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, whose ciphers they believed to be totally secure. Nevertheless, by mathematical analysis and modern technology, the Allies devised techniques for 'breaking' Enigma ciphers, and thus read several million German messages, providing a wealth of reliable Intelligence. The attack on Enigma, initiated by the Poles in the early 1930s, was later perfected by the British at Bletchley Park, today open to the public as a museum site.
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 code breaking in winning the war.
After the presentation, the audience are invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines. 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, Dr Baldwin is providing a unusual opportunity for the audience 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’.
Have you ever wondered how many Enigma machines were made, how many Enigma machines still exist, was there an equivalent British machine, did the Germans break British ciphers, did the Germans ever realise that their Enigma ciphers were being broken? To find answers to these questions and many more come along to this presentation and also learn the role these early code breakers played in starting the computing industry.
Speaker: Dr Mark Baldwin - World Expert and Professional Speaker on The Enigma Machine
A Cambridge University engineering graduate, Mark Baldwin worked initially in civil engineering, before obtaining a Master's Degree in Soil Mechanics from Imperial College, London.
After 15 years' lecturing at Imperial, he moved to Shropshire to develop his book-selling and publishing business, established part-time in 1978. One important specialty is WW2 Intelligence & Codebreaking, and he has published eight books on this subject.
For nearly twenty years, Dr Baldwin has spoken widely in UK and abroad on various 'Secret War' topics, focusing particularly on Enigma and Bletchley Park. Dr Baldwin has delivered over 700 presentations to over 60,000 people globally; he is currently one of Britain's most experienced speakers on the Enigma machine, the work of the WW2 codebreakers, and other WW2 Intelligence topics.
The meeting starts with an opportunity to network with like-minded colleagues over tea/coffee and sandwiches at 17.30 followed by the presentation at 18.00. There will be opportunity for questions to the speaker.
At every BCS meeting there is the chance to network with like-minded professionals both at the buffet before the meeting and towards the end of the meeting. Students and those at the start of their professional career may care to discuss their study choices or career moves with more experienced colleagues.
For more information, please go to - https://www.bcs.org/category/18370