C0028

Slidex cipher device
Title
Slidex cipher device
Production date
1944
Additional Title information
A Second World War British Slidex cipher device, with two sets of cards and rulers.
MATERIAL(s)
Cardboard, paper, celluloid, aluminium.
Type
Cipher device
DIMENSIONS
157 x 245 mm
Serial number(s)
3659
Contributer(S)
P. C. & P.
COLLECTION NUMBER
C0028
CONDITION
Fair. Areas of corrosion on metal components.
Category / Subcategory (if applicable)
Location
Main collection (Durham, UK).
STATUS
In storage
provenance
Purchased from an Irish dealer.
Acquisition Date
Jan 2021
Associated object(S)
Record Last Updated
Aug 20, 2022
DESCRIPTION
A Second World War British Slidex cipher device marked 'Camp Staff Clancy'. The cipher device, a paper-based manual cipher system, includes two OPS/SIGS cards. It also has two sets of rulers — black (for divisional headquarters) and green (for battalion and other units). The Slidex is supposed to have three sets of rulers, the third being red (for army headquarters). The device folds in two, with the right side being the cipher device itself and the left half being a pocket for storage of spare cards, rulers and an operating instructions booklet. The booklet is not present in this example.
Notes
Slidex was a low-grade manual cipher system, so could be broken quite easily by the Germans. This was usually within a few hours, depending on whether the contents of the Slidex cards were known. Despite this, the Slidex system was used by the British (as well as by other NATO countries) throughout the Cold War and was eventually replaced by the more advanced BATCO system in the early 1980s.
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