The Codebreakers - Enigma, Bletchley Park and the Battle of the Atlantic

Image by Bob Lord - German Enigma Machine, uploaded in english wikipedia on 16. Feb. 2005 by en:User:Matt Crypto, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Image by Bob Lord - German Enigma Machine, uploaded in english wikipedia on 16. Feb. 2005 by en:User:Matt Crypto, CC BY-SA 3.0,

29 February 2016

Dr Mark Baldwin, a leading expert on the infamous Enigma Code Machine used by German forces during World War II, will be speaking at Aberystwyth University on Wednesday 2 March 2016.

Entitled “The Codebreakers - Enigma, Bletchley Park & The Battle Of The Atlantic”, the presentation will cover the story of how a team of researchers at Bletchley Park, building on work started by the Polish intelligence services, managed to crack the ciphers of the Enigma Machine; a highly advanced portable encryption device used by the Germans whose ciphers they believed to be totally secure, thus opening volumes of important intelligence up to the Allies.

The intelligence gained was of immense value to the Allies in virtually every theatre of war, but nowhere more so than in the Battle of the Atlantic, a fierce conflict which lasted nearly six years and cost over 60,000 lives. Dr Baldwin uses the Battle of the Atlantic to exemplify the importance of code breaking in winning the war.

After the presentation, the audience will be invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines of which 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, this will be an unusual opportunity for the public not just to view, but also to operate, an original U-Boat Enigma machine – the actual machine which appears in the recent film, ‘The Imitation Game’, which has recently revived interest in Bletchley Park and its most famous occupant, the mathematician Alan Turing.

Dr Baldwin is one of Britain’s leading experts on the Enigma Machine, and travelled widely throughout Britain addressing a variety of audiences - professional, educational, commercial and the general public - and has also been invited to speak in Germany, Belgium and Poland.

The talk is being organised by the Mid-Wales branch of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, and the Department of Computer Science at Aberystwyth University.

The talk will be at 6:30pm on Wednesday, March 2nd at the Physics Main Lecture Theatre in Aberystwyth University. Registration and more information can be found here. Refreshments will be served.