JAMES KING-HOLMES / BLETCHLEY PARK TRUST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / BLETCHLEY PARK TRUST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bombe decryption machine. Designed by mathematician Alan Turing, this device was used during World War 2 to decrypt German communications enciphered with the Enigma machine. The bombe was used to work out the Enigma settings in use each day, allowing messages to be deciphered. It required a short stretch of encrypted message with a known meaning (a "crib"). It was named after the Bomba, a machine used by Polish cryptographers to break simple variants of Enigma before the war. This is a replica at Bletchley Park, England, the original site of the Allied codebreaking effort.
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