Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


This is coolbert:

Let me qualify my last blog entry by saying that it took Arne Beurling TWO WEEKS and not TWO DAYS to arrive at a general solution to the geheimschreiber. That is still a remarkable accomplishment.

During the years of World War Two [WW2] both General Mannerheim and General Rommel were credited with having what can be described as almost super-cognition powers. Bordering upon the uncanny. Were able to "know" the intentions of the enemy in advance and take proper measures.

Well, there was nothing uncanny about any of it.

Arne Beurling again, contributed mightily to the abilities of the Finns to hold off Soviet invasion in 1940.

Beurling and a colleague were able to read Soviet enciphered code and pass ACTIONABLE intelligence to the Finns in time. This is where Mannerheim got his remarkable ability of pre-cognition from.

"At the outbreak of WWII, Arne Beurling was assigned to study Russian transmissions. To assist him in this task, he has Ake Lundqvist (mentioned above). Arne's section succeeds in deciphering 10,400 of the Russian Baltic Navy's telegrams. The Russians used a four-digit code (which was broken by Gosta Wollbeck and Olle Sydow) and an “additively super-enciphered five-digit code” (which was broken by Beurling and Lundqvist)."

Rommel also was receiving, during the early stages of the North African campaign, daily intelligence that was the result of German crypto-busting.

The German DID have SOME successes with cryptanalysis during WW2.

WERE able to read enciphered code of both the British Navy and American military attaches'.

The messages of the latter, sent from Cairo, provided the proverbial gold-mine of actionable intelligence when "read" by German interceptors. Rommel based many of his early successes upon the intelligence gleaned from the very judicious and detailed reporting of the American military attache' in Cairo. This attache', providing daily reports to Washington D.C., also, without his knowing it, provided the same to Rommel. Reports so detailed that the normal intelligence activities of the Afrika Corps were superfluous.

"Fellers [the American attache'] was sending one telegram after another to Washington. He fairly outdid himself in his reporting. He ranged all over the battle area, saw and heard everything, knew all preparations, every intention, every movement of the British forces and transmitted it all to the United States. The German intercept station promptly copied his messae, sent it by teletype to Berlin where it was deciphered and sent by the speediest possible route to Rommel. That took only a few hours. By now the system had been completely solved."


Enciphered code is generally categorized as a high-level system. Still, was "readable", to the belated chagrin of many. This sort of this happened over and over during WW2.




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