Early years[ edit ] Calvocoressi was born in Karachi , now in Pakistan , to a family of Greek origins from the island of Chios. When he was three months old, the family moved to Liverpool , England. He attended the Sorbonne from the age of 17 for three years and then joined the family firm in New York. His mother and maternal grandmother were both born in India but spent most of their lives in England. Switching from the standard Classical curriculum to History, he was taught by, among others, the young Robert Birley. Sumner and V.
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Liz Garvin, intelligence operative 22 Feb In his book Calvocoressi also highlighted the contribution of the intercepts to countering the surface raiders which had inflicted such damage on Atlantic shipping. The best-known was the German battleship Bismarck, which had sailed from the Baltic in May on what would be her first and last voyage.
Six days out from Gdynia she sank the veteran British cruiser Hood, but three days later she herself was sunk with the loss of some 2, hands, just short of the safety zone for which she was making off the western coast of France. Calvocoressi described how Bletchley Park had played a part in locating Bismarck by revealing Luftwaffe preparations to provide the battleship with air cover as she approached Brest.
Of these families, the most prosperous and successful were the Rallis, of whose bank his father was a director. Largely on the strength of his Latin translation of Abide With Me, he won a scholarship to Eton where he discarded God and identified himself as a political radical and in took a first in History at Balliol.
His parents wanted him to try for the Foreign Office but he was warned off by Anthony Eden, who said that with a name like Calvocoressi he would never get anywhere in the service — even if he succeeded in entering it. In Calvocoressi made a start at the Bar, being called by Inner Temple, and when war came he was a newly-wed working as a temporary civil servant at the Ministry of Economic Warfare.
Returning crestfallen to his desk, Calvocoressi was met by a secretary who suggested that he should write to her father — in his capacity as director of intelligence at the Air Ministry. Well-off and loving music, he was able to buy a substantial house nearby and select lodgers from those among his colleagues who could entertain him with string quartets. Accredited to all four chief prosecutors, he provided facts about the activities of the German armed forces and the SS before and during the war.
His knowledge of the vast quantities of captured Nazi documents meant that he knew where to look for relevant information as the various trials progressed. Later Calvocoressi assumed an undercover role, when secret service chiefs ordered him to discover what the Germans had known or suspected about the security of their high-grade wartime ciphers.
After standing unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate in the general election, Calvocoressi spent five years between and with the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House under Arnold Toynbee. His last official posts were as reader in international studies at the University of Sussex, from to ; chairman of the London Library from to ; a brief spell as chief executive at Penguin Books; and finally as chairman of Open University Educational Enterprises.
He published his brief autobiography, Threading My Way, in The range of jobs that he undertook was wide, and his habit of leaving them was partly due to the breadth of his interests and partly perhaps to a conviction that he knew best: although in theory he respected independent and individual attitudes, he also felt an obligation to guide others along the paths he selected for them.
This cannot always have made him an easy colleague. She died in and the following year he married Rachel Scott. With his first wife he had two sons.
World politics since 1945
Share via Email Peter Calvocoressi in He was seconded to the Nuremberg war trials in Peter Calvocoressi, who has died aged 97, was best known as an Ultra intelligence analyst at the Bletchley Park codebreaking centre in Buckinghamshire during the second world war, but this episode represented only four years in a long career with many different aspects. By his 96th birthday he had published his 20th book, the ninth edition of his World Politics Since
Peter Calvocoressi obituary
Since , however, modern weapons technology has threatened world wide destruction and has stimulated widespread protests. This book sketches in the background of thinking about peace and resistance to war before , and then examines how public opposition to nuclear weapons and testing grew in the s and early s. Later chapters cover the major ressurgence of nuclear disarmament campaigns in the s. The book also looks at how peace protest has spread from its origins in North America and North West Europe to embrace many parts of the world; opposition to nuclear testing has indeed been particularly strong in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands. During the s the emergence of autonomous peace activity in a number of East European countries, and even on a very small scale in the USSR itself, transformed the possibilities for East-West co-operation between citizens to urge disarmament and political change. A chapter examines these developments.