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By Lieutenant Commander McManan U.S.N.I.
Posted by wr on July 1, 2018, 13:22:00, in reply to "A small Gem.
From one of the GC and CS Ultra histories.
'German success against Naval Cypher No 3 against allied shipping during 1942 and early 1943 cannot be baldly equated without considerable qualification. In the first place, the heaviest U boat successes were against unprotected independents during 1942. In the second place, XB convoy intelligence from Naval Cypher No 3 was NOT remarkable for its currency; the reading was slow and there were many gaps that could be filled in only after weeks had elapsed ... '
XB German Special Intellienge.
'It should be pointed out that even at the height of XB success, German Special Intelligence was patchy and incomplete.'*
*This was from 9/39 to 8/40. In August 1940 the British Cyphers were changed in a major manner.
'During the long hours in the Submarine room during the the war, I was constantly impressed with the aimless rushing to and fro of U boats by control (B.D.U.), always catching up with an already out of date situation ... Where we gained so much by our own Special Intelligence was: ..... '
Note from (A.D.I.C.) (Captain Colpoys R.N.) in Naval Historical Papers, 1. 3. 46.)
All credit to Vice Admiral Erhard Maertens.
"a current reading of our messages is not possible," and " The acute disquiet about the compromise of our Secret Operation cannot be justified. Our cipher does not appear to be broken." 1941
"With the exception of two of three doubtful cases, enemy information about out the position of our U-boats appears so have been maintained mainly from extensive use of airborne radar, and the resultant plotting of these positions has enabled him [the enemy] to organize effective diversion of convoy traffic." Donitz after meeting with Maertens.
Vol IV: The Organisation and Evolution of British Naval Sigint. By Frank Birch.
Most of this volume describes the actual use of Special Intelligence material.
'...to avoid the pitfalls of of complacency (i), it is necessary to compare the handling and use of Sigint in the two World Wars ...'
(i) Example: 'The German brain is probably quite incapable of the imaginative and intuitive processes which 8E applied to Z material ... It is on these levels that intelligence becomes an art. Like architecture it escapes into a region above and beyond mathematics and logic'.
8E was a section of Hut 8 at BP, and Z material was German Enigma messages.
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