The Holocaust Historiography Project

Glossary of Terms, Abbreviations, and Acronyms

Abwehr German military intelligence
AHS Arlington Hall Station
"BJ" "blue jacket” or “Black Jumbo,” terms for diplomatic translations done by the GC&CS
BPIE Bletchley Park Intelligence Exchange
BRUSA Britain/United States of America
C/A Cryptanalysis
CI code instruction
Cipher A method of concealing plaintext by transposing letters or numbers or by substituting other letters or numbers according to a key
Code A method of concealing a message text in which arbitrary groups of letters, numbers, or other symbols replace words, phrases, letters, or numbers for the purposes of concealment or brevity.
COMINT communications intelligence
COMINTERN communist international
CSS Chief, Secret Service (Director, MI-6)
D/F direction finding
Einsatzgruppen "Action groups” consisting of SS, SD, and other security elements that were established to massacre Jews, partisans, and communist officials in the wake of the German armies during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Enigma German high-level cipher machine
FCC Federal Communications Commission
GC&CS Government Code and Cypher School
GCHQ Government Communications Headquarters (Successor organization to GC&CS)
Gestapo Geheime Staats Polizei (Secret State Police)
GPCC German Police Concentration Camp [communications]
GPD German Police Decrypts
HCC Historical Cryptographic Collection, RG 457
Hut (3/4/6/8) Buildings in the Bletchley Park complex in which the various operational activities, such as decryption and translation, of the GC&CS were conducted
ISCOT Intelligence Source Scott
ISK Intelligence Source [Dillwyn] Knox. Abwehr machine ciphers.
ISOS Intelligence Source Oliver Strachey. Abwehr manual ciphers.
JIC Joint Intelligence Committee
Kripo Kriminal polizei (Criminal Police)
MAGIC Cover name for translations from Japanese diplomatic messages
MASK Cover name for translations of COMINTERN messages by GC&CS
MEW Ministry of Economic Warfare (Great Britain)
M.I.5 British Security Service (or Security Service)
M.I.6 British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, or Secret Service)
MIS Military Intelligence Service, G-2 of the U.S. War Department
MS Monitoring Station (usually followed by a one- or two-digit designation)
MSS Most Secret Source, a caveat for intelligence derived from high-level cryptanalysis
NARA National Archives and Records Administration
NGO nongovernmental organization
NSA/CSS National Security Agency/Central Security Service
OKW-Chi Oberkommando der Wehrmacht/ Chiffrierungabteilung
OP-20-G Designator for the U.S. Navy’s cryptologic organization. It was an element of under the Director for Naval Communications.
Orpo Ordnungspolizei (Order Police)
OSS Office of Strategic Services
OTP one-time pad
OWI Office of Wartime Information (U.S.)
PRO Public Record Office/National Archives
Purple U.S. designator for Japanese diplomatic cipher machine “B”
"Q" designator for GC&CS diplomatic translations
RSHA Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security Main Office)
RSS Radio Security Service
SB Special Branch, G-2, War Department
Schupo Schutz Polizei (Civil Police)
SCU Special Communications Unit
SD Sichersheitsdienst (Security Service)
Sipo Sichersheits Polizei (Security Police)
SIS U.S. Army Signals Intelligence Service
SIS Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6, UK)
SLU Special Liaison Unit (UK)
SS Schutzstaffel
SSO Special Security Officer (U.S.)
T/A Traffic analysis
Ultra cover name for intelligence derived from high-level cryptanalysis
Venona The cover name given the project by the U.S. Army (and continued by the Armed Forces Security Agency and its successor, the National Security Agency) to exploit the encoded messages of the various Soviet intelligence services, the NKVD and GRU, that contained information from the various intelligence agents and networks operating within the United States.
Y-Service term used by British to categorize intercept and related activities.