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Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Nuts and Bolts: enigmatic gifts.

 The Enigma Machine was invented in Germany and used to send coded messages during World War II.

It was an extremely clever system: almost unbreakable, but yet capable of being used quite easily by quite stupid people.

(Some people really were just too stupid, though: a man stationed in the middle of nowhere who every week posted exactly the same message, basically nothing has happened, was a great help to the enemy who were trying to work out the Enigma code word for that particular month.)

Anyway, in the end the code was cracked, and later, as the Western Alliance invaded the continent of Europe, quite a lot of Enigma coding machines (they were a bit like typewriters) were captured.

Now, what use could be made of a whole load of Enigma Machines?

Well, someone had a cunning plan. You see, the British had never revealed that they'd cracked the Enigma code, so they gave Enigma machines to their allies, explaining that the Enigma machines were a marvellous system for sending completely secret messages...

...and then they sat back and read them all.

Dastardly, or what?

Word To Use Today: enigma. This word comes from the Latin aenigma, from the Greek ainigma, from ainessisthai, to speak in riddles, from ainos, a fable or story.

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