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Wetterkurzschlüssel - this page is a stub - wanted item

Wetterkurzschlüssel (Short Weather Cipher), commonly abbreviated to WKS, was a code­book that was used as part of the cipher prodecure of the German Enigma cipher machine. It was used to compress a weather report – temperature, clouds, wind direction, etc. – into a series of letters. Shortening messages was common practice during WWII, as it shortened the duration of a radio transmission and, hence, reduced the risk of discovery by means of radio direction finding (RDF).

The WetterKurzschlüssel (WKS) was the second part (Teil 2) of the Geheimer Wetter- und See­schlüssel der Kriegsmarine (Secret Weather and Sea Cipher of the German Navy). It was printed as a booklet in DIN A5 format, and had a hard red cover, part of which is shown on the right.

Inside the booklet are 22 pages that describe how weather reports should be compressed, using three types of observations: Obskurz­schlüssel (for surface measurements), Temp­kurz­schlüssel (for radiosonde measurements) and Piloten­kurz­schlüssel (for wind directions).

Genuine copies of the WKS are extremely rare, as only a handful has survived. The scanned copy of the WKS that is available for download below [A] was rescued in 2017 from the (now defunct) website WWII Archives Foundation. The contents have since been transcribed by Felix Shih [B].

  1. Wetterkurzschlüssel (WKS)
    Geheimer Wetter- und Seeschlüssel der Kriegsmarine, Teil 2.
    M. Dv. Nr. 443. Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, Berlin 1942.

  2. Wetterkurzschlüssel (transcribed)
    OCR-ed and transcribed by Felix Shih.
    Retrieved August 2017.
  1. Dirk Rijmenants, Kurzsignale on German U-boats
    Retrieved August 2020.

  2. Wikipedia, Short Weather Cipher
    Retrieved Augus 2020.

  3. Dirk Rijmenants, Enigma Message Procedures
    Acurate descriptions of the Wehrmacht and Kriegsmarine Enigma procedures.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 11 August 2020. Last changed: Friday, 18 February 2022 - 21:51 CET.
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