This is a revised edition of the outstanding and most complete account of cryptography and the Enigma machine. There have been claims that the work of code breakers shortened the war by two years, but it can be argued that it first avoided defeat and then made victory possible – Most Highly Recommended.
NAME: Seizing the Enigma, The Race To Break The German U-Boa Codes, 1939-1943 FILE: R2531 AUTHOR: David Kahn PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, Frontline BINDING: soft back PAGES: 387 PRICE: £14.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, World War 2, Second World War, computers, encryption, decryption, enemy decision loop, codes, code- breaking, Bletchley Park, BCCS, Station X, Station Y, Enigma
IMAGE: B2531.jpg6 BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/k9baf8m LINKS: DESCRIPTION: This is a revised edition of the outstanding and most complete account of cryptography and the Enigma machine. There have been claims that the work of code breakers shortened the war by two years, but it can be argued that it first avoided defeat and then made victory possible – Most Highly Recommended. The story of codebreaking in WWII has only emerged relatively recently and what has emerged is not the full story. That is simply the importance of codebreaking techniques that continue to be relevant. It was only in the closing stages of the Cold War that information began to emerge. The work to break German codes continued to be valid in breaking Soviet codes and one reason for that is the adoption by the Soviets of German work on encryption that was captured at the end of WWII. What the Soviets did not appreciate was the extent of British expertise in breaking German cryptography. The full story of the efforts to crack the German Enigma system is gripping. It was not just a case of assembling a group on unusual individuals, many of whom were good at crossword puzzles, and then thinking of ways to decrypt enemy communications. Initially the German Enigma system placed cryptography on a whole new level. The early work to acquire and understand the machines was carried out by Polish intelligence officers before WWII and, by handing the results of their work to the British code breakers, it boosted British work. However, there was a need to acquire later machines, code tables, operational practices and develop machines that could automate and speed large parts of the work of decryption. It was a complex and interlocking network of actions, any of which could break the whole project. Then, the work began opening German secrets and the next challenge was how to use the intelligence without signalling to the enemy that their codes were broken. Had they known, the Germans would have started again with different systems, requiring the British code-breakers to start all over again. Time was always the enemy because much of the intelligence had a short value life. Enigma was ironically an obsolescent device by the start of WWII. It was cracked by wordsmiths in a similar manner to WWI code breaking. This included the use of cribs, where the code breakers arranged to create a noteworthy event and then wait to pick up its reporting on Enigma. That provided known information, words that could be extracted to provide a means of decrypting the rest of the message and then use the knowledge to break other transmissions. That required very sensitive radio receivers. One reason that the Germans failed to spot signs of their code being broken was that British receiver technology was ahead of the Germans and allowed distant weak radio transmissions to be intercepted beyond the range that the Germans expected. The cryptography at Bletchley Park was greatly aided by the capture of code books and transmission schedules from U-boats and German surface ships. It was also greatly aided by the first electro- mechanical programmable devices developed at Bletchley Park to speed the processing of intercepted signals. When the Germans introduced the successor to Enigma, the code breakers were already prepared to move to the next level where a math based cryptography system, using radio teleprinters, was deployed this system was decomposed without ever seeing a machine and its different nature understood by numerical analysis. That required the code breakers to design and build the first electronic semi-programmable computers to process intercepted messages. The author has set out all of the critical elements of the Enigma story and German Naval codes, providing some valuable sketches of the key individuals, completely absorbing and well-documented.