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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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  #11  
Old 13th August 2006, 04:21
Flitzer Flitzer is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

There's another humint that's not mentioned too often, I just ran across a great example today reading Impact - the history of Germany's V-Weapons in World War II.

The following quote is from the book:

"On March 22, 1943, MI recorded a conversation between German Generals Ritter von Thoma and Ludwig Crüwell, who had been captured in Africa. The two men, obviously aware they were being monitored, spoke in hushed tones, and parts of their conversation went unheard even by the sensitive microphones in the room. Crüwell had been captured in May 1942 and von Thoma in November. In bringing Crüwell up to date, von Thoma told of a large rocket he had seen tested, presumably at Kummersdorf, with F.M. von Brauchitsch. The weapon, according to von Thoma, went into the stratosphere and had unlimited range."

And that reminded me of the classic from "The One that Got Away", where the two German POW pilots leaned out of the window to have a discussion -- there was a microphone under the window sill!
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  #12  
Old 13th August 2006, 12:15
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

There are thick files of these transcripts in the National Archives, both in the original German and in translation. They are called the CSDIC (UK) SRA reports and I quoted from some of them in Kampfflieger Vol. 4 (Classic Publications, 2005).

For examples, look at the online NA catalogue from about AIR40/3069 to AIR40/3101. Plus there are other files on Army and Naval personnel, Italian servicemen and so on.

Another sneaky trick was apparently to install one microphone that could be found with a bit of effort and a second that couldn't. After they'd found the first one, prisoners felt secure and talked freely.
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  #13  
Old 13th August 2006, 13:37
Boomerang Boomerang is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Interesting that the original post refers to Dec 1944 ULTRA decrypts related to Bodenplatte, yet the Bodenplatte attack still maintained the element of surprise (while recognising the detection of some of the attackers by conventional means). Does this point to the limitations of UlLTRA?

As mentioned earlier, it is interesting to compare the ability of the codebreakers to successfully attack Luftwaffe Enigma, compared with the complete failure to break Gestapo Enigma messages, or the Kreigsmarine's Barracuda Enigma cypher:

http://www.uboat.net/technical/enigma_ciphers.htm

No doubt the Gestapo/Kreigsmarine attitude to radio security was different from the Luftwaffe's.

Cheers

Boomerang
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  #14  
Old 13th August 2006, 18:58
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomerang
Interesting that the original post refers to Dec 1944 ULTRA decrypts related to Bodenplatte, yet the Bodenplatte attack still maintained the element of surprise (while recognising the detection of some of the attackers by conventional means). Does this point to the limitations of UlLTRA? Boomerang
Actually there are several signs of the impending attack from about November 1944 onward - provided you know, as we do now, what they mean.

The Allies realised that a lot of fighter units were being moved to the western front and wondered why. They speculated that a big strike against airfields might be one reason and there is a mention (can't find it now!) of "Ein scharfer Einsatz".

There were other signs too. For example HP 8689, issued at 01.03 hours on 6 December 1944. Part of this long signal is from Jagdkorps I to Jafue Mittelrhein on the evening of the 4th about the allocation of two night fighters and crews…
"to ensure the assembly of strong day fighter formations in bad weather conditions…"
HP 8620 is a similar message.

HP 8624 is about the convening of a conference of all day fighter Geschwader and Gruppe commanding officers (except JG 300 and JG 301) on the afternoon of 5 December at Flammersfeld, 30 km north of Koblenz.

However Bodenplatte didn't happen at the outset of the Ardennes offensive and so (I'm guessing) the Allies assumed that the moment for such an operation had passed, all those German fighters must have been assembled in direct support of the ground offensive.

ULTRA's inherent limitation was that not every German message was sent by radio and even then not all of it was picked up, let alone deciphered. (And some of what was sent by radio was not exactly of strategic importance: could someone bring back the gas mask that someone else left behind, for example).
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  #15  
Old 13th August 2006, 20:52
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Andreas Brekken Andreas Brekken is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Hi, guys.

It has been my understanding that the HW 5 stuff in fact is mostly humint, and not decrypts. I have thousands of signals (remember, the humint stuff came via radio mostly, and was received and transcribed at some central unit which I do not know) that seem to corroborate this, and signals like:

"Source saw unit strength return addressed to Lfl 5 HQ stating:

14./JG 77"

etc etc etc

was just that, namely a report from some person that relayed this to the intelligence unit they worked with. There are also numerous examples of these starting with "Source saw partially torn document bla bla bla" and one can clearly see (by comparing to contemporary documents from the units in question) that this is correct. Several of the documents referred to were also not transferred by any kind of link, but were ordinary paper documents transferred by courier or ordinary service mail.

In my opinion most of these humint people were working for the Wehrmacht in different types of 'civilian' jobs, office personnel, cleaning personnel etc.

Regards,
Andreas
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  #16  
Old 14th August 2006, 02:15
Andrew Arthy Andrew Arthy is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Hi Andreas,

I agree with Nick about the source of the material in HW 5. It is mostly from decrypts, not humint.

The official title of the HW 5 series is as follows: 'Government Code and Cypher School: German Section: Reports of Germany Army and Air Force High Grade Machine Decrypts'.

If it was humint, then that means the Allies had men working for them in every Gruppe, Geschwader, Fliegerkorps, etc. in the entire Mediterranean, and I don't think that is possible.

And would someone risk his or her life to send a signal to the British about a German document noting the lack of toothbrushes in II./Sch.G. 2 in June 1943?

In HW 5 you will occasionally come across something that is not a decrypt, for example reference to Y-Service material or agent reports, but the vast majority of HW 5 is decrypts, in my opinion.

I'll be back at the National Archives for all of September, and one thing I'm really looking forward to going through again is the HW 5. It's a great source, especially for the Mediterranean theatre.

All the best,
Andrew A.
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  #17  
Old 14th August 2006, 06:46
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Hi.

It must then definitely be a mix. Will check and come back with some examples later.

I wonder if my impression might be because I have mostly worked with the early part, and the files from that period contained more humint... will check... working off memory, and the brain can do tricks to you...

Regards,
Andreas
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  #18  
Old 14th August 2006, 21:17
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

I'm sorry but I'm just not persuaded that these are anything other than intercepted radio traffic:

1. As Andrew says, the files are classed "machine decrypts."

2. GC&CS did not run agents, that was done by two separate British organisations, MI6 (aka the Secret Intelligence Service) and the Special Operations Executive (replacing Section D of MI6 and promoting sabotage and subversion in the occupied countries, but the resistance movements it supported also fed back intelligence on German forces).

3. An SOE radio operator reportedly had a life expectancy of a few weeks before capture or wihdrawal yet there is material in HW5 coming day after day from the same units for months on end.

4. What is more, usually that material is somehow reaching Bletchley Park and being decoded, translated and commented on within 24 hours or less of the message's time of origin. The "spies" Andreas believes are responsible would have needed to be free use their radios almost any time they wished.

5. The comments and notes attached to the HW5 messages do not indicate that the Bletchley Park staff had seen other intelligence: e.g. prisoner interrogations, the Y-Service (e.g. radio traffic to and from German aircraft) or technical intelligence from crashed or captured machines.

6. In the front of each file, as I've said, you find pages after page of data, referencing each paragraph and item to its source and each has a network name and a radio frequency. (See the attached example).

7. Implying a human source is a great cover story. If anyone saw one of the items and the word got back to the Germans, they would start hunting imaginary spies. It even seems to have worked on one or two people on this board! Please note that the document I have attached was copy No. 25, so there were apparently several in circulation and so a leak was a possibility.

8. It may be that the Official History of British Intelligence in the Second World War could shed more light on this if anyone has those volumes available.
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  #19  
Old 14th August 2006, 21:24
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Sorry, this is the attachment for my last post:
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  #20  
Old 15th August 2006, 06:43
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Hi, Nick

So - what you are saying is that the headings of virtually all the documents in the HW 5 files are to be discarded, and that they are to read:

Intercepted coded enemy radio traffic says that....

Instead of:

Norse and Danish sources report

On 20/6 source was able to see

etc etc etc

as shown in the following documents:

Example 1:
http://www.ahs.no/discussion_images/HW5-1-001.JPG

Example 2:
http://www.ahs.no/discussion_images/HW5-1-002.JPG

Example 3:
http://www.ahs.no/discussion_images/HW5-1-003.JPG

Example 4:
http://www.ahs.no/discussion_images/HW5-21.JPG

There are hundreds (or more) like these, and I would really like to see a confirmation that none of these messages came from humint sources.

But then I guess I have been tricked by the british intelligence. I am also confused as to how the codes were solved if the transmissions were incomplete (as hundreds of these mesages imply that parts are missing...), for one I thought that the sign on sign off signals or "cribs" were a vital part when breaking the codes, and that once the settings for the code machines were known, the entire message could be decoded? I am also the curious to why the british are constantly misidentifying units (especielly when regarding roman vs arabic numbering), as the germans usually (have been through more original german messages than I would like to remember...) used the designation röm for roman in their messaging. Did the codebreakers miss that?? Does an archive that contain the decrypts as they really looked exist?

As I know that norwegians were using radio transmissions to send information to the allies during the war, could someone then please relay information here on where that intelligence material are in the archives?

Regards,
Andreas
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