Codebreakers—Unsung World War II Heroes

Mar 11, 2021 | Newsletter

“In peace, sons bury their fathers; in war, fathers bury their sons”



As early as 1914, the outbreak of World War I, German planners determined that transmitting messages by wireless to their far-flung military installations  was the  way to go.  But the Germans were gravely concerned about wireless transmissions: they could easily be intercepted by the enemy. The solution was to transmit messages in code. In 1918, German mathematician Arthur Scherbius developed a code-generating machine called Enigma which would be incredibly resistant to code-breaking efforts. In 1930, the Polish Cipher Bureau–now acutely concerned about a second world war–recruited three brilliant scientists from the University of Poznan to work on breaking the Enigma code. By 1939, with the outbreak of World War II, Poland, France, and Britain formed a code-breaking team comprised of the best mathematical and linguistic minds from each country. They took up residence at Bletchley Park, a luxurious British estate, 52 miles from London.

Regrettably, the codebreakers were not recognized for their major contributions to the Allied victory because their entire work was top secret. Even years after the war ended, little was said or written about their achievements. But British General Harold Alexander did state, “The knowledge we obtained from the codebreakers, not only of the enemy’s precise strength and disposition, but also how, when and where he intends to carry out his operations, brought a new dimension to the prosecution of the war.” Or, to put it another way, the Allies could have lost the war if it not for the work of the  codebreakers who worked three 8-hour shifts every day throughout the war years.

Here are four eye-opening films I recommend on this subject:


The Imitation Game

In 1939, the beginning of World War II, the British government recruited brilliant Cambridge…



The Codebreaker—Elizebeth Smith Friedman​

The fascinating story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, the legendary groundbreaking cryptanalyst…



Breaking the Code—Rise of Enigma

Breaking the Codes—The Rise of Enigma began when Marconi developed the first effective system of radio communication…



Breaking the Code—Triumph of the Codebreakers

U.S. military planners knew the next big Japanese attack after Pearl Harbor was imminent…



Coming Soon, Can’t Wait

Opening TBD, 2021: Netflix. Diana: A Musical
March 2021: Amazon Prime. Coming 2 America. Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, James Earl Jones– back again.


The Courage and Wit of Winston Churchill.
Ten Timely Quotes.

 “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak and also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”

“I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies.”

“To build may be a slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be a thoughtless act of a single day.”

“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

“Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party”

“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”

“One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions.”

“A nation that fails to honor its heroes, soon will have no heroes to honor.”

“Great success always comes at the risk of enormous failure.”



My best,


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