The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes

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  • Title: The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes
  • Author: Mark Urban
  • ISBN: 9780060188917
  • Page: 401
  • Format: Hardcover

[PDF] The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes | by ☆ Mark Urban - The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes, The Man Who Broke Napoleon s Codes Colorful period detail a fast paced narrative in the tradition of Longitude the thrill of clashing armies challenging puzzles and the personal struggle of a long forgotten hero make The Man Who Br

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  • [PDF] The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes | by ☆ Mark Urban
    401Mark Urban
The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes

Comments The Man Who Broke Napoleon's Codes

  1. Mark Urban has added another great book to the many titles competing to be placed in a Napoleonic library This book The Man Who Broken Napoleon s Codes, covers a little known and written of subject, the story of George Scovell This man had as much to do with the British victories in Spain as did Wellington although you would not know it if you read any previous accounts of the Peninsular War.George Scovell helped break the French Imperial codes and provided much useful intelligence to Wellington [...]

  2. Urban has rescued from near oblivion one of the most important men for Britain s winning the Peninsular War Unfortunately for this man, George Scovell, he was not a member of the aristocracy and so, as apparently was typical for aristocrats such as Wellington, his achievement was not acknowledged either at the time or later to the general public and to the army bureaucracy In fact, when asked about how the code was broken, some years later, Wellington did not mention Scovell at all but intimated [...]

  3. George Scovell was an British army officer on the staff of the Duke of Wellington, the primary British commander in the Iberian Peninsula for much of the war against Napoleon The French occupation of Spain was violently disliked by many Spaniards, resulting in guerilla warfare that captured many French army documents These often were turned over or sold to the British army Many were in a code, at least in part Scovell was able to decipher not just the messages concealed in simpler codes, but als [...]

  4. More exciting than you thinkWho knew that the life of a Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General could be so exciting No sitting behind a desk for George Scovell, he took an active role in the Peninsular War.The book also gives a slightly different view of the Duke of Wellington himself from that generally held, including by myself until now.

  5. Strikes the usual problem of whether how to tell the whole Peninsular war story as part of this specialist subject Does not get this part right and loses its way with Scovell which is actually the interesting bit

  6. For me, this was two and a half stars The book is well researched and would be great for historians of those Napoleonic wars fought in Spain I went into the book interested in coding, what type of person goes into such a field, how was coding and decoding set up before computers, etc Who was the man who broke the code and why was it an unusual challenge I found myself reading long, detailed accounts of troop maneuvers, leadership decisions, and battle details Large sections continued with minor [...]

  7. This book was fascinating I bought it because I like history and as we ve all heard about the code breakers of Bletchley Park in WWII, I thought it might be interesting and easier to follow to learn about similar things from earlier days, and it did prove to be interesting and gave an insight into how and why it is so important to intercept and decipher your enemies messages in war But the book was much than that It was a really good and well written overview of the Peninsular War and for someo [...]

  8. I read the book thinking it would tell me about the man who broke Napoleon s codes That it did But most of the book was a history geek narration of the wellington vs french battles in spain, battle by battle, character by character, who said what to who in London Salons about whoever s reputation Seriously I finally was able to put together that whole Wellington Napoleon story And the author did go into details about the code breaking which was pretty cool and impressive The thing was to keep it [...]

  9. Scoville, the man, was very talented in language and solving problems I am so glad his diaries were finally explored and being discussed in history To figure out a code of such complexity AND in his spare time, sometimes sitting on horseback, between marching fighting is pretty amazing Interesting that he began the first military police group there in Iberia to keep the soldiers in line I had read, in the past, that Wellington was overly partial to his titled officers aides, but I had no idea th [...]

  10. I associate mark Urban with incisive and thoughtful journalism This book is a logical extension of the same Without intelligence about your opponents activities, success becomes less likely Spies are required but the use of coded material will help keep your opponent guessing Mary, Queen of Scots, was alleged to use five separate ciphers and the cracking of the Enigma Code in the Second World war left the German military orders open to interpretation Cryptography became increasingly crucial as a [...]

  11. Another book I bought purely for research The subject of this book, George Scovell, whas Wellington s Code Breaker, and I unashamedly borrowed his career for one of my heroes This is an easy read, and it focuses not only on Scovel s remarkable career, but it gives you very good context of all of Wellington s campaigns in the Peninsular Wars, if you re interested in a general introduction My only gripe with this is that actually, there s a lot of context because I think the author struggled to ma [...]

  12. Amazing addition to histories of the Peninsular WarI m well read on the subject, and this was an amazing journey What an advantage being able to read enemy dispatches I knew the Spanish armies were useless but learned how effective the guerrilla warfare was in keeping the French in the dark And the Portuguese army was almost disciplined than the British Discovering how self centered and focused on conservatism, power mongering and anti the attempts by nonnobles to improve the army Wellington wa [...]

  13. A random walk through my online library brought me to this interesting book I found the story absorbing, but requiring a fleshing out through prior reading about the Napoleonic Wars My interest in this particular book was fueled by my reading and re reading of Bernard Cornwell s Richard Sharpe series which concerns a soldier fighting in the Napoleonic wars Cornwell s stories even include a character resembling George Scovell The Man in the story Scovell is an intriguing character, a capable prof [...]

  14. 7 10In one sense this is an odd mixture of a book it gives only a sketchy bio of the title character and the codes ciphers content is miniscule somewhat justified by the fact that only 3 or so different schemes were employed.But what it does do is undermine to some extent the myth of Wellington s brilliant generalship Always known as a cautious general here it is shown that his great successful offensive battles of the Peninsular War Salamanca Vitorio were only fought by Wellington because he kn [...]

  15. I was intrigued by the title of this book when I spotted it in a secondhand bookstore I like history but I suspect like most Brits know little of the Napoleonic Wars beyond the outcome of the Battle of waterloo, so that interested me too The content is written as narrative which makes it easy to read but there are lots of battle details necessary for the context of Scovell s the codebreaker work, but might be off putting for some Other things I liked about this book was the insight it gave into [...]

  16. Journalist Mark Urban highlights the work of George Scoville, an Assistant Quartermaster General serving Wellington in the Peninsular War Scoville was a brilliant linguist and logician, and successfully deciphered encrypted French dispatches delivered to British forces by Spanish guerrillas Although the evidence is equivocal, Urban provides a reasonable argument that Scoville s insights influenced Wellington s course of action, especially before Salamanca This highlighting of Scovell s contribut [...]

  17. Although this book has its moments, mostly it seems to ramble, focusing too hard on certain battles of the Penninsular War, but not hard enough on the actual process of breaking the codes I certainly don t feel as if I learned much about Scovell as a person, or about the workings of his mind I actually learned that I hadn t previously known about Wellington s personality than about Scovell s This book would have been interesting if the author had simply summed up the earlier part of the war, a [...]

  18. This was an interesting story about then Major George Scovell and how he was able to break the French coded messages during the Peninsular War It also gives a good account of the war between France and Britain as well as an account of General Arthur Wellesley the future Duke of Wellington.While the title is called The Man Who Broke Napoleon s Codes , the author freely admits it should be Ciphers Ciphers are involving individual letters while codes are dealing with whole words and phrases.I would [...]

  19. I used to be very interested in the Napoleonic era I even took an elective in college on the subject However, this book provided me with a new take on the Anglo French war in Spain from 1809 1813 The part that was missing for almost 200 years is the fact that a British staff officer broke the French diplomatic code, and so Wellington had access to the highest level French communications Not quite the accomplishment of an Alan Turing, but interesting and lost to history until long after the confl [...]

  20. I don t give many books 5 stars but this was completely interesting and entertaining Non fiction can definitely go very boring very fast, but there was never a point in this book where I felt like it was leaning that way I loved the book and it gave me a new look at the Peninsular War that I hadn t seen I will absolutely be looking for works by Mark Urban.My favorite part is when he starts talking about one of the French commanders DeUrban and he makes an asterisk note at the bottom of the page [...]

  21. Mark Urban s telling of the story of George Scovell, one of Wellington s staff officers in the Peninsular campaign, is immersed in the history of the strategy and tactics and personalities of this war This is not a boring, hard to decipher tome by some academic Urban s prose is very readable, and as a former army officer, he has an essential grasp of the story and the military culture If you are a fan of fiction set during this historical milieu, this book will give you a good grasp of the time [...]

  22. Urban s The Man Who Broke Napoleon s Codes delighted me I have read extensively the Penisular War in both fiction and nonfiction, but I had never encounter the story of how George Scovell broke Napoleon s Great Paris Cipher The story could have been a spy novel, and the impact of Scovell s work cannot be overstated My knowledge of the Penisular War was definitely enriched by Urban s very readable history.

  23. Not near as much code breaking as I anticipated, in fact I would say none in first third of book However, it does say it is about the man who did it and I suppose it was and needed to start as early as it did The book started with a horrible awful scene of killing horses during a retreat that seemed a good way to get folk to stop reading, just brutal The rest went on with a nice casual style that was very easy to read Engaging, but not as code driven as I expected

  24. Brilliant book, loved reading it The book lacks focus though, most of it is about the Napoleonic Wars, and how the intelligence Wellington received influenced his actions, with some bits about George Scovell The codebreaker himself feeling kind of tacked on I would have preferred it split into two books one about Wellington and the Napoleonic Wars, and a biography of George Scovell Still highly recommended, I absolutely loved it Just know what you re getting into before you pick it up.

  25. An interesting story about someone who has largely been forgotten by history I took a punt on this, randomly grabbing it off the shelf in the bookshop, and wasn t disappointed Urban s writing is clear and interesting throughout, no small feat when detailing tactics, battle formations and the intricacies of the grand chifre.

  26. Sweet biography of George Scovell, a British staff officer who deciphered many French dispatches during the Peninsular War Very interesting read and provides new view point on Lord Wellington s successes.

  27. I ve read it twice, once a few years ago, and then again just recently Interesting to understand the penisular campain from a different perspective Read this for some of the real story after having read the Richard Sharpe series.

  28. A fascinating insight into the Peninsular Wars, Wellington and how the gathering of intelligence influenced the outcome of his battles with the French army in Portugal Major Scovel s work is finally recognised in this book Urban s writing is well researched, detailed but accessible.