Saturday, July 1, 2017

The quest for the missing NAASt 5 reports - Update

In April I said that I’ve been trying to locate the two missing reports of NAASt 5, which was the cryptanalytic centre of KONA 5 (Kommandeur der Nachrichtenaufklärung - Signals Intelligence Regiment).

KONA 5 covered Western Europe and the cryptanalysts of NAASt 5 were able to solve the US M-209 cipher machine in 1944.

According to the TICOM report IF-272 - TAB ‘D’ the following NAAS 5 reports survived the war:

E-Bericht Nr. 1/44 der NAAst 5 dated 10.1.44

E-Bericht Nr. 2/44 der NAAst 5

E-Bericht Nr. 3/44 der NAAst 5 (Berichtszeit 1.4-30.6.44)

E-Bericht 4/44 der NAAst 5 (Berichtszeit 1.7-30.9.44) dated 10.10.44 

E-Bericht der NAAst 5 (Berichtszeit 1.10.44-30.12.44) dated 14.1.45

The first three can be found in the US national archives, collection RG 457 - Entry 9032 - box 22, titled ‘German deciphering reports’.

Unfortunately the last two (covering the second half of 1944) are not there.

Initially the NSA FOIA office told me that the NAASt 5 reports had been transferred to the US National archives as part of transfer group TR-0457-2016-0014. However when the NARA FOIA office checked these files they were unable to locate any report titled E-Bericht NAAs 5.

I then asked the NSA FOIA office again about these files, since it seems they made a mistake and I was told to check transfer group TR-0457-2017-0010.

Now the response from the NARA research office regarding this transfer group has been the following:

‘We have received the records of which you speak and they must first of all undergo formal accessioning and any necessary preservation. Then they will need to be archivally described and professionally arranged before they will be available for research.   ALL of those steps will depend on how many previous accessions are in line to be processed.

Although you have the most up-to-date information on these record transfers, our archival processing steps must be done prior to making the records available for public use.’

So it seems that I’ll have to wait for NARA to process the transfer group TR-0457-2017-0010 and then they can search it for the NAASt 5 reports (assuming they are there).

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