How solving the Enigma Machine changed the world forever!
The Enigma machine is an encryption device developed and used in the early- to mid-20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. It was employed extensively by Nazi during World War 2, in all branches of the German military.The key to defeating the Germans was decoding the Enigma Machine and get the important intel on the enemy for the The Allies. This is where Alan Turing comes into place.
Alan Turing was a brilliant mathematician. Born in London in 1912, he studied at both Cambridge and Princeton universities. He was already working part-time for the British Government’s Code and Cypher School before the Second World War broke out. In 1939, Turing took up a full-time role at Bletchley Park in Buckingham shire — where top secret work was carried out to decipher the military codes used by Germany and its allies.
Turing also searched for a way to break into the torrent of messages suddenly emanating from a new, and much more sophisticated, German cipher machine. Turing’s breakthrough in 1942 yielded the first systematic method for cracking Tunny messages. His method was known at Bletchley Park simply as Turingery, and the broken Tunny messages gave detailed knowledge of German strategy — information that changed the course of the war.
At a conservative estimate, each year of the fighting in Europe brought on average about seven million deaths, so the significance of Turing’s contribution can be roughly quantified in terms of the number of additional lives that might have been lost if he had not achieved what he did.If U-boat Enigma had not been broken, and the war had continued for another two to three years, a further 14 to 21 million people might have been killed.
This also heralded the new era for the age of computers. People started to realize the potential the computers could have.It was not until the late 1960s, at a time when computer scientists had started to consider whether programs could be proved correct, that On Computable Numbers came to be widely regarded as the seminal paper in the theory of computation.
As for Turing’s Pilot Ace, it was in many ways groundbreaking, faster than other contemporary British computers by about a factor of five, while employing about one-third of the electronic equipment.Nevertheless, Alan Turing’s ideas remain to this day embedded in the theories of both codebreaking and computing.