During World War 2, German forces use what they thought was not unbreakable code to encrypt all their military communications but eventually the allies broke this code using their knowledge of science. The new movie, The Imitation Game depicts a mathematician at the heart this effort tries to save millions during the World War II.

Ten years before the start of World War Two,  Germany was using what’s called the Enigma machine. It’s a physical device that could in encrypt and decrypt messages to a new message never before seen in cryptography.

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To really beat the Enigma, it required the man who nearly invented the Computer Science by himselves.

Benedict Cumberbatch in the Imitation Game tells the story of Alan Turing, a mathematical prodigy and professor who lent his services to the allied code breaking effort the day after the war started he joined nearly 10,000 people working on breaking German code.

To understand why you need genius level intellect to break the Enigma machine you have to know why it is so hard to break in the first place.

Enigma Breaking Machine 'Cristopher'
Enigma Breaking Machine ‘Cristopher’

Enigma machine has basically 5 rotors (Alan Turing used 3 rotors making it even more difficult), which according to an equation could generate a gigantic number of possible combinations enigma settings.


Yes, 158 Quintilian 962 quadrillion 555 trillion 217 billion a 826 million 360 thousand different possible combinations for just one and the Machine to encrypt and decrypt using enigma you have to choose the right combination out of this possible Quintilian settings which nearly made it impossible.

Yea.. The code settings changed everyday! :)

They created their own machine called the Bombe (Also called Christopher) that would sort through all these possible combinations and break the code with the right setting and with other colleagues this bomb machine was able to break the German code which changed every day and had so many codes broken in as little as 20 minutes.

Alan Turing was able to achieve this by the smallest clue which he was able to find in every olden decoded messages of Nazis, one of which was the weather forecast at every 06:00 am morning along with the phrase “Heil Hitler” at the end of every message.

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You should really know who Alan Turning is… because he’s an amazing example of how science can conflict histories. People estimate that the efforts Alan turning and his colleagues made have shortened the war by two years and therefore saved millions and millions of lives.

What he did do till now is proof that brains can defeat machines :)