The following is a summary of information so far received on German attempts to break into the British Typex machine, based on P/W interrogations carried out during and subsequent to the war. It is divided into (a) the North African interrogations, (b) information gathered after the end of the war, and (c) an attempt to sum up the evidence for and against the possibility of German successes.
All High-Grade traffic is passed to Berlin for detailed examination, and such traffic as cannot be read by any of the above means appears to be subjected to an analysing machine which, providing some evidence regarding the traffic in available, giving results in many cases.
4) What did the catalogues prepared by Berlin look like? How were the ones set out which determined drum fittings and tyre positions? Were they in manuscript, typed. or printed?
7) What were the most common Allied addresses in the more secret BJ’s? Did American authorities appear frequently in the addresses?
The remainder was for the most part "Q" traffic of the American 7th Army and A,F.H.Q. Very little traffic of the 1st Army was read.Unfortunately P.O.W cannot recall any verbatim addresses, and in any case, these had been translated into German equivalent, to, I (a), 0 (qu), I(b), etc.
12). How often were the BJ’s sent to Berlin by wireless teleprinter ?
On the whole I feel a thorough investigation would be a good thing but I don’t see who could do it.However it may be possible to shoot down the Wagner story after further discussion here and further interviews with POW’s .It is quite possible that Haunhorst was merely shown how the Typex machine worked and it would be interesting to know whether he actually saw an English message decoded.
Despite their efforts the Brits were not able to identify the mysterious ‘’Wagner’’ during the war or after.Their inquiries however concentrated on the Signal Intelligence Agency of the Army High Command - OKH/GdnA .After the war they interrogated Mettig who was in charge of the Army Agency from Nov '41 to Jun '43 :
Statements by PW Obstlt Mettig on Typex
1. In homework completed about 24 Jul 45, he wrote (exact translation): ‘’The Referat Zilmann, despite great efforts, was unable, to break the English cipher machine. It is true that during the campaign in 1940 several English cipher machines were captured but in all cases the wheels were missing." It should be noted that PW never mentioned TYPEX by name.
So instead of resolving the Typex affair Mettig made things worse.Now the British had three people claiming Typex was read ,one of whom was the man in charge of the Army Signals Intelligence Agency.Further investigations singled out the top mathematicians of OKH/GdNA Doering and Pietsch plus Menzer of OKW/Chi:
From the information so far obtained it seems probable that if Typex was ever broken it was done exclusively at OKH and the information was not passed on to other departments .The men most likely to know about this subject are Pietsch , Doering and Menzer .Meanwhile it would be of the greatest interest to see how Haunhorst reacted to further interrogation.
I have been unable to find any proof that Pietsch and Doering were interrogated by the Allies after the war.It’s highly probable that they slipped the net.Inspector Menzer also disappeared after the war.According to an NSA article he lived for a time in East Germany but after being thrown in prison for 6 months by the Russians he surrendered to the American authorities in West Berlin in May 1949.No other information is available on that group.
So what are my thoughts on the possibility that the German actually exploited Typex ?
1).The Germans one way or another managed to get their hands on the ‘’black’’ typex rotors.Using them with their captured machines and figuring out the indicator process they decoded messages sent by 8th Army.The problem they had with 9th Army can be explained by the fact that a plugboard was used with their Typex machines.A fact not known to the Germans.
2). Mettig was probably confused by the similar names that the Brits gave their codes (Typex,Codex,Slidex, Morsex ,Sheetex).The code mentioned by Mettig was probably the War Office Cypher which the Germans read in N.Africa from March or August ’41 till January ’42.According to a POW assigned to KONA 4(signals regiment) in Athens from that time on it was not solved.This may be true for forward units but Mettig in a detailed report mentions reading it in summer ’42.So the main agency in Berlin had success with that code.
I suspect that there is a third part for the Typex investigation.Unless it’s released questions will remain.A small piece of information regarding the efforts of OKH codebreakers versus Typex is available however from Ticom D-83 which based on captured documents says :