Enigma Machine

Information you may not know

What is a Enigma cipher?

The Enigma machine is a piece of spook hardware invented by a German and used by Britain's code breakers 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.

Important Timeline Information.

1915, two Dutch Naval officers invented a machine to encrypt messages. This became known as the Enigma machine. Mid 1920s, mass production of Enigma machine with 30,000 machines being sold to the German military over the next 2 decades. Marian Rejewski built his own model of the Enigma machine without having actually seen it. In 1931, a German traitor told Rejewski that the Germans routinely changed the daily key indicator setting for the codes. The new machine could run through more than 17,000 indicator settings. He called this machine, ‘the bomb’. In 1938 Germans added two new roters into the Enigma machine. This made it harder for the Poles to read the traffic. The British smuggle out the Enigma replica machines two weeks before Germany invaded Poland. Alan Turing, a British mathematician at Bletchley Park thought of a different way of using the ‘bombs’ for testing the German codes. In 1943, British engineer, Tommy Flowers, created Colossus. Colossus changed the way code breaking was done from electro-mechanical to electronic – it was the first modern day computer. The Allied work on codebreaking played a key role in victories such as D-Day. It shortened the length of WW2.