Reply to post: Re: Cribs from touch

WWII Bombe operator Ruth Bourne: I'd never heard of Enigma until long after the war

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Re: Cribs from touch

I hadn't realised until recently that the Soviets tried to get cribs on an industrial scale in the 1940s. Guy Burgess was one of the Cambridge spies and at the time was working at the BBC. He lobbied to be given access to non-secret Foreign Office cables, in order for the BBC to be able to better report foreign news. The real reason the KGB wanted this info was to have the actual clear content of enciphered FCO cables, that they could then use as a crib so they could read everything in that cypher. Of course more important messages might be using a different code, but the more you can read of the other guy's messages the better.

At the Beeb he wasn't getting much info. Apart from making good contacts (he was the original producer of the Week in Westminster on Radio 4 - that's been going ever since) - so he was desperate for more. Sadly the Foreign Office gave him a job, before the Beeb got round to sacking him for being drunk too often.

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