Poles Deciphered Enigma

Enigma Machine

Enigma Machine

According to the BBC, the first breakthrough in attempts to break the Enigma codes during WWII did not occur at Bletchley Park, but in Warsaw. “The debt owed by British wartime codebreakers to their Polish colleagues was acknowledged this week at a quiet gathering of spy chiefs,” add BBC journalists. On 5 July in Warsaw, representatives of Polish, French, British and American intelligence services celebrated the 75th anniversary of passing on the code of the German Enigma cipher machine to the Allies. The ceremony was also attended by veterans of the Home Army and relatives of people who decrypted Enigma. A key contribution in breaking the Enigma code was played by Polish cryptographers/cryptologists, including three mathematicians from the University of Poznań: Marian Rajewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki. At the beginning of the 1930s they broke the Enigma codes and constantly updated their devices allowing them to read German military messages. The Enigma was a German portable electromechanical ciphering machine based on the principle of rotating rotors, invented by Arthur Scherbius and produced by Scherbius & Ritter. Early models were used commercially and then were later put to use for military purposes by Nazi Germany. In the 1930s and during WWII different Enigma models were the main encryption devices of the German Army.

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