Enigma The Battle for the Code Unknown Binding – 2007
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
No episode in the history of the Second World War has captured the imagination more vividly than the cracking of the Enigma code by a group of eccentric boffins at Bletchley Park. The brilliant work of Alan Turing and his team, as they worked round the clock to decipher the messages sent by the most sophisticated coding machine of the age, played a huge part in winning the war for the Allies. But it was a part of a much bigger and equally dramatic story - that of the spies and ordinary seamen who risked their lives to capture the codebooks and manuals that would provide the key to Germany's top-secret Enigma machine. It began in 1931, when Hans Thilo Schmidt - the "Enigma Spy" - turned traitor and handed over two codebooks to the French Secret Service. In the cloak-and-dagger world of pre-war Europe, Enigma was already known to be the most powerful weapon in German intelligence, yet the code remained unbroken. Once war was declared, the struggle began in earnest. Codebooks were scooped from sinking German U-boats or captured in hit-and-run raids: when U-33 was scuppered in the Firth of Clyde, a rescued crew-member was found to have Enigma wheels in his pocket. These "pinches", as they became known, were vital. During the last six months of 1940, German U-boats sank three million tons of Allied shipping in the Atlantic, an assault so devastating it threatened Britain's very survival. For the cryptographers at Bletchley, a constant supply of new codebooks was essential if they were to have a hope of turning the tide. Inspired by Robert Harris's novel, Hugh Sebag-Montefiore tells the whole extraordinary story - the charisma and courage, the deeds of heroism and sacrifice, and the unremitting determination of those involved in "cracking the code".
Top customer reviews
This book is a significant 'heart-breaker' for anyone who ever thought that Turing was almost singly responsible for breaking it, or that Enigma was only encountered from 1939. The fact that the Polish had been going after it since the early 30s., might come as a shock to some people.
In itself, the Book is a fascinating account of what was the build-up to being able to decipher it all. However, I found that a lot of the Chapters danced back and forth in time throughout, which made it difficult to relate to them all in chronological order, so the picture became blurred.
Just as in all the other Books, there is absolutely NO mention of WHO actually created this ingenious Beast of a Machine, or even ANY attempts to find him / they who developed it. THAT seems to be, so far, the most closely-guarded Secret of all, and something that Hollywood and Pinewood could never imagine of bringing to the big screen !!
If you jump forward to today, you may wonder, as often as I do, what method or code is used to encipher our e-mails, on-line Bank transactions, Amazon orders and details or anything even vaguely like them. Unscrupulous people have infiltrated them already, but make that fact openly and blatantly obvious. That's ONE thing Bletchley Park could not afford to do. If breaking Enigma was difficult enough, then keeping it a Secret was even MORE difficult. How many lives were knowingly sacrificed to keep that Secret?
Whilst the contribution of Alan Turing and his fellow code-breakers at Bletchley Park was considerable, the exploits of spies, naval officers and ordinary British seamen also played a major part.
Indeed, the story dates back to 1932 when the Polish cracked the German Airforce Enigma, although they considered the more complicated Navy Enigma to be unbreakable. When WW2 broke out, they handed this information to the British, which was an important starting point.
Updated for the 70th anniversary of the Enigma breakthrough with new material, this is a dense but involving account which pays due tribute to the many people who lost their lives ensuring that Bletchley Park was supplied with the intelligence they needed to crack the code.
The true story of Enigma at first top secret, then the stuff of legend has the habit of going through some changes. Robert Harris's "Enigma" and Hollywoods "U-571" and most recently "The Imitation Game" all make for good entertainment, but the real story seems to continue to be elusive.
Read this an find out there was much, much more to Enigma than Alan Turing (although he was pretty amazing too!).
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category