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Old 26th January 2018, 15:29
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Re: When were the HW 5 files and the Y intercepts first made available to the Public ?

Originally Posted by Laurent Rizzotti View Post
It seems to me that some searchers were allowed to see Ultra files before that. In the 1980s I read a book (that is still in my parents house) with a part about Ultra and the Coventry raid.

I know that at least in France "recognized" searchers can be allowed to see archive documents with no public access allowed.
DEFE3 files were available sooner I first looked at some in 1987 but would be no help with Coventry because they don't cover 1940. The first books about ULTRA (e.g. F.W. Winterbotham, ex-RAF and MI6) were based on memories rather than documents and some myths were created as a result (about Coventry especially). Even now some authors will discuss the value of ULTRA without quoting or referencing any individual messages, usually relying on Hinsley's official history of intelligence in the War (volume 1, 1979). Hinsley was at Bletchley and did have access to classified material when writing his history.

R.V. Jones (Most Secret War, 1978) is also quite reliable and I understand that he personally retained a lot wartime papers that officially he should not have kept. Jones was also with MI6.

If you're interested in the Coventry question, Frederick Taylor's book "Coventry" (2015) is very good or you can settle for my version of the intelligence side of the story:
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