John Cairncross - the man who made Soviet victory at Kursk Possible

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Jedburgh22, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. geoff501

    geoff501 Achtung Feind hört mit

    In the event of loss of capture of machines or code books, a reserve hand cipher was used, possibly Doppelkastenschlüssel.
    We found evidence of this from the batch of original messages from 1941 on the eastern front. Some message forms were a different cipher, possibly Doppelkastenschlüssel, unlike the Enigma we were not able to break these by computer. They were very short. Rejewski, who worked on this cipher while in England, said a minimu of 1000 characters on the same key was needed for a comfortable break.
  2. Over Here

    Over Here Junior Member

    Period 43/44:
    And most crucially on Kursk:
    And his assessment:
    Captured machines would help. Captured keys however would not allow later traffic to be read without cryptanalysis, since the keys would be changed. There appears to be no evidence this happened, unless you have other sources contradicting Christos.

    All the best


    If machines were captured it is quite likely that operators and documentation, even records were captured with them. Having captured machines the NKVD would immediately go looking among the PoWs for those who used them. Their methods of information extraction were probably successful when they found those men.
  3. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Personnel Security at Bletchley Park - Part One

    From the website of Tony Comer, the former GCHQ Historian, on a broad theme and this excerpt concerns John Cairncross. A teaser passage:
    Link: Sigint Historian: Personnel Security at Bletchley Park - Part One

    Personnel Security at Bletchley Park - Part Two

    Has a related theme and the teaser now is:
    Yes more on John Cairncross!
    Link: Sigint Historian: Personnel Security at Bletchley Park - Part Two

    Part Three tomorrow if you're good.
  4. Nick Beale

    Nick Beale Member

    One way to get a handle on this would be to read through what was actually being intercepted at Bletchley in the Spring and Summer of 1943. That would establish what there was for him to leak, if not what he did hand over. But you'd really have to be dedicated. UK National Archives files HW 5/220 – HW 5/325 more or less cover the period from the planning in March through to the conclusion of the Soviet counterattack in late August and would, at a guess, take about 10–15 full days to go through (inc. the necessary food/coffee/ibuprofen breaks).
  5. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    Part Three has a different theme:
    Link and Ian Fleming has a part: Sigint Historian: Personnel Security at Bletchley Park - Part Three


    I don't really believe intelligence played much of a part in the Soviet victory at Kursk.

    The fighting previously had left a prominent bulge in the front line that was an obvious point of attack for the still favourite German tactical method of encirclement.. the Kursk bulge was such an obvious choice, and it's location in the centre of the Eastern front drew attention to itself, rather than needing any great deductive reasoning from intelligence community.

    Another reason behind the Soviet victory was the postponement of the attack while the armour re-equipment program had to deliver the new vehicles for the new campaign season.

    Also, Guderians protest to Hitler that the entire attack was an unesessary luxury and his assertion that it was worthless ground was enunciated by telling at Hitler, " How many people do you think have even heard of Kursk?", And the reply, "You're right. Every time I think of this attack my stomach turns over,"

    Kursk was an offensive move that should have been postponed indefinitely. It was an indication that the German high command still deluded themselves that a Post Stalingrad Eastern front could still be turned into an offensive victory in the field, rather than switching to a defensive posture and going for a negotiated settlement


    I mean we talk about intelligence efforts, then what in the Seven hell's was German intelligence doing?

    The recon from the air seemed to have gone to sleep or was ignored entirely. The Soviets spent many weeks constructing three belts of defense's and laying millions of Mines, and all of this activity went seemingly unnoticed by local recon, by front air recon, and by strategic intelligence community efforts to determine exactly what the Russians were up to in the period between Mansteins Backhand Blow and the resumption of offensive operations after the winter period.

    German battlefield intelligence seems to have been either asleep totally or simply non existent.


    Furthermore, the offensive was called off not by lack of German battlefield success but by the need for Hitler's Fire Brigade units to be sent elsewhere as a reaction to the Western Allied invasion of Sicily, which came as something of a suprise.

    And that WAS due to an intelligence effort to convince the Germans that the next move after the Fall of Tunis was going to be anywhere BUT Sicily, when any armchair strategist could have told them what the next move would be


    Wasn't Canaris still in control of German intelligence efforts at this stage?

    That could explain a lot about the lack of German intelligence reasoning and dedication in the early and middle part of 1943


    No comments yet?

    I would have thought that Von Poop at least would have pounced by now
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The journal 'Intelligence and National Security' as the following article on free access (for the moment): John Cairncross, RASCLS and a reassessment of his motives by Christoper Smith.

    The Abstract states:

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