The Enigma Machine
The Enigma Machine is an encryption device developed and used in the early- to mid-20th century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. It was employed extensively by Nazi Germany during World War II, in all branches of the German military.
Believed to be unbreakable at the time, Enigma encryption was broken first in 1932 by cryptanalytic attacks from the Polish Cipher Bureau, which passed its techniques to their French and British allies in 1939. Subsequently, a dedicated decryption center was established by the United Kingdom at Bletchley Park as part of the Ultra program for the rest of the war. The United States helped with the cause of breaking Enigma. The United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory was established in 1942 by the Navy and National Cash Register Company (NCR, relocated to Atlanta in 2009) to design and manufacture a series of code-breaking machines (“bombes”) targeting German Enigma machines. The laboratory constructed 121 bombes and was pivotal to the Allied effort to win the war.