This biography tells how a bright lad with ambition and with a powerful streak of luck entered and carved his own special niche in the arcane world of codebreaking. It sets his achievements against the geopolitical shifts which led to war with Japan in 1941. It explores the dysfunctional nature of US signals intelligence and its effects on war in the South West Pacific, and charts the rise of Australia's quantitative and qualitative contribution to Allied intelligence. It concludes with Eric's work in post-war signals intelligence, his time at ASIO and his retirement activities, including his frustrated attempts to publish his memoirs, and an assessment of his place in history.
Ian Pfennigwerth spent 35 years in the Royal Australian Navy in seagoing, staff and overseas postings, his last ten years being spent primarily in the intelligence sphere. He served as Director of Naval Intelligence for three years and was the Defence Attache in Beijing for two. Ian retired to Port Stephens NSW in 2000 where he has developed his passion for Australian naval history.