Decoding Nazi Secrets

Student Handout

Operation Decode - Part II

In Part I, you broke a simple cipher. Now try creating a more complex cipher.

  1. Cut out the NOVA Decoder Ring and NOVA Cipher Code Ring and the window marked INDEX.

  2. Neatly copy the decoded letters from the alphabet in Part I into the outside spaces of the Decoder Ring. For example, you would write cipher Y over the actual letter S and cipher X over the actual letter O. When you finish, encrypt this simple message.

actual: L O O S E    L  I  P S    S  I  N K    S H  I  P S

  1. You are now going to put this simple message into a complex cipher. To do this you need the Cipher Code Ring. Place the Cipher Code Ring over the Decoder Ring and attach at the center with a paper brad. Note that a number is visible through the window marked INDEX.

  2. Cipher codes require setup configurations and today's configuration is 3/1. Set the index number to the first number 3. If you are encrypting LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS, the first cipher letter L becomes C.

  3. The second number of your setup configuration, 1, tells you to increase the number in the index window by one before encrypting the next letter. Rotate the ring one space clockwise. Be sure that the lines of the two rings line up. The encrypted letter above O is now K. For the third letter, rotate again 1 space until the index window reads 5 and the encrypted letter for O is Y. Continue to rotate and encrypt to put this simple message into a complex cipher.

C K Y                                    
actual: L O O S E    L  I  P S    S  I  N K    S H  I  P S

  1. Look at your cipher. Can you use any of your earlier strategies to decode this? Why?

  2. Send a message to a friend using cipher code. Remember your partner must know the setup configuration in order to decode your message.