[rescue] The Ultimate rescue - Colossus Lives Again?

Mike Meredith very at zonky.org
Thu Nov 15 15:32:01 CST 2007

On Thu, 15 Nov 2007 22:10:07 +0200, Geoffrey S. Mendelson wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 15, 2007 at 11:49:45AM -0800, stephen price wrote:
> > http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?newsid=10659&email
> > 
> > Colossus was the computer used at benchley park during
> > ww2 that broke the german enigma code.

The Bletchley Park announcement :-


has a slightly different perspective with rather more information in
some areas.

> Sort of. There was only one according to legend, but recently
> it was revealed there were 7. At least one was at Bentchley Park,
> but I don't know where the others were if they were not there.

The Bletchley Park site claims 10 were used there; I would not be
surprised if others were installed at other locations ... perhaps at a
location run by the fore-runner of the GCHQ (Bletchley Park was too big
to be truly secret), and even more likely at the US version of
Bletchley Park.

> The Enigma code was broken by several methods. One of them was
> that the operators often sent the encryption key in encrypted
> text, but often sent that encryption key in open text.

There was also a lot a variation amongst Enigma machines ... three
rotor ones, four rotor ones, differing numbers of installable rotors.
Different organisations would have used different standards of security.

The Coloussus wasn't the first 'thing' to break the Enigma code ... a
combination of man and machine (the bomba) did that first, but
eventually become too slow to produce results in a useful time frame.

> At the end of the war, Churchill ordered them destroyed along
> with all documentation.

I've always been a bit suspicious of that given that Churchill was
pretty much convinced the cold war started the day WWII finished.
Bletchley park was shut down, but I've always suspected that much of
the information and some personnel would have been syphoned off to
another location. 

The more anyone reads about this, the more inconsistencies you will
find. I suspect there's still a fair amount of misinformation and
misdirection bouncing around.

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