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The German Enigma Cipher Machine: Beginnings, Success, and Ultimate Failure (Artech House Computer Security) Hardcover – March 30, 2005

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1580539968 ISBN-10: 1580539963

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brian J. Winkel, Cipher Deavors, David Kahn, and Louis Kruth are world-renowned cryptology experts and on the editorial board of CRYPTOLOGIA - a unique, scholarly journal devoted to all aspects of cryptology.
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Product Details

  • Series: Artech House Computer Security
  • Hardcover: 439 pages
  • Publisher: Artech House Print on Demand (March 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580539963
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580539968
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,316,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on March 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is quite possibly the best book ever published or ever will be published on the Enigma machine. It is a collection of articles from the magazine Cryptologia. Cryptologia is a professional journal devoted to all aspects of cryptology. Down through the years they have published articles on Enigma written by the people who were there at the time and doing the code breaking, as well as by scholars who have specialized in either cryptology or the history of that aspect of World War II.

This book is a collection of articles from the magazine. Some of them:

- An Interview with Marian Rejewski, the lead Polish cryptologist who first broke the Enigma, built the Polish Bombe that allowed the British to read the Enigma trafic.

- An article by William P. Bundy, the commander of the Americans at Bletchley during World War II, subsequently worked for the CIA and Department of Defense.

- A bit over a hundred pages of the book reprint reviews of virtually every book published dealing with Enigma, codes, or intelligence during World War II.

- There is also a little bit on Magic, the breaking of the Japanese codes, particularily in respect to the distribution of information to Roosevelt.

- There are a few more tidbits about the American rotor encryption machine SIGABA - We are still waiting for the full story of this machine.

- A discussion on what the history of World War II would have been without ULTRA or MAGIC

The Enigma story is capsule in time. It was an electromechanical machine. In World War I the "electro" part wasn't developed well enough to enable it to have been built. Shortly after World War II the mechanical part was rendered obsolete by purely "electro" devices called computers.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ben Rothke on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In the world of information systems, software technologies are frequently obsolete within a decade, and hardware in less time than that. So a book about an 80-year-old cryptographic device would seem to be as useful as a maintenance guide for a Model T. There is much to learn in this fascinating account, however.

The German Enigma Cipher Machine is the story of one of the most notable pieces of security hardware ever made, an encoding device that looked like a small typewriter. The Germans used it, primarily during World War II, to send confidential communications. In their hubris, the Germans believed that the Enigma was utterly unbreakable and refused to believe otherwise even when their communiqués were being compromised. The Allied Powers were able to break the code after they acquired an Enigma machine and brought together a team of analysts from diverse countries to tease out its secrets.

That's the basic story. This book is a collection of various articles from a cryptology journal called Cryptologia. Chapters are written by those who created the Enigma, worked to crack it, or studied it afterwards. Though many of the chapters are highly technical, the book still has enough valuable information for readers without a deep background in encryption.

While the Enigma is dead and buried, the problems that doomed it-poor physical security, user error, and overreliance on the technology-are still relevant today. The Model T inventor's statement that "History is more or less bunk" to the contrary, Enigma provides lasting lessons.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Greco on January 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I read this authoritative book on enigma.Very very detailed, written by famous specialists on cryptology and codebreaking.I highly recommend this book,for those who are looking for an ultimate book on enigma cipher machine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Eye on November 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for a graduate school research paper, thinking (from its price) that it would be a detailed narrative concerning the Enigma machine - however it is not. It is a compilation of Cryptologia magazine articles including letters to the editor and an Enigma brochure. I also purchased David Kahn's The Codebreakers but it was too full of info with Enigma references interspersed for me to wade through it all for a research paper limited to the German Naval Engima machine and procedures in 1939.
This book has separate chapters which consist of Cryptologia magazine articles:
David Kahn's The Significance of Codebreaking and Intelligence in Allied Strategy and Tactics
The Enigma Part 1: Historical Perspectives (C.A. Deavours & Jamie Reeds)
The Ultra Conference (David Kahn)
Why Germany Lost the Code War (David Kahn)
In Memoriam Marian Rejewski (Christopher Kasparek & Richard A. Woytak)
A Conversation with Marian Rejewski (Richard A. Woytak)
Bombe! I Could Hardly Believe It (Robert I. Atha)
Who Was the Third Man at Pyry? (Patrick Beesly)
Some of My Wartime Experiences (William P. Bundy)
Bletchley Park 1941-1945 (Wiliam F. Clarke)
British-American Cryptanalytic Cooperation and an Unprecedented Admission by Winston Churchill (Louis Kruh)
From the Archives: A Bletchley Park Assessment of German Intelligence on Torch (Ralph Erskine)
British Intelligence in the Second World War: An Overview (F. H.
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