Telegram-Telaviv-solved-bar

Three weeks ago I blogged about an encrypted telegram that was sent from New York to Tel Aviv in 1948. This cryptogram has now been solved.

On June 5, 1948, an encrypted telegram was sent from New York via London to Tel Aviv. I covered this telegram, which was provided to me by blog reader Dr. Karsten Hansky, in a blog article in April. The telegram is noted on two forms. Here they are:

Telegram-Telaviv-1

Telegram-Telaviv-2

The recipient of the telegram was the government of Israel. Considering that the state of Israel was proclaimed in Tel Aviv, a few weeks before the message was sent, this telegram was written in an interesting time to an interesting place.

 

Peterson’s International Code

I my blog post from April I wrote: “This telegram was probably encrypted with a codebook. The easiest (and maybe even the only) way to decipher it is to find the codebook that was used.” This guess turned out to be right.

Karsten Hansky published a post about the telegram in a Yahoo expert group dealing with telegraphic codes. He received an answer from John McVey, a design professor and codebook expert from Massachusetts. John had recognized the codebook. It was the Peterson’s International Code (3rd edition, 1929). The following scan shows a page of it (taken from John’s website):

Peterson_1929

John provided the following word-by-word decryption:

Telegram #1
line 1
147 etc [heading information; can’t make out last word/cipher on line
LFRZY? not in code]

line 2
YUBRB / blank [in code, meaning to be written in]
BIKUG cable(s)
NEYBH / Sent
FIFOD / From
XADAT / Haifa, Palestine
OLUZA / 28th May
DYELN / Currency(ies) (of)
AWIAW / Board(s) (of)
LFYWI / Regret(s)
AHCRU / Unable to agree (to) (with)
KOXXE / Proposals
EGBFA / Destruction
IOGBU / Note(s)

line 3
ODVYE / Stop(s)
OJCEK / They are
KEWOF / Prepared
ONRIU / To
AMIIM [not in code, but AMIMN / Apex]
OIWXN / The
ANJYZ / Following arrangents
ODVYE / Stop(s)
IOGBU / Note(s)
ARLEJ / To be
DYRVY / Cut
GIFYK / In
FUPAR / Half

line 4
VERTICALLY
ITTYA / One(s)
FUPAR / Half
CYTUV / Consigned
OSYLO / Uninsured
OTRVO / To us
YUBRB / [blank in code, p751, to be filled in by users]
BIKUG / Cable(s)
NEYBH / Sent
FIFOD / From
XADAT / Haifa, Palestine

line 5
OIUZA [OLUZA?] / 28th May
DYELN / Currency(ies) (of)
AWIAW / Board(s) (of)
LEYWI [not in code, but LFYWI / Regret(s) ]
[]HCRU [AHCRU / Unable to agree to) (w9th)
KOXXE / Proposals
KOXXE / Proposals
EGBFA / Destruction
IOGBU / Notes
ODVYE / Stop(s)
OJCEK / They are
KEWOF / Prepared

line 6
ONRIU / To
AMIIM / [not in code, but AMIMN / Apex]
OIWXN / The
AHJYZ / Tollowing arrangements
ODVYE / Stop(s)
IOBVU [IOGBU] / Notes
ARLEJ / To be
DYRVY / Cut
GIFYK / In
FUPAR / Half
VERTICALLY
ITTYA / One(s)

line 7
FUPAR / Half
CYTUV / Consigned
OSYLO / Uninsured
OTRVO / To us
ALHDE / And if
IOGBU / Note(s)
FIFOD / From
OSYSV / Unissued
ODHMU/ Stock(s)
HSOIG [not in code : p296]
KFIYS / Preserved (by)

line 8
GIFYK / In
NFIGU / Serial(s) (No.)
IUXBX / Order(s)
OYHLI / With
HDYIZ / Label(s)
ITOXH / On
IYVIR / Parcel(s) (of)
FLAAF / Giving
GKATU / Indication(s) (of)
IOXYJ / Serial Number(s) (of)
ALEFM / And
OUDNK/ Value(s)

line 9
ERZIC / Each
AYBGV / Bundle(s) (of)
ODVYE / Stop(s)
FUPUK / Second half (of)
LWBOA / To be retained
AZWUV / By you(r)
ALEFM / And
EFZXU / Despatched
ITYHZ / Only
OWYRC / When
AFGNE /Advice(s) received (from)
LZCOE / Safe

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Kommentare (7)

  1. #1 Thomas
    5. Mai 2017

    Concerning “notes”: In 1948 the Anglo Palestine Bank issued new banknotes of the Palestine Pound for the Israeli Goverment. A certain amount was shipped from Haifa to New York : https://archive.org/stream/americanjewishti10unse#page/n108/mode/1up

  2. #2 Thomas
    5. Mai 2017

    The picture of the banknote is on the previous page: https://archive.org/stream/americanjewishti10unse#page/n107/mo

  3. #3 Thomas
    5. Mai 2017

    The old banknotes had to be destructed. The redemption was in the hands of the Anglo Palestine Bank,
    https://books.google.de/books?id=TKqCko2OjpIC&pg=PT36

  4. #4 Klaus Schmeh
    5. Mai 2017

    Bart Wenmeckers via Facebook:

    Good solve

  5. #5 Klaus Schmeh
    5. Mai 2017

    @Thomas: Thanks for this information.

  6. #6 Klaus Schmeh
    6. Mai 2017

    Karin Isberg via Facebook:
    Fascinating!

  7. #7 Klaus Schmeh
    6. Mai 2017

    Jhuam D. Aliz via Facebook:
    Woooooow great!