A question about the transatlantic telephone...

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Counter
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A question about the transatlantic telephone...

Post by Counter » 11 Mar 2019 16:55

Sorry, I found this paragraph in the book "Stalin's Keys to Victory", of Walter Dunn. page 148

It is on the coup of July 20 1944 but... I never have read anything about this before. I did a little search in this forum and I didn't find anything either... 8O

Was Churchill aware of the planned coup? If so, he did not discuss it with
Roosevelt on the transatlantic telephone—otherwise Hitler would have been informed,
as the cable was being tapped and translated transcripts were given to Hitler
and a few other senior commanders.


Hitler was reading the conversations between Churchill and Roosevelt????????

Thanks...

jesk
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Re: A question about the transatlantic telephone...

Post by jesk » 11 Mar 2019 17:21

yes, and the Germans were curious

http://militera.lib.ru/research/duglas1/04.html

In addition to many other documents of great historical interest, the archives of Muller also contain a selection of personal telephone conversations between President [56] USA Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill intercepted by the Germans during the war.
In 1937, the American company AT & T (American Telephone & Telegraph Company) introduced an encryption device called A-3. This device, encrypting a telephone conversation at the entrance and decoding it at the output, effectively prevented it from being intercepted along the way. System A-3, which was used by Roosevelt and Churchill, was located in the AT & T guarded service building in New York on Walker Street, 47, and the British unit, paired with it, was in London.
The Germans knew that Roosevelt was using this device, and in 1939 the head of the Reich postal service, Dr. Onezorge, instructed the communications specialist, Kurt Vettlein, to find a way to decipher the president’s talks. By the end of 1940, Wetterlein and his group managed to crack the Roosevelt security system. Later, on the order of Onesorg, a special interception station was built in the small coastal town north of The Hague, which was engaged in round-the-clock listening and decoding of all transatlantic radio telephone conversations. The experts analyzed all the negotiations in terms of their importance for intelligence, after which all important material was translated into the original English text and sent by courier to Hitler’s military headquarters or to Heinrich Himmler’s Berlin. Himmler, in turn, received German copies and sent them to his organization. Muller as the head of the state service of the counter-espionage also received transcripts of some interceptions.
The overwhelming majority of intercepted transatlantic [57] radiotelephone negotiations between Roosevelt and Churchill are relatively trivial.

Counter
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Location: Europe

Re: A question about the transatlantic telephone...

Post by Counter » 14 Mar 2019 17:51

I was waiting for some other contribution to this question after the one written by jesk, but as it did not come I decided to add something after doing a little search.

According to the book "The Codebreakers”, by David Kahn , chapter 16 (this author is mentioned in this forum), what happened had not much to do with what Walter Dunn wrote in his book, and no much with what can be read in the russian text that jesk apported (not "trivial" at all: supposedly Churchill and Roosevelt confessed the assesination of admiral Darlan and general Sykorsky (!). But in reality, the tapping of the radio-telephone was only sporadic between 1942 and 1944, giving very poor outcome.

A task force under Postal Counselor Graduate Engineer Vetterlein of the D.R.P.’s Forschungsanstalt (“Research Bureau”) set to work on the problem. The engineers soon learned the nature of the A-3 system (…) the German Postal Minister, Wilhelm Ohnesorge, notified Adolf Hitler(…) 6 March 1942 (…)Decipherment of the U.S.A.-England telephone connection (…) I will give the results of our interceptions to the Reich Leader of the S.S., Party Comrade Himmler, who will submit them on March 22 (…)(signed) Ohnesorge (…)

At 1:00 a.m. July 29, 1943, they hit the jackpot: a radiotelephone conversation between Roosevelt and Churchill. (…)They were discussing the coup in Italy that had just ousted Mussolini’s government (…)Later the Forschungsanstalt again picked up a Roosevelt-Churchill conversation—Churchill was practically addicted to the telephone, calling Roosevelt at all hours from his bombproof shelter in Whitehall, and placing great faith in the scrambler. This conversation, early in 1944, “lasted almost five minutes,” wrote Walter Schellenberg, the Himmler aide who studied it, “and disclosed a crescendo of military activity in Britain, thereby corroborating the many reports of impending invasion.” Soon thereafter the A-3 was replaced by a more secure system, and English became Greek to the listening Germans


Of course, if Hitler could have read regularly the conversations among WC and FDR maybe the whole history of the war would have changed! :o

But anyway it is an interesting story and I was surprised never have heard of it before.

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