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News in 2013
This page contains some of our preview news clippings. Please note that the information below has been written some time ago and my have lost its relevance by now. The information is retained here for historical reasons only.

 Click here for the latest news
 
Alan Turing finally receives Royal Pardon
27 December 2013

Alan Turing is probably one of the greatest mathematical minds of the previous century. Not only did he achieve some major breathroughs in breaking the German Service Enigma cipher and the German Naval Enigma, he is also considered to be the father of the modern digital computer.
 
Shortly after WWII, in 1952, Turing was arrested for being openly homosexual; something that was illegal in the United Kingdom at the time. He was prosecuted and forced to accept chemical castration by taking female hormones. As a result, he committed suicide in 1954 by eating a poisoned apple. Turing was only 41 years old.

After an online petition in 2009, then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown officially apologized for Turings treatment, which he described as 'appalling', on behalf of the British Government. A small but nevertheless a significant gesture.
  

Over the years, several streets have been named after Turing and statues have been errected. There is even a prize in his name: The AM Turing Award, sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize for Computing. Nearly 60 years after his death in 1954, Turing has now received a posthumous royal pardon, which has come into effect on Tuesday 24 December 2013.

 BBC News, Royal Pardon for codebreaker Alan Turing
 CNN, Alan Turing receives royal pardon
 
Secret Communications great success
18 December 2013

Last Sunday was the final opening day of our short exhibition Secret Communications at the premises of the Foundation for German Communication in Duivendrecht (near Amsterdam, Netherlands). With a visitor count of well over 400, the exhibition was a great success.
 
The exhibition attracted the attention of people from all over the country, from a variety of backgrounds: students, radio hams, (former) users of cryptographic equipment, military personnel, historians, hobbyists, developers, etc.

There were also some nice surprises: on the first opening day one of the designers of the FS-5000 spy radio set was present, and on the last opening day there were three former users of this highly secret modern radio station.

 Read the full review
  
Click here to read the full review

 
Extra opening exhibition Secret Communications
25 November 2013

The first two official opening days of our exhibition Secret Communications has been an overwhelming succes. For this reason, we've decided to add an extra opening day in December. On a Sunday this time, so that people without any free Saterdays will have a chance to visit us. The extra opening is on Sunday 15 December from 10:00 to 17:00.

 About the exhibition 'Scret Messages'
 Photo impression of the first two Saturdays
 
In memoriam: Mavis Batey (1921-2013)
15 November 2013

Today, we received the sad news that on 12 November 2013, Mavis Batey (née Lever), one of the greatest female WWII codebreakers of Bletchley Park, has died at the wonderful age of 92.
 
Mavis was born on 5 May 1921 in Dulwich and studied German at University College in London. When the war broke out she was enlisted as a German Linguist at the Government Code & Cypher School (GC&CS), where she worked on civil codes an on coded messages hidden inside the private ads in the London Times.

Once her work got noticed, she was selected to go to Bletchley Park, were she started working for Dylwyn (Dilly) Knox, a former World War I codebreaker who worked on difficult-to-break ciphers such as the German Abwehr Enigma.
  
Mavis Batey (right) during her book signing session in September 2009, here with historian David Hamer.  2009, David Hamer.

In March 1941, at the age of 19, Mavis was the first to break into the Italian Naval Enigma messages; a major achievement that helped the Allies to win the Battle of Matapan. Later that year, in December 1941, Mavis broke into the high-level German Abwehr Enigma traffic.

Whilst working at Bletchley Park (BP), Mavis met her future husband Keith Batey who was working in Hut 6 as a mathematician. One day Mavis consulted him when she needed assistance with a mathematical problem and the two fell in love immediately. The following year they got married, with the consent of Knox. Her husband Keith Batey passed away in 2010 at the age of 91. In September 2009, we had the privilege of meeting Mavis for the last time when she was signing her latest book Dilly: The Man Who Boke Enigmas. And now we wonder: who will write a book about Mavis... ? For more information, please read this well-written obituary by The Telegraph.

 Obituary in The Telegraph
 Mavis Batey on Wikipedia
 
The Clandestine Radio Operators
A new book by Jean-Louis Perquin

From Peter van Kats (PA0RLM) we received a copy of a brand now book about the Clandestine Radio Services during WWII. This beautifully illustrated book 'The Clandestine Radio Operators' is written by Jean-Louis Perquin and tells the story of the many clandestine radio operators who, during WWII, maintained contact with the allied forces and with our governments in exile.
 
Being a clandestine radio operator was not without danger in those days. As an example: of the 455 radio amateurs in The Netherlands, 55 were involved in resistance activities. 19 of them were captured and executed during the war.

The book roughly consists of two parts. The first part explains the efforts made by the Allied Forces and the resistance, to actually be able to communicate with each other, including the various spy radio sets. It shows the risks the clandestine operator had to take, but also the German efforts to capture these heros.
  
The Clandestine Radio Operators, Jean-Louis Perquin

It is even shown how the messages were encrypted by means of One-Time Pad ciphers. The second part of the book shows the technology behind the whole operation. It is well illustrated with professionally made full-colour photographs. A beautiful piece of history that matches well with Louis Meulstee's well-known 'bible' of spy radio sets: Wireless for the Warrior, Part 4'.

The book is well edited and has a beautiful full-colour layout. It contains a large number of high-quality photographs from various private collections, archives and films. An absolute 'must-have' for anyone who is interested in the human factor of clandestine radio and the many spy radio sets and accessories that were involved. It is precisely what the technically-minded want: short but intreguing texts, beautifully illustrated with many images of man and machine in time of war. After all: one picture says more that a thousand words...

The book has originally been written in French, but has since been translated to English. The normal retail price of the book is EUR 25, but through Peter van Kats the English version can be obtained for EUR 22 (plus P&P). It can be ordered by sending an e-mail to radiobooks@kpnmail.nl The book is also available at our short exhibition Secret Communications.

Jean-Louis Perquin, The Clandestine Radio Operators.
111 pages (English), published by Histoire & Collections, Paris, March 2001.
ISBN: 978-2-35250-183-1

 
3D Enigma
13 September 2013

A great new initiative has just been announced by a group of enthusiastic mathematicians and engineers of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland). Following in the footsteps of great mathematical minds, such as Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zygalski, who first broke the Enigma cipher machine shortly before the start of WWII, they would like to penetrate the inner secrets of the machine.
 
The idea is to create a website that explains the working of the Enigma machine in such a way that everbody can understand it. As part of the initiative, they are currently creating a series of hi-res 3D drawings and animations that will fully explain the function of this inspiring machine as well as the underlying mathematics.

The website is a work in progress, which costs time and money. In order to finish the work, the developers are therefore currently looking for financial contributions. If you like the initiative, please consider a donation or a contribution.
  

The image above shows a hi-res image that was rendered from their 3D drawings. More of these images can be viewed by following the links below. Eventually, when the work is finished, you should be able to play with the virtual machine yourself, using nothing but your web browser.

 The project's website | Mission statement | Inside Enigma on Facebook
 
Hut 1 closed down
11 September 2013 - Sad day for Bletchley Park and its visitors

When Bletchley Park first opened as a museum in 1993/94, much of the existing buildings were in a deplorable state. As the Bletchley Park Trust didn't have enough exhibits at the time to fill all the buildings, and -more importantly- lacked the financial means to maintain them, space was offered to other collections as well. It soon turned out to be one of the best decisions made.
 
In the following years, more collections were added to the impressive list of attractions at Bletchley Park. Examples are the Toy Collection, the Milton Keynes Model Railway Society, The Projected Picture Film Trust and the Churchill Collection. For many people, it made a family visit to the park really worthwhile.

One of the major attractions was the Diplomatic Wireless Service (DWS) exhibit of David White. It was located in Hut 1, a former radio hut. Over the years, former MI6 technician David White had built an impressive collection of spy radio sets, teleprinters, cipher machines and other devices that were used by MI6, the DWS and others.

Shortly before WWII, when Bletchley Park had just been acquired by the British Government, Hut 1 was MI6's first radio shack before they moved to the top floor of The Mansion. So, when David opened the DWS exhibition in Hut 1, the circle was completed. Until now that is...

Following the latest policy changes by the Bletchley Park management in 2012, more and more on-site attractions have been given notice and were forced to close down. In July 2012, the Model Railway Society left the park. 1
  
David White closes the door to Hut 1 for the last time

In June of 2012, the Milton Keynes Amateur Radio Society (responsible for demonstrating radio receivers and transmitters at the museum) were told that they were no longer welcome. They left the park on 1 January 2013. Earlier this year, the Churchill Collection was given notice. According to BP's bosses, the wartime prime minister 'is not synonymous with code-breakers' work'... 2

And now it is time for the Diplomatic Wireless Service (DWS) exhibit to leave. Although the DWS is the continuation of MI6's wartime work at BP, the Bletchley Park Museum management says it is not relevant to the history of the park. And this is hard to believe. Every message arriving at Bletchley Park started life as a radio transmission, and after decryption and analysis it was sent to comanders in the field, again by radio. Radio is the very reason for BP's existence.

For us, the curators of Crypto Museum, the DWS-exhibition in Hut 1 has always been a great source of inspiration when it comes to building our own collection. Last Sunday, 8 September, at the end of the Enigma Reunion 2013, David White closed the door to Hut 1 for the last time. Although it was a nice and warm day, it was a sad day for Bletchley Park, or rather for its visitors.
 
  1. Milton Keynes Model Railway Society, 19 June 2012
  2. Tara Brady, Mail Online, 6 March 2013.

CryptoCellar Tales
30 May 2013

World renowned crypto-expert Frode Weierud, has just given his internet blog CryptoCellar Tales a new lease of life. Frode, who is an enormous source of information in relation to Enigma, other cryptographic systems, WWII, history and codebreaking, has recently retired from his job.
 
For many years, Frode has been working as an electronics engineer at CERN in Switzerland. After his retirement, he felt is was time to leave Switzerland and spend more time with his lifelong passions: cryptography and history.

He has now returned to his homeland Norway and has finally found the time to finish the blog that he started back in 2008. Interesting stuff about various Enigma models and the Railway Enigma in particular. Highly recommended!

 Frode's blog

  

 
Sending Messages in M-209 Code
Following the recent announcement of the Enigma World Code Group by Bruce Culp, Mark Blair (NF6X) has started work on a similar initiative: exchanging messages between enthusiasts in war-time M-209 code. The first Key Tables have just been made available and a full description of how to encrypt and decrypt messages on the M-209 will follow in due course. In order to exchange messages this way, you need access to an original working M-209 machine. Alternatively you can use Dirk Rijmenants' excellent M-209 Simulator for Windows, or Mark Blair's own command-line driven version of the M-209.

 M-209 Key Tables, by Marc Blair
 Graphical M-209 Simulator for Windows, by Dirk Rijmenants
 Command-line M-209 Simulator written in C++, by Marc Blair
 More about the Hagelin M-209
 
Sending Messages in Enigma Code
Are you into social media and would you like to exchange messages with your friends in Enigma code? Then Bruce Culp (USA) might just have the solution for you. He has just launched a brand new website, called the Enigma World Code Group, where Dirk Rijmenants' Enigma Simulator is used for sending each other Enigma-encoded messages. Subscription is free and easy, and takes only a few seconds.

 Enigma World Code Group
 
MIT researchers release JAVA-based KL-7 Simulator
22 February 2013

Researchers at the Lincoln Laboratory of MIT (MA, USA) have just released the first version of a KL-7 simulator written in the JAVA language. As JAVA is largely computer-independent, in can be run out of the box on virtually any platform, including Windows, Apple (Mac), Unix and Linux.
 
The simulator uses the graphics from the KL-7 Simulator for Windows, released by crypto-historian Dirk Rijmenants in 2011, and the sounds and other info from our KL-7 page.

The work on the simulator was started back in September of last year and the first version was released today. An extensive 30-page manual (in PDF format) is included with the software. The features and the user interface of the simulator are largely based on Dirk's earlier simulator for Windows, but there are some changes and additional features, all of which are described in the manual. The new simulator is hosted here.

 Download simulator
  
Download the JAVA KL-7 Simulator

 
New premises for Dutch Signals Corps Museum
18 February 2013

Today, the new name of the Dutch Signals Corps Museum has been anounced. On the 139th anniversary of the Signals Corps Regiment, a placard with the new name: Historische Collectie Regiment Verbindingstroepen (Signals Corps Regiment Historical Collection) was revealed.
 
The Historical Collection will be relocated in part of Building C, one of the historical buildings at the Bernhardkazerne in Amersfoort. Today the new premises was shown for the first time to the friends of the museum, whilst the volunteers unfolded their plans for a fresh new exhibition that is hoped to open sometime in 2014.

The building, that was formerly used for part of the collection of vehicles of the Cavalry Museum, has been handed over to the Signals Corps on 1 January 2013, and some of the adjacent rooms will become available during the course of 2013.
  
Members of the Dutch Signal Corps in front of the new Museum

Although the building has now been allocated to the HCRV, the museum will not reopen any time soon. Over the past months, detailed plans for the refurbishment of the rooms and the layout of a new permanent exhibiton have been prepaired by the volunteers, and they are currently waiting for the plans to be carried out by the Department of Defence (DoD) and its contractors. Crypto Museum congratulates the volunteers and will do everything they can to help.

 Read the complete story
 
Cryptography in The Netherlands
New book under development

Dutch writer Marcel Metze (Metze Research) has teamed up with Prof. Dr. Bart Jacobs of Radboud University Nijmegen, in order to write a book about cryptography in The Netherlands in the 20th century. Crypto Museum fully supports the effort and has put its archives at the author's disposal.
 
We are currently looking for people with in-depth knowledge of the Dutch contributions in this field or of the international cooperation, commercial activities, or information exchange involving the Dutch crypto community. If you are willing to share information, please contact the authors at the addresses given below. Alternatively, you may contact Crypto Museum. Full confidentiality is guaranteed.

 Contact Marcel Metze
   PGP Key 0xE2A3E9A4

 Contact Prof. Dr. Bart Jacobs
   PGP Key 0x576B9C3F
  

 

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