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Hitler’s ‘code-cracking’ Tunny machine restored by UK museum

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 08:46

London: The British National Museum of Computing in Bletchley has unveiled a reconstruction of one of the Tunny machines that played an important role in disentangling Allied interceptions of the coded orders that German leader Adolf Hitler sent to his generals during World War II.

Restoration work on Tunny at the museum was re-started in 2005 by a team led by computer conservationists John Pether and John Whetter.
Pether said that they faced challenges while re-building it because of lack of source materials.

"As far as I know there were no original circuit diagrams left. All we had was a few circuit elements drawn up from memory by engineers who worked on the original," the BBC quoted Pether, as saying.

The first Tunny machine was built in 1942 by mathematician Bill Tutte after analysing intercepted encrypted radio signals that Hitler was sending to his Nazi high command. They helped in converting radio signals into text.

Reports suggest that there were 12-15 Tunny machines in use by the end of the World war II, and that the information they revealed about Nazi battle plans helped the Russians during the battle of Kursk to ensure the success of D-Day.

Whetter praised the original engineers for inventing such a machine.

"We have a great deal of admiration for Bill Tutte and those original engineers. There were no standard drawings they could put together. It was all original thought and it was incredible what they achieved," Whetter said.


First Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 08:46

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