Cryptographic History of Work on the German Naval Enigma

important qualities for a cryptographer, I suppose, are originality and perseverance; the most important qualities for a cribster are a good memory, quick observation and good judgment. General all round efficiency is more important and depth of thought less important in cribbing than in general cryptography. [This is less true of depth cribbing which is a more purely cryptographic job than ordinary cribbing and in which the qualities of a cryptographer are correspondingly more important.]

31. We found that it paid to have first class people plus routine clerical assistance - that it was very difficult to find useful work for people of intermediate ability. (This was also true of Banburists). In the early days we made considerable efforts to find suitable work for some of the girls who were well above average intelligence but quite definitely not first class; these efforts never succeeded - such higher grade work as we did find for them could easily have been absorbed by the existing senior staff by whom it would have been done better. It is difficult to make adequate generalizations but given a choice between (1) rather overworking a few good people and keeping all the skilled work in their hands, with purely clerical assistance, and (2) having some of the skilled work done by people not quite up to it - I would choose (1) every time.


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