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Surface ship Naval Enigma

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:00 pm
by Dave Saxton
I have read in some places on the net that certain aspects of the Enigma used by the KM, such as the code used by surface warships in distant waters was never actually broken. However, recently I ran across a book on Tirpitz by Bishop which stated that Enigma messages sent by Ciliax while Tirpitz was hunting for PQ12 (March 42) were decoded and this was why Tirpitz's mission ended in failure. It took Betchley Park about 9 hours to decode the messages according to Bishop. There were three key messages decoded. One was that TP was at sea. One allowed them to divert PQ12 just in time to avoid an intercept by TP. If not for this Tirpitz would have found PQ12 while the Home Fleet Battle Group was still 250 miles away. The third message decoded allowed Tovey to set up the Victorious air strike on March 9th near the Lofotens.

I'm wondering if Bishop was correct that the messages were actually decoded, or if they were just DF'ed?

Re: Surface ship Naval Enigma

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 4:27 pm
by ede144
It might be that not Ciliax messages were decoded, but transmissions of the Luftwaffe which informed local commanders that TP would be at sea.

Re: Surface ship Naval Enigma

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:15 pm
by RF
Dave, the Enigma code used by ''surface warships in distant waters'' post 1940 was the ''shark code'' used by the hilfskreuzern. This was a different code from that used for warships like Tirpitz in home waters.

Shark was never broken. Evidence for this comes from the Allies never determining what happened to Raidr H in 1943 until its commander was detained by the Americans in Shanghai in 1945.