WORLD WAR II FROM A TO Z

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

B

 

No it is not a misspelling.  Most of us when we think of the bomb in World War 2, we think of the Atomic Bomb.  My post today is not about that bomb.  The Bombe, also known as the Turing Bombe is the computer used to solve the Nazi Enigma Code during the war.

 So many messages can’t be solved, Germany’s writing all in code

Turing’s computer, it’s the Bombe

The Nazi war machine must be slowed

So many messages can’t be solved, Germany’s writing all in code

Nazi aircraft dropping bombs, they explode

Brilliant Bletchley scientists must keep calm

So many messages can’t be solved, Germany’s writing all in code

Turing’s computer, it’s the Bombe

Enter the Bombe. Designed by Alan Turing, the Bombe took the form of emulating several hundred Enigma rotors, as well as functioning as a logical electrical circuit to automate the deductions needed

Enter the Bombe. Designed by Alan Turing, the Bombe took the form of emulating several hundred Enigma rotors, as well as functioning as a logical electrical circuit to automate the deductions needed

The bombe was an electromechanical device used by British cryptologists to help decipher German Enigma-machine-encrypted secret messages during World War II.

 

The US Navy and US Army later produced their own machines to the same functional specification, but engineered differently from each other and from the British Bombe.

US-bombeThe United States Bombe

The initial design of the bombe was produced in 1939 at the UK Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park by Alan Turing, with an important refinement devised in 1940 by Gordon Welchman.

The engineering design and construction was the work of Harold Keen of the British Tabulating Machine Company. It was a substantial development from a device that had been designed in 1938 in Poland at the Biuro Szyfrów (Cipher Bureau) by cryptologist Marian Rejewski, and known as the “cryptologic bomb”.

The bombe was designed to discover some of the daily settings of the Enigma machines on the various German military networks: specifically, the set of rotors in use and their positions in the machine; the rotor core start positions for the message—the message key—and one of the wirings of the plugboard.

640px-EnigmaMachineLabeledA three-rotor Enigma with plugboard (Steckerbrett)

Advertisements

24 responses

  1. Hart Johnson says:

    Oh, very interesting. I love the spy end of war history.

    Like

  2. Great post on Bombe… learned plenty!

    Welcome in the “B”… as a host I am stopping by to say thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There’s no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    HOLLYWOOD NUTS!
    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood… is Nuts?

    Like

  3. Nick Wilford says:

    Such an ingenious invention. Have you seen the recent Turing film?

    Like

  4. I need to see the movie that came out on this topic. Great choice for a b-word.

    Like

  5. Oh wow. This is absolutely fascinating! What a great post for A to Z. You’ve gained a new reader here.

    2015 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    Matthew MacNish from The QQQE

    Like

  6. jazzfeathers says:

    These maschines suggest ‘mystery’ just looking at them 🙂

    Like

  7. Shawn Yankey says:

    Had never heard of this very cool. I will have to tell my son. He is learning about WW2 in school right now and is very interested. Your A to Z should give us plenty to talk about.
    Shawn from Laughing at Life 2

    Like

    • Thanks for stopping by. You can find several WWII stories on my website. I have a page with my father’s war in the pacific story and for many months now, I’ve been posting a WW2 story on Thursdays.

      Like

  8. Wow, that was one gigantic computer! Things sure have changed.

    p.s. When I clicked on your name (in comments at my blog), it took me to Google Plus, but a link to your blog is missing there. Other bloggers wanting to hop from my blog to yours would have the same problem. If not for my feedly.com list, I would have lost you, and you have a really nice blog….thought you should know! (I also found Google plus really frustrating, and finally cut the link, but not sure how you would do in WordPress).

    Like

    • Thanks. There was a post through the AtoZ that explained how to set up a blogger and have your wordpress post simulcast onto blogger. I set it up and it worked but then I found out that whenever you use photographs with captions, it doesn’t work. I want to delete the blogger because it is useless if I am not maintaining and the simulcast doesnt’ work. I think when I comment on a site from blogger, it uses my blogger user and might be the reason you have the problem listed above.

      Like

  9. Birgit says:

    Glad you spotlighted Turing and the invention. I did not realize all the others who worked on it. Without them, the world would be a different place

    Like

  10. Chippy says:

    I wouldn’t know the first thing about creating a machine like that.

    I’ve always been interested in operations like this in World War 2, although my area is more D-Day.

    I’ve seen the movie “Enigma” starring Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott, but have yet to see The Imitation Game

    Like

  11. rolandclarke says:

    Very topical with Imitation Game film out – thanks, When we get DVD will watch as find the Enigma story facinating.

    Like