Old Park, Telford
Shropshire, England TF3 4NW

An illustrated lecture by Dr Mark Baldwin

One of the Second World War's most fascinating stories is that of the Enigma machine, a portable encryption device widely used by the Germans, which they believed to be totally secure. Nevertheless, by mathematical analysis and modern technology (and a certain amount of good luck), the Allies devised techniques for 'breaking' Enigma codes, and thus read hundreds of thousands of German messages, providing a wealth of reliable intelligence.

Much of this work was carried out at Bletchley Park, today open to the public as a museum site, which explains and illustrates the history of the attack on Enigma, initiated by the Poles in the 1930s, later perfected by the British.

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, that 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 codebreaking in winning the war.

After the lecture, the audience are invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines. Only about 200 are known to survive worldwide; of these, only about a dozen are in public collections in Britain. There is no other machine on tour, so Dr Baldwin is providing a unique opportunity for the audience not just to view, but also to operate, an original Enigma machine. This is of particular interest, as there is no working machine on permanent public display anywhere in England north of Bletchley Park, and nowhere at all in Wales, Scotland or Ireland.

Added by santanupal on February 14, 2008



I attended a similar lecture organised by BCS - North Staffordshire, and it was well worth it.

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