The Combined Cypher Machine (also known as Combined Coding Machine  ) was a common cipher machine system for securing Allied communications during World War II and for a few years afterwards amongst NATO member countries. The British Typex machine and the US ECM Mark II were both modified so that they were interoperable. In the SIGABA, it meant replacing the machine's 15 rotor basket (3 rows of 5 rotors each) with a 5 rotor CCM basket. For Typex, the existing 5 rotor basket was replaced with a 5 rotor CCM compatible basket. That's how these seemingly incompatible machines were able to talk to one another.
|SIGABA with CCM adapter fitted.Unfortunately, the cipher wheels and the motor assembly are missing from this example. (Photo courtesy Crypto Museum. Used with permission)|
|CCM/SIGABA rotor basket without code wheels. (Photo courtesy Crypto Museum. Used with permission)|
|CCM basket for SIGABA with code wheels. Inventory info: CSP1700, 5 rotors, production model; designed and produced by NCSL , with wired rotors L15 to L19. Previous inventory nos: IN-683, NCSL35, (window NCSL-30) and #72. (Photo courtesy National Cryptologic Museum via David Hamer, NCMF).|
|CSP 1700 printhead closeup. (Photo by Dirk Rijmenants)|
The British had shown their main cipher machine , the Typex to the US on their entry into the war, but the Americans were reluctant to share their machine, the ECM Mark II. There was a need for secure inter-Allied communications so a joint cipher machine adapted from both countries' systems was developed by the US Navy. The "Combined Cipher Machine" was approved in October 1942, and production began two months later. The requisite adapters, designed by Don Seiler, were all manufactured in the US, as Britain did not have sufficient manufacturing resources at the time. The CCM was initially used on a small scale for naval use from 1 November 1943, becoming operational on all US and UK armed services in April 1944.
The adapter to convert the ECM into the CCM was denoted the ASAM 5 by the US Army (in 1949) and CSP 1600 by the US Navy (the Navy referred to the entire ECM machine with CCM adapter as the CSP 1700). The adapter was a replacement rotor basket, so the ECM could be easily converted for CCM use in the field. A specially converted ECM, termed the CCM Mark II, was also made available to Britain and Canada.
For a more detailed explanation of CCM/SIGABA please visit the Crypto Museum web page.
|CSP 1600 was the replacement stepping unit to adapt the ECM Mark II to CCM.|
|Stepping mechanism in the CSP 1600.|
|Both photos in this table courtesy Wikipedia|
|Internal view of the CCM without printer and rotors as described oin Patent 6,175,625 filed December 15, 1944 and approved on January 16, 2001. (Graphic via Google Patent Search)|
The following document, (R.O.) (18-8-44) (N.S. 1041-1-15) dated August 18, 1944 was obtained from the Canadian War Museum. R.O means Registered Order and N.S. is the Naval Service file number.
Key excerpts from this document have been posted here. Some of the original text has been edited in the interest of clarity. It provides some general information about the CCM Mk II machine, destruction procedures and actual machine deployments among its Canadian users.
393. Notes on Combined Cypher Machine (C.C.M.) Mark II
* The Combined Cypher Machine is now in force in five Canadian services, and limited-combined Naval communications between known holders, particulars of which are given in A.F.O. S.264/44. List of holders of the Combined Cypher Machine, Mark II, supplied from Ottawa (including serial number(s) of machine(s) held and particulars of machines held in reserve, are given in Appendix I of this order.
Subject only to the proviso that Naval Cypher with One Time Pad should continue to be used for message graded "Top Secret" if a suitable One Time Pad is held by all the addressees, the fullest use is to be made of the C.C.M. for all messages which include United States ships or authorities in the address. Naval cypher, Naval code, Naval shore code and Type "X" should not be used for combined communications if all ships and/or authorities in the address of a message are listed holders of the C.C.M.
* The Indicator Lists and Key Lists change automatically in numerical sequence (unless otherwise ordered) at 0001 GMT on the first day of each month. Obsolete copies are to be destroyed on the 15th day of the following month, and destruction certificates rendered.
* Commanding Officers of H.M.C. ships, and other authorities issued with the C.C.M., should ensure that operators and prospective operators of the latter make themselves thoroughly conversant with the manipulation of the machine and use of the associated S.P.s. Operators should take every opportunity to familiarize themselves with the coding and decoding of specimen messages until satisfied that they are perfectly familiar and proficient with these processes.
* The Combined Cypher Machine (C.C.M.) and relevant publications are to be taken on register charge in C.B. Form R on receipt. The Drums (Code Wheels) for use with the machine, are supplied in a separate box and are to be accounted for as a set.
* Reports of machines in Operation or Held in Reserve -It is important that Naval Service Headquarters should be kept informed of all Combined Cypher Machines actually in operation, or machines held in immediate reserve in coding offices, or by Distributing Authorities or Bases for issue.
Twice yearly, on 1st July and 1st January, reports are to be forwarded to Ottawa. These reports shall include the following:
*Number of machines held, quoting serial number of each. Where machines are held in different Coding and Cypher Offices at the same base particulars of machines in each separate office are required.
*Number of above machines in actual operation, quoting serial numbers.
* Whether number machines held is sufficient. If insufficient number of additional machines considered necessary. If machines are held in excess of normal requirements, note the number which can surrendered, quoting serial numbers of machines available for withdrawal and reallocation.
* The fact that a Combined Cypher Machine has been installed and brought into operation is invariably to be reported immediately to N.S.H.Q. by signal quoting the serial number of the machine concerned. When reports are made, routine or special, the serial number of the machine must always be quoted.
A log is to be compiled, in manuscript form, by the holder of every Combined Cypher Machine. In this log, which is to accompany the machines when transferred, the following particulars are to be recorded:
1) Serial No. of machine.
2) Date of installation.
3) Date brought into operation.
4) Details of routine inspections carried out, together with any relevant remarks.
5) Details of repairs adjustments made, including replacement of spare parts.
6) A daily record of the number of letter-groups enciphered or deciphered by the machine.
When a machine has completed 250,000 letter-groups, a thorough inspection and overhaul of the machine is to be carried out, steps being taken to renew any parts which show signs of excessive wear. The result of this inspection is to he noted in the log. When a machine has been completely overhauled at a dockyard or maintenance depot, a sample of the printing obtained should be pasted in the log.
DISPERSION OF MACHINES
(a) Shore Establishments - a minimum of one machine. Additional machines will be supplied as requisite, for use in the large offices.
(b) H.M.C Ships. One machine each will be issued to all H.M.C. Ships, down to and including Bangor Class Minesweepers.
INSTALLATION -The Combined Cypher machine should be installed in H.M.C. Ships in the Signal Distributing Office or Coding Office, if suitable accommodation is available, or in a suitable position adjacent to the W/T Office .
* The machine must be adequately secured in the operating position to prevent injury or damage due to the motion of the ship.
* Packing and Unpacking.- The C.C.M. Mark II is shipped in a specially designed packing case. The machine should not be transferred or shipped without being repacked in the original case and for this reason, the case should be stowed for future use.
* To unpack the machine, remove the brass screws from the bottom of the sides of the case, and carefully lift off the top of the case. Set the machine on its back and remove the shipping bolts. Remove the wooden base, shipping wedges, etc.
* In view of the fact that the Combined Cypher Machine is the property of the United States Navy Department and that a number of these machines have been loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy, it is desired to impress on all personnel concerned that this equipment will have to be returned in a satisfactory condition at some future date and, therefore, should be handled with care to ensure its efficient operation while in use in the Royal Canadian Navy and suitable condition for ultimate return to the United States Navy Department.
EMERGENCY DESTRUCTION OF CYPHER MACHINES and ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT
* The Security of the Cypher Machine system depends largely on denial to the enemy of knowledge of the internal wiring of the drums (code wheels) used with the machines. The immediate aim must always be to so destroy (and if possible entirely obliterate) the internal wiring of the drums as to make it quite impossible for the enemy to reconstruct it even should he recover the drum cylinders. This is a matter of paramount importance, since the consequences which would result through compromise of a set of drums, or of one or more individual drums comprising a set, are much more serious and far reaching than would be the compromise of one or more recoding or recyphering tables. The latter can be replaced fairly easily, but it would be impossible for a long time to effect a general distribution of differently wired drums. This fact should be borne in mind by holders of Cypher Machines and steps should be taken to ensure that all concerned are aware of the provisions of this Order and are thoroughly acquainted with the prescribed measures of destruction in an emergency.
The following table shows the order of priority for destruction or disposal, in an emergency, together with methods of destruction or disposal.
ORDER OF PRIORITY METHOD OF DESTRUCTION OR DISPOSAL Combined Cypher Machine Drums (Code wheels) The wiring must be destroyed first. With a pair of pliers cut the wires as near to the soldered lugs as possible or if pliers are not immediately available pull the wires out. After removal, cut the wires into pieces (if time allows) to prevent the possibility of the wiring being reconstructed. Break up the Code Wheels with a heavy hammer, as it is essential to destroy the contours in the rims. Scatter the pieces in a manner which is likely to make recovery impossible or at least very difficult. At sea, the above procedure should be adopted if time allows, and the pieces of wire and the Code Wheels should be thrown overboard. If time does not permit the destruction of the above, the complete Code Wheels should be thrown overboard singly, in different directions. Note: If circumstances make destruction impossible, the disposal of a set of drums (Code Wheels) should be carried out in such a manner as to disperse the individual drums as widely as possible. The drums should not be disposed of as a complete set. 1) Current C.C.M. Key Lists
2) Reserve C.C.M. Key Lists
3) Manuals of instructions on the operation and maintenance of C.C.M.
By (a) burning; (b) placing in "War C.B. Stowage"; (c) locking in steel chest and leaving chest in place; (d) throwing overboard in steel chest, perforated iron box or weighted and eyeletted bag.
Ashore: By burning.
Combined Cypher Machine Mark II The destruction of the machine itself, although of secondary importance to the destruction of drums and associated S.P.s, should be carried out if time and circumstances permit.
A heavy sledge hammer or axe should be used in a position adjacent to the machine and used to demolish the structure of the latter to the greatest extent possible under the circumstances. Care should, however, be taken to ensure that any drums in the machine are first re moved and dealt with as directed above. Alternatively, the machine should be destroyed by means of an explosive charge.
* Failing the complete destruction of a machine by means of an explosive charge, destruction should, if possible, be carried out in such a manner as:-
(a) To prevent the discovery of the sequence of "stepping" of the drums (Code Wheels).
(b) To prevent the wiring circuits becoming known.
With this objective in mind, the following procedure should be carried out if circumstances permit:-
C.C.M. Mark II . -Remove the basket in which the drums normally fit and break up the control levers and separators. Follow this by smashing the stepping pawls. If time permits, smash the remainder of the machine and destroy the wiring.
When a ship is ordered to reduce to a "Dangerous Waters Set" of Books (see A.F.O. SlO/44, Section XXIII), any Cypher Machine carried should not be landed  unless so directed by the Senior Officer directing the operations concerned. It is vitally important, however, not to overlook the necessity for landing the Cypher Machine drums and associated S.P.s listed earlier in this Order, none of which are included in the "Dangerous Waters Set" listed in S.P. Form ,A2C (4), paragraph 45.
List of Holders of Combined Cypher Machines Mark II, Supplied from Ottawa
The following is a list of holders of the Combined Cypher Machine, Mark II, who were supplied from Ottawa, including serial number(s) of machine(s) held. The list has been corrected to the date of this order.
2. Additions and amendments of this list will be promulgated in Canadian Confidential Naval Order.
3. Any errors or omissions observed in this list should be reported by letter to the Secretary, Naval Board. Naval Service Headquarters, Ottawa, so that necessary amendments may be issued.
4. Four separate lists are incorporated. The serial numbers are also shown:
List "A" - Shore Authorities including Canadian Army and R.C.A.F.
Argentia Nfld - NIL
Atlantic Command (See Halifax)
Bermuda - S.B.N.O. West Atlantic s/n 105, 106
Bermuda - Somers Isles , H.M.C.S. s/n 790
Canadian Naval Board - (See Ottawa)
Canadian Northwest Atlantic-(See Halifax)
Digby NS area, N.O. I/C - s/n 117
Esquimalt, B.C. N.O. l/C Gaspe, N.O. I/C s/n 203, 204
Gaspe N.O. I/C s/n 2
Goose Bay, Labrador, A.S.O. (Army) s/n 786
Halifax. A.C.R.Q.-S.D.O. s/n 123, 132, 133, 783, 784
Halifax, Dockyard, M.C.O. s/n 3, 4
Halifax, Captain, (D) s/n 10
Halifax, Kings, H.M.C.S. s/n 202
Halifax, Base W/T Maintenance s/n 68
Halifax, G.O.C.-in-C, Atlantic Command s/n 793
Halifax, A.O.C.-in-C, Eastern Air Command s/n 75
Jamaica, Captain-in-Charge s/n 180 192
Montreal, N.O. I/C s/n 120
Ottawa, N.S.H.Q.-S.D.O. s/n 77, 78, 79, 779, 780
Ottawa, N.D.H.Q. (Army) s/n 791
Ottawa, A.F.H.Q. s/n 71
Prince George, B.C. A.S.O. CAnny) s/n 787
Prince Rupert, B.C. N.O. I/C s/n 81
Quebec, N.O. I/C s/n 80
Rimouski, Quebec A/N. C.S.O. s/n 130
St. Hyacinthe, Quebec H.M.C. Signal School s/n 64, 65, 789
St. Hyacinthe, Quebec H.M.C. Signal School (Training Purposes) s/n 468 to 473
St. John's Nfld. F.O.N.F.-M.C.O. s/n 8, 9, 201
St. John's, Nfld. (Training Purposes) s/n 91, 183
St. John's, Nfld.- A.S.O. (Army) s/n 785
St. John's, Nfld - No1 Groups RCAF s/n 76
Saint John, N.B. N.O. I/C s/n 7
Saint John, N.B. A.S.O. (Army) s/n 792
Shelburne, N.S., N.O. I/C s/n 5
Sydney, N.S., N.O. I/C s/n 6, 782
Trinidad, S.B.N.O. s/n 163, 175
Vancouver, B.C. C.O.P.C. - C.C.O. s/n 83, 121, 135
Vancouver, B.C.- G.O.C.-in-C, Pacific Command s/n 756, 788
Vancouver, B.C. A.O.C.-in-C, Western Air Command s/n 72, 73, 74
Wainwright, Alta.-A.S.O. (Army) s/n 136
Washington, N.M.C.S. s/n 136
Washington, B.A.D.-Naval Signal Registry s/n 69, 70
York Island, B.C.- C.X.O. s/n 82
List "B" - Warships (H.M.C. ship, unless otherwise noted). Serial number of installed machine prefixes the ship's name.
526 Beacon Hill
240 Border Cities
-C-110 Caldwell, (H.M.S.)
215 Cape Breton
40 Chelsea, (H.M.S)
146 Fort William
112 Georgetown (H.M.S.).
226 Grou (H.M.S.)
-I-177 Ingonish -J-247 Joliette
19 King Haakon VII, (HNMS)
241 La Hulloise
55 La Malbaie
59 Leamington (HMCS)
59 Leamington (H.M.S.)
154 Lincoln (H.N.M.S.).
196 Port Hope
157 Medicine Hat
57 Montgomery (H.M.S.)
519 New Glasgow
527 New Waterford
33 New Westminster
214 North Bay
218 Owen Sound
116 Port Arthur
520 Port Colborne
522 Prince David
530 Prince Henry
207 Prince Rupert
-R-174 Red Deer
103 Richmond, (H.M.S.)
223 Riviere du Loup
54 Roxborough, (H.M.S).
227 Saint John
190 Sault Ste. Marie
514 Spring Hill
97 St. Alban's, (H.N.M.S.)
208 St. Boniface
200 St. Catherines
569 St. Laurent
249 Ste. Therese
216 Swift Current
25 The Pas
242 Thetford Mines
230 Trois Rivieres
-U-173 Ungava -V-574 Vancouver
56 Ville de Quebec
LIST "C"- MACHlNES HELD IN RESERVE
1. Naval Distributing Authority, Ottawa.
|110 Volt AC
|110 Volt DC
627, 628, 631, 753, 754, 755, 757, 758, 759, 760, 761, 762, 763, 764, 765, 766, 767, 768, 769, 770, 771, 772
|220 Volt DC
476, 487, 488, 489, 490, 491, 492, 493, 494, 495, 496, 497, 498, 499, 500, 501, 502, 503, 504, 505, 506, 507, 508, 509, 510, 511
2. Base Distributing Authority, Halifax.
|110 Volt AC
|110 Volt DC
12; 13, 18, 21, 28, 34, 35, 37, 42, 47, 85, 86, 88, 90, 101, 107, 111, 122, 142, 566, 570, 573, 626
|220 Volt DC
150, 155, 231, 232, 238, 262, 253, 254, 255, 256, 257, 258, 304, 477, 478, 479, 480, 481, 482, 483, 485, 486
3. Commanding Officer, Pacific Coast, Vancouver, B.C.
110 VAC - NIL
110 VDC - NIL:
220 VDC - NIL
Serial No. 135 (110 Volt AC) is available for issue in the event of a breakdown at bases on the Pacific Coast.
4. Flag Officer, Newfoundland - St. John's, Nfld.
110 VAC s/n 66, 67
110 VDC NIL
220 VAC NIL
Serial Nos. 66 and 67 are held in reserve for possible issue to Argentia.
5. Naval Officer in Charge, Esquimalt, B.C.
110 VAC NIL
110 VDC NIL
220 VDC - Serial Nos . 474, 516
LIST "D"- MACHINES HELD BY SHIPS LOST OR MACHINES RETURNED TO U.S. NAVY DEPARTMENT, WASHINGTON
Serial No. 140 Returned to US. Navy Department, Washington. Serial No. 222 Supplied to H.M.C.S Valleyfield -ship lost at sea.
 Both terms are listed in Glossary of US Naval Abbreviations (OPNAV 29-P1000).
 To "land" a cypher machine and related parts etc is to ensure the ship does not sail into a dangerous area with these items. Thus, in this paragraph, the ship is instructed to reduce to a 'dangerous waters set' and as such it retains its CCM machine but transfers its drums and associated keylists (SPs) to an authorized shore authority prior to sailing. This is a precaution to preclude recovery by the enemy in the event of capture, sinking, etc. The actual CCM machine is not covered by such an instruction nor are keylists, rotors etc, not specifically covered by the 'dangerous waters set' instructions -- these would be mission-specific keylists which, if lost to an enemy, would not endanger other operations.
Ray White provides a short overview of an illustrative CCM message in the RCN and its routing from the 1951/52 time frame.
"All messages processed on CCM or ECM machines were encrypted as CODRESS messages, that is, the address was coded or encrypted in the text of the message. In order to minimize the success of a crypto attack by the enemy, the message would be divided into two parts, These parts would be reversed and the word for this division was BISECT. (see example, below.)
Here is an example of the encrypted version of a message processed on a CCM machine. This message is from Naval headquarters and addressed to the flag officer on the East coast for action and to the flag officer on the West coast for information. The text of the message is completely imaginary. The phonetic alphabet used pre-dates the 1954 change to the ICAO version and this is just for this example. We were still using CCM/ECM machines well past 1954.
REF MY 161758Z
NORMAL OPERATIONS SHALL RESUME 170001Z.
RESUME ONE SEVEN ZERO ZERO ZERO ONE ZEBRA PD BISECT C O N F I D E N T I A L FM CANAVHED TO CANFLAGLANT INFO CANFLAGPAC REF MY ONE SIX ONE SEVEN FIVE EIGHT ZEBRA NORMAL OPERATIONS SHALL
When received at the destinations, this message would be decrypted and then, after dividing the decrypted text at the BISECT point and transcribed onto pink Naval Message forms and stamped prominently with the instruction AC - no unclassified reply or reference. Pink Naval Message forms were used for all classified messages.
The abbreviation AC stood for Category A Codress.
Category A was defined as "a cryptographic system that could not be attacked from a crib.
The other level of cryptosecurity was Category B. Messages encrypted in a category B cryptosystem would be stamped BECAT. Although I knew of the existence of Category B messages, which were of a lower security classification, we never saw them in the SUPRAD (Canada's Supplementary Radio System) organization where all traffic was of a much higher security level. I cannot recall what cryptosystems would be used for BECAT traffic".
The prerequisite for CCM adaptation is a Typex Mk 23. Specifically, a Mk 22 machine needs to be modified to a Mk 23 in order to accept the CCM adapter. The Mk 23 can be identified by the fact that it has an extra socket underneath the main one on the right hand side of the keyboard. It also has an extra lobe on one of the cams to trip the CCM. There are four long steel posts that are affixed to the base. These support the CCM adapter. If the posts have been removed, the four holes can still be seen on the base. The CCM adapter could not be installed in the field. It was a factory-only modification.
For a more detailed explanation of CCM/Typex, please visit the Crypto Museum.
|This CCM/TYPEX machine was photographed at the National Cryptologic Museum in 1999. It has now been removed and placed into storage. (Photo by Jerry Proc)|
|This is how a Typex Mk 23 looks like without the CCM adapter or the left and right plugboards. (Wikipedia photo)|
|Typex with CCM adapter installed. Note that there are no plugboards in this machine. Not every Typex was fitted with left and right plugboards. Some had only one while others didn't have any. If plugboards were fitted, that would have given an extra degree of complexity to the machine when all that was required was compatibility with SIGABA. There were 186 different code systems used by Typex so even if the enemy had broken one, there would still be 185 others to try and break. One Typex maintainer recalls. "When I was servicing Typex in the RAF, the machines with the left and right plugboards were the worst to troubleshoot. Invariably, the problems were caused by bad connections on the plugboard".|
|CCM adapter in storage case. The nameplate indicates: CCM Mark III Stores Ref No. 110G/6 Serial No. 13?? Note the four pole single throw switch to change from Encipher to Decipher mode.|
|Another view of the CCM adapter in its storage case. The purpose of the wire maze at the top of the photo is not known at this time.|
|All photos in this table courtesy National Cryptologic Museum via David Hamer, NCMF.|
Contributors and Credits:
1) Ray White <legerwhite(at)rogers.com>
2) Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Combined_Cypher_Machine
3) Google Patent Search http://www.google.com/patents
4) David Hamer <dhhamer(at)comcast.net>
5) Paul Reuvers <paul(at)cryptomuseum.com>
5) Crypto Museum http://www.cryptomuseum.com/crypto/usa/sigaba/img/300354/084/full.jpg
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