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Alan M. Turing’s Contributions to Co-operation Between the UK and the US

  • Lee A. Gladwin
Chapter

Summary

Alan Turing’s visit to the US Navy Cryptanalytic Section (Op-20-G) and the US Army’s Signal Security Agency during the winter of 1942–1943 was a significant milestone in the collaboration between the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC & CS) and its US counterparts. As technical expert for the GC & CS, Turing viewed the progress of Op-20-G as it designed and developed its own Bombe and other machine aids for defeating German Enigma ciphers. Some of these machines were requested by Turing and John Tiltman for use at Bletchley Park. Not merely an observer, Turing consulted with and advised Op-20-G on Enigma-related matters before and during his visit. Obtaining clearance for Turing to view the X-system, a voice scrambler being developed at Bell Telephone Labs, required the intercession of Field Marshal Sir John Dill and a personal appeal to General George C. Marshall. It may have inadvertently contributed to the later signing of the British-United States Agreement (BRUSA) signed in May 1943. Turing’s report on the X-system was key to its acceptance and installation in London. His activities in the United States reveal him to have been an expert in all aspects of machine-based cryptanalysis who influenced the development of the US Navy’s Bombe program and possibly speech encipherment at Bell Labs.

Keywords

Security Agency Bell Laboratory Signal Security Record Group Signal Corps 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. 1.
    C. H. O’D. Alexander, “Cryptographic History of Work on the German Naval Enigma”, Public Records Office, Kew, Surrey, HW 25/1.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ralph Erskine, “What Did the Sinkov Mission Receive from Bletchley Park?”, Cryptologia, Vol. XXIV (2000).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee A. Gladwin, “Cautious Collaborators: The Struggle for Anglo-American Cryptanalytic Co-operation, 1940–1943”; David Alvarez (ed.) Allied and Axis Signals Intelligence in World War II (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 1999), pp. 119–145.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lee A. Gladwin, “Alan M. Turing’s Critique of Running Short Cribs on the US Navy Bombe”, Cryptologia, Vol. XXVII, No. 1 (January, 2003). For further background, see [2].Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. Golan (Lt. USNR), “General Comment on RAM Equipment”; NR 1429 TETRA Projector Number 2 (Tessie & Icky); RG 457, NSA Historic Cryptographic Collection; Box 583.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Alan M. Turing, “Visit to National Cash Register Corporation of Dayton, Ohio”, Cryptologia, Vol. XXV, No. 1 (January, 2001).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee A. Gladwin
    • 1
  1. 1.Archival Services Branch of the Center for Electronic Records (NWME)The National ArchivesUSA

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