Browse Prior Art Database

Comments, Queries, and Debate: Scritchers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129814D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Sep-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-07
Document File: 1 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Arnold I. Dumey: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

What follows is in the nature of amplification of the article by D.J. Crawford and P.E. Fox (ed.), ";The Autoscritcher and the Superscritcher: Aids to Cryptanalysis of the German Enigma Cipher Machine, 1944-1946,"; IEEE Annals, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1992, pp. 9-22.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1994 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Comments, Queries, and Debate: Scritchers

What follows is in the nature of amplification of the article by D.J. Crawford and P.E. Fox (ed.), "The Autoscritcher and the Superscritcher: Aids to Cryptanalysis of the German Enigma Cipher Machine, 1944-1946," IEEE Annals, Vol. 14, No. 3, 1992, pp. 9-22.

That the designers and builders of the device described in the article did not know exactly what it was supposed to do was par for the course. It was standard practice at Arlington Hall, during my association with it, not to tell contractors, say, more than they needed to know.

It was a surprise to read that the group from F Branch did not know whose idea scritching was. The late Albert W. Small, a civilian hired in the 1930s by W.F. Friedman of blessed memory, conceived the idea for the Autoscritcher. Bletchley Park was, of course, informed at once. The interesting thing about it was that their response to a very sketchy description was as knowledgeable as if they had invented the idea themselves. But this writer always had a very high opinion of their abilities.

I suggest that the group mentioned in the article was not as much in the dark as they may have felt they were. The chief of their branch was the late Leo Rosen, who was one of the original party who went to England to exchan...