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.
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.
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.