2 Replies Latest reply on May 4, 2021 2:32 AM by Robert Jahn

    Looking for information on operation DWINDLE

    Robert Jahn Wayfarer

      Operation Dwindle was the code name for a project to recruit German cryptology personnel after II World War. Unfortunatly the NARA file on this is not digitalised yet and due to Covid-19 there is no chance to obtain a a copy of it right now. Here is the link: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/22348618


      As I currently do a research on a German cryptologists that most likely was involved in this operation I would be very glad, if someone could help me with more info on this operation. The keywords a can give on this is. Most likely the operation was conducted by the US Army Intelligence and Security Command. In Germany possible places of operation were Camp King (Oberursel) and Frankfurt a.M.

       

      Does anybody encountered this term in his own research or has veteran-documents that might link to this operation?

      Most likely also NSA and Friedman in person were involved in this operation. Maybe also TICOM-teams, but in the TICOM documents that I saw, this operation was never mentioned. Maybe also the CIA, as they were supervising Organisation Gehlen, the forerunner of the Western-German Secret Service by the time. And Organisation Gehlen had a branch (later called Zentralstelle für Chiffriewesen) that employed a lot of cryptologists that were before working for the German Central Command (OKW/CHI) in the second World War. Maybe there is also an involvement of Remmington Rand, by the time producing the first computers (UNIVAC). What I know from my research is that a former OKW/CHI member was employed by Remington Rand in Frankfurt.

       

      Hopefully some of you could give me a hint to help my research.

       

      Thanks a lot.

       

      Robert 






        • Re: Looking for information on operation DWINDLE
          Rachael Salyer Ranger

          Dear Mr. Jahn,

           

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

           

          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Second Release of Name Files Under the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts and the series Second Release of Subject Files Under the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Disclosure Acts in the Records of the Central Intelligence Agency (Record Group 263) that may be helpful for your research. These records have been digitized and can be viewed online via the Catalog. You may use the “Search within this series” feature in the Catalog entries to search for specific names or keywords in the records. The series First Release of Name Files [...] and the series First Release of Subject Files [...] are also part of Record Group 263, but they have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov with any questions you might have about these records.  

           

          We also located the series European Name Index to the Series "Case Files, 1944-1949" in the Records of the Judge Advocate General (Army) (Record Group 153) that may be of interest to you if you are looking for information about specific individuals related to the operation. This index has been digitized and can be viewed and searched online in the Catalog. It corresponds to a number of other non-digitized series, including Case Files, 1944-1949. You may contact RDT2 for assistance with these records.

           

          The series Intelligence and Investigative Dossiers Impersonal Files in the Records of the Army Staff (Record Group 319), which is where the file on Operation DWINDLE can be found, also contains 18 files related to the Gehlen Organization that may be useful for your research when the National Archives’ research rooms are open again. The series Intelligence and Investigative Dossiers Personal Files is also part of Record Group 319 and may be of interest. Please contact RDT2 with any questions you might have about these non-digitized records.

           

          We also located the series German Records Relating to Cryptography in the National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized (Record Group 242) that may helpful for you in the future. There are 3 series related to German cryptography in the Records of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (Record Group 457), as well. You may contact RDT2 for assistance with these non-digitized records.

           

          Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

           

          Finally, you may also wish to review documents available online via the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room.

           

          We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

           

            • Re: Looking for information on operation DWINDLE
              Robert Jahn Wayfarer

              Dear Rachael Salyer,


              thanks a lot for your reply and the detailed list of NARA-files. The most of the once that are available online I was already ware of. But the Judge files might give me some new hints. The Gehlen files that you listed are to some extend also available online in the CIA reading room. There are a lot of infos inside, also on operations that are not much know till today. But unfortunately - from what I know - there is no trace of operation DWINDLE.


              I guess for operation DWINDLE the same counts as as it did a long time for operation PAPERCLIP: by the time it was handled as TOP SECRET, cover names were used (p.e. I know from sources that in Oberursel the US-Army gave fake IDs to people involved in the operation), and so it makes it very difficult to track back informations that can be find in the files to real people.


              I will run through the files you listed and keep my fingers crossed, that the NARA will reopen quite soon.


              And of course I still hope that someone with ancestors in the US-ARMY Intelligence, OSS, CIA or NSA remembers operation DWINDLE from personal documents or oral memories.    


              Thanks again

               

              Robert