Enigma Variations

benjidog
20th January 2007, 13:50
I thought some of you might be interested in the Enigma code and some factual background and restoration work that is going on. I am sure that most of you will know that the project which suceeded in decoding German coded messages played a key role in WW2.

You may or may not be surprised that the recent film about this was not quite 100% accurate. Very surprising indeed after the Titanic film! :)

Anyway check out these sites for more information:

http://www.ccht.co.uk/index.htm This is the Codes and Ciphers Heritage Trust site and tells about the preservation of Bletchley Park where the Enigma code was broken and messages decoded.

http://www.codesandciphers.org.uk/enigma/index.htm This site provides a whole load of technical information about the Enigma code machines and how the codes were broken. It also describes a project which is well advanced and should deliver a reconstructed "Bombe" (the electronic decoder) later this year. Astonishlingly the originals were all disposed of. Nerds and Radio Operators should be at home here!

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/ This is Bletchley Park's own website with details of opening hours etc.

No comments on this thread using Enigma code please!

PS: The maritime connection is that the most advanced version of the code was used by the German Navy.

Regards,

Brian

ddraigmor
20th January 2007, 17:58
Benjidog,

I was not very impressed by Bletchley Park to be honest. It was really expensive, small and tired - and it went on my 'I wont go there again' list. Sorry - but that's my experience. The only highlight for me was the nose section of the Hunter FGR Mk2 and the U-boat conning tower mock up!

Jonty

Hugh Ferguson
20th January 2007, 18:38
A recent letter from my long time correspondent, ex. U.Boat watch officer, Werner Muller, mentioned his amazement at decoding a message on board U.522, off Newfoundland in 1942, ordering all U.boats, that could get to the Meddy in time, to attack a convoy to Malta (Pedestal Convoy). The message was signed Adolf Hitler, and that was the cause of his amazement!
But it does demonstrate how important it was for the Germans to neutralise Malta in order to save Rommel's, Africa Corp.
Thanks to the Merchant Service, they failed. Not only was Rommel's supply line disrupted but Montgomery's supply route right around Africa was maintained, and that resulted in the first Allied victory: a veritable turning point in the war and all due, in the main, to the iron resolve of the men in the merchant ships to get the war materials to where they were most needed.

paul0510
21st January 2007, 01:03
What more can I say, JAWOHL !!! And don't miss out on Simon Singh's "Code Book", an excellent read.

Binnacle
21st January 2007, 11:50
Numerous books have been written about British code breaking efforts. I would like to get hold of an English edition of a book about B-Dienst. The head of this unit when serving as a telegraphist in the German navy in his younger days received a coded signal which could not be decoded as the code book was not held aboard.To be helpful, with pen and paper he decoded the signal himself, much to the annoyance of his superiors. B-Dienst
was reading British naval signals in the late thirties. They made good use of captured BAMS code books.

benjidog
21st January 2007, 21:36
Jonty,

Sorry you didn't enjoy Bletchley Park - I haven't been there myself.

Personally I am interested in the ingenuity of both the creators of the Enigma machines and the intellect and determination of those that broke the codes. Turing usually gets all the credit nowadays but the engineers that made the Bombe devices were at least as important.

My main interest in visiting the place would be to see the real machines - in the case of the Bombe - the reconstruction that is being done.

Brian

K urgess
21st January 2007, 21:46
It wasn't until after she died that I found out my mother-in-law had been demobbed from the WAAFs at Bletchley Park.

Considering she was a teletype operator and had worked both at Cranwell, sending out orders for bombing raids, and in the bunker under Whitehall where the emergency cabinet rooms were, she could have had many tales to tell.

She never spoke about Bletchley Park or Whitehall because it wasn't done. The operating of the former was bound in secrecy up until after she died and she only spoke of the latter rarely in connection with being able to go home to the Eastend every night when possible.

jazz606
26th January 2007, 14:23
I believe you can download a "virtual" enigma machine. We could all do that and then send coded posts....................................Just joking.

trotterdotpom
26th January 2007, 14:35
I believe you can download a "virtual" enigma machine. We could all do that and then send coded posts....................................Just joking.

Just when we thought it was safe to go into the water.......

John T.

benjidog
27th January 2007, 22:11
Jazz,

I pondered your post for a while. Can there be such a thing as a virtual enigma; sounds like a tautology - if it is a virtual enigma it can't be a real enigma - therefore it isn't an enigma at all ...... Ohhhhhh! My brain hurts!!

Anyway you are quite correct about the download - the URL is http://www.bletchleycovers.com/Virtual_enigma/Enigma_Machine_Applet.htm

As to posting coded messages on the site - here is one I prepared earlier using that URL - APTNHTWHW (decoded it reads bugger off!) ;)

Regards,

Brian

jazz606
3rd February 2007, 02:51
I've been thinking about a suitable riposte but it hasn't come to me yet.

barnsey
9th May 2007, 11:58
........... But it does demonstrate how important it was for the Germans to neutralise Malta in order to save Rommel's, Africa Corp.
Thanks to the Merchant Service, they failed. .................................... and all due, in the main, to the iron resolve of the men in the merchant ships to get the war materials to where they were most needed.

Dear Hugh ... its me barnsey ... found you elsewhere !!!

You do the other people involved in the Malta saga a great disservice in these sweeping statements of yours. Your sentiments are admired but in the desperate Saga acts of heroism just cannot be singled out, they were all very very brave and did a stupendous job. Two good friends of mine were in the most famous of the convoys, both made it although John Gregsons ship "Deucalion" was sunk and he awarded what became the George Medal.

Please read "The fighting 10th" by John Wingate and other articles re the British Submarines in the Malta flotillas. They ran many hundreds of tons of exceedingly vital supplies ... including, suprisingly to me Aviation Spirit to keep Malta running from Gib and Alexandria when the Convoys could not get through.

In the Malta Convoys the ships and men of the RN also paid heavy prices in defending the Merchant Ships without which help they would not have made it .... give them all as much credit for getting the supplies through.

Barnsey

Norm
15th May 2007, 04:11
The modern day equivalent of Bletchley Park is the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham Gloustershire.
If you fancy yourself as a code breaker, log onto this site and try your skill.
www.gchq.gov.uk/codebreaking/index.html

Bernard McIver
15th May 2007, 10:41
Kris,
Just found you on this thread. What a coincidence, my sister was in the WRNS 1943-45 as a teleprint operator underground at the Admiralty. Next door to your mother-in-law! I am still trying to find out exactly what she was doing.
A small world.
Bernard

K urgess
15th May 2007, 11:13
Small world, Bernard.
Getting smaller all the time.
From casual conversations with my mother-in-law before she died, I seem to remember that she sent ops orders out to the various RAF Groups once the Air Ministry had decided what to do next.
She also sent out the orders for bombing raids when she was posted elsewhere. Plus having had a stint on the big map during the BofB.
I'm not sure whether she did any work at Bletchley Park or was just transferred there for demob.
She worked for De la Rue after the war doing corrections to bank note printing plates which may suggest some link to the map makers!
She's second from left front row in the attached photo.
Cheers
Kris

tell
17th May 2007, 00:20
I understand that WC himself ordered the destruction of a lot of the enigma stock at the end of the war