The machine of which a number of varying types were produced resembled a typewriter. It had a lamp board above the keys with a lamp for each letter. The operator pressed the key for the plaintext letter of the message and the enciphered letter lit up on the lamp board. It was adopted by the German armed forces between and
Enigma , device used by the German military command to encode strategic messages before and during World War II. The Enigma code was first broken by the Poles, under the leadership of mathematician Marian Rejewski, in the early s. In , with the growing likelihood of a German invasion, the Poles turned their information over to the British, who set up a secret code-breaking group, known as Ultra , under mathematician Alan M. Because the Germans shared their encryption device with the Japanese, Ultra also contributed to Allied victories in the Pacific. Article Media. Info Print Cite.
The Enigma machine was invented by a German engineer Arthur Scherbius shortly after WW1
Who was Turing and what did he do that was so important? Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician. Born in London in , he studied at both Cambridge and Princeton universities. In , Turing took up a full-time role at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire — where top secret work was carried out to decipher the military codes used by Germany and its allies. Although Polish mathematicians had worked out how to read Enigma messages and had shared this information with the British, the Germans increased its security at the outbreak of war by changing the cipher system daily. This made the task of understanding the code even more difficult. Turing played a key role in this, inventing — along with fellow code-breaker Gordon Welchman — a machine known as the Bombe. This device helped to significantly reduce the work of the code-breakers. From mid, German Air Force signals were being read at Bletchley and the intelligence gained from them was helping the war effort.
The Enigma machine is an encryption device developed and used in the early- to midth century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. 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. Entering ciphertext transforms it back into readable plaintext. The rotor mechanism changes the electrical connections between the keys and the lights with each keypress. The security of the system depends on a set of machine settings that were generally changed daily during the war, based on secret key lists distributed in advance, and on other settings that were changed for each message. The receiving station has to know and use the exact settings employed by the transmitting station to successfully decrypt a message. While Germany introduced a series of improvements to Enigma over the years, and these hampered decryption efforts to varying degrees, they did not ultimately prevent Britain and its allies from exploiting Enigma-encoded messages as a major source of intelligence during the war.