The Turing Bombe, a codebreaking machine devised by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman to decipher the Nazi Enigma Codes during World War II, has been meticulously reconstructed by a team of 60 people, and is going on display September 23rd and 24th at Bletchley Park in Central England (to be reopened next summer). The machines, using techniques that are still used in counterterrorism, were used to decode more than 3,000 enemy messages every day.
Workers using the device during the war were given information on a “need to know” basis, according to the BBC:
“About 10,000 people worked at Bletchley Park at the height of the war – mostly from the Women’s Royal Naval Service. One former employee was 82-year-old Jean Valentine, who described how the original machines ‘worked beautifully’ and sounded like ‘lots of knitting machines’.” Said Valentine: “I knew what I was doing but I didn’t know what anyone else was doing.”
Alan Turing, who was honored with a statue in 2001 in Sackville Park in Manchester, England’s gay village, died in 1954 after eating a cyanide-laced apple.
Turing had been convicted just two years earlier of “gross indecency” after it was discovered that he had been in a homosexual relationship. Due to that conviction, he had been ordered to undergo hormone therapy.