Codebreaking and Secret Weapons in World War II

These articles are part of a ten-part series on codebreaking (Enigma, "Purple", "Magic", and the large part cryptography played in World War II) and the secret weapons of Allies and Axis (V1, V2, A-bomb, radar, etc.). The series of articles originally appeared in Nautical Brass magazine, now no longer in print, but on the Web as Nautical Brass On-Line. The set of 10 issues with those articles is available for $25.00, postage included in the U.S. For overseas postage rates send email to:

To see why we made it difficult to contact us click on the explanation. Nautical Brass, PO Box 3966, N. Ft. Myers, FL 33918-3966. (NOTE: Some of the issues are in short supply, and as they run out will be replaced with photocopies). The articles are archived at the Library of Congress, Bletchley Park Museum in England, and National Cryptologic Museum, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland (301) 688-5489. The museum also has hands-on working enigma machines and cryptography exhibits.

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Chapter I: 1926-1939. How the Poles broke the German Enigma ciphers prior to World War II. (31K)

Chapter II: 1939-1941. The start of World War II, Bletchley Park, Ultra, German beam guidance systems, the U-Boats, invasion plans, capture of U-110. (30K)

Chapter III: 1941. Radar, Pearl Harbor, United States enters the War, "Purple", "Magic", Africa. (20K)

Chapter IV: 1941-42. German beam systems, German capital ships, Greece, Yugoslavia, Russia, improved radar, ASW, Japanese conquests, Paukenschlag, North Africa, Midway. (30K)

  Appendix A. The Abwehr Enigma, with excellent close-up photos and descriptions by David Hamer. The Abwehr Enigma stepping mechanism was more complicated than the field Enigma machine.

  Annotated Bibliography. 120 references, including Web sites, movies, video tapes, books and articles. (17K)

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Last update:12/6/00