We are pleased to welcome Dr Mark Baldwin to Aberystwyth to give an illustrated presentation of the fascinating story of “The Codebreakers – Enigma, Bletchley Park & The Battle Of The Atlantic”. This is from 6pm to about 8.30pm on Wednesday 2nd March in Physics Main lecture theatre at Aberystwyth University.
As part of the session, you will have the opportunity to take part in a practical demonstration of one of the few remaining U-Boat Enigma machines; this machine appears in the recent film ‘The Imitation Game’.
There will be some refreshments after the presentation part of the session. To help us plan the evening, we ask that you register for the event on eventbrite.
This event is free and open to all.
One of the Second World War’s most fascinating stories is that of the Enigma machine, a portable encryption device widely used by the Germans, whose ciphers they believed to be totally secure. Nevertheless, by mathematical analysis and modern technology, the Allies devised techniques for ‘breaking’ Enigma ciphers, and thus read several million German messages, providing a wealth of reliable Intelligence. The attack on Enigma, initiated by the Poles in the early 1930s, was later perfected by the British at Bletchley Park, today open to the public as a museum site.
The Intelligence gained was of immense value to the Allies in virtually every theatre of war, but nowhere more so than in the Battle of the Atlantic, that fierce conflict which lasted nearly six years and cost over 60,000 lives. Dr Baldwin uses the Battle of the Atlantic to exemplify the importance of code breaking in winning the war.
After the presentation, the audience are invited to take part in a hands-on practical demonstration of one of the few surviving Enigma machines. Only about 300 are known to survive worldwide; of these, only about a dozen are in public collections in Britain. As these machines are so rare, Dr Baldwin is providing a unusual opportunity for the audience not just to view, but also to operate, an original U-Boat Enigma machine – the actual machine which appears in the recent film, ‘The Imitation Game’*.
Dr Baldwin is one of Britain’s most experienced speakers on the Enigma machine and the work of the WW2 code breakers. He has travelled widely throughout Britain addressing a variety of audiences – professional, educational, commercial and the general public – and has also been invited to speak in Germany, Belgium and Poland.
* The Enigma machine shown in the picture is one at Bletchly park. It is a different model to the one that Mark Baldwin will bring with him. The machine at this session will be a more typical model of the Enigma machine.