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<   No. 3416   2015-08-27   >

Comic #3416

1 SFX: Ring!
2 Monty: Doctor Montana Jones.
2 Monty: Miss Thoroughgood! Yes, we're analysing the photos of your—
3 Monty: I'm sorry, what?
3 Monty: Oh. About a third decoded? Really? How?
4 Monty: A Nazi Enigma machine??
4 Monty: Erwin!!

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The Enigma machine was a cipher machine produced in Germany from 1923 until the end of World War II in 1945. The Nazi military command used the machines to encrypt messages to foil interception by the Allied forces.

However the Allies managed to break the machine's coding methods and read German traffic during the latter years of the war, unbeknownst to the Germans. Alan Turing, the mathematician and early computer scientist (responsible for the ideas of Turing machines, Turing completeness, and the Turing test) did much of the work on cracking the code. With some help from Mercutio.

The Engima wasn't really a code breaking machine, but someone clever enough might be able to use its mathematical principles to attack otherwise unknown ciphers.

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