Alan Turing And The Enigma Code

By Tomas

Alan Turing

Turing was born on the 23rd June 1912. His father was in the Indian civil service. As a child he was noticed by his teacher for his mathematical skills, and aged fifteen he condensed the theories of Einstein's relativity into an exercise book for his mum's understanding. Later he was selected for cambridge university. He was a brilliant mathematician. During his life he worked as a code breaker, a mathematical biologist and had a passion for long distance running.

He once quoted 'We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see there is plenty to be done'


The Nazi's mathematicians had invented a machine called the Enigma, which created a code with over 15 000000 000000 000000 s possible answers. The Enigma machine had a keyboard and letters which would light up. If you pressed the letter T for example, it might come up a a letter R. This is because there were three to four rotors (the Krigsmarine, German Navy, used four rotors which was even harder to crack) which scrambled the message.
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Alan Turing worked for the Government Code Cypher School at Bletchley Park in Hut 8. He and a team of workers (the cleverest were chosen by having six minutes to crack an extreme crossword) were to break what was thought an impossible code to break. Turing tried but his team could not break the code. The code could not be broken by man, but by machine: the Bombe. The Bombe could only be made once they had an Enigma machine.

The Bombe was named so after a similar electromechanical machine-Bomba Kryptologiczna (cryptologic bomb) designed by the Pole, Marian Rejewski. The Bombe had electric rotors so when the code was put in, the rotors would go round like the Enigma and solve the code.

The Imitation Game - NEW Official UK Trailer
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Alan Turing was homosexual (gay) and in 1954 it was illegal. On the 7th June 1954 he ate an apple laced with cyanide-suicide. Turing had the choice of going to jail or having his hormones changed. He chose the second option but he had had enough and died aged 41.


Turing will be remembered as a hero, saving peoples life and cutting the war short of two years. there has been a public apology and he has a medal called the CBE. A movie 'The Imitation Game' has been made in his honour.