From the archives: A lady codebreaker speaks: Joan Murray, the Bombes and the perils of writing crypto-history from participants’ accounts. (English) Zbl 1215.01009

Summary: A declassified 1970s article by Joan Murray, the World War II-Cold War British codebreaker who worked on the German naval Enigma problem and who was engaged to Alan Turing, gives some new insights into the battle against the U-boat Enigma. As important, in the light of documents released by the British and the American since the 1990s, the article shows the ganders in using a participant’s memories as final evidence. Although privy to the secrets of Bletchley Park, Murray was, for example, unaware of the near equal power of England’s own four-wheel Bombes compared to those designed in America.


01A60 History of mathematics in the 20th century
94A60 Cryptography

Biographic References:

Murray, Joan
Full Text: DOI


[1] DOI: 10.1080/01611190802113777 · doi:10.1080/01611190802113777
[2] Jack B., The Essential Turing: The Ideas That Gave Birth to the Computer Age. (2004)
[3] DeBrosse , Jim. 2004 .The Secret in Building 26: the Untold Story of America’s Ultra War Against the U-boat Enigma Codes., New York : Random House , pp. 24 – 52 .
[4] Erskine Ralph, Action This Day. (2001)
[5] Erskine, Ralph I. J., IEEE Annals of the History of Computing pp 67– (2001)
[6] DOI: 10.1080/01611190008984234 · doi:10.1080/01611190008984234
[7] DOI: 10.1080/0161-110391891793 · doi:10.1080/0161-110391891793
[8] Erskine Ralph., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2008)
[9] DOI: 10.1080/01611190802088318 · doi:10.1080/01611190802088318
[10] Oct Lee., Cryptologia 31 pp 305– (2007)
[11] Hinsley , F. H. and Alan Stripp (eds .). 1993 .Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park. London : Oxford University Press , pp. 113 – 118 .
[12] Hinsley F. H., British Intelligence in the Second World War: Its Influence on Strategy and Operations. (1979)
[13] NSA Technical Journal 20 pp 41– (1975)
[14] Sebag-Montefiore H., Enigma: the Battle for the Code. (2000)
[15] DOI: 10.1080/0161-119691884988 · Zbl 0863.94014 · doi:10.1080/0161-119691884988
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