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Thursday, November 18, 2010

OSHIMA, HIROSHI

The  Japanese ambassador in Berlin during World War II, having served since 1934 as the military attaché, General Oshima developed a particularly close relationship with Joachim von Ribbentrop and Adolf Hitler and received regular intelligence briefings. His detailed reports to Tokyo, more than 1,450 of them before the end of the war, were transmitted in the PURPLE diplomatic cipher, which had been solved in the United States in December 1940 and was read at Bletchley Park. These provided invaluable insights into Oshima’s views of the conduct of hostilities and included very comprehensive accounts of his observations made during inspections of the Russian front and the Atlantic Wall, which were circulated as summaries code-named MAGIC.