According to today’s Mail on Sunday, Canadian expert Gord Young has cracked most of the dead WW2’s pigeon’s cipher message using a WWI Royal Artillery codebook. It’s not a big old message, so let’s line up the decrypt for ourselves, shall we?
What is immediately clear is that
* The decrypt is done down columns of groups, not along rows of letters (…which isn’t how it was usually done at all)
* Each five-letter cipher group is presumed to be a completely independent initial-based sentence (…which isn’t etc)
* Each independent sentence’s decryption is guessed at somewhat hopefully (…which isn’t etc)
* “J” mostly codes for “J[erry]”
* “Q” pretty much always codes for “[Head]q[uarters]”
* “P” mostly codes for “P[anzers]” (a word which was only coined in about 1940, awkwardly for the WW1 codebook idea)
* Eight of the five-letter cipher groups are skipped because they don’t fit this (already very loose) pattern. (What?)
(1)AOAKN (?)HVPKD (10)FNFJ[W/U] (?)YIDDC
(2)RQXSR (7)DJHFP (11)GOVFN (15)MIAPX
(3)PABUZ (?)WYYNP (12)CMPNW (16)HJRZH
(?)NLXKG (?)MEMKK (?)ONOIB (17)A[K/R/H]EEQ
(4)UAOTA (8)RBQRH (?)DJOFM (18)TPZEH
(5)LKXGH (?)RGGHT (13)JRZCQ (19)FNKTQ
(6)KLDTS (9)GQIR[U/W] (14)AOAKN
(1) AOAKN – Artillery observer at ‘K’ Sector, Normandy.
(2) RQXSR – Requested headquarters supplement report.
(3) PABUZ – Panzer attack – blitz.
(4) UAOTA – West Artillery Observer Tracking Attack.
(5) LKXGH – Lt Knows extra guns are here.
(6) KLDTS – Know where local dispatch station is.
(7) DJHFP – Determined where Jerry’s headquarters front posts.
(8) RBQRH – Right battery headquarters right here.
(9) GQIR[U/W] – Found headquarters infantry right here.
(10) FNFJ[W/U] – Final note, confirming, found Jerry’s whereabouts.
(11) GOVFN – Go over field notes.
(12) CMPNW – Counter measures against Panzers not working.
(13) JRZCQ – Jerry’s right battery central headquarters here.
(14) AOAKN – Artillery observer at ‘K’ sector Normandy.
(15) MIAPX – Mortar, infantry attack panzers.
(16) HJRZH – Hit Jerry’s Right or Reserve Battery Here.
(17) A[K/R/H]EEQ – Already know electrical engineers headquarters.
(18) TPZEH – Troops, panzers, batteries, engineers, here.
(19) FNKTQ – Final note known to headquarters.
Sorry, Mail editors, but you’ve landed yourself a bit of a dud story here. If there is something good about this theory (and I for one haven’t found it yet), it’s hidden beneath a tangled mess of obviously wrong & over-interpretative nonsense, the kind of foolishly hopeful non-decrypticity David Kahn termed “enigmatology”. Ohhhhh dearrrrry me.