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Hagelin M-209 kriptografik shifrlash qurilmasi haqida umumiy tushunchalar



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2.2. Hagelin M-209 kriptografik shifrlash qurilmasi haqida umumiy tushunchalar

One of Hagelin's biggest achievements was the sale of M-209 cipher machines to the US Army. Based on the C-36 / C-38 – a small cipher machine with 6 pin-wheels – the M-209 was adapted to meet the requirements of the US Army. Although Hagelin would normally build all machines in his factory in Stockholm (Sweden), he allowed the American's to build the machine under licence.



On 10 May 1940, Hagelin travelled on the last ship from Europe to the US, with two prototypes of the C-38 in his lugguage. It would eventually evolve into theM-209 and would become the largest sale of the so-called C-machines he ever made [3]. The machines were built at the Corona plant of the L.C. Smith typewriter company in Syracuse, with a daily output of up to 500 units.

The image on the right shows a typical M-209 as it was used by the US during WWII. It has 6 pin-wheels at the front, each with a different number of steps, and a cage with 27 bars at the rear.

As Hagelin couldn't return to Sweden during the war, he stayed in the US where he spent his time serviceing the BC cipher machines 1 of some American organisation. When he returned to Sweden in 1944, more than 50,000 M-209 machines had been built by the Smith Corona Typewriter Company and by the end of the war, this amount had nearly trippled to a staggering 140,000.

To allow production of the M-209 and the BC-38(shown on the right) in the US, and to avoid paying high tax fees in Sweden, Hagelin had transferred the full and royalty-free patent rights to the US Army, for the sum of US$ 3,023,410, of which US$ 2,548,225 was for him personally. The balance of US$ 475,185 went to the Hagelin Cryptograph Company (HCC) in Sweden [4]. 2

In return, the US Government granted Hagelin a royalty-free license for the production of M-209 and BC-38 machines and improvements thereof, so that he was still allowed to sell his invention.

It is worth noting that the machine did not provide absolute secrecy. During WWII, the Germans were able to decrypt a message in under 4 hours if they had received messages in depth 3 . This was not considered a problem however, as the M-209 was only used for tactical messages (e.g. field maneuvers) which had lost their significance by the time they were broken by the Germans.


  1. Boris Hagelin, The Story of Hagelin Cryptos
    English translation of the above. BCW Hagelin, Zug, Spring 1981. Later edited by David Kahn and published in Cryptologia, Volume 18, Issue 3, July 1994, pp 204-242.

  2. Collection of M-209 patents and license agreements
    A66684. Declassified by NSA on 11 June 2014 (EO 13526).

  3. Hans Stadlin, 100 Jahre Boris Hagelin 1892-1992 (German)
    Crypto AG. Crypto Hauszeitung Nr. 11. Jubilieumausgabe September 1992.

  4. Crypto AG, Crypto Magazine 2009, number 1
    Retrieved August 2009.



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