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.
Only about 350 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 appeared 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 https://drenigma.org/
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. After 30 years, his bookshop has now closed, but all eight books on WW2 codebreaking which he has published are still in print.
For over twenty years, Dr Baldwin has spoken widely in UK and abroad on various 'Secret War' topics, focusing particularly on Enigma and Bletchley Park. Having delivered over 700 presentations to nearly 70,000 people globally; he is currently one of Britain's most experienced speakers on the Enigma machine, the work of the WW2 code breakers, and other WW2 Intelligence topics.
5.45pm: Informal Networking: Binks Building, Room CBK013, Ground Floor, The evening starts with an opportunity to network informally over tea/coffee and a finger buffet with like-minded professionals. Students, and those at the start of their professional career, may care to discuss their study choices, or career moves, with more experienced colleagues.
6:30pm Binks Building, CBK107 lecture theatre
7:30pm – Demonstration - the audience will be invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines.
8pm - Informal networking
This event is bought to you by BCS Chester and North Wales Branch. For more information, visit - https://www.bcs.org/membership/member-communities/chester-and-north-wales-branch/