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Supermarina's Cryptographic Service


New Member
Hello all,

I've recently been reading The Italian Navy in World War II by Commander (R) Marc' Antonio Bragadin (United States Naval Institute Publication) and came across a very intriguing passage in which I would like some additional info regarding it (if available). According to Bragadin,

"As a counterpart to its own communications system, the Italian Navy had also developed to a highly efficient state an extensive service for intercepting enemy radio messages, as well as a cryptographic center for decoding the intercepts. This particular organization worked under highly secret conditions which even today cannot be described..." Bragadin p.14

This book was of course written in 1957, so while this may have all been classified information at the time the author presented it, does anyone know if there has been any information released as of this time regarding Supermarina's Cryptographic Service? Bragadin continues to describe their role:

"... The cryptographic service, headed by a small group of extremely capable officers, produced tremendous and extremely valuable results during the entire war. For instance, the immediate decoding of British reconnaissance communications especially for the deficiencies of our own Mediterranean reconnaissance, since it permitted Supermarina to turn to its own use the results of the enemy's extensive reconnaissance service. Bragadin p.14
Bragadin is very critical of the Regia Aeronautica's failure to provide accurate aerial reconnaissance, particularly in the early war period, so it is very fascinating to see that Supermarina used alternative methods to extract intelligence from enemy reconnaissance reports. I am not very far in this book so I hope to see more mention of this in practice, but in case any more information has been made available, do you know of any specific engagements or maneuvers where Supermarina may have intercepted British reconnaissance and altered the positioning/disposition of her forces as a result?