Breaking the Enigma cipher

The practice of cryptography is as old as human civilization. As long as there have been people, there have been codes and ciphers. In more recent times, cryptography was used to send messages from the United States Army Intelligence Service about the progress of World War I.

In 1918, a new machine called Enigma was patented by Arthur Scherbius. It was a cipher machine that allowed for rapid encoding and decoding of messages sent between countries. It was a German invention that helped the Germans during World War II with their goal for total dominance over Europe and Russia.

In 1940, Hitler ordered the use of an encrypted machine for all secret messages. During World War II, Alan Turing and his team at the code-breaking center in Bletchley Park were tasked with intercepting encrypted Nazi communications on behalf of the Allies. They would work tirelessly to decode and finally, after lots of effort, the Allies were able to break the cipher. They had broken codes from the first world war, which gave them access to German messages that they could compare the new messages with and decrypt them. The intelligence of these messages helped America and Britain know what Germany’s plans were before they reached fruition.

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