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Luftwaffe and Axis Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the German Luftwaffe and the Air Forces of its Allies.

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  #1  
Old 30th August 2008, 22:51
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Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Several months ago, a couple of people here asked if I would write a guide to using Ultra intelligence (deciphered signals) for Luftwaffe research.

I've finally done it and it's now posted on the Ghostbombers website.

P.S. New pages on the site will be designed for a screen 1024 pixels wide instead of 800.
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Old 31st August 2008, 04:31
Dan O'Connell Dan O'Connell is offline
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Well done Nick. I wish I'd have had that info from you available when I was writing "the Production Log"...would have saved me all the headaches of figuring it out for my self :-)
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Old 31st August 2008, 06:00
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Thanks for this, Nick. As always, a wonderful job.
All the best,
George
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Old 6th September 2008, 16:46
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Hello,

Can anyone who has looked into this in detail tell me whether there is significant material available from this source that relates to the Luftwaffe during the 1940 period? My impression over the years is that ULTRA wasn't a particularly well-developed or useful intelligence source during that period. Can someone who has looked into this in detail give me their opinion about this?

Thanx,
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Old 6th September 2008, 17:47
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Hickey View Post
Hello,

Can anyone who has looked into this in detail tell me whether there is significant material available from this source that relates to the Luftwaffe during the 1940 period? My impression over the years is that ULTRA wasn't a particularly well-developed or useful intelligence source during that period. Can someone who has looked into this in detail give me their opinion about this?

Thanx,
Hi Larry, certainly the presentation of the material wasn't as well developed as it later became and I think it would take more work from a researcher to get something from it. I'm attaching my entire collection (really!) of 1940 Ultra messages to illustrate the point (from file HW5/4).
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File Type: jpg 1940Ultra.jpg (155.4 KB, 589 views)
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Old 14th September 2008, 21:23
Larry Hickey Larry Hickey is offline
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Hello,

Thanks for the posting and your comments Nick. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has spent some time going through the ULTRA info for the 1940 period. This shows that there is perhaps some meat in there, although it will obviously much more limited than ULTRA was able to provide later.

Regards,
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Old 9th October 2008, 22:30
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

I've just amended the article on my website to include an illustration of an Ultra message header.
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Old 15th September 2009, 00:13
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

That's a good guide. From my own work with the files, I think you could (if you felt like it) add something on HW13 (the intel summaries), and I would add that in HW1 sometimes a lot of actual messages have been removed, and only the blue cover sheet is left.

I would also add that anyone who wants to work with HW5 from 1941 onwards should be prepared. The files are simply massive, and take an awful lot of time to go through. I requested a bulk order two weeks ago, and shouldn't have bothered. If you can get through 6-8 folders in one go (photographing, not studying in detail), you are doing well.

To clarify - I received the bulk order (Kew staff is really great in accommodating what borders on unreasonable requests!), but the 30 files were simply too much for me to go through.

All the best

Andreas

Last edited by AndreasB; 15th September 2009 at 22:11. Reason: Clarification
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Old 16th September 2009, 14:25
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Smile Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Hello Andreas,

In order to prepare a visit/multiple visits to the National Archives, I wonder whether you can be more specific about two questions:

- the (average!) number of pages with decripts for, let us say, a week?
- the number of pages that can be done by using a digital camera?

Since the few examples I have seen from HW 5 stuff does reveal a lot of Werkenummer, so far unknown/not known from German sources, it would enhance that knowledge tremendously, especially also for your 1944 Project.

Hoping to hear from you ! All the best, Marcel Hogenhuis (Venlo Airfield in WW-2)

PS. What I noticed from the Summarische Verlustmeldungen is that they copied the errors of the (detailed) daily loss reports from the Luftflotten into it. In some cases I was able to discover that an alleged I./NJG 1 loss was in fact an aircraft of the I./NJ-Schule 1 or I./JG 1.
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Old 16th September 2009, 17:08
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Re: Using Ultra to research the Luftwaffe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcel Hogenhuis View Post
Hello Andreas,

In order to prepare a visit/multiple visits to the National Archives, I wonder whether you can be more specific about two questions:

- the (average!) number of pages with decrypts for, let us say, a week?
- the number of pages that can be done by using a digital camera?
In 1944-45 files usually cover two days' messages each (one day each during Summer 1944, however). I've never counted the pages but I think that a two-day file would have maybe 300-350 pages.

Using a camera, I can get through about six or seven two-day files in a full day. You could definitely speed up the photography by using one of the camera stands provided but you still have to read the pages to look for things that are of interest to you - something that becomes faster with practice. You gradually learn the "language" of the decrypts.

Note to Andreas: all the messages in HW1 should also be in HW5, so there is a "back-up copy" if something is missing from HW1.
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