller excel, however, in their treatment of more recent history. But they seem to tell two contradictory stories about Pearl Harbor and the Japanese Secret Code. In one place it is claimed that OSS agents fouled up years of one code crackers' work by breaking into a Japanese mission in Lisbon and stealing a code book, resulting in the Japanese decision to change their code immediately. Later Moore and Waller report that the attack message was deciphered, but reached the proper authorities one day late. If the second story is correct, the significance of the first would seem to dwindle somewhat. Of very specialized interest.

Pub Date: June 11th, 1962
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill