Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Analysis of the Asia Minor campaign of 1919-1922

Impressive analysis of the Asia Minor campaign of 1919-1922 (in Greek):

I’ve always been interested in the Asia Minor campaign but unfortunately the books I’ve read so far tended to lack an in depth analysis of why the Greek forces failed to defeat the weakened Kemalist army.

The essays posted at the aforementioned site clearly point out the underlying problems of the Greek armed forces: the lack of professionalism of the officer corps, the rigid planning at the operational and strategic level and the lack of support between infantry, artillery and cavalry.

Great stuff!

Sunday, January 6, 2019


In The American M-209 cipher machine I added info on the unit NAASt 7 and the section:

Invasion of Sicily

In July 1943 US and British troops invaded the island of Sicily and after more than a month of fighting defeated the Axis forces and captured the island. However the German forces were able to avoid a total defeat by retreating in an orderly fashion through the Strait of Messina.

It seems that during the fighting in Sicily the Germans managed to capture a valid keylist of an M-209 network and thus read current US military traffic (14). 

The war diary of Inspectorate 7/VI says that in July ’43 the captured material allowed the continuous decryption of the traffic with indicator ‘ID’ and the results were communicated to NAAst 7.

The report of August ’43 says that messages of the ‘ID’ network could be decoded till mid month and after that it was still possible to find several cases of indicator reuse and thus solve the traffic of those days cryptanalytically.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The plan for 2019

After spending quite a lot of time and money researching these cases I think it’s time to wind things down.

During the year I’ll be checking books and articles on WWII history and cryptology but I will not embark on any new projects. Nor will I post as often as in past years.

Instead I’ll wait for the processing of my remaining FOIA cases with the NSA and State Department.

The two files are the TICOM report I-40 (from the NSA) and the Henriksson report (from the State Department).

There will also be a conference in late 2019, the NSA’s 2019 Symposium on Cryptologic History.

There might be some interesting presentations in this event.

Sometime during the year the first authorized history of GCHQ will be published. It seems that archival material will also be released to the UK national archives.

I will keep an eye out for interesting information.