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For example, adding N to M produces T, as we have just seen, and then adding N to T leads back to M (see right-hand column).This explains how the receiver’s Tunny decrypted the ciphertext.Before starting to send a message, the operator would use his thumb to turn the wheels to a combination that he looked up in a codebook containing one hundred or more combinations (known as the QEP book). The wheels were supposed to be turned to a new setting at the start of each new message (although because of operator error this did not always occur).The operator at the receiving end, who had the same QEP book, set the wheels of his Tunny machine to the same combination, enabling his machine to decrypt the message automatically as it was received.A radio operator then transmitted the ciphertext in the form of Morse code.Morse code was not used with Tunny: the output of the Tunny machine, encrypted teleprinter code, went directly to air.A later version, the SZ42A, was introduced in February 1943, followed by the SZ42B in June 1944.

The other members of the Fish family were Sturgeon, the Siemens and Halske T52 Schlüsselfernschreibmaschine (‘Cipher Teleprinter Machine’), Thrasher was probably the Siemens T43, a one time tape machine. (Sturgeon, on the other hand, was not an attachment but a combined teleprinter and cipher machine.) At the sending end of a Tunny link, the operator typed plain language (the ‘plaintext’ of the message) at the teleprinter keyboard, and at the receiving end the plaintext was printed out automatically by another teleprinter (usually onto paper strip, resembling a telegram).

Sometimes a land line was used in preference to radio.

In this case, the truck carrying the Tunnies was connected up directly to the telephone system.

Introduction Colossus, the first large-scale electronic computer, was used against the German system of teleprinter encryption known at Bletchley Park as ‘Tunny’.

Technologically more sophisticated than Enigma, Tunny carried the highest grade of intelligence.

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