WW2 Encryption Machines – Key Spaces

Over the past few weeks was editing a video which I had been quietly dreading for some time – mainly due to how many details I had to skip over in order to tell a brief story.

My main goal was to show how early attempts at automating the one-time-pad failed due to some procedural and design errors with the Enigma machine. Most videos and books on this subject explain key figures such as Turing or Tutte and go over aspects of what went on at Station X (they explain cribs, sillies, diagonal board…etc). I had to abandon all the research I did related to exactly how the bomba & bombe worked (which is really interesting) and settle for a more generalized approach…otherwise the video would have been 30min long. Plus, I feel there are so many important figures here that to include any of them would be a disservice to the others.

I decided to give the viewer an abstract understanding of what was going on at the time without bogging them down with every mechanical detail. So I use this concept of key space and explain how repetition shrunk this space allowing a machine to scan through the remaining key settings. My hope is that this is a perfect setup for the chapter on Public Key Crypto….

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