No "details" about any Italian naval movements were provided to Cunningham on March 26. The message sent to Cunningham at 08:20 on March 26 was containing ONLY (I summarize for brevity):Wadinga wrote: "No, he was wholly correct. In his book Battle of Wits exclusively devoted to WWII codebreaking, he goes further with more information. Because there was no secure land line to Alexandria the significance of X-3 was sent 08:20 on the 26th by radio to Cunningham in Alexandria....."
1) the air reconnaissence orders for days X-2 and X-1 (over Alexandria, Suda and routes betwwe Alexandria - Piraeus (both sides of Crete)
2) the information that the night before day X a bombing of Crete aerodromes was ordered &
3) the info that intensive air reconnaissences have to be carried out on Aegean sea on day X between dawn and noon + bombing of Creta aerodromes + air reconnaissence of routes between Alexandria and Crete.
This message could have been important but surely it left Cunningham in the doubt whether an amphibios operation or a mission against convoys or even a convoy to Leros (that would have made any course to South of Crete of the Med Fleet totally useless) was being planned.
I have this message in original and it looks (like the "X-3 fatal message") to have been sent via "Green Line Ext 3", thus not via radio but through a "line". I don't think Ultra information was ever usually sent via radio.
This was not a Ultra message but an Admiralty intelligence information (ADM 223/88). I have the message but I don't know how it was sent to Cunningham because there is no indication. However the module used have the TOO column while the Ultra messages have no TOO indication (just the exact timing), thus it might have been sent via radio (not sure)."Sebag-Montefiore in "Enigma" says that in the early hours of the 27th, Cunningham was sent indications from the Admiralty that..."
I agree. And this + the fact that Cunningham did not ask any specific counter-measure against the 1st Division in the Aegean (as it was detailed in the "long message"), points to the fact that the details of the operations were unknown to British at the time."There was complete surprise in P-W's force when Vittorio Veneto appeared."
I just found the information that the British had, already in May 1940, a secure land line from London to a ship (the flagship) at Alexandria (ref. A.Santoni "Il vero traditore" a very detailed 400 pages book on the role of Ultra in the Mediterranean. See chapter "L'Intelligence Inglese nel mediterraneo all'inizio delle ostilità", page 28 source ref. P.R.O. ADM 1/10612): can someone confirm this fact that would point to a safe link available at any time without using the radio ?