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The Secret in Building 26: The Untold Story of America's Ultra War Against the U-boat Enigma Codes Hardcover – April 20, 2004
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The Ultra secret (Allied decryption of German messages during World War II) has produced a growing body of literature since it was revealed 30 years ago, indicative not only of steady interest in the topic but also of the fact that it still retains its own secrets. DeBrosse and Burke benefit from the former, and make fascinating disclosures of the latter, in their account of the machines, called "bombes," that broke the German encryption tool, Enigma. Due to wartime exigencies, the construction of bombes, first built by the British, shifted to the NCR Company in Dayton, Ohio. On the technical side, the authors detail problems in building them and the ensuing strain placed on NCR's man in charge. On the intelligence side, DeBrosse and Burke dramatically recount a crisis generated by a complication added to Enigma in 1942 that, for the moment, thwarted Ultra and gained U-boats the upper hand. In addition to narrating NCR's literal life-and-death performance, the authors uncover an espionage affair within company ranks. This is an important new angle on Ultra. Gilbert Taylor
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“A well-documented, objective account . . . It needs to be read . . . by those who want to understand the indispensable role of information technology in modern warfare.”
–The Washington Post Book World
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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