August 19, 1942

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by michaelmaltby, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    "... The brutality of Aug. 19, 1942 is contrasted by the kindness bestowed upon the raid since, namely its designation as “a rehearsal” for D-Day. The lessons supposedly learned from the disastrous attack are easily refuted, yet are routinely used as justification for the raid. On this subject West was particularly succinct: “Since the time of the Roman legions, it’s been known that there is no possibility of dislodging a well-entrenched enemy without superior fire power. I don’t know of any lessons we learned at Dieppe....."

    WW1: Dieppe was a battle doomed to fail for all the wrong reasons | Full Comment | National Post

    Proud Canadian
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    12,631
    Likes Received:
    309
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    The sacrifice of the Canadians ultimately ensured the success off D-Day. There's a lot of truth in the saying that you learn more from defeat than from victory.
     
  3. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I disagree. There were a bunch of Allied amphibious landings in Africa, Sicily, Italy and the Aegean. Not to mention the Pacific. That's where we learned lessons necessary for the Normandy invasion.

    During 1942 the USA was pressing for an early invasion of NW France. Stalin was pressing even harder for a French invasion. Britain sacrificed an infantry division at Dieppe for diplomatic purposes, to show that invading 1942 France was risky business. The Dieppe disaster gave PM Churchill diplomatic leverage to convince President FDR that the military main effort should be North Africa and Sicily. Brutal but that's the way diplomacy works in the real world.
     
  4. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    Lesson One: try not to land on a cobblestone beach - more so if trying to land tanks ...

    "... That's where we learned lessons necessary for the Normandy invasion...."

    DB, no other amphibious operation in WW2 remotely compares to Normandy - with its pre-fab harbors, piers and pipelines.

    The Canadian Government of the time - or some factions of that government - were anxious to sees our boys tested .... Dieppe was it.

    MM
     
  5. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Put that same reinforced Canadian infantry division in Tunisia 8 November 1942 and the North African campaign is likely to be 4 months shorter. If Canada cannot wait three months then why not occupy the Gilbert Islands? During August 1942 the Japanese garrison was tiny so success would be virtually certain. Either way Canada will acquire as much amphibious warfare experience as they got at Dieppe.
     
  6. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6 michaelmaltby, Aug 19, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
    I watched a new Canadian documentary on History just now .... the thesis being that, first and last Dieppe was a "pinch raid" ... to steal updated 4-rotor enigma machines, code books and 4-month code schedules from German Naval headquarters in the Hotel Modern. The pinch was to be achieved by a small commando unit formed by none other than Ian Flemming and (having failed to penetrate the port), this unit was then embedded with Royal Marine units and an attempt was made to penetrate on the beach -- it too failed. The chaos of the larger operation on 5 fronts was expected to conceal the prime objective -- local German naval intelligence - and enigma.

    A 15 minute delay cost the Canadian troops the element of surprise and the cover of darkness for objective 1. It fell apart from there ....


    http://www.history.ca/ontv/titledetails.aspx?titleid=274917

    MM
     
  7. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,679
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    A big part of dieppe must be explained with the knowledge of keeping the Russians happy. Uncle joe wanted a second front in western europe vastly increased LL aid, and if he didnt get it was threatening a separate peace with the nazis. dieppe, PQ17, Torch are all only explainable, and justifiable on that basis.


    and, there were valuable lessons learned from the whole debacle, and these were not known to the allies (or the germans for that matter) until after the raid. It was the first amphibious attack into europe against a defended port. That had never been tried before, and wasnt attempted again quite so directly. it certainly put the Americans into the picture as to the difficulties of their "direct action" strategy, given the resources available. if it had been successful, the allies would have pursued roundup in 1943, instead they waited abd came up with better solutions to the logistics problem they faced
     
  8. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8 michaelmaltby, Aug 20, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
    I don't disagree Parsifal ...

    "... a big part of dieppe must be explained with the knowledge of keeping the Russians happy. Uncle joe ......
    .. if it had been successful, the allies would have pursued roundup in 1943, instead they waited abd came up with better solutions to the logistics problem they faced"

    But non of the above explains or answers THE QUESTION .... Why Dieppe? Uncle Joe didn't give a flying fig about Dieppe .... to satisfy Uncle Joe it would have had to be Berlin or Paris .. :) ... who cared about Dieppe?

    Well ... if you look at the St.Nazaire raid a few months earlier it was a similar Royal Navy raiding pattern ..... run a vessel (HMS Cambleton) into an enclosed and defended port area and take out a specific strategic objective, in the case of St. Nazaire, the Dry Dock that would accommode the German battleships.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Nazaire_Raid

    I'm convinced by this documentary .... Dieppe was first and last a Royal Navy "show". The Canadians were there with their Government's support and approval - and much of their mission was diversionary, or to secure defense assets that could threaten activity inside the harbor -- i.e. pinching :)

    Dieppe is Canada's single worst day of losses in WW2.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    April 1942. U.S. outline for fighting war in Europe.

    1. Ferry military units and material to Britain during 1942. This would allow a massive invasion of NW France during April 1943. Code name “Bolero”.

    2. If the Soviet Union appeared in danger of collapse a smaller invasion of NW France would take place during the fall of 1942 employing 5 to 10 divisions. Code name “Sledgehammer”.

    PM Churchill concurred in principle with this strategy then immediately began backing away.

    April 1942.
    Planning for Dieppe invasion begins.

    June 1942. PM Churchill travels to Washington DC.
    British main point was an attempt to convince President FDR to invade French North Africa during the fall of 1942.

    21 June 1942.
    News of Rommel seizing Tobruk reached PM Churchill while he was meeting with President FDR.

    July 1942. USA Chief of Staff Marshall and CNO King meet with President FDR.
    “If the British continue to insist on scatterization in North Africa, the U.S. should turn to the Pacific for decisive action against Japan."

    Politics raises its ugly head.
    Numerous opinion polls showed the American public wanted to know why the country had yet to counterpunch against the Axis. Congressional elections were scheduled for November 1942. President FDR was concerned lack of military action would cost the Democratic Party several congressional seats.

    Meanwhile in London….
    Communists in Trafalgar Square and elsewhere were chanting “Second Front, Now!” in sympathy with the besieged Russians.

    30 July 1942.
    FDR announces to his military advisors that as Command in Chief he supported the British proposal. French North Africa was to be invaded at the earliest possible date. His decision was final.
    .....Britain had over two weeks to cancel the Dieppe invasion but failed to do so. Why? Without Dieppe Operation Torch would include an additional infantry divsion.

    19 August 1942. Dieppe invasion.
     
  10. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    Once more, I say:

    "... non of the above explains or answers THE QUESTION .... Why Dieppe?"

    Not disputing your timeline, DB .... but it's only that .... a list of events in sequence - co-incidental or otherwise. :)

    MM
     
  11. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    If the documentary MM and I watched was correct and I have no need to doubt that it was as the recently released documents proved , it was staged to get 30RM also lnown as 30 Assualt unit in the harbour on a RN vessel so that they and picked up by another RN vessel to escape could steal the Ultra with the 4th wheel , ir was planned or concieved in Feb 42. Red Ryder VC of St Nazaire fame was in charge . The vessel carrying 30RM in was turned back by defensive fire and it was decided to send them in on landing craft which also failed .
     
  12. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    Roger that, PB, :)

    A very fresh look at the subject, I thought ... and .... once you understand the Royal Navy 'm-o' it makes sense. But it failed - failure with Objective One just cascaded down the whole operation.
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,679
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW

    Your right, Stalin could care less about Dieppe. But you are missing the point.....the Russians didnt care about western Europe, except they wanted a tangible second front in the west. They didnt believe the Allied excuses about the alleged difficulties put forward by the allies. But the Russians did understand the needs of the allies to secure a port as part of their lodgement strategy. Confronted with a manifest failure to capture A Port (which just happened to be Dieppe) and the demonstrably valid butchers bill paid tryng to achieve that objective. Faced with (a) a "serious" effort to go for a port in western Europe and (b) a failure to achieve that objective, the Russians really had nowhere they could go other than back to the task of defeating the germans. Same logic applied to the Summer convoys. Though they persisitently harped on about the lack of support being provided, the destgruction of the convoys showed ample proof that the allies were doing their best to help their Soviet Allies.


    No, there is no similarity between St Nazaire raid and Dieppe. dieppe was essentially a reconnaisance in force, St Nazaire was just a raid, far smaller in scale, with no intention of taking (or holding) ground.

    Not that i have seen the doco, and im sure its very good, but like all such reports that purport to contain "revelations" about a particular issue in history, invariably the claims need to be taken with a very bigt grain of salt. Dieppe was a defeat, but it delivered valuable insight and lessons that had a direct and significant effect on Allied operations, and, also was made necessary by Russian demands
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,679
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    For once I agree with Dave on this one, well to a point.....circumstances were the main determinant of the Dieppe operation, not so much a specific operation. I would not be surpised that such an objective might be tacked onto the operation as an afterthought but if so it was not to obtain the fourth wheel of an enigma machine....that was already in possession of the Allies from the preceding April. In any event crashing through the front door like that to get hold of classified german material is not going to achieve anything....the germans would know their security was breached and take appropriate steps, like change the codemaking machines if such an obvious pathways was attempted. Thats why the Allies had to be so careful whilst pinching codebooks and apparatus...the germans had to be unaware their security had been breached. You dont do that with 6000 Canadians following you into battle.....
     
  15. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    25,187
    Likes Received:
    963
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary
    Missed that documentary last night but got it on my PVR. Will watch when I have a quiet (unfortunately = rare) moment to do so. Great to see the vets honoured there. Hope they got the 1st class treatment they deserved.
     
  16. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
    #16 michaelmaltby, Aug 21, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
    "... Missed that documentary last night but got it on my PVR. Will watch when I have a quiet .... moment"

    When you do, please report as to whether or not you think it credible in its (Royal Navy op) thesis ..... Parsifal apparently believes the historical details were frozen back in 1942 at the official post-mortem. .. :)

    Cheers,

    MM
     
  17. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    apparently others disagree with your thoughts including present day British intelligence cut and pasted from Vancouver Sun ..... Dieppe has always been viewed as a "lambs-to-the-slaughter" military fiasco, said O'Keefe, especially as seen from the Canadian side. "Dieppe is still a disaster," he said, but now the operation can be viewed as something more than simply a botched testing of Germany's Fortress Europe defences.

    "One of the most remarkable results is that it provides a true silver lining to this - there's a tangible, legitimate and absolutely critical purpose to this operation," O'Keefe said.

    Present-day spymasters at GCHQ, Britain's intelligence agency, "reluctantly" agreed to the Canadian researcher's findings, said O'Keefe, who also spoke with the only surviving member of Fleming's assault unit. He said others in the intelligence, military and historical communities sup-port what should now lead to a rewriting of one of the dark chapters of Second World War history


    Read more: Secret files shed new light on Dieppe
    As for the raid being proposed in April the RN proposed it in February and the 4th wheel for the Naval Ultra
    it was introduced in Feb 42 as opposed to your statement that it was in possesion of Allies the previous April ...please note the Feb 42 for introduction of the Naval Ultra and the RN proposal date
     
  18. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,931
    Likes Received:
    643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Toronto
  19. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,679
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    I wish that i could give the canadian survivors some solace about this sad event but i cannot, at least not to say that their efforts made a huge difference n the itelligence war

    This is how the documentary being discussed is reported in the Leader Post (an online news service)

    "Now, after decades of unanswered questions and only guesses as to why the mission was launched and to what purpose the Dieppe slaughter served comes newly unearthed evidence putting the mission in a completely different light.Could the single-biggest raid of the war simply have been a diversion for the real objective — a commando “pinch” operation to steal German naval codes and encryption machines? And playing a leading role in the top-secret mission was legendary spymaster Ian Fleming, who would later gain fame as author of the James Bond 007 series.“What a story this is ... this is like something out of a Hollywood movie,” said David O’Keefe, a Montreal-based military historian who uncovered the mystery over the course of 15 years of research. Himself a former soldier and Department of National Defence employee, O’Keefe gained privileged access to more than 100,000 pages of classified British military archival documents, many of them stamped “most secret” and part of the ULTRA files, the highly sensitive intelligence gathered during the war and only recently starting to be made available to some researchers.O’Keefe said there was no single “eureka!” moment, but rather a series of discoveries that led to his conclusion that the plan, all along, was to slip a specially trained unit into Dieppe under the cover of a bigger operation and recover a German-made Enigma code machine, a very complex electro-mechanical device that used a series of rotors for the encryption of secret messages. The Allies had great success in breaking into German ciphers and codes to help plan their Battle of the Atlantic strategies, but the enemy had recently advanced their Enigma technology and the possible outcome of the war itself was at stake during this pivotal period when the Third Reich was at its peak.Housed inside Dieppe’s Hotel Moderne was the German naval headquarters, the small port city hosted an important radar installation, and Allied intelligence was convinced that trawlers tied up in the harbour were pulling double-duty as spy vessels and contained valuable enemy signals equipment. Waiting offshore for the success of the initial attack were Commander Ian Fleming, who was the personal assistant to the admiral in charge of Britain’s naval intelligence, as well as members of a secretive unit of naval intelligence specialists he helped create known during Operation Jubilee as No. 40 Royal Marine Commando.The previously stated purposes of the raid, as well as lessons learned, remain valid, said O’Keefe, but it’s the newly uncovered intelligence-gathering objective that was “the locomotive driving this thing.”Dieppe has always been viewed as a “lambs-to-the-slaughter” military fiasco, said O’Keefe, especially as seen from the Canadian side. “Dieppe is still a disaster,” he said, but now the operation can be viewed as something more than simply a botched testing of Germany’s Fortress Europe defences.“One of the most remarkable results is that it provides a true silver lining to this — there’s a tangible, legitimate and absolutely critical purpose to this operation,” said O’Keefe.Present-day spymasters at GCHQ….”

    Well, possibly, but I am sceptical, since in 1942 the priority objective of the british intell services after april 1942 was cracking KM kurssignale beta codes, and that occurred between October 1942 and December 1942. There was no need to capture an additional Enigma machine. A fourth rotor had been in british possession since at least 1941. What was needed was access to Km procedures and codes

    It is more or less ‘routine’ every couple of yearsthat a historian steps up to claim that he has something “new’ on the ultra secret, that “proves” a particular operation was critical, or momentous in the course of the war. Perhaps, but unlikely. Britains SIGINT effort was in fact a never ending contest that is fascinating and complex. I don’t profess to know everything about it, or even most of it, but I am reasonably certain that Dieppe was not the event that turned the corner so to speak. At this point I am even doubtful that it contributed anything to the cracking of kurzsignale beta
    more to follow....
     
  20. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,679
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    Triton Strikes Back
    The dropping results in Uboat success in 1941, made Admiral Dönitz suspicious. Although reassured by the Abwehr, German Foreign Intelligence, that Enigma was unbreakable, he insisted on improving the security of Enigma. On 1 February 1942 the famous Enigma M4 model with four rotors and new code books were introduced. The new and more complicated Triton code, designated Shark by Bletchley Park, caused a complete black-out. They could no longer break the U-boat radio traffic and no longer had any idea of the U-boat positions. On top of that, new Wetterkurzschlussel code books were introduced one month earlier. This deprived Bletchley Park completely of any cribs. The Kriegsmarine called the springtime of 1942 Die Glücklichen Zeiten or Happy Times, because of the enormous shipload they sunk. Note that the propaganda term Happy Times is relative, taken in account the dangerous and extreme circumstances the U-boat crews were operating in. The problem was not in the machines being used. betchely park already had afour rotor machine. the problem was in the new codes and new procedures introduced by the KM in february 1942.

    After ten nerve wrecking months of heavy losses, Bletchley Park succeeded in breaking into Shark. This was due to several different reasons (but dieppe was not one of them). An important event was the attack on Kapitänleutnant Hans Heidtmann's U-559 by the British destroyer HMS Petard on 30 October 1942. After taking heavy fire from HMS Petard, the sinking U-boat was boarded by three British sailors. They managed to get the Enigma code books and the new edition of the Wetterkurzschlussel. Two of them returned once more to recover the Enigma M4, but went down with the U-boat. They payed their bravery with their lives, but not without result. This mission proved to be a turning point in breaking Shark. On 13 December 1942, more than ten months after the start of the black-out, Bletchley Park could finally inform the Admiralty again about U-boats positions.

    After breaking a substantial number of messages, the codebreakers realized that the U-boat weather reports, encoded with the WetterKurzschlussel, were sent with the four-rotor Enigma in the less complicated M3 mode (the fourth rotor in A position with ring setting A). This was done to be compatible with the three-rotor Enigma M3, used on weather ships. The Bombes in Bletchley Park, developed to crack the three-rotor Enigma, took more than 20 days to crack the four-rotor Enigma key settings. However, a three-rotor key setting could be retrieved in less than 24 hours. This discovery was an enormous time profit. With the broken meteorological reports from Hut 10 and the recovered Wetterkurzschlussel they finally broke Triton continuously. When a new edition of the Wetterkurzschlussel came into service in March 1943, the seized U-559 Wetterkurzschlussel became useless, resulting in a new black-out. Fortunately, the Kurzsignalheft code book, also recovered from U-559, provided new ways to find cribs in U-boat short-signals and enabled the codebreakers to re-enter shark after nine days. Except for some brief periods, the codebreakers never lost Shark again.
    Breaking Kurzsignale

    The U-boats used the Kurzsignalheft (short-signal book) to encipher contact messages. The Kriegsmarine converted default tactical expressions with a code table, called Kurzsignalheft, before enciphering them with Enigma. A contact with a convoy could for example be converted into UGKU, an enemy airplane into HKJL, or a meeting point for refueling into KLUG.The use of Kurzsignale was a clever approach. It was harder for Allied Signal Intelligence to trace these short messages with HDFD (High Frequency Direction Finding or Huffduff). Moreover, attempts to decipher these short messages didn't give any readable sentences, and approaching the correct key did not reveal pieces of normal sentences, helping to find the key settings. Also, the conversion of text into four letter codes shortened the cipher text. Less cipher text also provides less statistics to the code breakers. Nothing but advantages...they believed.

    Unfortunately for the Germans, the use of Kurzsignale resulted into recognizable patterns in the Enigma messages. A convoy, nearing a U-boat, would probably evoke a contact message. An airplane, spotting a U-boat, would result in a airplane contact message. In Bletchley Park, tactical information was linked to positions, obtained by HFDF and reconnaissance reports, to find out what type of message was sent by that particular U-boat. In combination with the recovered Kurzsignalheft code book, Bletchley Park was able to predict the content of the enciphered messages, thus providing them again with crucial cribs to feed into their Bombes. Meanwhile, new Bombes were developed to deal with the four-rotor Enigma. By June 1943, the first four-rotor Bombes came into action, and by the end of 1943 another fifty four-rotor Bombes went operational at OP-20-G, the American Naval codebreakers. In the fall of 1943, Shark messages were generally broken within 24 hours.
    U-boats down

    The 'Ultra' information was extremely effective in the strategically very important North Atlantic Ocean. After the initial hard times, Bletchley Park broke the Enigma messages on a daily base. The tide of U-boat war was turned. Except for some brief periods, the entire German communication system was intercepted by a large number of listening stations called Y-stations, and the codes broken in Bletchley Park, with over 7000 employees at its peak. With the positions of the U-boats unveiled, Allied ships were simply re-routed to avoid fatal confrontations with the U-boats, and an active hunt for the U-boats begun. The elite weapon of the Kriegsmarine became decimated, resulting in heavy losses among the U-boat crews. An estimated 700 U-boats and 30,000 crewman were lost at sea. The German command related these losses to new detection techniques like the ASDIC sonar system, U-boat detection planes, and destroyers escorting convoys. This was partially a correct assumption, but they never suspected cryptanalysis of their Enigma encrypted radio traffic. The Enigma machine provided without a doubt a for those days unbreakable encryption. However, unsafe procedures and tactical mistakes turned the Enigma machine into the Achilles heel of the German war machine. Germany kept on using Enigma without any suspicion in all parts of their forces, which resulted in catastrophic consequences for Nazi Germany.
    Origins of Kurzsignale

    During the Second World War the German U-boats used Kurzsignale or Short Signals to send their messages. The Kurzsignale were an important part of the complex Kriegsmarine communications system. In general, the Kurzsignale were four letter groups representing all kinds of sentences regarding tactical information such as course, enemy reports, position grids or weather reports.
    An important reason for the Kriegsmarine to apply these Kurzsignale was the Allied use of High Frequency Direction Finding, also called HFDF or Huff Duff. This system enabled Allied Forces to accurately determine the position of German broadcastings. This was an important tactical advantage in the Atlantic, revealing the positions of German ships and U-boats. The use of Kurzsignale decreased the length of the morse messages enormously, often reducing broadcasting time to less then one minute. This way, the German Navy made it harder to fix positions with Huff Duff.
    Kurzsignale on U-Boats
    The Kriegsmarine procedures on sending messages with the Enigma cipher machine were far more complex and elaborate than the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe procedures. Of course, secure communications were a most vital part of Kriegsmarine ooperations in the Atlantic. The U-boats relied completely on secure communications to receive their orders, coordinate patrolling on sea, and their Wolfpack tactics. If the communications were compromised, this would reveal Germans naval positions and result in Allied tactical countermeasures or active hunt on the U-boats.
    During the War, several different Kurzsignale methods were used on U-boats. Until 1942, Alpha signals were used. An Alpha signal was a small message, usually containing a single four-letter groups. From 1942 on, U-boats commonly used the Beta signals. Various editions of Kurzsignalhefte, the Short Signal Codebooks, were applied during the war. Each Kurzsignal message, or Beta signal, had a strict format, containing an introduction, an identification to the key, and the message, encrypted with the Enigma cipher machine.
    This knowledge was not known until after October 1942….
     
Loading...

Share This Page