Quarterly Program Recaps

29 January 2021 NCMF Virtual Cryptologic Program Featuring Dr. David Sherman

"American Codebreakers at Bletchley Park, 1941-1945"

About the Program

The NCMF hosted its first virtual cryptologic program of 2021 on Friday, 29 January at 10:00 to 11:00 am EST, "American Codebreakers at Bletchley Park, 1941-1945," featured Dr. David Sherman and was held via Zoom webinar. MANY THANKS to all who attended the live session and asked a variety of great questions! For those of you who were unable to attend the live session or who wish to revisit it - please enjoy the program recording above.

Dr. Sherman discussed a secret February 1941 U.S. visit to Britain’s wartime codebreaking center and how it set the stage for the enduring partnership that emerged after World War II, a partnership often called the closest and most important relationship in the history of intelligence. His monograph on the 1941 mission, The First Americans, is available online from the Center for Cryptologic History.

About the Speaker

Dr. David Sherman retired from the Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service in 2017. He served for 32 years at the National Security Agency, where he held a variety of managerial, analytic, and staff positions. He also held positions on the staffs of the National Security Council and National Economic Council and represented NSA to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was Dean of Academic Programs and Visiting Professor at the National War College from 2007 to 2010. Prior to joining the government, he was Adjunct Faculty at Cornell University where he taught for four years.

Dr. Sherman is a member of the Board of Directors of the North American Society for Intelligence History and advises the National Cryptologic Museum on its collections and exhibits. Dr. Sherman holds the following degrees:

Doctor of Philosophy, Cornell University, 1985
Diploma, Alexander S. Pushkin Institute of the Russian Language, 1983
Master of Arts, Cornell University, 1980
Bachelor of Arts, Duke University, 1977


“Ann’s War:  One Woman’s Journey to the Codebreaking Victory over Japan.”  Winner, 2017 Cryptologic Literature Award.  National Security Agency/Center for Cryptologic History, August 2019. 

“Barbara Tuchman’s The Zimmermann Telegram:  Secrecy, Memory, and History.”  Journal of Intelligence History, 18/2 (2020), 125-148.

 “The First Americans:  The 1941 US Codebreaking Mission to Bletchley Park.” National Security Agency/Center for Cryptologic History, October 2016.  Winner, 2015 Cryptologic Literature Award, National Security Agency. 

“Fire! How Two Infernos Remade an Adirondack Village.”  To be published by Adirondack Life, January 2021.

“From Improvisation to Permanence:  The Anglo-American Signals Intelligence Relationship, 1940-1950.”  Journal of Intelligence History, 18/1 (2019), 63-85.

“Introducing a New Cryptologia Series: Sources and Methods for Cryptologic History.”  With Betsy Rohaly Smoot and Robert J. Hanyok. Cryptologia, 44/1 (2020), 79-81.

“Marshall and the Codebreakers.” Marshall: The Magazine of the George C. Marshall Foundation. Spring 2017, pp. 14-21. 

“The National Security Agency and the William F. Friedman Collection.” Cryptologia, 41/3 (2017), 195-238.

“Nicanor and Ellen:  Nineteenth-Century Innkeepers in the High Peaks.”  Adirondack Life, 51/5 (July/August 2020), 78-81.

“Sources and Methods for Cryptologic History: The William and Elizebeth Friedman Collections.” Cryptologia, 44/3 (2020), 267-79.

 “Training the Codebreakers.” Smith Alumnae Quarterly, Summer 2019, 41. 

 “William Friedman and Pearl Harbor.” Intelligence and National Security, 33/3 (2018), 309-23. With commentary by Uri Bar-Joseph, Haifa University; Richard K Betts, Columbia University; Erik J. Dahl, Naval Postgraduate School; Michael S. Goodman, Kings College, London; Kenneth Lasoen, Ghent University, Belgium; and James Wirtz, Naval Postgraduate School.

Panels & Presentations

The Codebreakers' War: David Kahn, the Government, Macmillan, and the Making of a Cryptologic Masterpiece.”  2019 Cryptologic History Symposium.  The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. October 18, 2019.

“Declassification and Release of William Friedman’s Official Papers.” George C. Marshall Foundation, Lexington, Virginia.  April 23, 2015. With Betsy Rohaly Smoot and Sarah Parsons.

“The Making of a Codebreaker: The Case of Ann Caracristi.” North American Society of Intelligence Historians 2019 Conference. Washington, D.C. October 21, 2019.

“The National Security Agency and the William Friedman Collection.”  2015 Cryptologic History Symposium. With Sarah Parsons and Robert Simpson. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. October 22, 2015.