Saturday, August 10, 2019

The case of the Rote Kapelle

I have uploaded the British report KV 3/349 ‘The case of the Rote Kapelle’ (only parts 1 and 2).

Friday, August 9, 2019


In the essay French Hagelin cipher machines I made a correction regarding the solution of the Hagelin C-36 by the German Army codebreakers. 

I had written that the device proved secure in 1939-40 but in TICOM report I-78 Mettig (head of the Army’s codebreaking department for the period 1941-43) stated that it was read by July 40 (thanks to captured machines).

I’ve also added the following paragraph at the end of the essay:

Solution of the Hagelin C-36 at OKW/Chi:

The Hagelin C-36 cipher machine was not a secure device and it seems that in the 1930’s the codebreakers of OKW/Chi (codebreaking department of the Armed Forces High Command) developed methods of solving it.

According to the NSA report ‘Regierungs-Oberinspektor Fritz Menzer: Cryptographic Inventor Extraordinaire’, p21 in 1936 Fritz Menzer developed two methods for solving the C-36.

Also in TICOM report I-31, p7 dr Huttenhain (chief cryptanalyst of OKW/Chi) stated that the French C-36 type could be solved cryptanalytically (without the use of stereotyped beginnings).

Unfortunately, there is no information on the work they did on the C-36 during the late 1930’s and in 1940. Considering their statements on the security afforded by the device it is possible that at OKW/Chi some French Hagelin C-36 traffic was solved during that time.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Still waiting for the FOIA reports

I requested TICOM report I-40 from the NSA back in 2015. It’s August 2019 and it has not been reviewed yet….

I requested the Henriksson report from the State Department in June 2018 and as of August 2019 this case has not been processed (apart from assigning a case number)…

Let’s hope I don’t have to wait years for these files to be released.

Monday, July 22, 2019

New finding aid for the TICOM collection in the Political Archive of the German Foreign Ministry

Some time ago I posted the finding aid for the TICOM collection in the Political Archive of the German Foreign Ministry (excel file).

Now a new finding aid is available with a short description of each file (in pdf format). I have uploaded it to my Google Drive account.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Cryptologic history Symposium 2019

The program for the NSA’s Cryptologic history Symposium has been posted.

There seem to be some interesting presentations about WWII and the Cold war period. For example:

Dr. George Lasry Modern Codebreaking of Siemens and Halske T52

Mr. Jock Bruce What Happened Next? British Army Sigint, 1919-1939

Mr. Tony Comer GCHQ Centenary History

Dr. John Ferris GCHQ during the Cold War

Mr. Richard R. Lonergan Re-Evaluating the Cryptological Dividends of the Battle of Nomohan at 80: The Impact of Soviet Breakthroughs into Japanese Code and Cipher Systems

Dr. Francis Jordan-Rozwadowski What the Metadata Say: A Study of OKW/Chi Decrypts of Polish Intelligence Traffic

Dr. David Kenyon How Fishy was ULTRA? – The Role of Encrypted Teleprinter Traffic in the Intelligence for Operation OVERLORD

Mr. Marty Busse COMSEC Lietuvos Partizan┼│

Dr. Paul A. Thomsen Terminating the Signal: How SIGINT Turned the Tide against Axis Submarine Predation in World War II

Mr. Robert J. Hanyok Answering the Age-Old Commander’s Question: What the Hell is Going on out There? – The U.S. Army’s Signal Information and Monitoring Units and the
Phantom Service

I hope that they decide to publish their proceedings online, like Histocrypt did.