Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Stephen G. Fritz

Committee Members

Andrew L. Slap, John Rankin


The Enigma code was one of the most dangerous and effective weapons the Germans wielded at the outbreak of the Second World War. The Enigma machine was capable of encrypting radio messages that seemed virtually unbreakable. In fact, there were 158,900, 000,000,000 possible combinations in any given message transmitted. On the eve of the war’s outbreak, the British had recently learned that the Poles had made significant progress against this intimidating cipher in the early 1930s. Incensed and with little help, the British Government Code & Cipher School began the war searching for a solution. Drawing from their experiences from the First World War, and under the visionary guidance of Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, and countless others, the British created a new, mechanical approach to breaking the seemingly impossible German code. By breaking the code, they could very well save Britain.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted

Included in

History Commons