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M-125-3MN   East-Germany (DDR)
DDR variant of the M-125-3 Fialka

As a country of the Warsaw Pact, the former DDR (East Germany) also used a variant of the M-125-3 that was adapted for the local language (German). Although no surviving German Fialka machines have been found so far, the layout of the keyboard and the numbering of the wheels is known, as a German Fialka User Manual of the NVA (the DDR's army) has been recovered.

DDR keyboard
With help from a recovered German Fialka manual and some former users of the machine, we've been able to reconstruct the layout of the keyboard of the DDR Fialka variant. On this variant, the key at the top left (i.e. the one that is shared with the spacebar) carries the German character 'J', next to the Russian Й. In German, the 'J' can be replaced by an 'I' without loosing readability.

Layout of the DDR variant of the M-125-3 (Fialka) machine

The layout of the characters at the bottom right of each key, is identical to the layout of the DDR variant of the earlier M-125. Although it is likely that the keys that were used in Numerical Mode were darker than the others (just like on the Polish and Czech keyboards) we have never observed this, as there are no surviving examples of the DDR variant of the Fialka cipher machine.

DDR wheel wiring   4K
As there are no known surviving examples of the DDR variant of the Fialka, we have not been able to trace the wiring of its wheels. All we know from the recovered German user manual, is that the wheels were identified with '4K', which was engraved as a prefix on each wheel.

The Russian M-125-3M was supplied with the same accessories as the other M-125-3 variants, except for the spare print heads. As the M-125-3M was a Russian-only machine, the only print head that was used was the Mixed Mode Russian version which was present inside the machine. As a result, the axle that holds the test reflector inside the metal dust cover, has no room for additional print heads. Click any of the thumbnails below for additional information.

 Overview of the accessories

Original check list
Metal dust cover that protects the machine and is used to store some accessories
Metal box for collecting paper chad from the punched paper tape
Paper feeder that holds a fresh paper tape reel
Small hand crank for making corrections and for releasing a blocked mechanism
Spare print heads
Test reflector
Spare set of wheels in aluminium can
Canvas wallet with various tools
Oil can used for maintenance
User manual
Standard Power Supply Unit (PSU)
Tempest complient Power Supply Unit (PSU)
24V service lamp used for seting up and maintenance
Metal test triangle for the card reader
Wheel opening tool
Older version
Before the M-125-3 was introduced in the late 1960s, its predecessor, the M-125 was used. It can easily be distinguished from the M-125-3 as its keyboard has rounded key tops whereas the key on the later machine are square. Furthermore it only has two letters on each key: a Cryllic one (in black) and a Latin one (in red). Furthermore these machines were issued with the standard (non-adjustable) cipher wheels.  More information about the older M-125.

The older M-125 and the later M-125-3 side by side (Polish versions shown here)

  1. Jörg Drobick, Nutzung der Fialka M-125
    Website: Der SAS- und Chiffrierdienst (SCD). Retrieved May 2014.

  2. Paul Reuvers and Marc Simons, The Fialka M-125 Reference Manual
    Copyright 2005-2009. Version 2.0, June 2009. ISBN 978-90-79991-01-3.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Sunday 06 July 2014. Last changed: Friday, 08 January 2021 - 08:50 CET.
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