Code-breaking back at Bletchley Park for the Enigma Challenge

Bombe operative Elizabeth Taylor takes part in the Enigma Challenge
Bombe operative Elizabeth Taylor takes part in the Enigma Challenge

GCHQ historians pitted their wits against the team behind the Bletchley Park Bombe Rebuild in an Enigma Challenge event at the weekend.

On Saturday, the Bombe team raced against time to break encrypted messages, just as their code-breaking predecessors did before them.

The Enigna coded messages were being sent by members of GCHQ’s Historial Section, located at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

The original Bombe machine was developed at Bletchley Park to aid the process of deducing the Enigma machine’s settings.

It famously took the team of Codebreakers up to four hours each night to deduce the day’s Enimgma settings in order to deconstruct enemy encyptions.

But Saturday’s experiement saw the Rebuild team break the code in a new record of two hours and 15 minutes.

Once the codes had been broken, groups of school children sent the team messages to decipher.

Bletchley Park Media Manager Katherine Lynch said it was “wonderful” to see how the children could come to understand something so complex.

The three day event, beginning on Saturday and ending on Monday, saw the merging of modern and historic technologies as the team posted regular updates through Twitter on @bombeteam