The Ticom papers, although of value, generally speaking are not as complete as the Ultra and NID files.
EG. The Kurier narrative as given in Ticom is unfortunately lacking in certain aspects.
In one of the Ultra histories the origin of Kurier is told, having its genesis in the rounding up of the Bismarck's and Prinze Eugen's supply ships by British warships using Special Intelligence (Ultra).
The investigation made by the Germans post Bismarck as to how these supply vessels had been found, concluded that it could NOT have been the result of code breaking,(which it actually was) but by a combination of D/fing and very longe range airborne radar, (a range of up to 100 miles for the radar). To counter this false threat of D/fing, ideas were proposed which eventually led to an ultra high speed transmission device, ie burst transmission. Work began on this in early 1942, and the first sea trials took place in August 1944 on six U boats in the Baltic. These were unsuccessful. By the end of August six more U boats had been fitted with Kurier, trials were now a little more successful this time.
In late summer 1944, U boat, (I have forgotten its number unfortunately), entered, believe it or not, the Thames estuary and transmitted signals using Kurier. This was the FIRST use of Kurier operationally, and NOT, in the very last days of the war as has been written.
In November 1944 there were additional trials on six U boats. As before, trials were somewhat unsuccessful. There were trials in the Baltic in 1945.
In other Ultra file there are notes that mention that a brilliant* piece of intelligence work cracked Kurier as it was being trialed in 1944/45. For some time I could not find the story of exactly how this was done, but eventually found... in other Ultra volumes, the account laid out. The reading of the Japanese traffic from Berlin to Japan giving details of Kurier obtained from the Germans helped a great deal. In parallel, Y service was instructed to look out for burst transmissions. From these, the precise signal characteristics of the device was gotten. The belief by the Germans that that the very short transmission time using Kurier would defeat D/fing by the British was false, and as the messages were sent on Enigma machines, they could be decrypted after being stretched out. The latter is a story in itself.
One file gives in great detail how the device worked, the only thing lacking in the file was a set of detailed working drawings!
Ticom, useful for some supplementary details, but not always precisely accurate.
It should be noted that the Ultra histories were copied and sent to the US in the post war years. Am not sure though about NID files.
* This is the word used in the official file.
The TICOM documents posted at http://www.ticomarchive.com/home
are valuable as formerly highly classified contemporary documents and source material. Links to the original documents are located at the bottom of the pages. KURIER and FISH are specifically noted. Unfortunately, the links to the declassified National Security Agency historical documents are no longer functioning. Open source references are below the documents.
Cedar Hill, Texas
Typex. first used for naval traffic in 1939.
Similar to the German Enigma machine. The Germans captured a British Typex machine in France in 1940, but as it lacked the set of drums, the Germans decided that it was not possible to break into the system and so no further work was done on the problem.
Typex was used for the first two years of the war for messages between shore stations, but from then on there was the gradual deployment to ships afloat.
From November 1943 there was the use of combined US/UK cypher machines for naval traffic, and from April 1944 for the combined US/UK services. The Germans made efforts to break into this system without success.
UK Fleet Code
This was a low grade system.
It gave some movements of UK convoys and reports on German U boats in Home Waters.
The Germans partially broke into this code, which was usually changed about once a month. It took about two weeks for the Germans to break into a new edition.
Combined US/UK Assault Code. (A low grade system)
In use for Operation Neptune until the 20th of June 1944. The Germans broke into this to an extent, enabling them to read partially the details of the movements of UK convoys to the Normandy beaches.
Loxo (Small Ships Code)
A low security system.
Introduced for Home coastal waters in August 1941. This code was changed daily, but the Germans routinely broke the code between two to nine hours each day.
Used for coastal escorts, MTBs and minecraft, it helped the Germans with their E boat operations.
Various editions were published, but failed to defeat the Germans decoding efforts.
Introduced in September 1943.
Used mainly for movements of landing craft and associated small craft.
By early 1944 the Germans were reading up to 95% of this traffic. The reading of Cofox gave the enemy in the spring of 1944 the dispositions of most of the landing craft on the east coast of the UK. Cofox also gave data in a general manner, of minesweeping and MTB operations in the English Channel and along the East coast of the UK.
Air Sighting Reports Code.
These code were changed daily and easily read by the Germans and the Italians.
The Germans needed about 40 to 45 intercepted messages to break the daily change, and with a high volume of messages, this was usually done within a few hours. In addition to sighting reports, messages for sighting reports, messages that also gave weather and exercises reports were also of value.
A low grade system.
Naval air sighting reports changed daily.
Not so easily broken as Skyo (RAF), because of th much lower number of daily messages transmitted, (10 per day on average).
In July 1942, new higher grade editions of Skyo and Nyko came into use which greatly reduced the enemy's successes.
One Time Code Pads.
Initially introduced for use between shore stations and then from June 1941 to Cin Cs afloat. Used for the most sensitive messages at Ultra level and ABOVE. Introduced in June 1941 for Cin Cs afloat after the British were able to read CURRENTLY* the German Naval Enigma traffic.
The Germans appear to have not placed any effort into breaking this traffic and it remained secure for the rest of the war.
One Time Code Pads for individual Ships.
A very high grade security system for merchants sailing independently, fast tankers and convoy stragglers.
The Germans appear to made no attempt to beak into this system, considering it to be similar to the one time code pads for CinCs afloat.
* Able to read encrypted German Naval messages sent on Enigma within 24 hors of being intercepted.