The Bombe (noun) [Word Notes]

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An electro-mechanical device used to break Enigma-enciphered messages about enemy military operations during the Second World War. The first bombe–named Victory and designed by Alan Turning and Gordon Welchman– started code-breaking at Bletchley Park on 14 March 1940, a year after WWII began. By the end of the war, five years later, almost 2000, mostly women, sailors and airmen operated 211 bombe machines in the effort. The allies essentially knew what the German forces were going to do before the German commanders in the field knew. Historians speculate that the effort at Bletchley Park shortened the war by years and estimate the number of lives saved to be between 14 and 21 million.

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