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Recently I was given the privilege of visiting the offices of the
GCSB (Govt. Communications Security Bureau). This came about from
queries I made regarding New Zealand's use of the TypeX electro/mechanical
coding machine. The GCSB keep one of every machine/cipher format ect
they have used in the past.
The TypeXs' (all 10 of them, barring this one) were destroyed along
with rotors and any spare parts under orders from HMNZ Govt. We met
the chap responsible for their destruction;. he 'employed' local schoolboys
too attack the machines with sledge hammers, then the remains were
put back in their transit boxes...the boxes were filled with sand
until each weighted not less than 300lbs....then they were taken on
board an RNZAF aircraft and dropped into the ocean from 800ft. The
weight was important so the boxes didn't hit the tail of the aircraft
The GCSB, one boffin in particular, is keen to get their TypeX up
and running. The biggest barrier is the lack of rotors so if anyone
knows of a set of this rocking horse doo doo .....let me know and
we can get another historical communications device restored!
Unfortunately, due to security, I was unable too take photographs
of the machine but they did give me a CD with some images they took
for me. I was impressed with the efforts these chaps went too and
have included a selection of the images for those interested parties
too peruse. On the groups image storage site.
As a 'value added' bonus they also had a WW2, 3 rotor, Enigma machine
they bought out for us too view....a fascinating comparison...the
TypeX being so unwieldy by comparison....but with obvious advantages.
A very interesting hour for myself and 2 compatriots. For the future
GCSB hope too exhibit some of there 'treasures' in a more publicly
accessible place, probably a new foyer.
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