Mail on Sunday – The Wider View: Nazi codebreaker which shortened the Second World War by two years (with pictures!)

All were destroyed for security reasons on Churchill’s orders after the war. This is a replica, built by 60 volunteers, which was fired up last Tuesday.

At 61⁄2ft tall and running on no more power than a kettle, the Bombe could unravel 158 trillion possible combinations to unlock a seemingly random series of letters sent by the Nazis to the front lines, which were, in fact, highly complex codes, changing daily. Typewriter-like Enigma machines scrambled the letters using three or four rotor wheels. …

Teams of highly skilled mathematicians, cryptologists, inventive thinkers and crossword enthusiasts would receive hundreds of Nazi codes and ‘guess’ the approximate real message or plain text.

It took 14 years to build and actually works. Fun!