Presented by All Electric Productions
Dr Mark Baldwin presents one of the Second World War’s most fascinating stories, that of the Allied Codebreakers, who deciphered a vast number of German secret messages and used the intelligence gained to hasten Allied victory. The Germans had entrusted their secret communications to an ingenious ciphering machinethe Enigma, which was portable, easily operated, and could be set up in millions of ways. The codes were used and every one was changed every 24 hours.
This fascinating talk includes the life and work of the great mathematician, computer scientist, philosopher and theoretical biologist Alan Turing OBE FRS.
The Allies gained invaluable information about troop and aircraft dispositions, orders of battle, U-boat movements, technical development, military intentions and tank and artillery strengths. It is generally reckoned that the intelligence from Engma shortened the war by about two years.
After the presentation, the audience are invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines. Only about 300 are known to survive worldwide; of these, only about a dozen are in public collections in Britain. As these machines are so rare, Dr Baldwin is providing a unusual opportunity for the audience not just to view, but also to operate, an original 1944 4-rotor Enigma machine (i.e. the more sophisticated model, developed for the U-Boat service). This is of particular interest, as there is no working Enigma machine on permanent public display anywhere in England north of Bletchley Park, and nowhere at all in Wales, Scotland or Ireland.