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For the academic institution, see Tilburg Institute of Comparative and Transnational Law

TICOM (Target Intelligence Committee) was a project formed in World War II by the United States to find and seize German intelligence assets, particularly cryptographic ones. The project was stimulated chiefly by the US military cryptography organizations, and had support from the highest levels. Several teams were sent into the field immediately behind the fighting front. In April 1945, a TICOM team found Russian code and cipher material in a German cryptanalytic center.[1]

Captured German cryptographic personnel revealed that, at least amongst the cryptographers, the Enigma was clearly recognized as breakable. They had simply assumed that no one would go to the immense trouble required for the only attacks they could see.[clarification needed]

TICOM was one of several efforts made by the Western Allies to extract German scientific and technological information and personnel during and after the war. Others included Operation Paperclip (for rocketry), Operation Alsos (for nuclear information) and Operation Surgeon (for avionics).

In Operation Stella Polaris the Finnish signals intelligence unit was evacuated to Sweden after the end of the Continuation War. The records, including cryptographic material ended up in the hands of Americans.

See also[edit]

  • Ralph Tester, senior British codebreaker who worked on the TICOM project


  1. ^ Rezabek, 2012


  • Rezabek, Randy. "TICOM: The Last Great Secret of World War II," Intelligence and National Security (2012) 27#4 pp513-530
  • Body of Secrets, by James Bamford (includes material on the TICOM take)