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Enigma Time-line
A short history of the breaking of the code

1929: On the intiative of the High Command of the Polish Armed Forces a cryptology course is organized for the student of mathematics at the University of Poznan. For the first time in world history the need to engage mathematicians in the breaking of codes.- not just liguists or chess players.

1932: Marian Rejewski is asked to take on the Enigma. He rapidly succeeds in reconstucting the machine. This however does not give him the ability to read all the codes. Jerzy Růzycki i Henryk Zygalski and join him in the quest.

1934: The Poles are allready able to read the German correspondence.

1938: Following insuing modifications the reading of the codes becomes much harder. The Polish Cryptology Office does not have the means to indepencently continues the work on Enigma.

1939: A meeting of the Polish cryptologists and officer of the Bureau of Kodes of the Second Division of the High Command of the Polish Armed Forces with representatives of Great Britain and France takes place on July 24-26 in Pyry near Warsaw. The Allies receive two reconstructed Enigma machines and a complete set of documents detailing the codebreaking.

1940: The Polish cryptologist mangage to transfer themselves to France and, in 1943, reach England. They are not invited, however, to Bletchley Park where a cryptological enterprise employing some 10.000 has been set up.

1973: A book is published by Gustav Bertrand, a retired French general who collaborated with the Polish Secret Service before and duringt WWII. For the first time it reveals that the German Enigma machine code was broken by the Allies during WWII, but that the Poles played a crucial role in bringing that about.

1974 E. W. Winterbotham, a former member of Britain's Secret Service publishes a book which becomes a best-seller. In this publication the role of the Poles is reduced to almost nothing.

The above is based on a text posted in Polish at

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