Bookpile Some books about classical cryptography,

ex libris Stuart Savory


Most books on cryptography are in English, there are only a few crypto books in German. So either there is little interest in Crypto in Germany, or there is a great market opportunity out there. I guess I'd better start writing one :-)

Some of the books are rather old, being signed original editions :-) so I have given the ISBN numbers of their more modern reprints, so that you may have a chance of obtaining a copy, if interested. The books are arranged in chronological order of publication, whence you can see when it was permissible to reveal some secrets (this applies especially to the Bletchley Park books on Ultra).

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Note: if the title is not linked (i.e. underlined), then it is not available from So go ask a Librarian (OOK!) !

Secret and Urgent: the story of codes and ciphers. Fletcher Pratt, Aegean Park press, 1939. ISBN 0-89412-261-4. Pre WW2 summary, including techniques from WW1, produced with some german contributions!

Cryptanalysis: a study of ciphers and their solutions. Helen Fouche´ Gaines, Dover Publications, 1939. ISBN 0-486-20097-3. The definitive pre WW2 book appeared just after Fletcher Pratt's text, including 167 puzzles with their solutions in an appendix.

Cryptography: The science of secret writing. Laurence Dwight Smith, Dover Publications, 1943. ISBN 0-486-20247-X. History and modern (1943!) use of codes and ciphers, together with 151 problems and their solutions.

Secrets of the British Secret Service. E.H.Cookridge, Sampson Low, 1947. No official ISBN number. A first post-WW2 collection of true spying tales, avoiding Ultra etc, about which the author may not have known. A few tales of code-carrying, but no real crypto-content, as the British government kept this information secret for almost 50 years :-).

The Codebreakers. David Kahn, Scribner, 1967. ISBN 0-684-83130-9. The comprehensive (1181 pages!) history of secret communication from ancient times to the Internet. Kahn was at that time the scholar in residence at the NSA, so I found it interesting to see what he left out :-) !!!

The man who broke PURPLE. Ronald W.Clark, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1977. ISBN 0-297-77279-1. The life of the world's greatest cryptologist, Colonel William F. Friedman.

Geheimschriften. Karl Heinz Paraquin, Ravensburger, 1977. ISBN 3-473-53021-2. A very simple childrens' paperback book, in German (RTB 3021).

The Hidden War. R.A.Haldane, Robert Hale Ltd., 1978. ISBN 0-312-37197-7. Secret service and cryptography tales from WW2.

Kryptographische Verfahren in der Datenverarbeitung. Ryska & Herda, Springer Verlag, 1980. ISBN 3-540-09900-x. The first German book covering DES. Twenty years on, Norbert Ryska is now the director of the HNF, the largest computer museum in the world, with an interesting collection of cryptological materials.

Cryptography: A Primer. Alan G. Konheim, John Wiley & Sons, 1981. ISBN 0-471-08132-9. You will need university level mathematics to understand this excellent book, sorry. Good and thorough, but not for the layman!

Geheimoperation Wicher. Wladyslaw Kozaczuk, Karl Müller Verlag, 1989. ISBN 3-89555-174-0. IN GERMAN. Historische Bericht wie Polnische Mathematiker den deutschen Funkschlüssel "Enigma" knackten. Patriotisch gefärbte Gegenbericht zu alle die Bletchley Park Bücher der späte 80er Jahren. Trocken zu lesen, aber historisch genau.

Secret messages. Jeff Hawtin, Tarquin Publications, 1990. ISBN 0-906212-78-2. An introductory childrens' book with a collection of puzzles using codes and ciphers

Advances in Cryptology - CRYPTO '90. Menezes & Vanstone, Springer Verlag, 1990. ISBN 3-540-54508-5. Contains the Biham and Shamir paper on the differential cryptanalysis of DES.

Geheimschriften. Sgarro & Wuermli, Weltbild Verlag, 1991. ISBN 3-89350-162-2. Decoding secret Texts (in German, translated from the original italian Codici Segreti).

Seizing the Enigma. David Kahn, Souvenir Press, 1991. ISBN 0-285-63066-0. The race to break the the German U-Boat codes, 1939-1943.

Enigma and its Achilles Heel.Hugh Skillen, Self-published by Hugh Skillen, 1992. ISBN 0-95151900-2-6. Skillen worked at BP and these are the Notes from the 50th-year Enigma Reunion. The appendix contains the original instruction manual (Berlin Reichsdruckerei, 8/6/1937) in German.

Codebreakers: the inside story of Bletchley Park. F.H.Hinsley and Alan Stripp, Oxford University press, 1993. ISBN 0-19-285304-X. Fascinating insights into recruitment and training, together with a full and accurate account of codes and ciphers and how they are broken.

Challenging Cryptograms. Helen Nash, Sterling Publishing Co, 1994. ISBN 0-8069-0594-8. 400 simple mono-alphabetic substitution ciphers, with clues and solutions provided. If you like doing crossword puzzles, you will like the book (as a substitute ;-)

Be a Codebreaker!. Jenkins and Wild, Tarquin Publications, 1994. ISBN 0-906212-05-7. An introductory childrens' book with mystery messages to puzzle over and decipher. Accompanied by the secret message kit (sold separately) with message pads for 6 simple cipher systems, cut-out parts for 2 cipher disc systems and an invisible ink pen set. Ideal for pre-teens!

Kryptanalyse einer Chiffriermaschine an Beispiel der Enigma. Marian Kassovic, Universität Hamburg, 1995. Ohne ISBN . Studienarbeit des Dipl.Inf. Kassovic. Freundliche Leihgabe des Autors für Mai 2000.

Captivating Cryptograms. Janice Van Dyke, Sterling Publishing Co, 1996. ISBN 0-8069-4890-6. 400 simple mono-alphabetic substitution ciphers, with clues and solutions provided. If you like doing crossword puzzles, you will like this book (as a Helen Nash substitute ;-)

Decrypted Secrets.F.L.Bauer, Springer Verlag, 1997. ISBN 3-540-60418-9. The best single book on cryptology today, claimed David Kahn in Cryptologia. English translation from the original 1995 german book Entzifferte Geheimnisse, which avoids using an entire mountain-range of brackets ;-)

The Enigma Bulletin: Number two.Zdzislaw Jan Kapera, The Enigma Press, Krako´w, 1997. ISSN 0867-8693. Contains Ralph Erskine's paper on the development of Typex (i.e. the british counterpart to the Enigma).

The Hut Six Story. Gordon Welchman, M & M Baldwin, 1997. ISBN 0-947712-34-8. Breaking the Enigma Codes, by one of the Bletchley Park Staff.

Codebreaking with the Colossus Computer. Frank Carter, Bletchley Park Trust, 1997. No official ISBN number. An account of the statistical methods used for finding the settings for all the wheels on the Lorenz Cipher machine (including a full set of illustrative examples), by a the Bletchley Park mathematician.

The Enigma Symposium, 1997.Hugh Skillen (ed.), self-published by Hugh Skillen, 1997. ISBN 0-9515190-8-5. Breaking the Enigma Codes, as told by the original Bletchley Park Staff.

Secret code breaker: a Cryptanalyst's Handbook. Robert Reynard, Smith & Daniel Mktg., 1997. ISBN 1-889668-06-0. This simple and popular book includes 34 examples and cites 16 historically real messages to crack and a diskette with DOS software to help with the (simple) number-crunching.

Station X: the Codebreakers of Bletchley Park. Michael Smith, Channel 4 books, 1998. ISBN 0-7522-7148-2. Book accompanying the Channel 4 TV program, popular in Britain in 1998.

Between Silk and cyanide. Leo Marks, Harper Collins, 1998. ISBN 0-00-710039-6. Autobiography 1941-1945 of the great SOE (Special Operations Executive) codemaker of WW2. If you only buy one book, make it this. Very light and humourous but at times deeply moving, I find it to be an excellent read!

Colossus 1943-1996. Tony Sale, M & M Baldwin, 1998. ISBN 0-947712-36-4. How Colossus helped break the German Lorenz cipher in WW2.

Cracking DES. EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 1998. ISBN 1-56592-520-3. Secrets of Encryption research, Wiretap politics and Chip design.

The Code Book. Simon Singh, Doubleday, 1999. ISBN 0-385-49531-5. The evolution of secrecy from Mary, Queen of Scots, to quantum Cryptography.

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