Marian Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who, in
1932, solved the Enigma machine, the main cipher machine then in use
by Germany. The success of Rejewski and his colleagues jump-started
British reading of Enigma in World War II, and the intelligence so
gained, code-named "Ultra", contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
While studying mathematics at Poznań University, Rejewski attended a
secret cryptology course conducted by the Polish General Staff's
Cipher Bureau, which he joined full-time in 1932. The Bureau had had
no success in reading Enigma, and set Rejewski to work on the problem
in late 1932. After only a few weeks he had deduced the secret
internal wiring of the Enigma. Rejewski and two mathematician
colleagues then developed an assortment of techniques for the regular
decryption of Enigma messages, including the cryptologic "card
catalog," the "cyclometer," and the cryptologic "bomb". Five
before the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Rejewski and his
colleagues presented their results on Enigma decryption to their
French and British counterparts. Shortly after the outbreak of war,
the Polish cryptologists were evacuated to France, and later to
Britain. In Britain, Rejewski worked with a Polish unit solving
low-level German ciphers. In 1946 Rejewski returned to his family in
Poland and worked as an accountant, remaining silent about his
cryptologic work until the Enigma story became public in the 1970s.
Read the rest of this article:
Today's selected anniversaries:
The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe
to support his war in Algeria.
Toucouleur forces led by El Hadj Umar Tall seized Ségou and conquered
the Bambara Empire in presentday Mali.
More than a thousand coal miners were killed in the Courrières mine
disaster in Northern France.
Forbidden by law to seek re-election, former President Fulgencio
Batista staged a coup d'état to resume control in Cuba.
Wikiquote of the day:
"All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is
inhuman, and must be overcome." -- Kate Sheppard