The History of Hut Eight

became apparent that there was a separate key and in due course reencodements from Bonito appeared and Bounce was broken. Traffic at first was very low, but it rose steadily and at the end of the war it was a key as large as Bonito.

Bounce was a key of surprises. When we first obtained a reencodement, we ran it as a four wheel job only to find that we were dealing with a three wheel key and it remained three wheeled until the end of the war. It used reflectors B or C alternately and obeyed none of the normal wheel order rules, crashing wheel orders were common. Cypher administration was highly inefficient; on several occasions failure to distribute keys led to details of future settings being sent out in enigma and misprints on the key sheets led to queries and elucidations which betrayed valuable information.

After the initial break good progress was made as Bounce reencoded frequently into Bonito and Porpoise. For the next 6 months Bounce, Bonito, and Porpoise remained a self-contained group of 3 keys and all 3 were broken regularly as they were so closely inter-connected. For a short period after the Remagen bridgehead was established there was a grand 'flap' on Bounce. Rather surprisingly the key had spread from N. Italy to the Danube in the East and Frankfort am Main in the North and river operations were planned against the Remagen Bridge and other bridges in the area. Information about these operations was naturally of considerable value and fairly successful efforts were made to get current as often as possible; fortunately cribs were comparatively plentiful at this time and we were not entirely dependent on reencodements.

At the end of December we received Sucker keys for the next 3 months in the form of a message giving instructions on how to build them up from November keys. This was a most welcome development as it meant that the Sucker version of Hoofden weather would provide regular reencodements into Dolphin which might otherwise have proved difficult. January 1945 was a good month. Dolphin broke easily and Shark, Narwhal and Plaice gave no special trouble; good results on Bounce and the absorption of Bloater into Porpoise strengthened the Bonito, Bounce, Porpoise trio.

Results continued to be very good throughout February and March and in all some 10 keys were read regularly. Such changes as took place were not of any great significance except for the deterioration in the wheel order rules during March which led to a rather heavy expenditure of bombe time. Another minor development was the spread in March to Bonito and Plaice of the use of a moveable Ringstellung on the reflector wheel; this had first appeared in February Bloater and spread subsequently to other keys. There had never been any very apparent reason why the clip on this wheel should not be moved and the fact that it had remained permanently at A had been of great assistance to us in the days of Short Signal menus; by March 1945 Short Signal menus were a thing of the past and the new development mattered very little indeed although it had a considerable nuisance value.


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