Weapons of War: Colossus Codebreaking Computer

Britain’s wartime decryption efforts contributed enormously to the defeat of Axis tyranny, but they required major technological assistance. James Hoare examines the top-secret codebreaking supercomputer that gave Bletchley Park access to the inner workings of German high command.

THE COLOSSUS II REBUILD ON DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF COMPUTING. (THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF COMPUTING)

Germany’s Enigma was cracked over the first months of 1940 and Alan Turing ensured it remained that way, producing an enormous volume of intelligence on the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. However, the army high command had entrusted its secrets, battleplans and troop movements to a far more advanced machine, the Lorenz, which continued to elude British codebreakers. 

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active Key Military or Key Publishing subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers

3 months

Standard subscription rate £29.99 + VAT

Launch rate £14.99 + VAT

Subscribe now
Reccomended

12 months

Standard subscription rate £69.99 + VAT

Launch rate £34.99 + VAT

Subscribe now

9 months

Standard subscription rate £39.99 + VAT

Launch rate £19.99 + VAT

Subscribe now