One Discovery, Two Discovery, Three Discovery… Victory!

Giordana DeFrancesca
Nina Bozzo - Thursday 4:30
History 1810E
McKenzie, Stewart, Vance
March 30, 2017

From the beginning of time technology has been used to help better the development of human races. During the time of World War II, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, technology had a big impact on the outcome of the war. The stakes during the second World War were much higher than in the first and countries had to find a way to better themselves in order to win. As time went on and the war became more fatal, new technologies were being created every day. Although the Axis powers did invent cultivating technology during the period of 1939 to 1945, that is still used today, they were just not able to do enough in order to defend themselves to victory. The Allies, in particularly Britain, were successful in WWII because they were able to make not only better advancements in technology on the battle field, but were also able to create technologies that improve other aspects of everyday life. British wartime science and technology such as, the breaking of the German Enigma, the development of radar and advances in the creation of penicillin were imperative forces that aided in the allies winning the war.
The breaking of the German Enigma code was a ground-breaking discovery for the Brits which was one reason that they were victorious over the Axis forces. The Enigma code was created by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I. This device was adopted and mostly used by Nazi Germany to improve military security from pencil and paper systems. Three elements were connected by wire for the Enigma to work: a keyboard for inputting each plaintext letter, a scrambling unit that encrypts each plain text letter into a corresponding cipher text letter and a display board consisting of various lamps for indicting the cipher text letter. The cipher text allowed messages to be sent amongst different army stations in encrypted messages so that others besides German Nazi would not understand the messages, thus giving them an advantage on the battle field.
According to Winston Churchill, the breaking of the enigma code was singlehandedly one of Britain's greatest accomplishments of the war. The breaking of the code involved many people and was not a simple task. It all started at Bletchley Park where Alan Turing, a mathematician, and his colleagues were able to decrypt multiple secret messages from the enemy, Germany and their U-boats. However, Germany had invented a new coding system which was much more challenging for those at Bletchley Park to decode. They gave the problem to researchers that created the ‘Heath Robinson', yet the technology was still not fast enough and could only process half of the message. Eventually those at Bletchley created a much faster machine called "Colossus", after multiple attempts the machine was the size of a room and contained 2400 valves, working at the processing speed of 25,000 alphabetical characters per second. It was no coincidence that a few days after the Colossus was put into work became D-Day at Bletchley Park on June 5, 1944. Eisenhower received a letter which mentioned a messaged sent by Hitler stating that the invasion of Normandy was imminent, but it would not be the real invasion. With the use of the Colossus the allies were able to gain one of their greatest advantages, which lead to the defeat of the German forces so harsh the Allies were able to move across France. With the development of the Colossus and the breaking of the British Enigma code, experts state that the war would have probably gone on for approximately two more years. By cutting the war two years short the Allies were able to save on resources and give relief to the citizens on and off the battlefield. Bletchley Park was able to change the outcome of the war in favour of the Allies. It was a miracle that the machine was created in time to be successful. Without the breaking of the code, history could have been very different.
Moreover, the development of the radar helped the allied forces