Virtual Bletchley Park
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Codes and Ciphers
|The deduction of the internal wiring of the wheels was a spectacular feat by Rejewski. It enabled the Polish cryptographers to build replicas of the German Enigma machine which could then be used to decipher the intercepted Radio messages once the Enigma configuration and the message settings had been deduced.|
That was the next problem. Rejewski had shown that his
"characteristics" could be deduced from a day's radio traffic
when the Germans were double enciphering the Enigma message settings.
Now the Polish cryptographers had to produce a catalogue of these characteristics
for every wheel order and every wheel start position, 26x26x26x6
entries,(no less than 105,456 in all!), in order to deduce the Enigma
configuration for that day.
|This was called the Bomba. Long after WW II Rejewski drew a sketch of it. The idea was to rotate six sets of enigma wheels in synchronism with each set being one fast wheel position in advance of the preceding one so that the six positions corresponding to the double encipherment of the message setting could be examined simultaneously looking for repeating enciphered letters.|
|Just before the German invasion, the three Polish code breakers escaped through Roumania and eventualy joined up with Gustave Bertrand and his French team at Chateau Vignolles in France just outside Paris.|
|This page was originally created by the late Tony Sale
the original curator of the Bletchley Park Museum