The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication From Ancient Times to the Internet by David Kahn

The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication From Ancient Times to the Internet by David Kahn

Author:David Kahn [Kahn, David]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: Military, History, General, NOVCOL
ISBN: 9781439103555
Google: 3S8rhOEmDIIC
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: 1996-12-05T00:00:00+00:00

name, "stricken from the honor roll of the German Army and the Wehrmacht!" Fellgiebel had been executed on August 10; Thiele soon followed. Lieutenant General Albert Praun took Thiele's place in both offices and retained them to the end of the war.

The oldest, most experienced, and closest to O.K.W. of the other cryptanalytic agencies was the Army's Heeres-nachrichtenwesens ("Army Communications System"), or H.N.W. The Chef, H.N.W., served on the Army general staff. Like the U.S. Army's Signal Corps during World •War II, it had both communications and intercept-cryptanalysis duties; like the Signal Corps, it turned over its solutions to Army intelligence for evaluation and use.

Under Chi's watchful eye, it issued cryptosystems for the troops. For high-level communications, from the O.K.H. down to regiments, the Army used the glowlamp Enigma cipher machine. It was reliable, working well in the Russian winter and the Libyan summer. Signal officers thought it cryptanalytically secure if—as ordered by 1942 —keys were changed three times a day. Its chief disadvantage was that it did not print its output. Battery-powered and portable, it could be operated in a moving truck and was well adapted to radio work.

Nevertheless, in 1943 a new machine began replacing it in some areas. This was a printing machine, produced by the Wanderer Werke firm, which copied the Hagelin variable-gear principle. There is a story that one of these was found in Norway at the end of the war with a message still in it, obviously abandoned by an operator who disagreed with what he had deciphered: Der Fuehrer ist tot. Der Kampf geht welter. Doenitz ("The Fiihrer is dead. The war goes on, Donitz").

For wire teletypewriter communications from the O.K.H. to army corps and a few divisions, the Germans used an on-line machine produced by Siemens & Halske Aktien-gesellschaft. Its heart was a set of ten keywheels, similar to those on a Hagelin machine, rimmed with pins that could be made either operative or inoperative. Each wheel had a prime number of pins, ranging from 47 on the smallest to 89 on the largest. Five of these wheels enciphered the five teletypewriter pulses, transforming a mark into a space or vice versa if the pin then in position was operative, or leaving the pulse unchanged if it was inoperative. The other five wheels effected a transposition


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