National HRO and The Secret Listeners

Image from The Crypto Museum –

I have just finished reading a very well researched and written book “The Secret Listeners”. The book describes the British “Y Service” and how important they were as they sent the messages intercepted from the German’s to Bletchley Park. The book is a very human accounting and reads more like a history book than a spy thriller, and it is a story that is very important, and perhaps previously overlooked.

I enjoyed reading how the receiver of choice by the Y Service was the National HRO. I also enjoyed reading about all of the far flung outposts where they had monitoring stations – for both the European and OC-ASIA theatres of the war. In fact, I was able to see how many of the DXCC entities came into being – the bulk of them exist because of WWII and the changing world in its aftermath (one “by product” was the collapse of colonial European entities in Africa, but also in other parts of the world).

My Father was from Germany – but the Holoch’s left Stuttgart in the 1920’s – so my Father fought for the US and landed on the beach at Normandy. My Mother was from the UK – Devon to be exact, and the book covered many places in Devon that I have been to – so that was very interesting. My Mother was a war bride – so that angle was also covered. Sinclair was wise to interview so many from my parents generation who were in the Y Service and related services in the war.

One thing that saddened me a bit was seeing how we were all allies and fought together and now seeing how far down the dope ladder we have come as a country under Mega Schmuck Trump. Its hard for me to fathom that we had such an alliance and that our parents fought for what was right – and now where America is today. America has NOT been made “great again” – else we would look more like we did in WWII than we do today. They didn’t dodge their duty with bone spurs and they lived with dignity and honor. Many gave their lives for their country and did not put their personal bank accounts before country as our politicians to do today.

I can only hope the pendulum will swing back toward some semblance of reason.


4 Comments on “National HRO and The Secret Listeners

  1. Just the other day I was recalling a time way back in the aughts when I shocked my grandparents by saying I wasn’t particularly proud to be American. In those days I wasn’t yet actively embarrassed either, it was just sort of a neutral thing. But looking back on it now, I sort of see where they were coming from. For a generation that survived the Great Depression, then went on to defeat vicious enemies and in turn show them a certain amount of love and compassion, maybe they really did have something unique to be proud of. Unfortunately their kids (sorry, Boomers) squandered so much of that good will and are continuing to do so. It’s not a uniquely American phenomenon but we had so much further to fall, and I think we kinda did.

    Liked by 1 person

      • There are a lot of decent boomers and a lot of awful Millennials too. Unfortunately, in a democracy, we all get hoisted on our cohort’s petard.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed. I just never saw such blatant greed and avarice and “sell your country out” as what we currently have

        I keep thinking this little game isn’t going to end well


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