Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another German mystery machine

It seems that apart from the Russian FISH the Germans also had other secret equipment.Thanks to our old friend Karrenberg we can get some information on them .From TICOM /I-149 "Report by Uffz. Karrenberg and Colleagues on Allied Cipher Machines."

The ((following)) British and U.S. traffic was intercepted by Group VI of Receiving Station ((Empfangsstelle))  West :
1).U.S. FF5 traffic.

2) U. S. WT-FF5 traffic.
3) High speed MORSE (Press reports by war correspondents)
British FF5 links were presumably also monitored, but we do not have  any details as to which traffic it was. The U.S. (?) FF5 "Tapeworm"  (machine cypher) which came up was intercepted on a punched strip. As far as we know, the traffic always consisted of Short messages which were passed to Group IV  to be worked on.

The machine system referred to was worked on by Uffz. LACHNER  in Section 1b (Baurat PIETSCH). Section 1b also worked on British and U.S. systems. No details are known.

A  cryptanalytic party, numbering about 20 men, under Wm. ENGELHARDT also worked with Senior Signals Recce Commander Oberst KOPP. The ENGELHARDT party worked on British and U.S. systems, using, among other things, an electrically driven apparatus constructed by themselves. (This was a heavy, black-painted metal box, measuring approximately 50 x 50 X 40 cm, composed of two parts of about equal size. In front of the machine was a keyboard, like a teleprinter. The machine was fitted in the upper part with a set of indicating lamps; when a key was depressed, a letter was illuminated above, as on the German cypher machine). The construction and function of this apparatus, and the systems with which it dealt, are unknown to us. It is alleged that complete solutions (not breaks-in) were achieved by mean of this machine.

Consequent upon the transfer in February of General Commanding Signals Recce Forces ,
PIETSCH's section was seconded to Oberst KOPP, and worked there in collaboration with the ENGELHARDT party. The PIETSCH section worked on French, British and U.S. machine systems-using the ENIGMA.When the Senior  Signals Recce Commander had to retreat, PIETSCH’s section and the ENGELHARDT party were sent to BAD REICHENHALL. From there, owing to lack of space, "PIETSCH's and MARQUARDT's sections and the ENGELHARDT party  were moved to UNKEN near REICHENHALL.There, the ENGELHARDT party  was subordinated to MARQUARDT's section.It was here that I saw Wm ENGELHARDT for the last time ,in the middle of April.The cipher machine was also taken to UNKEN

Karrenberg is referring to group IV of the Army High Command Signal Intelligence Service.FF5 is non morse radio teletype traffic.

So what was this machine and what system did it attack? Things keep getting weirder and weirder….

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