Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 by Leo Marks

By Leo Marks

Publish yr note: First released 1998

In 1942, with a black-market poultry tucked less than his arm via his mom, Leo Marks left his father's recognized book place, eighty four Charing move highway, and went off to struggle the warfare. He used to be twenty-two. quickly well-known as a cryptographer of genius, he turned head of communications on the targeted Operations govt (SOE), the place he revolutionized the codemaking suggestions of the Allies and proficient the most recognized brokers dropped into occupied Europe. As a most sensible codemaker, Marks had a special standpoint on some of the most attention-grabbing and, formerly, little-known facets of the second one international conflict. This wonderful memoir, usually humorous, constantly gripping and acutely delicate to the human price of every operation, offers a special within photograph of the intense SOE association at paintings and divulges for the 1st time many unknown truths concerning the behavior of the war.

SOE used to be created in July 1940 with a mandate from Winston Churchill to "set Europe ablaze." Its major functionality used to be to infiltrate brokers into enemy-occupied territory to accomplish acts of sabotage and shape mystery armies in training for D-Day. Marks's creative codemaking innovation was once to plot and enforce a process of random numeric codes revealed on silk. Camouflaged as handkerchiefs, lingerie, or coat linings, those codes might be destroyed message by means of message, and for this reason couldn't probably be remembered via the brokers, even less than torture.

Between Silk and Cyanide chronicles Marks's obsessive quest to enhance the protection of agents' codes and the way this campaign resulted in his involvement in a few of the war's so much dramatic and mystery operations. one of the fantastic revelations is his account of the code conflict among SOE and the Germans in Holland. He additionally unearths for the 1st time how SOE fooled the Germans into considering mystery military was once working within the place of birth itself, and the way and why he broke the code that common de Gaulle insisted be on hand in basic terms to the unfastened French. via the top of this terrific story, really one of many final nice international conflict II memoirs, it's transparent why basic Eisenhower credited the SOE, really its communications division, with shortening the warfare by way of 3 months. From the problems of safeguarding the messages that resulted in the destruction of the atomic guns plant at Rjukan in Norway to the surveillance of Hitler's long-range missile base at Peenemünde to the genuine quantity of Nazi infiltration of Allied brokers, Between Silk and Cyanide sheds mild on one of many least-known yet so much dramatic facets of the war.

Writing with the narrative aptitude and brilliant characterization of his well-known screenplays, Marks supplies loose rein to his willing feel of the absurd and wry wit with out ever wasting contact with the very human facet of the tale. His shut courting with "the White Rabbit" and Violette Szabo -- of the best British brokers of the conflict -- and his money owed of the numerous others he handled lead to an exciting and poignant memoir that celebrates person braveness and exercise, with out wasting sight of the human expense and horror of war.

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Additional info for Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945

Example text

To explain this connection, note first that the points P1 , · · · , P4 determine an elliptic curve E/K which is unique up to a quadratic twist. This curve is constructed as follows. Choose a coordinate x of P1K such that (x)∞ = P4 , and a cubic polynomial f3 (x) ∈ K[x] with (f3 )0 = P1 + P2 + P3 . Then the (Weierstraß) equation y 2 = f3 (x) defines an elliptic curve E/K and a double cover π : E → P1 which is ramified at P1 , . . , P4 and which maps the zero-point 0E ∈ E(K) to P4 . Thus, the group of 2-torsion points of E is E[2] = {0E , P1 , P2 , P3 }, where Pi ∈ π −1 (Pi ) is the (unique) point above Pi .

If rank (X )=4 and g(X ) = 2, the result of [5, IV-B] gives |X ∩Q∩E3 (Fq )| = 4q or |X ∩ Q ∩ E3 (Fq )| ≤ 3q + 1. 2, we get either |X ∩ Q| = 4q 2 + 1 when each hyperplane is tangent to X with the plane of intersection meeting X at two lines or |X ∩ Q| ≤ 3q 2 + q + 1 otherwise. 3, we get r(X )=3. Here, the quadric Q describes a pair of lines in E2 (Fq ). The number of points in the intersection of two secant lines with a conic (non-singular plane quadric) is exactly four or less than three. 2 we get that either |X ∩ Q| = 4q 2 + q + 1 or |X ∩ Q| ≤ 3q 2 + q + 1.

Acknowledgment The author would like to thank Prof. F. Rodier and Prof. H. Van Maldeghem for their precious remarks and comments on a preliminary version of this paper. References [1] Y. Aubry, Reed-Muller codes associated to projective algebraic varieties. In “Algebraic Geomertry and Coding Theory ”. (Luminy, France, June 17-21, 1991). Lecture Notes in Math. 1518, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, (1992), 4-17. [2 ]J. Ax, Zeroes of polynomials over finite fields. Amer. J. , 86 (1964), 255-261. [3] M. Boguslavsky, On the number of solutions of polynomial systems.

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