World War II

A lot of computational machines were created during World War II for military use, such as encrypting messages and information. One very popular machine is The Enigma Machine. It was in production since the 1920s before the German government decided to use it for war. The Enigma works using mechanical rotors to scramble the input of the user. Input a letter on the keyboard and the ciphered letter will light up. The way of decrypting a message works in the same way. Simply type in the ciphertext and the original message will be outputted.


The Colossus is another famous machine, developed by Allied Forces to decipher Enigma encrypted messages. The first Colossus was created in 1943 and it used 1600 vacuum tubes for counting and Boolean calculations. After that, a total of 10 Colossus machines were built, each one better than the last one. When the Allied Forces won the war, the machines were dismantled and their technical manuals were burned in order to keep their existence secret. On the right you can see a replica of the Colossus machine.


ENIAC stands for Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer. It is the world's first fully electronic digital general purpose computer. Developed during 1943 and 1945 and unveiled in 1946, the ENIAC made use of 19000 vacuum tubes for an astonishing, at the time, number of 5000 additions per second.