‘Y' Service was the study of the external features of enciphered enemy wireless traffic, traffic analysis and breaking of low grade ciphers. Wireless intelligence sections were developed soon after Dunkirk in May – June 1940. There were approximately 40 Special Wireless Sections (SWS) in the years 1939 to 1945. A significant group was the Voluntary Intercept Service consisting of operators, often-amateur radio operators and short wave listeners.
This site concentrates on the work of the Army Y service, at both fixed (home) locations and worldwide by the Special Wireless Sections. The authors acknowledge the sterling work carried out by RN, RAF and civilian Y service operators.
If you have information about them that you'd like to see here, please let us know - or send us links to sites where such information can be found.
Similarly we're sure that our research is far from exhaustive - again, if you have information that you'd like to share with us, please let us know.
Phil Webb and Geoff Leese Summer 2012 Click to email us