• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why was Bletchley Park able to break the German Enigma codes?

Extracts from this document...


2. Why was Bletchley Park able to break the German Enigma codes? Bletchley Park had no clue to what the Enigma machine looked like and so figuring out how it worked would be even harder than anticipated. However during the 1930's Polish intelligence had recruited a spy who was in the German army and he was able to supply secret documents describing the layout of the keys, settings and instructions of how to use them. From this information the Poles made two replica Enigma machines and just before they were invaded by Germany they handed one over to the French and the other to the British. This was a major break for the British as they now had something to work with. Many other clues or slip ups from the Germans helped as the British now knew that no one letter ever represented itself and sometimes the Germans sent the same message by Enigma and also by another simpler code, which allowed the two to be compared and the settings worked out. A bigger clue however was that many messages were less than twenty six letters in length. ...read more.


Bletchley Park believed that the Germans thought Enigma was unbreakable and so Herivel supposed they would not be too careful when they sent the first messages, which were to establish contact with other operators. What were needed were the first messages of the day from as many operators as possible. And if they were similar they would give the settings away for that day. During the 1940's Alan Turing made further progress by constructing the first 'bombes'. They were electric machines which tried to speed up the process of deciphering messages by going through all the possible combination of settings of an Enigma machine. So altogether a bombe was equivalent to ten enigma machines. A code breaker would pass on a clue which would then be run through the bombe until a message occurred. This would then be typed into a replica enigma machine to see if it resulted in a German message. The main reason for the cracking of 'Dolphin' the German naval code was sheer luck and hard work. The luck being of capturing two U-boats which contained parts of an enigma machine and some instruction books. ...read more.


They looked for mistakes and repeat phrases, the Germans thought this code was unbreakable and so they were even more careless. The code breakers noticed that there was a sequence of forty one symbols, which suggested the first wheel had forty one teeth. This enabled them after two months to construct one of the machines. To make deciphering fish easier one of the code breakers designed 'Robinson' a machine that used two paper tapes which were run through the machine at high speeds. On one tape the German code and on the other was a key which looked for evidence of the wheel settings. However the paper tapes tended to rip and so 'Colossus' was invented, it was the first programmable computer and it did the same job as Robinson just with out paper tapes and at a quicker speed. This saved the code breakers time and made solving the codes easier. The main reasons for Bletchley Park cracking the enigma code was that of German carelessness and hard work. I believe that the most important reason was that of determination and drive of the code breakers at Bletchley Park who didn't give in even when it looked as though there was no hope. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Computer Science section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Computer Science essays

  1. Signal Theory

    On the other hand asynchronous or delayed communication is when any data which is archived or stored and accessed later. It is important to choose the most effective delivery mode because it directly impacts the level of interaction that is going to take place.

  2. Systems Analysis

    Agreements on software and hardware maintenance should be established with the supplier and formalised in the contract signed by purchaser and supplier. The Feasibility Study The purpose of a feasibility study is to determine whether or not the purchase of a computer system can be justified.

  1. Bar codes

    (f). Incentives that regular customers could have would be the method of a club card or loyalty/reward card which can be used to either get money off the final payment or using points towards an item for money off. They could also give out school vouchers to get either computer or PE equipment.

  2. The Enigma machine.

    Just before war broke out in 1939 they managed to pass information and models of Enigma to British and French code breakers. Although the poles were captured and taken as prisoners they never exposed anything about Enigma to the Germans.

  1. Why was BletchleyPark able to break the Enigma codes?

    In April 1940 a German trawler is captured off the coast of Norway along with the Enigma operators' logs, some Enigma settings and explanations specifying how the Naval Enigma indicating system worked. More German vessels are captured containing vital information about reading enigma messages are captured from 4 March to

  2. Bletchley Park

    A polish spy in the German army was used to find out about the Enigma. Once the code breakers knew how the Enigma worked they would get closer to breaking it.

  1. The Von Neumann Machine

    Processor The processor is the part of the computer that executes the program that is stored in the memory. The processor has four main components: � Control unit � Arithmetic and logic unit (ALU) � Registers � Memory Management Unit (MMU)

  2. Describe the organization and work of the people at Bletchley Park.

    Rather than working as a larger body were small triumphs went completely unnoticed, through these huts a sense of recognition of others efforts was able to be established. Many of the people with Bletchley were incredibly dedicated and in some cases worked solidly for 24 hours just to make sure that one particular aspect of the code was broken.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work