Ch. 7

Poland's greatest contribution to the final victory over the Nazis was the presentation to the British Government of "Enigma" decoders which helped the Allies read German coded messages.

  • Just before Poland fell to the Germans, the Polish intelligence service managed to smuggle two machines out of the country and Polish cryptologists helped in the decoding of the high-level German communications that is now recognized as being crucial to the outcome of the war.
  • The British made successful use of the decoding to the end of the war.
  • In recent years the British were finally begrudgingly admitting that if it weren't for the Polish mathematicians working in Poland prior to the beginning of WW2, there would not have been an ENIGMA that broke the German codes and saved many lives - many British lives.
  • Up until recently it was ONLY the British that solved this and other enormous problems. As time goes on perhaps more will finally be admitted about Polish patriots contributing so much to the defeat of Nazism.

The official recognition finally came after 55 years. When the Soviet Empire collapsed together with the Communist Warsaw government, it became politically correct in England to appreciate the contribution of Poles loyal to the Free Polish government in Exile in London.

In September 2000 Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, the Queen's second son, visited Poland. He thanked the Polish Prime Minister, Jerzy Buzek, for Poland's pivotal role in cracking Nazi Germany's Enigma code.

He also has presented the Polish Government in Warsaw with an original example of the German war-time Enigma coding machine, as a "symbol of UK's gratitude". The machine was taken from a captured Nazi submarine.

Some historians suggest the cracking of Enigma may have shortened Second World War by several years.

The major Allied successes linked to Enigma breakthrough were:

  • 1940 - Battle of Britain
  • 1943 - Soviet victory at Kursk
  • 1944 - D-day : Invasion of Normandy
  • 1944 - US defeat of Japanese navy in Coral Sea and Midway battles
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