Filed under: Gadgets
Built and designed by the Germans, the Enigma Machine came in a few varieties and where code creating and deciphering machines. Originally commercial units since 1926, they are quite possibly the most complex non-computerized code machines ever made (though they are a mixture of mechanical and electronic parts). The Germans used them to send coded messages during the war, relying on the machine's ability to have over a billion combinations. No one was ever able to break the code just by seeing it. Breaking the code involved secretly capturing working Enigma Machines, but that was only half the battle. Merely having the box wasn't enough. You needed to have some manner of pattern or other code, the helped you decipher the code you were trying to decipher in the first place - at least this is my understanding of it. The link to the Wikipedia page above has lots (and lots) more information. So being able to decrypt a code that required other codes was very tough.