This webpage was created after an interesting study tour to London and Bletchley Park. As a high school teacher and mathematician from Denmark, I normally only write in my native language, which is Danish. This time, however, I have decided to tell a story about the German ciphermachine Enigma in English too, because of several reasons. Firstly I am grateful to Chris Christensen and MAA for giving me the permission to place an article about the Polish contributions to the solution of Enigma on my website and because of the kindness I received from the people from Bletchley Park, who arranged our visit and who have provided me with a few historic photos from Bletchley Park! I can be contacted on e-mail: Erik Vestergaard. Notice that in many occasions clicking an image yields an enlarged version!
Enigma machine - Wikipedia
The Enigma machine is a cipher device developed and used in the early- to midth century to protect commercial, diplomatic, and military communication. The Germans believed, erroneously, that use of the Enigma machine enabled them to communicate securely and thus enjoy a huge advantage in World War II. The Enigma machine was considered to be so secure that even the most top-secret messages were enciphered on its electrical circuits. Enigma has an electromechanical rotor mechanism that scrambles the 26 letters of the alphabet. In typical use, one person enters text on the Enigma's keyboard and another person writes down which of 26 lights above the keyboard lights up at each key press. If plain text is entered, the lit-up letters are the encoded ciphertext.
Enigma Machine, Lap 1 Assignment | Custom Assignment Help
The Enigma machine is a piece of spook hardware invented by a German and used by Britain's codebreakers as a way of deciphering German signals traffic during World War Two. It has been claimed that as a result of the information gained through this device, hostilities between Germany and the Allied forces were curtailed by two years. This rare machine is thought to have been used in the post-war years for coding Swiss diplomatic traffic. Peter Westcombe, founder of the Bletchley Park Trust, explains in detail how the Enigma machine works and how its codes were broken by the code-breakers at Bletchley Park. Fiona Bruce describes the complexity of the Enigma codes and explains how they were cracked by the master code breaker Alan Turing.
The Enigma was used solely to encipher and decipher messages. In its standard form it could not type a message out, let alone transmit or receive it. From the cipher operator's point of view, it consisted of first a keyboard of 26 letters in the pattern of the normal German typewriter, with no keys for numerals or punctuation.