Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Is Alan Turing's effort code-breaking effort to the war exaggerated?

Discussion in 'Codes, Cyphers & Spies' started by DerGiLLster, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,583
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    That correction wasn't necessary.
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    4,997
    Likes Received:
    235
    Hitler's military decisions were mostly right and in most cases his generals agreed with him, although they denied this after the war .
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    my point exactly, Hitler was more right then you are
     
    Skipper likes this.
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    8,954
    Likes Received:
    1,901
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Twice a day, just like a broken clock.
     
    Skipper likes this.
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,661
    Likes Received:
    69
    except when the hour arm is missing
     
  6. Uplink

    Uplink New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    5
    I suppose it seems clever to some people to do the counterintuitive approach to hitler and make some asinine points about him being responsible for resurrecting Germany, ending the unemployment, arming the country, building the Autobahn. And I'm sure his legacy would be even more respected if he didn't have to poison his bride and shot himself when the territory he commanded has shrunk to four square blocks and everyone was dead. What a bummer.
     
  7. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,468
    Likes Received:
    1,149
    Too much of the last two pages has been little more than finger pointing and counter claims of 'your wrong, no your wrong more' without substantive debate on the topic of the thread. This is a sure sign we have run out of actual facts to talk about. I'll give it a few more posts to see if we can salvage this topic, otherwise it's off to bed without it's supper.*



    * This my rolled up paper voice
     
    RichTO90 likes this.
  8. Tamino

    Tamino Doc - The Deplorable

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,583
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    Untersteiermark
    You’re right. This tread seems to be derailed for a while by unnecessary rivalry. Turing was a genius, I have no doubts about significance of his contribution to code breaking of intercepts. Turings' contribution is impossible to exaggerate.
    However, there were also other remarkable individuals in Bletchley park. Gordon Welchman, for example, who established traffic analysis. He also proposed techniques crucial to speed-up deciphering dramatically by identifying recurring messages and common phrases.

    Welchnans' achievements are of such importance that most of his work is still classified.

    Indeed there were few exceptional individuals, but what makes Station X extraordinary are almost 10.000 not so talented, yet diligent individuals who have 'enabled'* a large-scale, sometimes real time deciphering.
    Contribution of Tillo Schmidt shouldn’t be forgotten too. He was a kind of genius too.

    ----------------------------
    (*) I've borrowed this word from OpanaPointer - Thanks buddy!


    PS:


    It is rather late here and I will go to bed - this theme is ripe enough to be laid into bed too.
     
  9. IvanTony

    IvanTony New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
  10. Grasmere

    Grasmere New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    9
    All the people who worked at Bletchley Park did top secret work, which was a great help to saving lives in WW2.
     
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  11. Takrouna

    Takrouna New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Med is a small narrow sea and viable routes are quite limited. Even without Ultra, British reconnaissance would have spotted most convoys. There are instances of ships and convoys which Ultra missed, and were instead found out by regular recon.

    Recent studies shed some light on the other side of the hill. Allied intelligence wasn't moving in a vacuum and its opponents were not hopeless dimwits. It turns out the Italian Navy was strongly suspecting of the existence of Ultra as early as 1941, of the fact that German communications (Enigma in particular) were compromised, and of the presence of a double agent within the German Navy liaison mission in Rome - as time went by, this suspicion was proved well founded. A Kriegsmarine officer was passing on to the British anything he would get to know about Italian naval operations. The mole was identified and partly neutralized, but the leak in German communications could not be stopped as the Germans would resist any Italian suggestions to the effect that they should revise and strengthen their communication systems. As well, other soft links in Axis communications, especially the Italian Air Force's large scale use of commercial Hagelin and another encryption machine relatively easily broken by the British, could not be mended.

    Things standing the way they were, and sensing where the rub lay, the Italian Navy made as little operational use of its Enigma and Hagelin machines as it could and took as many countermeasures as it could, and they proved reasonably effective given the inherent imbalance of forces (Italy had no such thing as the huge Bletchley Park organization, let alone its US equivalent). By focusing on attacking RAF SKYO/NYKO card encrypted messages, codebreaking speed fell from a few hours to 15-20 minutes to virtually real time when punched card computers entered service, and in many cases Italian ships received early warning that allowed them to dodge and thwart the forthcoming attacks. Combined with information from other sources (British codes were cracked and messages read, at least partly and with blackouts from time to time), this provided a highly valuable tactical defense against Ultra. An analysis of the attacks shows that about as many attacks failed as those which instead succeeded in sinking or damaging ships. Also due to this early warning system, the Allies were far from sinking Axis ships as fast as they wished, and as it is stated in many books on the issue. Even according to a wartime British estimate, Italy would have critically run out of ships no sooner than late 1944 - and this, taking even the massive losses of 1943 (the Death Route to Tunis) into account.

    Moreover, state-of-the-art technology was being desperately mobilized. In 1943 the British TypeX encoding machine was finally broken (through one of the most secret and least known HUMINT actions of the war). For a while British TypeX-encrypted messages were easily read in Rome, then the British smelled a rat and made Italian decryption increasingly difficult. To counter that move, and possibly also to attack American SIGABA encryption, through a frantic effort the Italian Navy built an electronic computer whose prototype was practically complete by September 1943 and whose performance was more or less on the same level as that of the British Colossus II. Upon the armistice, the Germans who had got wind of it began searching for that coveted machine, but they didn't find anything - the computer was disassembled and its components hidden away. They were pulled out, brushed up and reassembled post-war and the recovery of the machine marked the beginning of the Italian computer industry in the 1950s.
     

Share This Page