Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bamford , the Russian ''FISH'' and Unteroffizier Karrenberg - Part 7

In part 2 i speculated that Uffz Karrenberg was one of the people in Rosenheim.Am i right or wrong?

From CSDIC (UK) SIR 1717 :

                                                                                                                                                C.S.D.I.C  (U.K)
S.I.R 1717                                                                                                                                          
16 Aug. 45

                                          THIS REPORT IS TOP SECRET

Consolidated report on information obtained from  the following PW: 
CS/2297: Uffz ERDMANN      (A)
CS/2299: O/Gefr GRUBLER    (B)
CS/2298: Uffz HEMPEL           (C)
CS/2300: Uffz KARRENBERG  (D)
CS/2296: Uffz SCHMITZ           (E)
CS/2295: Uffz SUSCHOWK      (F)

PW  A of Gen Der Nachr Aufkl ,Gruppe VI , Ref 3a , captured at BAD REICHENHALL ,4 May 45

PW   B,C,E,F  of Gen Der Nachr Aufkl ,Gruppe VI ,Ref 1c , captured at ROSENHEIM ,3 May 45

PW  D of Gen Der Nachr Aufkl ,Gruppe VI , Ref 1b , captured at ROSENHEIM ,3 May 45

Case closed ?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A who’s who of German Signals Intelligence

Agencies :

OKH/GdNA (Oberkommando des Heeres. General der Nachrichten Aufklaerung) - Signal Intelligence Agency of the Army High Command ,(prior to 1944 known as Inspectorate 7/VI)

OKL/Gen Na Fue/III (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe/General Nachrichten Fuehrer/Abteilung III) - Signal Intelligence Service of the Air Force High Command.

OKM/SKL IV/III (Oberkommando der Marine/Seekriegsleitung/ IV/III) - Signal Intelligence Agency of the Navy High Command.

OKW/Chi (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht/Chiffrier Abteilung) - Signal Intelligence Agency of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces.

Pers Z S (Sorderdienst des Referats Z in der Personal Abteilung des Auswaertigen Amtes) - Cryptanalytic Section of the Foreign Office.

Reichsluftfahrtministerium Forschungsamt (Air Ministry Research Department ) –  Goering's Research Bureau

OKW/WNV/FU (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, Wehrmacht Nachrichten Verbindungen Funkuberwachung) - Radio Defense Corps of the Armed Forces High Command.

Funkabwehrdienst der Ordnungspolizei  – Radio Defense department of the Order Police
Waffenpruefung  Abteilung  7/IV  - Army Ordnance, Development and Testing Group, Signal Branch Group IV , (Wa Pruef 7/IV)

Reich Wetterdienst -  Meteorological Service

Forschungsstelle der
Deutschen Reichspost - Research Post of the German Post Office

People :


Kempf ,  Col. Chief of OKW/Chi prior to 1943.

Kettler  Hugo, Colonel . Chief of OKW/Chi 1943-1945

Erich Huettenhain , Chief cryptanalyst of OKW/Chi

Menzer Fritz , Senior Inspector. Chief of section IIc of OKW/Chi which dealt with the development and production of special ciphers for government departments, industry, and the Main Reich Security Office  (RSHA) ,developing of deciphering aids for agents

Fricke Walther ,  Dr. Mathematician. Member of the section dealing with the security of German ciphers.

Stein Karl. Member of the section dealing with the security of German ciphers.

Hasenjäger Gisbert. Member of the section dealing with the security of German ciphers.

Fenner Wilhelm , Principal Specialist Chief at Division B of OKW/Chi (Cryptanalysis)

Mettig , Lt. Col. Second in command of OKW/Chi

Novopaschenny Fedor ,Prof. Chief of Russian subsection of OKW/Chi

Franke , Senior specialist In charge of work on Swedish BC 38 in OKW/Chi.

Weber Werner , Prof. Dr. Member of Section IVc of OKW/Chi
Franz Wolfgang. Member of the mathematical research department. Expert on the US diplomatic strip cipher.
Aumann Georg, Prof. Dr. Member of Section IVc of OKW/Chi (initial breaking of more difficult systems ,cryptanalytic theory)

Witt Ernst. Member of the mathematical research department.

Schultze Johann Friedrich. Member of the mathematical research department.

Aigner. Member of the mathematical research department.
Jensen,  Graduate Engineer. Member of Section IVb of OKW/Chi development of cryptanalytic machinery

Rotscheidt ,  Graduate Engineer. Chief of Section IVb of OKW/Chi (development of cryptanalytic machinery).

Rohen  , Senior Specialist. Chief of USA subsection of OKW/Chi

Bailovic Rudolf , Senior Specialist. Former member of Austrian cryptanalytic bureau, transferred at the time or Germany's annexation of Austria to Goering's Research Bureau (FA).After a short time, went to the Signal Intelligence Agency of the OKH/GdNA and in Oct 1944 joined Balkan Section or Group V of OKW/Chi

Bruckmann  ,Greek expert

Wevering , Senior Specialist. Chief of Scandinavian Subsection of OKW/Ch

Raffel  , Senior Specialist. Chief of Subsection V 6 (Italy) of OKW/Chi

von Nida, Wolfgang, Maj. Officer in charge of OKW intercept network in Spain.

Plankert, First Lt. In April 1943, succeeded Major von Nida as officer in charge of German intercept system in Spain, which was conducted by OKW

Flicke Wilhelm, Specialist. In charge of technical matters at OKW Intercept station at Lauf

Jeschol ,  Intercept operator in OKW Section Spain substation on Canary Islands

Thielen  ,First Lt. Succeeded Capt. Grotz as head of OKW Intercept station at Sofia.


Boetzel  , Colonel. Chief of Signal Intelligence Agency of Army High Command (OKH/GdNA) 1944-1945

Dettman Alexis , Head of cryptanalysis  at Intercept Control Station East (HLS Ost); later head of Section 3,Group IV of OKH/Gdna Specialty: machine cipher and research.

Schubert Horst. Head of the Russian section in 1943.

Hilburg, . Corporal. Member of Mathematical Section of In 7/VI.

Kneschke , Head of section 2 Group IV -non Russian traffic.

Denffer, Herbert. Member of the mathematical research department.

Rinow , Willi. Member of the mathematical research department.

Wünsche Günther, Dr. Member of the mathematical research department.

Schulz Werner. Head of M.E. department in English referat.

Steinberg , Technician Dr. Member of mathematical section of Inspectorate 7/VI. Transferred in Nov 1944 to OKW/Chi . Worked on Japanese machine. Expert on solution of M-94 and M-209
Luzius, Hans Peter,Dr.Mathematician in USA section of In. 7/VI .Specialty: M-209

Marquart. Commanding Officer NAAS 4. Head of Group 14, Sub Section 1a, of Signal Intelligence Agency of Army High Command.

Hentze Rudolf , Maj. Dr. Head of Group IV OKH/GdNA

Roeder  Herbert, Captain. Head of Gruppe VI  OKH/GdNA , 1944-45.

Pietsch , Specialist. Head of mathematical section of inspectorate 7/VI

Doering , S/Sgt. Dr. Mathematician of Inspectorate 7/VI , specialty: machine cipher and research

Buggisch Otto , Dr. Assistant to Doering in the cipher machine research department.

Valentin. Assistant to Doering.

Engelhardt. Member of NAAS 5.

Vauck ,Wilhelm. First Lt, Dr .Head of Agents section

Randewig , Col. Chief of Western intercept stations in 1939

Karrenberg. Member of OKH/GdNA Group VI. Expert on the Soviet cipher teleprinter.

Graul  Arno. Member of NAAS of KONA 1. Invented radio "fingerprinter."

Habel  , Captain. Successor to Seebohm as commanding officer NFAK  621 in North Africa. Captured February 1943


Martini Wolfgang, General. Chief Signal Officer of the German Air Force

Friedrich  , Lt. Col. Chief of Division III of the Chief Signal office (Signal Intelligence Service) and of the Chi-Stelle (Signal Intelligence Agency)

Voegele Ferdinand , Chief of Section E: of the Signal Intelligence Agency and Principal cryptanalyst of the GAF

Ludwig Martin, Lt. Member of Section B of the Signal Intelligence Agency (chief evaluator West)

Herold  Wadim, Captain. CO of III/LN Regt 353

Schulze  , Dr. Lt. Col. Chief of Division II of Chief Signal Office (communications and cryptography).

Werther Waldemar , 1st Lt. Attached to the 7th Company, 2nd Battalion, LN Regt. 353. The most capable cryptanalyst on Russian Air Force cryptographic systems on the Eastern Front


Paetzel Martin. Senior Specialist Dr. Head of Section 6 and alternate head or Main Section IV of the FA

Seifert Walter. Head of Main Section V - Evaluation

Schapper  Gottfried , Head of FA

Schroeder   , Ministerial Director.Head of main Section IV (Codes and Ciphers)

Kroeger , (machine specialist)

Guttler (intercepts)

Sauerbier Kurt. Head or Section 9-c, Main Section IV (Agent systems)

Oden (IBM specialist)

Pers Z

Kurt Selchow , Minister ,Head or Z Branch (Cryptanalysis,Cryptography,Communications) in the German Foreign Office.

Adolf Paschke , Senior Specialist

Schauffler, Rudolf , Dr , Senior Specialist. Cryptanalyst. Co-head of the Foreign Office Cryptanalytic section (Pers Z S) with Dr. Paschke

Kunze  Werner ,Dr. Head of Mathematlcal Cryptanalytic Subsection of Pers Z

Rohrbach Hans , Prof. Group leader in Mathematical-Cryptanalytic Subsection

Grunsky Helmut. Member of the mathematical section.

Brandes Wilhelm ,Dr – Head of group for France ,Belgium ,Holland ,Switzerland

Ursula Hagen, Miss – Head of language group England, Ireland; Spain, Portugal, and Latin America.

Karstien Hans-Heidrun Dr. Head of Slavonic language group.

Hauthal Horst. Compilation and distribution of codes and ciphers.

Krug, Hans-Georg, Technical Asst. IBM machine expert in Pers Z

Olbricht Peter , Dr. Deputy head of Japanese-Chinese language group

Zastrow, Karl .USA specialist

Rave Kurt

Radio Defence Corps

Von Bary , Major . Head of OKW/WNV/FU III
Wedel .Radio defence Officer Western Europe. Chief evaluator .

Preusch ,Obltn .Head of Aussenstelle Sued

Lorentzen Victor .Head of Aussenstelle Brussels.

Freyer Hubertus, Hauptmann .Head of Aussenstelle Paris from end ’43.

Wa Pruef 7/IV

Gimmler, Maj. Gen. Chief of Army Ordnance Development and testing  Group Signal Branch (Wa Pruef 7) 1939-1943

Karn , Successor to Gimmler .Captured in Tunis

Henigst , Successor to Karn.

Paechter , Head of Wa Pruef 7 Group IV

Kierkhoff .Head of Group IVc ( Baudot interception)

Britschneider. Member of Group IVc

Schellhoss  Hans , Dr .In charge of multiplex intercept equipment

Lotze , Dr. Head of Group IVe (ciphony devices)

Schone , Dr. Member of Group IVe

Muche Alfred.Member of Group IVe.Technician in charge of decoding the American A3 voice scrambler

Weidemann , Obstlt.Member of Group IV

Pupp, Dr. Member of Army Ordnance Development and Testing Group, Signal Branch (Wa Pruef 7), Section IV

Meteorological Service

Naumann ,Senior Inspector

Regula Walter ,Dr

Deutsche Reichspost

Vetterlein Kurt , Technician in charge of decoding the American A3 voice scrambler.

All the information is from  ''European Axis Signal Intelligence in World War II '' and TICOM reports.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Bamford , the Russian ''FISH'' and Unteroffizier Karrenberg - Part 6

In a previous post i presented information from a Ticom report on the Russian multichannel teleprinter.However that was a summary of another report.The original  is Ticom I- 127 ‘’Interrogation of Oberstlt Mettig of OKW/Chi’’.

Mettig was second in command of OKW/Chi.
Here is the relevant information :
What about Russian? It was known before the war and was multichannel transmission. This was read. It was only a mixing of eight to fifteen channels. There was no other encipherment. This unmixing was done at Wa Pruef 7, This was located at Staats under Colonel KARN, taken PW in Africa, assisted by Baurat KIERKHOFF. The specialists in speech encipherment who worked there were Drs. LIEBKNECHT and LOTZE. The man who worked on unscrambling Russian T/P  was Dr. ??Schellhos?? , who was however basically a D/F man.

Why did I put the question marks? The text in that part is corrupted :

Strangely the rest of the report is fine….

I think it says Schellhos .According to this source  Dr. Hans Schellhoss  worked for Wa Pruef 7 and was an expert in Direction Finding equipment.

So another piece of the puzzle solved…

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Forschungsamt’s biggest success

The Air Ministry’s Research Department ( RLM/Forschungsamt) was an intelligence and codebreaking service created by Hermann Goering in 1933.

The Forschungsamt main mission was to monitor internal telephone and teletype traffic but it also attacked the codes of several countries.Pre war it provided Goering with decodes of French diplomatic traffic and transcripts of telephone conversations between politicians and diplomats ,which enabled the German leadership to outmaneuver the Anglo-French alliance during the Munich Crisis.

It seems that during the war they gained a lot of information on the economy of the Soviet Union by intercepting and decoding messages from the armaments industry.

This is the relevant information :

From TICOM I-25 ‘’ Interrogation of five members of the RLM/Forschungsamt’’ :
Q7: On what traffic did you obtain your greatest successes?

SEIFERT  : Our greatest success was obtained on Internal Russian traffic which enabled us to discover the various bottlenecks in the Russian supply organization .

Q.39: Can you describe the inner Russian systems which you mentioned the other day?

PAETZEL: I did not work on them myself. They were clear text mixed with cover names.

Q.40: By whom were they used.

PAETZEL: By industrial plants, foundries, plane factories, armaments, machine works and so on.

Q.41: How much traffic was there?

PAETZEL: I don't know.

Q.42: Well, can you form any estimate? Was it one a day, 100 a day?

PAETZEL: It was rather heavy [Long pause].Possibly several hundred.

From  HW 40/186 ‘’Activities of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium Forschungsamt (Research Bureau of the Air Ministry), mostly from POW reports’’ :

JIC (Germany)47/40
Extract from (APPLE PIE British papers)
Paper No I

Economic Intelligence on the Soviet Union as conducted by the Former Feldwirtschaftsamt

(i) Wireless Intercept
Wireless interception is of the greatest importance in a country so large as Russia, where long distance telephone communications are bad and where radio   communication is extensively used between factories and their respective Volkskommissariats. The German Wireless Intercept Service of the Air Ministry  Research Department (Forschungsamt) was under the direction of Fliegerstabsingenieur GUTTLER — Ob d L. GL/A/Ru/IV Oberkommando der Luftwaffe General Luftzeugmeister Ausland Rastung IV .Its service proved invaluable and it was able to intercept wireless messages from and to the following "Peoples ' Kommissariats" of the Soviet Union:

Home Defence (Landesverteidigung)
Armament (Bewaffnung)

Tank Industry

Mortar Industry
Munitions Industry
Machine Tools Industry.

These communications were between the various Kommissariats and the factories and undertakings under their control. Details of the Kommissariats and of factories and products were in cipher and locations were very rarely given. The deciphering and evaluation of these wireless communications entailed a comprehensive knowledge of each special field. The messages usually dealt with difficulties in delivery of raw materials, power, half—finished products, dates of delivery, production figures and testing of new types of armaments, etc. (NOTE: It was as the result of such a wireless intercept that it was known that Russia had developed a new type of aircraft six months before this aircraft actually appeared on the front).
Many names of directors, engineers, personnel, etc. occurred in these communications and this new information was utilized to amplify further the personnel index which had already been compiled. The attachment of personnel to certain factories was ascertained and an index of the 'cover ' names of factories was also compiled. "

This report reminded me of a similar part in ''German Radio Intelligence''

Strategic radio intelligence directed against the Russian war production effort provided a wealth of information for the evaluation of Russia's military potential. Owing to the general dearth of long-distance telephone and teletype land circuits, radio communication assumed an especially important role in Russia not only as an instrument of military leadership but also as the medium of civilian communication in a widely decentralized economy. In keeping with its large volume, most of this Russian radio traffic was transmitted by automatic means, as explained in Appendix 7. The German Army intercepted this traffic with corresponding automatic equipment and evaluated it at the communication intelligence control center. Multiplex radioteletype links connected Moscow not only with the so-called fronts or army groups in the field, but also with the military district headquarters in Leningrad, Tiflis, Baku, Vladivostock, and in many other cities. In addition, the radio nets used for inland navigation provided an abundance of information. Although this mechanically transmitted traffic offered a higher degree of security against interception, the Russians used the same cryptosystems as in the field for sending important military messages over these circuits. The large volume of intercepted material offered better opportunities for German cryptanalysis. Strategic radio intelligence furnished information about the activation of new units in the zone of interior, industrial production reports, requests for materiel and replacements, complaints originating from and problems arising at the production centers and administrative agencies in control of the war economy. All this information was indexed at the communication intelligence control center where reports were drawn up at regular intervals on the following aspects of the Russian war production effort:

Planning and construction of new factories;
Relocation of armament plants;
Coal and iron ore production figures;
Raw material and fuel requirements for industrial plants;
Tank and gun production figures;
Transportation facilities and problems;
Railway, inland shipping, and air communications;
Agricultural production;
Food distribution and rationing measures;
Manpower, labor allocation, and other relevant matters

Strategic radio intelligence thus made a slight dent in the Iron Curtain, which during the war was drawn even more tightly than at present, and offered some insight into the operation of the most distant Siberian production centers and the tremendous war potential of that seemingly endless expanse of land.

It may be the case that the multichannel radio teletype traffic was the source of all or some of the Forschungsamt intercepts.In that case there would be another aspect to the Russian FISH story.

Friday, September 9, 2011

German success with Purple ?

The Japanese Foreign Ministry used the Purple machine cipher for communication between embassies and Japan from the late 30's to the end of the war.The US cryptanalysts led by Frank Rowlett  managed to solve it and completely reconstruct it.Thus they read the traffic between Tokyo and the Washington embassy  before the Pacific War.

In Europe Bletchley Park did not manage to solve it but they received a replica  from the Americans in January 1941(Source:The Sigint secrets p207).
The Soviet Union was successfull in the autumn of 1941 thanks to the efforts of NKVD cryptanalyst Sergei Tolstoy (Source: ''The Mitrokhin Archive'' p125)

So what about the Germans did they manage to solve this machine? They definitely had success with the predecessor of Purple the Red machine.

The ‘’European Axis Signal Intelligence in World War II ‘’ reports state categorically that the Germans had no success with the Japanese Purple cipher machine.

EASI vol1 mentions the Purple machine as not read by the Germans.Specifically it mentions that it was attacked by Pers Z.No mention of efforts by OKW/Chi and Forschungsamt though…

According to EASI vol2 ,p70  :
Although they were successful with the Japanese "Red" machine, they did not solve its successor, the "purple’’ machine.
It cannot be said that this failing was necessarily due to inability or ignorance. Perhaps, Japan being Germany's ally  Germany felt it was not worth while to expend the great energy  necessary to solve the difficult Japanese "purple ‘’machine.
So that’s it ? End of story ? Not  really.Let’s take a look at recent developments.
From Stalin's ocean-going fleet  by Jürgen Rohwer, Mikhail S. Monakov ,p143 : 
It may be of interest that this cipher(Purple) was not only broken by the Americans, as is known since the Pearl Harbor investigation of the US Congress in 1946, but also by cryptanalysts of the German Foreign Office and the OKW, who also broke many other Japanese ciphers, as one of the translators, Prof. Cort Rave wrote to J.Rohwer on 01.03.96.
Rave is mentioned in EASI vol3 p122 : Rave, Kurt ,Mr . OKW/Chi employee detached to the Foreign Office Cryptanalytic Section (Pers Z S)  for training

However as historians know one witness is no witness.
Thankfully there are other people who claim that Purple was read.
From ''War Secrets in the Ether'' ,p158
In Eastern Europe the picture was growing less pretty from day to day. To wait, you need time, and in Hitler's case time was getting short. He had to use this chance while the myth of the power of the German armed forces was not yet shaken. Today his credit was unlimited, but no one could tell how it would be in six months.
When it became clear that Japan did not intend under any circumstances to enter the war against the Soviet Union but was looking for a front in another direction, they intimated to Oshima that they were ready to give Japan the solved American and British ciphers and to collaborate in this field in case Japan's declaration of war against the two countries followed at once.
Oshima telegraphed to Tokyo. The telegrams were long and there were many of them. They were intercepted by the German intercept station, deciphered by OKW, and translated in the Foreign Office. What Oshima radioed was known. Also what he received by radio. The message indicators were:
KOSHI and GAIMUDAIJIN (Foreign Ministry)
Moreover, telegrams with the address RIKUGUN TOKYO were not to be despised. Hence it was known how and where to apply pressure. Day and night before Oshima's eyes dangled the bait of the solved ciphers as well as the possibilities of listening in on the radio conversations between Churchill and Roosevelt. "Now or never!", said the Germans, but Oshima said: "First the ciphers! Complete cooperation in the field of cryptanalysis! Declaration of war by Germany and Italy against the United States within a week after the beginning of hostilities in the Pacific!".
It was a hard deal. But it came about. On Germany's part, challenges now began. On 17 October the American destroyer "Kearny" was torpedoed in the Atlantic, shortly after the American destroyer "Greer" had been attacked. On 1 November Hitler's Headquarters issued a sharp official statement referring to a speech by Roosevelt. Goebbels let loose a wild press campaign against Roosevelt. The articles in German papers from 1 November on can only be evaluated correctly in connection with the intention to worsen a situation and to spur Japan to attack.
Further incidents followed. On 9 November Hitler delivered a flaming speech in which he violently attacked Roosevelt, Wilkie, and the United States. German submarines were ordered to display the utmost activity. Japan was to have a good impression. The British carrier "Ark Royal" and the battleship "Malaya" were torpedoed. Collaboration in the field of cryptanalysis got under way. The prerequisite exchange of "information" for the struggle was already established.
On 7 December followed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
But there is more :
From Leiberich,Otto: Vom diplomatischen Code zur Falltürfunktion. Hundert Jahre Kryptographie in Deutschland. In: Spektrum der Wissenschaft 4/2001, S. 14-16 :
Deutsche Erfolge
Es wäre ein Fehler, aus der Enigma-Katastrophe auf ein generelles Versagen der deutschen Kryptologen zu schließen. Vielmehr haben sie in Einzelfällen Höchstleistungen erbracht, die gleichrangig neben denen der Alliierten stehen, allerdings den Ausgang von Schlachten oder des Krieges nicht beeinflußt haben.
Zwei Erfolge verdienen eine besondere Würdigung: die Entzifferung des Purple-Verfahrens der Japaner und die Entzifferung der amerikanischen Chiffriermaschine M 209.
Während des Krieges hatten die Japaner eine Chiffriermaschine entwickelt und zum Einsatz gebracht, die der amerikanischen Aufklärung größte Probleme bereitete. Da gelang es einer amerikanischen Gruppe um den Kryptologen William Friedman, diese Maschine, die als purple machine bezeichnet wurde, zu rekonstruieren und zu entziffern.
Dies gilt seither in Amerika als der größte Erfolg in der Kryptologie-Geschichte. Angeregt durch eine kürzlich ausgestrahlte Fernsehsendung fragte ich bei einem ehemaligen Kollegen nach, der während des Krieges auf diesem Gebiet tätig gewesen war, und erhielt bestätigt, woran ich bis dahin nur eine ungefähre Erinnerung hatte: Auch die Deutschen hatten die Sendungen der verbündeten Japaner bearbeitet, insbesondere die Meldungen, die der japanische Botschafter Oshima aus Berlin nach Tokio sandte. Einer Gruppe von Kryptologen und Technikern der Chiffrierabteilung des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (OKW) unter der Leitung des Mathematikers Erich Hüttenhain war die Entzifferung ebenso gelungen wie den Amerikanern. Hin und wieder war ein Bericht schon entziffert und weitergeleitet, wenn Tokio wegen Übermittlungsfehlern um nochmalige Übersendung bitten mußte. Wenn also die Entzifferung der purple machine der größte Entzifferungserfolg während des Zweiten Weltkrieges gewesen wäre (er war es nicht!), so hätten ihn Hüttenhain und sein Team ebenfalls errungen. Leider existieren in Deutschland hierzu keine Unterlagen mehr.
According to google translate :
German success
It would be a mistake to conclude from the Enigma-disaster on a general failure of the German cryptographers. Rather, they have provided excellence in individual cases that are par with those of the Allies, however, have not influenced the outcome of battles or the war.
Two results deserve special recognition: the deciphering of the Purple process of deciphering the Japanese and American cipher 209th M
During the war the Japanese had developed a cipher machine used and brought that gave the American Enlightenment biggest problems.
Since it succeeded in an American group led by the cryptographer William Friedman, this machine was called the purple machine to reconstruct and decipher.
This has since been in America as the greatest achievement in the history of cryptology. Inspired by a recently aired television show I asked a former colleague who had been active during the war in this area, and received confirmed what I had until then only a vague recollection: The Germans had dealt with the broadcasts of the allied Japanese especially the messages sent by the Japanese Ambassador Oshima in Berlin to Tokyo. A group of cryptographers and technicians of the cipher of the High Command of the Wehrmacht (OKW), headed by the mathematician Erich Hüttenhain was just as successful as the deciphering of the Americans. Now and then a report was already deciphered and forwarded for transmission errors if Tokyo had to ask for repeated transmission. When would therefore have been the deciphering of the largest machine purple Crypto Program during World War II (he was not!), So it would have won Hüttenhain and his team also. Unfortunately there are no records for this purpose in Germany
Although the ’European Axis Signal Intelligence in World War II'' reports  say that the Germans had no success with Purple there is interesting information in vol7 p59:
Goering was of course fulsome in his praises or the FA and has been cited in considerable detail for its history, and accomplishments. He stated  that he did not control the work program of the cryptanalysts and therefore should not ,be expected to know too much technical detail although  he mentions the use of special cipher keys or a change of key when something important was happening. Specific examples recalled by Goering were the ‘’messages of the American minister in Berne’’ and the ‘’Japanese Ambassador in Berlin, reporting home’’.

Finally in TICOM I-25 ‘’Second interrogation of five members of the RLM/Forschungsamt’’ Paetzel ( deputy director of Hauptabteilung  IV ,Entzifferung ) stated that : ‘’ they had broken a Japanese system in ‘41-’42 which was thought to be a machine system though their solution was not mechanical but employed simply paper strips.’’
Taken together all this information points to German success with the Purple machine.The extent  of this  success however is a  mystery.
Did they solve only messages that were sent several times to ensure reception in Japan or could they read all the traffic? Did they only decode messages in the Berlin-Tokyo link or of other embassies too?
If they could read Oshima’s messages did they suspect that the Allies could also decode them?
Unfortunately all we can do right now is speculate.Maybe in the archives of NSA and GCHQ there is an old dusty file that can give us the answers...


In 2013 i managed to contact mr Otto Leiberich and we had a short telephone conversation. Since his article was written a long time ago he didn’t remember all the details but he was able to give me the following information:

1). He did not have any documentary evidence and his statements were based on discussions with his colleagues.

2). Rave said it was a cipher machine and he remembered specific messages.

3). Regarding the years of solution he said probably 1943-44.

4). He had asked Rave why he hadn’t mentioned this success to the American interrogators and he responded that he feared it would be dangerous for him to say too much

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Decoding the Warsaw Uprising

Poland’s role in WWII is well known especially concerning cryptographic achievements. Despite being a small country with limited resources they managed to pull off the biggest surprise by reading the Enigma cipher machine from 1933 to 1938.In the same time period the British and French cryptographers had failed in attacking the Enigma.

Although the Poles were successful in the offence they neglected their defence.Their diplomatic ,military attaché and resistance movement codes were read by the Germans during the war.

The information concerning the codes of the Polish resistance movement comes  from ''European Axis Signal Intelligence in World War II '' :

EASI vol4 -Army High Command Signal Intelligence Service p179,180

Work on Polish Resistance  Movement traffic - The most notable results in the Agents section were achieved in the interception and solution of the systems used by the Polish Resistance Movement, particularly during the Polish uprising in  Warsaw in 1944.From information passed on this system, the dispositions of the Polish liberation troops as well as friction between them and the Russians could be established. It was possible, moreover, to solve all wireless traffic which the Polish  government in London carried on with its organizations in Poland. In, order to preserve secrecy and to insure quicker delivery of the decodes, eight members of the Vauck section were transferred in the autumn of 1943 to the Polish section of the Signal Intelligence Agency of the Supreme Command, Armed Forces (OKW/Chi) for work there. The clear text was published by the Armed Forces in their bulletins and was given extremely restricted distribution, To insure complete radio intercept coverage, the Armed Forces Agency (OKW/Chi) ordered its station at Lauf also to intercept the traffic. First Lt. Schubert, a cryptanalyst of GdNA, wrote a brief account of the systems used by the Polish National Resistance Movement in which he stated that systems 006, 117, 118, and 181 were broken and that others were worked on. Most of them were simple two figure substitutions used without an indicator, with some variations in development and the use of basic keys or key phrases.

EASI vol 3 – Signal Intelligence Agency of the Supreme Command Armed Forces p58
The most valuable intelligence results from Polish traffic, however, were obtained through the breaking of the traffic between the underground organization in Poland and its government in London. This traffic was said to have been particularly valuable during the period immediately preceding the Normandy Invasion. All wireless traffic from England was banned, but the traffic of Polish agents to England continued and was read. Most of this traffic seems to have been in a five-figure system. The original break was apparently made not by OKW/Chi but by the Agents Section of Inspectorate 7/VI (In 7/VI).Once the break had been made, however, the traffic proved to be so valuable that in the autumn of 1943 a group from the Agents Section of In 7/VI was transferred to the Polish desk of OKW/ Chi where it worked as part of the organization. The translated clear texts were published as regular VN’s and given an extremely limited distribution. The traffic itself was intercepted by the OKW/Chi intercept station at Lauf

The Brits found out about the German success with Polish codes by intercepting and decrypting German messages in September '44.It’s not clear what measures were taken to close off this leak .

Here are some intercepted messages from British Archives HW 40/244 ‘’Polish: evidence that the OKW (High Command of the German Armed Forces) was reading traffic passing between London and the Polish underground’’ :

Secret. To Chief of Security Police in the General Gouvernment, Dept.(roman) IV, for Ostubaf. SCHINDHEIM, CRACOW. (Dated 30/8).

Subject: 6207 from LONDON to WARSAW, 23/8/44, no address, No. 500, No. 199 Text A point 3.

The government is negotiating for an agreement with the Soviet Government with a view to a common prosecution of the war against the Germans. These agreement proceedings should lead to a lasting Polish-Soviet friendship after the war., This rapprochement should offer possibilities of a Polish-Soviet alliance which should guarantee  close political and economic  cooperation between Poles and the Soviets while  recognizing the principles of the sovereignty of each state and the obligation of non-intervention in the internal affairs of the other country. Aim of the alliance will also be envisaged as the elimination of German influences in Central Europe and preventing the possibility of a repetition of German aggression. Further alliances between POLAND and GREAT BRITAIN and FRANCE will serve this purpose. Another alliance will be formed with CZECHO- SLOVAKIA. In similar manner the most friendly relations with the U.S.A. will be cultivated.POLAND will share the  rights which  will ensure peace to the Peoples  striving for peace by a general security system. POLAND will also participate in the occupation  of GERMANY, principally in those eastern territories which will abut on the future Polish frontiers .In the settlement of POLAND’s frontier problem the Polish Government will be guided by the following principles which have been brought into uniformity with those of the SOVIET UNION in a spirit of friendship and with regard to the basic interests of the Polish nation. 1) POLAND, which has sacrificed so much in this war and which alone of all the nations occupied by GERMANY produced no QUISLING, cannot emerge  from this war territorially diminished. In POLAND the main centres of cultural life in the East and the sources of raw material which are necessary to a guarantee of the economic life of the Polish State will remain. A new ruling on questions of nationality, restoration of citizenship arid voluntary exchange amongst the POLISH, UKRAINIAN and WHITE RUSSIAN populations will be undertaken. The ultimate settlement of the question of the POLISH-SOVIET frontier will be decided in conformity with the requirements of democracy by the constitutional parliament £SEJM£. In the North and the West no removal of the German population will (remainder not seen).

From OKW WNV Fu. (Roman) III J (0), No. 2262/44, on 30/8:-
From WARSAW to LONDON, 25/8/44, to Colonel PERKINS, No. 651, 25/8,
JULIUS ,WARD No. 54293. Subject: RAF.

"Dear Sir, help is urgently necessary in the centre of the city of WARSAW. Ammunition for the anti-tank weapon of the PIAT type which was sent is completely exhausted. Dear Sir, the most important (word illegible) needed are (word illegible), anti-tank weapons, heavy machine-guns, ammunition of all kinds. The best area for dropping is the area south of the JEROZILIMSKA Avenue in its continuation to the East as far as NOWY SWIAT, West as far as the MARSZALKOWSKA and south as far as PIUSA Street. This area is free from Germans. Dear Sir, I received your communication of 19/8/44 on 20/8/44. Signed JULIUS WARD."

In  subsequent posts i'll look into the compromise of Polish diplomatic and military attache codes.