Breaking Enigma

Shifts in perceptions of time and space occurred during World War II when Nazi Germany implemented the enigma machine to relay all sorts of communications within its military. An enigma is operated through circuits which scramble typed letters  randomly to a contact on the other side. Three to four wheels of letters are generally used. German secret services used enigma to translate instructions (and quality bantz?) on the field, at sea and in the air (source). The speed and distance at which the Germans were able to communicate vital information revolutionised the second world war and the communications proceeding it.

The Germans were convinced their enigma code was impossible to break. However Alan Turing, nowadays known as the father of modern computing, led a team of mathematicians at Bletchley Park during the second world war (source). They devised a machine which was designed to break the enigma code, which it eventually succeeded in doing and thus helped to cease the war. Turing’s team were able to intercept messages which were intended to stay between German military groups and plan battles and deploy troups as necessary. Whilst still in college, Turing had devised a machine with an equal capacity to think for itself as a human. He returned to this idea after the war and began development of what has been credited as the first digital computer (source).

Decades after his suicide in 1954 (two years after being chemically castrated for the crime of homosexuality), Turing has been credited as the father of modern computing and cryptography, which has no doubt led to the creation of the cyberspace we live in today.

Today, a mere sixty years after Turing’s death, the world has morphed into ‘a global nervous system‘; each node (for example a computer) is a nerve on a complex body which is capable of transmitting signals at a rapid speed and quantity. Geographical borders have been effectively obliterated today, and ideologies of time and space have been redefined.


-Claire xD

Have a go at this enigma machine simulation here.

Memes: original images 1 2

10 thoughts on “Breaking Enigma

  1. Alan Turing is honestly one of the most influential human beings in Communication Networks today, as he is considered the father of Modern Computing and hacking, his abilities in his field were astonishing. One thing you didn’t touch upon in your information was his ‘hacking’ prowess of Turing which is in relation to the creation of the Enigma Machine, it being the first ever ‘decoder’ or ‘virus’ (as we know them today) entering a closed system of thought. He truly is the Saint of Hacker and Cryptographers. Also I have a gander at the Enigma Simulator, honestly is amazing thank you for showing me this! The memes you created also link to what you’ve said about communication in war, love me some sick solider banter across miles.

    ~ krisesandchrosses ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quality stuff. The influence that Alan Turing had on the communication industry is immeasurable. He is the father of the “leet hackers,” and performed the task before The Matrix and Anonymous made it cool. This man was beyond his time. Creating the ‘Imitation Game,’ whose purpose was to settle the issue of artificial intelligence, proves how influential, important, and forward-thinking he was.

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  3. This post is really informative regarding the Enigma Machine and the use of it during World War 2 and you’ve written a really succinct piece breaking down the background of the machine. As “cedar salad” mentioned above, I too agree that it would be cool and interesting to see your take on the “global nervous system” today. Overall though, this is really informative! Here’s some extra reading if you were interested 🙂

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  4. This was a fresh approach to this topic, whilst others simply just described the idea of The Global Nervous System, myself included aha I loved how you integrated that to the story of Alan Turing and how he decoded the German Enigma code which helped cease the war.
    This was an extremely informative and interesting post! awesome job as always

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very interesting read. It’s a great brief and succinct look at a time of Turing’s life. Do you think computers would be the same today if Turing didn’t return to his ideas from college and develop the first digital computer?

    Liked by 1 person

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