Cryptographic History of Work on the German Naval Enigma

this seems a bit wasteful at the time. If this is not done things that are important but not immediately urgent or particularly exciting (such as accurate statistics) always get skimped. If someone with a mind of his own and some originality is forcibly prevented from doing current work and compelled to look for things to do it is surprising how much he will manage to turn up.

34. A footnote on volume of work and numbers of staff may be of some interest. The numbers are based on memory and not on figures and may be inaccurate. An average day contained about 400 messages of average length about 150 letters. All 400 messages (i.e. 60000 letters) had to be marked and punched, blue-lined and dummy % and categories written on. There would be about 120 end wheel comparisons each to be made in 50 positions (i.e. 6000 comparisons in all) and the results having been recorded all had to be decibanned and the scores recorded (double entry - a score between ABC and ABD appeared on the C and D sheets) on the deciban sheets. About 100 tetras would have to be counted and scored as in Para. 26. These were the basic jobs, [Extra work was done on the difficult days] and would be covered by 12 experienced people per shift for two shifts. The cryptographic side needed two people per shift for two shifts on average (one, with a good clerical assistant, could just manage but it was very hard work). Registration, preparation for Freeborn etc. took four people per shift. Banburising was of course always urgent and everyone (or almost everyone) worked at top pressure while it was in progress; the fact that the cryptographic work went on side by side with the work of preparing the material and that continual use was obviously being made of the work done by the Big Room was extremely good for general morale.


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