Lot #340
Mavis Batey Autograph Letter Signed

Cracking the "whole family of Enigma machines" during World War II

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Estimate: $250+


Cracking the "whole family of Enigma machines" during World War II

English code-breaker (1921-2013) who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II. ALS, one page both sides, 5.25 x 7, personal letterhead, July 18, 2002. Letter discussing codebreaking and the Enigma machines used by the Axis during World War II. In part: "Bletchley seems to be much in the limelight these days. I take it you are referring to the Abwehr Enigma machines which was the one that was hi-jacked & not on show in the exhibition. It was perfectly true that we had never seen that one until a few years ago although we broke it. You see there was a whole family of Enigma machines and just knowing the Scherbius commercial original of the 1920s didn't get you very far as so much depended on the wiring of the rotors, which changed often. The Abwehr machine had unique revolving wheels with switches on the side which made them turn…so destroyed the ability to use cribs—that is to say phrases that occurred frequently, could give you the way in to finding all the various settings. My boss broke the variant of the commercial Enigma used in the Spanish civil war and so produced the theoretical method of breaking the wheel wiring before the war. Although the German Enigma machines were much more complicated with plug-boards etc." In fine condition.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Revolutionary War
  • Dates: #612 - Ended July 14, 2021

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