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Old 11th August 2006, 08:09
RodM RodM is offline
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Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Howdy One & All,

while viewing some original ULTRA material relating to Botenplatte in Dec 1944, I've come across a signal that clearly wasn't from an intercepted wireless transmission but from a "source" who was viewing original files. The dates and clarity of the reporting would, at first glance, seem to preclude a new Luftwaffe ot Wehrmacht PoW (in any case, such interrogation would hardly produce such clear info after only a hour or two following capture and wouldn't go through ULTRA channels anyhow).

Was there a case or cases of some ULTRA material physically being passed to the Allies by Luftwaffe (or Wehrmacht) personnel?

The ULTRA decrypt, which was passed to Churchill is dated 21/12/44 and the original signals cited by "the source" were dated 20/12/44 and 21/12/44.

Here is some of the wording, which obviously doesn't indicate who the source was, other than they had access to files:

"source later saw acknowledgements stamped early 21/12""

"two copies were seen by source. One of them stamped a few hours later came from a file marked Advanced Det JG 26."

There are also verbatim signals from the Luftwaffe Liason Detachment with C. in C. West. The source documents were clearly originals because it is noted in the ULTRA when the text was smudged and unreadable. These signals may've been captured rather than viewed by "the source".

Of course, the ULTRA signals passed to Allied Commands (HP 9981 for former; HP 9995 for latter) give no indication that they are anything but intercepted wireless signals.

Has anyone found similar cases in either ULTRA DEFE 3 or the HW 5 material?

Cheers

Rod
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Old 11th August 2006, 11:20
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

You come across it all the way through HW5 and there are numerous examples quoted on my website. In my view it is simply a device to obscure the true origin of the material, i.e. intercepted and deciphered wireless transmissions.

Breaks in reception are disguised as "smudge", "several words illegible", "badly tattered document" etc.

If you look at the front several pages of each HW5 you'll see a long list of the different German wireless networks a(nd their wavelengths) from which the intelligence was derived.
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Old 11th August 2006, 12:04
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Hi Nick,

thanks for the clarification. That makes perfect sense.

The few full examples that I have are from HW 1 (ULTRA passed to Churchill) and I think what threw me off is that in the main signal I'm interested in, this device wasn't so obviously used at all; broken words are simply denoted "illegible", which I took to mean either undecyphered or due to a brake in receiption.

Cheers

Rod
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Old 11th August 2006, 12:17
RT RT is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Concerning the possibility of spying, it was great, after the war, some italian nd german personalities award some distinction from the allies, notably an italian captain/admiral, giving notices during the war about convoys for N.afrika,
further concerning Ultra, was the code "cracked", or "sold", or "found"/ case of the submarine/???

remi
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Old 11th August 2006, 15:51
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RT
further concerning Ultra, was the code "cracked", or "sold", or "found"/ case of the submarine/???

remi
The answer is not simple! Two very good books on this are "Seizing the Enigma" by David Kahn and "Enigma: the battle for the code" by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore.

The Allies broke into the day's Enigma settings by a variety of methods (including statistical analysis and computers) but even when you have done that, the message may still be in another code. The German Navy used a system of two-letter combinations ("bigrams") to denote weather, wind speed/direction etc. A lot of effort went into capturing the relevant code books.
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Old 11th August 2006, 17:43
John Beaman John Beaman is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Personnel spying for Allies?

Nick is correct in that how Ultra was solved is a very complex matter. It was never consistently solved in the sense that every captured message was solved. This is especially true with German Naval coding.

Much of the initial breakthrough came from manual and primitive computer (these were actually banks of linked enigma machines, endlessly churning through key punched code for common links) analysis as Nick says along with learning how the enigma machine was used and set on a daily basis. Sometimes, rarely, they guessed right, but more often German operators were lazy and used settings that could be seen as repeats or matched up to other known settings and then guessed at. The Luftwaffe was nortorious for:
  • Using the radio for almost everything, thus giving more opportunity for the British to see traffic and analyse it for repetitive groups that might be deciphered.
  • Using girlfriends names or repeat settings that allowed for deciphering settings on the wheels on a daily basis. I.e., their radio discipline was poor, helping the British.

The German Navy was much more disciplined in changing settings, using random settings and eventually even added more wheels to the machine, making deciphering settings much more difficult. In fact while after 1940 Luftwaffe traffic was deciphered quite regularly, the deciphering the Navy traffic was a hit and miss affair until mid-1943 when the combination of Ultra, Huff-Duff, long range patrol aircraft and the beginnings of the escort carrier deployment finally did in the U-boats.

Ultra is a complex business. There are many excellent books out there, including the ones Nick mentioned. To understand how complex the accomplishment of deciphering was, you almost have to read them all.
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