Ask anyone about German code and cipher systems and they are almost certain to mention the Enigma machine. However, after WWII, Germany was not permitted to develop cipher systems of her own. As a result, and systems such as Crypto AGís C-52 and CD-57 systems were licensed and used. Germany was later integrated into NATO (1956).

The Reihenschieber hand cipher was developed during 1957, used into the early 1960ís and finally declassified in 1992. This is in line with the 'thirty year rule' employed by some countries - the period of time before they will release it to collectors etc. For a full review of the system please refer to Michael van der Meulenís CRYPTOLOGIA review in Volume XX, Number 2 of April 1996.

CRYPTOLOGIA describes the Reihenschieber as a "high-grade hand cipher system of the late nineteen fifties ... authorized for the encryption of national-level messages of all ... categories". It employs ten plastic rods or slides selected from 26. Rods are clipped into the holding frame and sliding indicator ready for use.

Photo and copy courtesy of  John Alexander, G7GCK, Leicestershire United Kingdom. E-mail: See Museum Info section.

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July 21/02