Talk:Marian Rejewski

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Cryptographer or Cryptologist?[edit]

Why cryptographer instead of cryptologist ? Lysy 20:12, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)


There has been some considerable debate on this here on WP, and the concensus was for cryptography, cryptographer and so on. See Wikiproject Cryptography, List of topics in Cryptography, the article crytography, etc. I made the change to fit with usage on WP. No other reason. ww 23:46, 29 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Frankly, he was a cryptoanalyst rather than cryptographer. The difference is similar to this between military intelligence and counter-intelligence. Lysy 12:16, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I didn't know that we had decided on this for use in article text; I know we decided to merge cryptology and cryptography as articles, and use "cryptography" in article names, but I personally don't have a problem with "cryptologist" in the context of historical cryptography where the word gets used more frequently. — Matt 13:03, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Matt, This was before you became active. The problem was that everything could fit under cryptology AND cryptography (and the variants of same) and in the interest of lessened confusion... It's a minor point really, somewhat like y v i I suppose. But no one spoke up for cryptologist, so... ww 20:47, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I believe that cryptology consists of two branches: cryptography and cryptanalysis, at least in Polish it does. Is it the same in English ?
Not really. Cryptology and cryptography are congruent in meaning in English. ww
So there's nothing wrong in calling cryptographer a cryptologist, but cryptanalyst is not a cryptographer (while he is still a cryptologist). Does it make sense ?
A confused sense in English. Polish and English appear to be somewhat skew in the categorizations the language uses. ww
I would therefore change it back to cryptologist here unless there are strong objections. Lysy 04:01, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I don't object. There's really two styles that you encounter in English. The first is to treat the entire field as "cryptology", split into two branches: "cryptography" and "cryptanalysis". However, more recently people have been calling the entire field "cryptography" instead. It seems that on Wikipedia we have chosen to use "cryptography" in article names, presumably because the second style is more popular. I think we should avoid "cryptographer" (as it may be misleading in the first style) and use one of "cryptologist", "cryptanalyst" or "codebreaker". — Matt 14:59, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
M&W, English has a very large vocabulary and there are several (many) ways to say most anything. In other languages (perhaps Polish?) there is less confusing profusion of choice, and so less dithering. At least one can hope others avoid this occasional paralysis. My understanding of the history in English is that cryptography (and presumably cryptographer -- as one who does cryptography) was the original term; probably chosen in some of the early works on the subject on the Continent; English writers, though not English cryptanalysts and perhaps cryptographers (eg, Thomas Phelippes (sp?), John Wallis, ...) who were fully au courant), were somewhat late into print in comparison. Cryptologist is, as I understand it a later adoption (backforming some uniformity with such things as archaeologist (BP spelling here?) and, with what I think to be one of singularly ugly words in English, theologist; theologian is so much better!). At base, it's a stylistic choice. The -ologist forms have a somewhat unpleasant (I can't find a word for this so I'll misuse one) flavour when being said, at least to this English speaker (albeit of a corrupted colonial form of the language), and a non English sound as well to this English speaker's ear. Something Germanic in the sound sequence somewhere or something.
I personally prefer the following structure for English words in this field and use it in my writing on the subject. The entire field is cryptography, which includes cypher and code design and implementation (done by cryptographers as I don't know a better term for those who perform this function (ie, these functions as they are not congruent in re personnel), and -ologist as an alternative to cryptographer is ugly and unacceptable aesthetically (BP spelling again?)), and cryptanalysis which is done by cryptanalysts. Popular usage mangles the meaning of the latter and takes all cryptanalysis to be codebreaking (including Kahn's book title, unfortunately -- it was probably a tyrannical editor or some publisher's marketing droid who insisted) and those who do it as codebreakers.
I'm curious, regardless of how one expects it to be done in English, about the usages in Polish. Can you enlighten we who are innocent of Polish (except in this case that I know you have more letters than we do)? Thanks. ww 15:49, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)
So, we have here "ugly" (cryptologist) vs "confusing" (cryptographer). How about cryptanalysts then again ? Rejewski was hardly inventing any codes, but rather "breaking" them.
W, Yup, confusing it is. English has never in its thousand year history as a language distinct from its Germanic/Scandinavian/Latinate roots (as nearly as I can tell) made any rational sense. Attempting to fit Latinate grammar to it is an exercise in driving children mad and the spelling is incoherent, incomprehensible, incredible, and insane. And causes cavities too. As for the 'ugly', it was an attempt to tease out of the back of my mind (on behalf of watching how the language works -- somewhat akin to interrogating one's liver in peculiarity, I think) a reason for discovering that one word is less acceptable to this English speaker than another with equivalent meaning. Not quite a merely aesthetic reaction, but I suppose related somehow (common neural structures?). A similar thing is happening in the back of my brain (or alternatively in Broca's area which isn't quite at the back if I remember correctly) with regard to the definite article when used with NSA. (See Talk:NSA).
Rejewski was certainly a cryptanalyst, but in doing cryptanalysis he was also a cryptographer since he was doing something cryptographic, ie, cryptanalysis. You're right, English is something or other. Be glad Polish makes more sense. (I trust it does?) ww 14:16, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
As for Polish usage, historically it was certainly more influenced by German than English, but this trend is getting reversed now. All these words derive from Greek (graphein, analysis, kryptos, logos) anyway.
Today in Polish both 'kryptologia' and 'kryptografia' are in use, the former has a little more "scientific" flavour ("the science of codes"), while the latter is more about their practical exploitation. However with the increasing influence of American English, the word 'kryptografia' is being in much more used now. Surprisingly, a person performing these tasks is called 'kryptolog' and the word 'kryptograf' I think is even incorrect (formally does not exists. But of course peculiarities of Polish usage are irrelevant to English wikipedia. Anyway, in my mind the connotations are following:
  • cryptologist = one who researches coding and decoding
  • cryptographer = one who codes
W, I've never seen this word used with this limited meaning in English. We use code clerk (for work including cypher work as well, sigh...) or something similarly compound (eg, communications staffer to suggest a particularly awkward one). Looks we have a wider sense for the English cognate of the (nonexistent) Polish kryptograf. Odd how things get passed back and forth (and dropped) between languages, isn't it? ww 13:58, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • cryptanalyst = one who decodes
W, Likewise if the sense you mean is the unraveling of codes as distinct from cyphers. I've always seen it used in English as inclusive of both, never just one. ww 13:58, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
In line with these definitions Rejewski was both cryptologist (when he performed some intellectual work) and cryptanalyst (when he was decoding the messages) but never a cryptographer. Hence my doubts. Lysy 15:52, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Rejewski himself on terms (in Polish): — Matt 00:54, 23 Aug 2004 (UTC)
When I learned cryptology, that was the word for the whole field, cryptography was generating codes (encrypting), and cryptanalysis was breaking codes (decrypting). They're all closely related, but technically speaking, cryptology is the best word when speaking generally. It has cognates in psychology and psychoanalysis (though, luckily, not psychography). Of course, this is not a big deal. Aroundthewayboy 03:41, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Single most valuable contribution?[edit]

I moved this sentence here for now:

It would not be unreasonable to characterize Rejewski's early 1930s conceptual breakthrough as the single most valuable contribution by an individual to the winning of WWII by the Allies.

Certainly Rejewski's work was highly important, but I think assertions like this are extremely debatable. Of course, if this is a common evaluation of Rejewski's contribution, then it might be good to include a sentence like this, perhaps as a quote from a historian; otherwise I think we'd do well to leave it out. The David Kahn quote certainly helps demonstrate how well-regarded he is by cryptographers. — Matt 04:25, 7 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Some biases[edit]

On the principle of parsimony, I regret William Friedman's aging neologism, "cryptanalysis." Why did he need a new term, when there already was a well-established, elegant one, "cryptology" ("the study of secret writing," chiefly for the honorable purpose of "decrypting" or "breaking" others' ciphers or codes)? The proper term then for the creation or use of ciphers or codes was "cryptography" ("secret writing," per se). The two fields are, of course, two sides of the same coin: one studies crypto-systems both to break those of an opponent, and to make one's own resistant to breaking.

Both Anglophones and Polonophones show a marked predilection for conceptual sloppiness. The former like to lump ciphers and codes together as "codes," hence referring to the breaking of either as "codebreaking." Polonophones, doubtless from esthetic considerations of their own, tend to do exactly the opposite: they lump ciphers and codes together as "ciphers," and refer to decryption of either as "deciphering." Such verbal sloppiness inevitably leads to conceptual confusion and should, where possible, be avoided. There is, of course, the third term, "decryption," that may be applied to mixed situations.

Uninitiates, of course, tend to confuse "decipherment" with "decryption"—which is like equating, respectively, a legitimate bank withdrawal with a bank burglary.

But what I perhaps find most objectionable is the imputation of inelegance, stodginess or excessive punctiliousness to any word that contains the Greek root "-logy" or "-logist." Logologist 07:53, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Authoritative account[edit]

"the bomba — Polish for "bomb": the most authoritative account, by Cipher Bureau technician Czesław Betlewski, relates..."

For reasons of NPOV, I don't believe that we can assert that this or that account is authoritative or otherwise unless there's some clear consensus in the literature that this is so. My suspicion is that there is no consensus here; there are plenty of other accounts which seem to remain unchallenged: "Bomba is Polish for bomb. Wladyslaw Kozaczuk's book Enigma (University Press of America, 1984, 63) cites a letter from Col. Tadeusz Lisicki, chief of a Polish signal unit, which claims that Jerzy Rozycki named the machine after an ice cream dessert the mathematicians were eating at the time. The bomba dessert was a round ball of ice cream covered in chocolate and resembled an old-fashioned bomb. However, in an article Rejewski himself says, "For lack of a better name we called them bombs." ("How Polish Mathematicians Deciphered the Enigma," Annals of the History of Computing, v.3, n.3 (July 1981): 226.) Finally, a U.S. Army document describing the Polish Bombes claims, "When a possible solution was reached a part would fall off the machine onto the floor with a loud noise. Hence the name 'bombe'." (6812th,10.)" [1]. — Matt Crypto 08:29, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The phrasing as it now stands, without "most authoritative," is fine.
It's questionable whether Tadeusz Lisicki had factual grounds for his assertion: he attributes the device's naming to Jerzy Różycki, whom he never met. (Różycki died in the Mediterranean in 1942.) Lisicki was never associated with the Cipher Bureau. Betlewski was. Barring convincing documentation, how the Americans derive the name is irrelevant, since they hadn't named the device in the first place.
I doubt that Rejewski or Zygalski would have discussed Enigma decryption, much less the naming of the bomb, with Lisicki during the war, having been sworn to secrecy by their employers. Lisicki received information from Rejewski after Enigma decryption had become public knowledge and Lisicki offered to advocate for the Poles' primacy. Logologist 09:10, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Interesting. It'd be good to add Betlweski's account to the various theories listed at Bomba (cryptography) — would you be able to provide a reference for this? — Matt Crypto 09:53, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Betlewski's version appears in Kozaczuk's 1984 Enigma, p. 63, note 1: "B.S.-4 workers also referred to the device, irreverently, as a 'mangle' ([Polish:] magiel) or 'washing machine' (pralka), on account of the characteristic muffled noise that it produced. (Oral account by Czesław Betlewski.)"

Betlewski also appears on pp. 212-15, in relation to security considerations under German occupation and drastic measures employed to protect the Enigma-decryption secret.

Incidentally, a diagram of a Polish cryptological bomb appears on p. 289 which I believe has also figured in other publications; an adaptation might serve as a helpful illustration to the "Bomba" article. Logologist 05:14, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for the reference. Would you be able to also provide the source s for the Rejewski, Good and Welchman quotes? I've recently realised that it's quite a good idea to provide sources for quotes and the like (even though it's quite tedious!). Yes, the bomba picture (if it's the same as the ones I've seen) would be quite useful if someone could create one for us. — Matt Crypto 22:55, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Sources provided.

Thanks! — Matt Crypto 10:23, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The drawings of Rejewski's cyclometer and bomb that appear in Kozaczuk 1984 (pp. 284, 289) are reproduced identically in Jan Bury's "The Enigma Code Breach," which you've linked to "Marian Rejewski." They have, in fact, appeared in so many places that they probably may be considered public-domain.

While we probably can't consider them public domain (unless the author has specifically indicated as such) their widespread use does speak in favour of a Fair Use case (to some extent). I think it would be preferable to create our own, though. — Matt Crypto 10:23, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Bury's piece, though generally accurate, is occasionally misleading (e.g. the cyclometer came long before the bomb) and of course requires translation from "Poglish" to English (e.g. "auxiliary connectors' plate at the front panel" = "plugboard"). Logologist 06:35, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Extended Rejewski quote[edit]

I'm not sure that the extended Rejewski quote is the best way here. Short quotes are clearly very useful, but the job of an encyclopedia article is to summarise primary sources; here, we seem to be incorporating Rejewski's narrative to tell the story for us. I don't believe the events are so contentious that we can't synthesise our own summary of them. — Matt Crypto 10:23, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)

There has been an awful lot of confusion and speculation (for over 30 years!) about just what it was that Rejewski did. I thought that hearing about it straight from the horse's mouth might help clear things up. But perhaps someone could attempt a deft (and accurate) summary — and perhaps we might consider transferring the extended quotes to the WikiQuotes, for convenient reference? Logologist 12:27, 14 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yes, sounds like a good plan to me, and Rejewski's account does seem the obvious starting point for a summary of the events! — Matt Crypto 12:17, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The Wiring[edit]

According to Simon Singh's "The Code Book", what Hans-Thilo Schmidt gave the french was the "Gebrauchsanweisung für die Chiffriermaschine Enigma" und die "Schlüsselanleitung für die Chiffriermaschine Enigma" - manuals. He goes on to say that "[...] although there was no explicit description of the wirings inside each scrambler, they contained the information needed to deduce those wirings." and states that the french had already known about the wiring but had "not bothered" to build a replica because they were not good enough at cyptanalysis. Rejewski wouldn't be the first scientist who forgets to mention a contribution, especially considering his not getting the accolades he should have. At least, he wasn't treated like Turing was. --Snottily 09:34, 12 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Two comments: 1) Rejewski readily admitted that he made use of German Enigma settings obtained by French intelligence when he deduced the Enigma wiring. 2) The French didn't know the wiring. To deduce the wiring from the stolen Enigma documents required not just "being bothered", but some unprecedented mathematical techniques from Rejewski (unprecedented in codebreaking, that is). — Matt Crypto 11:00, 13 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Erroneous notes[edit]

Text references nos. 9, 10 and 11, at least, are incorrect.

  • No. 9 (quote from Welchman, p. 289) appears in the Notes as no. 10.
  • No. 10 (about "Heil Hitler," from Kozaczuk, p. 87) appears in the Notes as no. 11.
  • No. 11 is not given its proper source (the information on Rejewski's posthumous 2005 British decoration obviously could not have come from Kozaczuk's 1984 Enigma).

logologist 22:40, 10 November 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Possible FAC[edit]

Dear Matt Crypto, thanks for the information regarding possible FAC for Marian Rejewski. Please keep me informed of any specific questions regarding which I might be of help.

I wonder if someone could correct the numbering of the article's notes? When the material was reworked by someone, inaccuracies crept in. (Please see November 10, 2005, remarks, just above, on "Erroneous notes.") logologist 15:59, 1 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've fiddled with these, hopefully fixed now. — Matt Crypto 23:52, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How many years?[edit]

Harry Hinsley in a 1996 speech ("The Influence of ULTRA in the Second World War," linked to the Wikipedia article about him) opined that, absent Ultra, "the war would have been something like two years longer, perhaps three years longer, possibly four years longer than it was."

In view of the imponderables implicit in this and similar estimates, I wonder whether it would not be better to end the first paragraph of the Marian Rejewski article at "substantially altered ["influenced"?] the course of the war." logologist 05:09, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've tried "...and may have considerably hastened the defeat of Germany", which is fuzzy, but we can go into a little more detail later. — Matt Crypto 23:52, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

BP solving SD?[edit]

I just thought I'd fact check this: does anyone have a source for the British solving SD Enigma messages at Bletchley Park? (We assert this in the article). — Matt Crypto 23:52, 2 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Entry ring[edit]

Rejewski writes (his paper published 1980):

What, then, were the connections in the entry drum? It turned out later that they can be found by deduction, but in December 1932, or perhaps in the first days of 1933, I obtained those connections by guessing. I assumed that, since the keyboard keys were not connected with the successive contacts in the entry drum in the order of the letters on the keyboard, then maybe they were connected up in alphabetical order; that is, that the permutation caused by the entry drum was an identity and need not be taken into account at all. This time, luck smiled upon me. The hypothesis proved correct, and the very first trial yielded a positive result. From my pencil, as by magic, began to issue numbers designating the connections in drum N. Thus the connections in one drum, the right-hand drum, were finally known.

(In Kozaczuk, 1984 Enigma, appendix D, p. 258.)

I hope this helps. logologist 23:15, 3 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, Logologist, I don't think I was very clear in my edit summary. My intention was to restore the "perhaps" into the sentence, "perhaps guided by an intuition about a German fondness for order", because I believe that the inspiration for the guess was uncertain. (That he guessed the entry wheel wiring is certain). — Matt Crypto 18:00, 4 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Polish Biographical Dictionary reference[edit]

Can we identify the author of this entry?

  • "Rejewski, Marian Adam," Polski słownik biograficzny (Polish Biographical Dictionary), vol. XXXI/1, pp. 54-56, Wrocław, Wydawnictwo Polskiej Akademii Nauk (Polish Academy of Sciences), 1988.

— Matt Crypto 19:59, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The author is Jerzy Kubiatowski. --Lysy (talk) 23:11, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can we get a photo of the Bydgoszcz memorial?[edit]

Poland Bydgoszcz Rejewski monument.jpg

I came across this photo on Flickr: [2]. I think it would be good to have a photograph of a Rejewski memorial/plaque, if we could get hold of one, and this statue is the most striking. I've tried emailing the Flickr author, but they haven't responded. Do you think there's any chance of a Wikipedian being in Bydgoszcz who might be able to acquire a photo for us? — Matt Crypto 20:59, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think I'll have a picture that could be used. --Lysy (talk) 23:12, 6 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The best one I could get for the moment is this: Image:Poland_Bydgoszcz_Rejewski_monument.jpg. --Lysy (talk) 11:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, great, that's just what I'd hoped for, thanks! I've been bold and added it to the article. — Matt Crypto 11:43, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Entry "rotor"[edit]

If I'm not mistaken, the entry "rotor" by definition wasn't a rotor, because it didn't rotate. The original German Eintrittswalze translates, I think, as "entry drum," which is what Rejewski called it (in Polish translation). logologist 01:18, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In fact Rejewski used the "drum" term for all the "rotors", which also made sense, as a "rotor" seems to be something that rotates rather quickly and continuously. I wonder what name they used for it before and during the war. German term "Walze" is a "cylinder" which also refers to the geometry of the part rather than its rotation. --Lysy (talk) 09:58, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We could use "entry drum". The word "wheel" was popular at Bletchley Park, but it seems they'd adopted the American terminology of "rotor" by the 1950s. Of course, "rotor" is something of a misnomer for parts that don't rotate, but it seems to be the jargon. I've seen the "Eintrittswalze" referred to in English as "Entry wheel", "Entry disc", "Entry drum", "Entry rotor" and "Entry stator". — Matt Crypto 10:45, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm sure you, as a native English speaker, will make the best choice. For me "entry stator" seems too artificial, "entry rotor" also seems not good for the reason already discussed. I would go for "Entry drum". A "wheel" seems a bit more Ultra than Enigma related, but maybe it's just me. --Lysy (talk) 11:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rheumatism ?[edit]

Hmm, where did this rheumatism information come from ? I always though he could not resume his academic work upon return to Poland for security reasons. --Lysy (talk) 15:26, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's from Kozaczuk Appendix A, page 226: "He was, however, exhausted psychically, in ill health (in the Spanish prisons he had contracted, among other things, rheumatism, and after his return to Poland for three years slept in a woolen shirt)." — Matt Crypto 16:08, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wouldn't object to deletion of the reference to "rheumatism."

As to other circumstances that prevented Rejewski taking a mathematics-teaching position at a university, some that were omitted in Kozaczuk's 1984 Enigma are given in the more complete version of the Rejewski interview that is included in Richard Woytak's collection of interviews, Werble historii (History's Drumroll): see article on Richard Woytak. logologist 22:00, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It should be also remembered that Kozaczuk was a military historian of a communist regime in Poland, so obiously any references to Rejewski's post-war history in his book cannot be taken for their face value. Quite possibly Rejewski mentioned "rheumatism" to Kozaczuk being perfectly aware of how absurd it sounded for an excuse for not taking academic position (as if work in a factory would be better for rheumatism). I'm just speculating on this, but for sure Kozaczuk cannot be considered a non-biased source for anything related to the Communist Poland. Especially if the book was published in 1984 in Poland, it had to be approved for printing earlier, in the middle of the martial law. --Lysy (talk) 22:20, 7 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It wasn't published in Poland, but in the United States and Britain. And Richard Woytak, cited above, was an American. logologist 00:44, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Basically, it's the same book that was published in Poland as "W kręgu Enigmy". --Lysy (talk) 06:18, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, it isn't. Have you read it? logologist 06:43, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
P.S. You might try looking up the book at a Polish university library. Don't neglect the chapter notes and appendices: they're virtually a second book (largely absent from W kręgu) within the book — and perhaps the better part of the whole. logologist 10:16, 8 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I have both books at home. The 1984 "Enigma" is a translation of 1979 "W kręgu Enigmy", translated by Christopher Kasparek. You are right about the richer appendices of course, but basically it's a translation and the American edition has the original Polish title mentioned. --Lysy (talk) 21:38, 17 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some Enigmas[edit]

I interpret Kozaczuk's 1984 Enigma, p. 59, as implying that the July 1939 Kabaty Woods meeting took place only on July 25, 1939.

I'm not sure that Kozaczuk's statement that BS-4 moved to the Kabaty Woods in 1937 necessarily means that other BS sections remained in Warsaw. The Russian section, for example, might very well have also moved. I'd use neutral language about these aspects of the 1937 move. logologist 16:13, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree about the Kabaty Woods meeting date. As implied by Kozaczuk, they only went there on the 25th. Thanks for spotting that. Incidentally, do you happen to know why on page 59 Kozaczuk spells it "Kabackie"? — Matt Crypto 17:19, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Kabackie" is the adjectival form of the noun "Kabaty."
By the way, Welchman doesn't say that only "the Army and Air Force Enigma section," but "Ultra would never have gotten off the ground" without the information received from the Poles. logologist 17:35, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reason I put that was that in the full quote, Welchman refers to "Hut 6 Ultra", not "Ultra". Welchman elsewhere in Hut 6 Story specifically defines the term "Hut 6 Ultra" as the intelligence produced as a result of Hut 6's work (as opposed to from other sources, e.g., Hut 8, or Tunny). Hut 6, of course, was the section tackling Army and Air Force Enigma. The connection of Bletchley's work on Naval Enigma to the Polish work is much less direct. — Matt Crypto 17:38, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re: kabackie; ah, OK. Would "Kabackie Woods" be a preferable English rendering, or are both acceptable? — Matt Crypto 17:44, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About Kabaty: Sorry, I should have been more explicit. I'd definitely use "Kabaty Woods." I think the translator would have done the same, had he been aware of the existence of the locality called "Kabaty."

Regarding "Hut 6 Ultra": You're right, he does say "Hut 6 Ultra." Still, I think the point he was making — one that Rejewski also makes — was the crucial importance of continuity in this kind of work. logologist 01:55, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Theorem that won WWII"[edit]

We attribute this to I. J. Good. However, having looked at p.24 in Kozaczuk (1984), it would appear to have been due to Cipher A. Deavours, who comments in an afterword to the Cryptologia article that:

no doubt practitioners of group theory should introduce this property of permutations to students as "the theorem that won World War II".

— Matt Crypto 17:38, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for catching the misattribution. logologist 01:55, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've seen other people use it too. It gets a fair number of Google hits. Phr 19:19, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PC Cadix?[edit]

Kozaczuk p 114 suggests that Cadix was a PC. — Matt Crypto 18:20, 12 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would go along with whatever Gustave Bertrand calls it, in his 1973 Enigma. (It's been a while since I read it, and I don't have a copy at hand.) logologist 01:55, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another enigma[edit]

Rejewski does, in Kozaczuk's 1984 Enigma, give varying dates for the reflector change of November 1937: on pp. 242 and 290, November 1; on p. 264, November 2. Are there reliable collateral sources for the date? logologist 02:37, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you are pushing this towards FA - which I wholeheartly support - please consider using the inline citations. For Wikipedia to be a really useful tool of research we should use inline citations, and soon they will be a FA requirement just as the reference section. See Katyń massacre or Intelligent design for an example of well inlined articles (or just check the newly promoted FACs).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:49, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The article already uses inline citations, just in Harvard referencing style, not in the "footnote" style. Both are acceptable styles; see Wikipedia:Cite_sources#Harvard_style. — Matt Crypto 08:09, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True, although Harvard is a little bit less user friendly. Still, there is not enough of them - let me demosntrate on lead where I'd like to see citations.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 14:54, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you think things need additional citation, pop in a {{fact}}, and I'll try and dig up a reference for you. I don't think we need to reference much more than at present, though. In my opinion, we only really need to directly cite surprising/controversial facts, and quotations. A reader will be able to verify facts he reads in this article quite easily, especially since he realises that most of it is from Kozaczuk's Enigma ;-) — Matt Crypto 15:00, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would argue against inline citations in the lead section, and particulary as we've been using the verbose Harvard style. In essence, the lead section is a summary of the article — an extended abstract. Each point in the lead is (or should be) expanded upon in the main article, and so all the things you've tagged for a citation would be better off referenced and discussed in the article body (they already are, I believe, with the exception of the "shortening the war" bit). — Matt Crypto 15:10, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the same fact is mentioned twice, then the reference should either go with the first use, or you can use ibid/op citum notes. The problem basically goes away if you use footnotes, as they look 'prettier' in text. Actually I will try to format this article with footnotes before FAC for you guys - you just provide inline citations in whatever format is easier for you. I am beginning to appreciate inlines after seeing how it calmed down discussions at Katyn Massacre and History of Belarus, plus as I am more and more invovled with Wikipedia:Resources for researchers and explaining to people at my uni why Wiki is 'good' - they all love inline cits, and say you can't have too many of them :)--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 16:55, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've had a think about this, and my thought is that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to citing sources. Sure, in articles that are likely to be controversial, like Katyn Massacre, you might wish to use lots of inline citations for each and every fact. In this article, though, we have the situation where there is one main source for the majority of the material (i.e. Kozaczuk's Enigma), and very little about it is disputed. Therefore I don't think the reader would gain much from a page or two of "ibid" references to Kozaczuk, and Harvard style is workable. I don't think we need to cite sources for the lead section, either, as it's essentially an abstract; everything in the lead section should be covered in more detail later in the article. — Matt Crypto 16:10, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree. logologist 16:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used to think like you. But there is a logical fallacy here: you, the main contributors, tend to ignore some things that are obvious to you, but not to other readers. You assume that everyone will know that *most* facts came from that single source. But they won't. A long lists of ibids may not look pretty, but it clarifies without any doubt were the information came from. I think it is preferable to have such a list, saying 'this, this, that and that came from this single source' then the alternative where the readers may think 'well, this came probably from this'. In addition, even if majority of info comes from source A, you are using other sources. By footnoting only some sources you are giving a fake impression that the other books might have been added mistakenly to reference section, instead of further reading, so in fact you are actuallly 'hiding' your main reference(s). If a reference is not connected to inline notes, then one can as well assume it is a further reading, not a proper reference. If a paragraph or a section have one inline cit, but the specific facts are not connected to inline note, then there is always a possibility - from the reader POV - that it might have been added by another editor. If you want your work to be user-friendly and credible, then help make Wikipedia the most authoritative source of information in the world.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:58, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about we add a comment at the start of the References section to inform readers that Kozaczuk is the main source for the article? We can then restrict inline cites to A) every fact that comes from a different source (many of these are already indicated as such, I believe); B) direct quotes, and C) for "surprising" facts from Kozaczuk? — Matt Crypto 21:03, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All right. I have now indicated in text which paragraphs should have their references, plus I inserted some editor's comments in several places where I think something should be expanded/explained. Although the section on the life in postwar Poland needs to be expanded, explaining to the reader why Rejewski chose to keep his contributions secret, why he was persecuted by SB/UB, why he had difficulties in reclaiming his pre-war appartment and such. Overall, great article, and I eagerly await those minor fixes and FAC.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:02, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As long as all the facts are replaced with citations, I think we are ready for FAC. Matt - tnx for the great job providing the missing citations. I still think that you should not remove any of my citation requests, I really thought carefully which para should be referenced (although I don't mind if there are no citations in the lead).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 20:49, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I've added those back again, and found citations for the others. — Matt Crypto 18:36, 19 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Tnx. As far as I am concerned, this is ready for FAC and gets my support :) I'd still prefer to transform all Harvard's ref into footnotes, but this is a minor style issue.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:10, 19 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Though the majority of the article is definitely from Kozachuk, I added a bunch more information today from Singh's book. I tried to reference them in a similar way to what's already there, but if anyone would like to suggest a better way of doing it, have at it.  :) Elonka 09:48, 3 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your edits. I think we should be slightly cautious about using Singh's book. As a pop-sci treatment of crypto history, I can't think of a more readable account, but it can be slightly unreliable in places: [3]. I would suspect that we have all of the sources available to Singh anyway. — Matt Crypto 17:34, 4 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're welcome, this has been a fun project, especially because Rejewski probably knew members of my family (some of my ancestors were Polish mathematicians, teachers, and scientists from the Poznan area). As for Singh, I agree about being cautious with his book, especially because so many other errors have been reported. However, precisely because his book *is* so popular, I think it would be worth including at least a mention of some of his claims in the article, since so many people may have heard of them. If nothing else, a "debunking" section? For example, Singh claimed that one of the Polish-donated Enigmas was smuggled in playwright Sacha Guitry's baggage on August 18. That very specific information got removed by one of the other editors as "too colorful", but just because it's dramatic, doesn't mean it's false.  :) I've written to Singh asking for a specific reference on that, and if he does have a solid one, I think the story should at least get mentioned in the article, even if it's disputed. And if it does turn out to be false, perhaps something like, "There was a great deal of excitement and mystique around this story. According to Simon Singh's "The Code Book," the famous playwright Guitry claimed on August 18 to have smuggled one of the Polish-donated Enigmas in his baggage, though in actuality they were simply transported via diplomatic pouch." BTW, what is the reference on the "transported via pouch" story? And one other after-thought, just as speculation: Perhaps Guitry transported *an* Enigma, even if not one of the specific ones referred to in this article. There were, after all, many thousands of them floating around.  :) Elonka 04:07, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd like to hear where it came from; possibly Bertrand's book? It might be better to include the story in a different article, as it's slightly tangential to Rejewski's personal story, and even more so if we have to explain that it's possibly not true! Perhaps it could be put into the Biuro Szyfrów article? — Matt Crypto 23:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think Thomas Parrish's book "The American Magic" mentions the diplomatic pouch. I don't have a copy here to check, though. Phr 16:26, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To the best of my recollection, Bertrand doesn't speak of any French thespians transporting Polish Enigmas to Paris or London in July or August 1939. I'm inclined to chalk this story up to grandstanding by people who had nothing even peripherally to do with Enigma. Do you recall the story (was it Stephenson's or Cave Brown's) about "Cynthia," an American state senator's daughter who supposedly used her charms to wheedle Enigma secrets out of (Poles, Germans?)? Or somebody's story about a Polish Jew named Lewinski, who gave the British the secrets? Etc., etc. logologist|Talk 15:39, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This story also pops up in David Kahn's "Seizing the Enigma". The notes supporting the passage include an interview with Dunderdale himself, which lends it a little more credibility. Biffy Dunderdale was couriering a Polish Enigma replica by diplomatic pouch. However, at Dover customs, he persuaded Guitry and his wife to pretend the diplomatic baggage was theirs, apparently to throw off suspicions of any German spies. — Matt Crypto 19:07, 25 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Biographical details[edit]

I've been thinking about filling in a few biographical details. A quick mention of his German-speaking school would be relevant. His 1917 highschool diploma is included in Kozaczuk & Straszak (2004), and reads:

"Königliches Gymnasium zu Bromberg"

which Google translates as:

"royal High School to bromine mountain"!

I presume just saying "In 1917, Rejewski received his high school diploma from the German-speaking Königliches Gymnasium in Bydgoszcz" would suffice?

It would also be good to mention the year/date he married, and possibly the birth years of his children. Moreover, did his wife predecease him?

We mention that he worked as an accountant on his return to Poland. However, in Enigma p226, Kozaczuk writes to Kasparek on this topic, saying, "In Bydgoszck they lived with their family well-to-do in-laws (Mrs Rejewska's father was a dentist. Rejewski at first worked in an electrotechnical-materials factory as director of the sales department, later in a union of cooperatives as director of the Inspectorate of Costs and Prices until his retirement on disability pension in 1967." It's not completely clear how this fits in with our current description of his post-war Polish work: Rejewski worked in Bydgoszcz as an accountant at a factory — bringing disfavor on himself when he discovered irregularities. The Polish Security Service repeatedly investigated him between 1949 and 1958 but never found out his real profession or history; in April 1950 they demanded that he be fired from his job (Polak, 2005, p. 78).

— Matt Crypto 10:45, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In Polak's article that I've mentioned earlier, there's a photo of Rejewski's hand-written resume, dated 27.7.1954. It's obvious from this document that Rejewski did not work as a "director of the sales department", I'm afraid this is just Kozaczuk's imagination. As I explained earlier, one cannot take Kozaczuk's account on what happened after WW2 too seriously, because of his background simply. This said, I'm not sure where did the "disfavor when he discovered irregularities" come from. Anyone ? --Lysy (talk) 20:16, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Be bold! Edit out what you think is incorrect, and add what you think is reliable. Where possible, give sources. logologist 00:04, 14 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Logologist -- do you have a source for the "irregularities" comment? (I think it was your addition?) — Matt Crypto 17:29, 15 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Second.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:03, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

French Air Force Captain Henri Braquenié attended the July 25, 1939, Warsaw conference together with the other Frenchman, Gustave Bertrand. They and the Polish and British participants have been edited out of the original text.

Did Rejewski graduate from "high school" at age 12 (in 1917)? What did he do during the 8 years between "high school" and university matriculation (presumably about 1925)?

That's a good question. I've moved it back here: "In 1917, Rejewski received his high school diploma from the German-speaking Königliches Gymnasium, ranking fourth out of 48 students." — Matt Crypto 12:19, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From "Marian Rejewski - the man from Bydgoszcz who helped the allies win the war" by Lt. Col. Jerzy Lelwic (translation not mine):
Marian spent his childhood and youth in his home town, which was part of the Prussian partition at that time. [...] In 1912-1914 he attended primary school (Vorschule der Städtischen Oberschule in Bromberg) and then Frederick's Royal High School which stood on the square now called Plac Wolności. [...] His school now changed its name to Classical State High School where [...] some of the subjects were still taught in German.
In his 1954 resume, that is reproduced in Polak's article, he writes: "I have attended a school in Bydgoszcz, where I received my abitur/matura in 1923." --Lysy (talk) 20:25, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks, I've added this date to the article. — Matt Crypto 18:36, 19 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sorry, can't provide source for the "disfavor" episode. If it can't be confirmed, let's delete it. Maybe someone with access to the Polak book can provide more documentation of Rejewski's postwar life? logologist 01:42, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Rejewski & Enigma at Cadix?[edit]

Responding to the comment "why?" for "Rejewski may have had little or no involvement in working on German Enigma at Cadix": I haven't seen any sources discussing why this may have been the case. I can speculate: it seems that relatively few German military Enigma messages were read at Cadix. After a May 1940 change, the machine was much more difficult to solve, and the Poles did not have the British bombes, instead relying on methods that exploited German operator mistakes ("cillies" etc). The result was likely that only a few keys were being broken, and Rejewski could well have worked on other, more fruitful, systems at this time. — Matt Crypto 11:56, 16 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The impression I get is that the French cryptanalysis operation was just not very sophisticated. It's unfortunate that the British embassy in Bucharest was busy dealing with a busload of British evacuees who had arrived from Warsaw just before the three Poles (Budiansky, Battle of Wits p. 121); otherwise they might have ended up at Bletchley Park instead of Cadix. I think Kozaczuk's book discusses this too. Phr 15:51, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Thanks to everyone for helping out on this article; hopefully we can put it through FAC soon. I'm off-line for a bit over Christmas, so I'll wish everyone a merry one and happy new year! — Matt Crypto 00:25, 22 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I really see no reason not to nominate it to FAC now, but I'll wait till you are back, in case there are any objections we could not address without you. Let us know when you are back! --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 14:38, 31 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Paragraph removal[edit]

A couple of people who reviewed the article for me over Christmas commented — and I agree with them — that a paragraph on the fates of Langer, Ciężki, Palluth, Fokczyński and Gaca is too off-topic in an article about Rejewski. We hadn't introduced these people before in the article, and there was a sense of "who are these people, then?". While we could write about who they were, I think we're better off sticking to details closely associated with Rejewski's life. It's always going to be tempting to include lots of details about the entire Polish Enigma saga in this article, simply because Rejewski played such a central role. However, I think that we reduce the utility of the article as a reference work if we add too many non-Rejewski sidenotes. We have other places within Wikipedia where we can (and do) write about these topics. — Matt Crypto 10:52, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'd just like to stress that I hope that this para is moved, not REmoved.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:31, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've just added it to PC Bruno and Biuro Szyfrów. I believe the articles on Ciężki, Langer and Palluth already include this info. — Matt Crypto 17:55, 5 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you have anything about Stachiewicz? Phr 15:52, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Nominated for FAC[edit]

I've gone ahead and nominated it on FAC: see Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Marian Rejewski. — Matt Crypto 00:06, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The section on Rejewski's education says he "completed high school with his Abitur (in Polish, matura) in 1923." Why the German Abitur? It was by then a Polish school. logologist|Talk 07:57, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You're right. --Lysy (talk) 08:33, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Footnote referencing[edit]

It seems that lots of people prefer the footnote style of referencing to Harvard style. I was wondering if it was possible to use footnote references without losing the current, non-reference footnotes? For example, the non-reference footnotes could be set in a different style (e.g. Note 1), while the reference footnotes could be set normally as [1]? — Matt Crypto 09:17, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Told you so ;p Hmmm, I am not sure if I see the difference: the proper way to use footnotes (IMHO) is to use the ref/note templates. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:39, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, OK, you did tell me so ;-) I do think it would be useful to divide the notes. Many readers aren't interested in looking up sources when just reading an article, but might be interested in footnote asides that clarify minor points that aren't worth interrupting the main text for. — Matt Crypto 17:44, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, I see, good point. Isn't there something about this at Wikipedia:Footnotes? If not, I guess we can use some older footnote system for custom notes, like you suggested above, and keep ref/note for proper references.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 01:23, 7 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What is the source for the information that "an early Naval Enigma model had been solved by the Polish Cipher Bureau" before Rejewski solved Enigma I (footnote 2)? logologist|Talk 15:28, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's in the "History of Hut 8"; I'll add a reference. — Matt Crypto 17:00, 6 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It makes no sense to say "solved" a machine. funkendub

Ultra -- hopefully avoid[edit]

I thought I should explain why I removed the Eisenhower quote from the lead section. I would hope that we could avoid any more than the briefest evaluation of Ultra within this article. There's a spread of opinion on the significance of Ultra, and the Eisenhower quote represents a somewhat minority position now. Currently we say, in the lead that, "may have considerably hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany", which hedges our bets well enough for the lead section (which is meant to be a concise summary of the article). We go into it in more detail further on: "Intelligence gained from solving high-level German ciphers — intelligence codenamed "Ultra" by the British and Americans — came chiefly from Enigma decrypts. While the exact contribution of Ultra intelligence to Allied victory is disputed, Kozaczuk and Straszak note that "it is widely believed that Ultra saved the world at least two years of war and possibly prevented Hitler from winning." The availability of Ultra was due in large part to the early Polish work on Enigma."

I've tried to show on Talk:Polish_contribution_to_World_War_II#Churchill.27s_evaluation_of_ULTRA that a majority of writers would avoid saying that Ultra "won the war" (indeed, many deliberately affirm the opposite), but I think any extended discussion of various positions would be better located within the ULTRA article itself. — Matt Crypto 18:59, 9 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, I thought the original wording kind of downplays the significance of Rejewski and the other Poles' achievement. In adding the Eisenhower quote I though it might better illustrate by Rejewski is noteworthy, and the impact that his work had. I worded it as "...'decisive' in the defeat of..." rather than "...'decisive' to the defeat of..." to make ULTRA a decisive factor, not the decisive factor. Perhaps if we re-worded it thus: "General Eisenhower declaring that the intercepts were one of the 'decisive' factors in the defeat of Nazi Germany." What do you think? Plus, my citation was of Zbigniew Brzezinski, who, being ethnically Polish is not unbaised, but is certainly an authority in matters of strategy. —thames 21:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps we could change "Ultra...may have considerably hastened the defeat of Nazi Germany" to "Ultra...contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany, perhaps decisively"? I think we need to avoid saying "a decisive factor", as it would be taking a side on a disputed matter, if we take the meaning of "decisive" to be "having the power to determine an outcome", as one dictionary puts it. The exact importance and influence of Ultra is disputed by historians. David Kahn, one of most prominent crypto historians, has written as follows: "So, did ULTRA win the war? Some writers claim that it did. But even as hyperbole this is nonsense. The Allies would have won without it --- though at a much greater cost in men and materiel. Some historians argue that `Without ULTRA...the Allies could not have won the Battle of the Atlantic.' This too exaggerates. So does the view that ULTRA stands `at the top' of the factors that influenced the outcome of the Atlantic battle."
I had hoped that the Kozaczuk and Straszak quote, which is included further on in the article, would cover the main views about the influence of Ultra in a concise way. The most common assessment heard is that it shortened the war by two years, which is mentioned, but also the possibility that it did more, which is sometimes heard, although not really supported by many historians. — Matt Crypto 23:05, 9 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That language is fine by me. The only nitpick is that in order to avoid "peacock" words Wikipedia guidelines say that you ought to source statements or opinions like decisiveness. In that case, we'd want to cite Eisenhower or Churchill. One point of clarification: are these historians you cite crypto historians exclusively, or are they military/general historians as well?—thames 00:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good points. It seems as though everyone has been, perhaps a bit uncritically, echoing the same assessment of the net effect of Enigma decryption. Harry Hinsley (is he the one who started the "two-year" estimate going?) contradicts himself in a late speech that is well worth reading, and which is linked to the Wikipedia Harry Hinsley article. His final assessment there makes one's hair stand on end.
David Kahn seems too facile in damning Enigma decryption with faint praise.
It would be well to get some non-cryptologists' assessments, if anyone has actually done serious thinking on the subject. For now, I'm inclined to consider the views of Eisenhower, Churchill and the much-maligned F.W. Winterbotham.
By the by: Was the 1983 Polish Enigma postage stamp the first stamp ever to honor cryptology?
logologist|Talk 03:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC).Reply[reply]
Kahn is historian of crypto & intelligence history; Hinsley wrote the official UK intelligence history of WWII; Calvocoressi was an intelligence officer at Bletchley Park's Hut 3. I'm not sure about the professions of the others, but they were writing cryptography books; if anything, they are likely to overestimate the importance of their subject. But my argument is that we want to avoid extensive discussion about the influence of Ultra this in this article as much as possible, as it's really better off in Ultra. I'll try adding a note to the lead section comment, giving General Eisenhower's quote declaring that the intercepts were "decisive", and providing a link to the Ultra page. — Matt Crypto 08:46, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good compromise edit. Thanks for working with me on this. —thames 15:27, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I put in the Hinsley quote but I see now that I probably shouldn't have. Feel free to take it out again, or qualify it somehow. Basically it's based on a historical "counterfactual analysis" technique that involves making hypothetical changes to actual events, i.e. "how would this-or-that battle have gone if...". So it basically assumes that the European war would have gone on in exactly the same way except without Ultra. The reality is that the US would have dropped atom bombs on Germany starting in 1945 and that probably would have ended things quickly. Phr 11:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't find the full Brzezinski-2005 source information. Could it be provided in the References? logologist|Talk 15:49, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is in the references, it looks like this:
  • Jan Stanislaw Ciechanowski, ed. Marian Rejewski 1905-1980, Living with the Enigma secret. 1st ed. Bydgoszcz: Bydgoszcz City Council, 2005, ISBN 8372081174.
    • Wojciech Polak, "Marian Rejewski in the Sights of the Security Services." pp.75-88.
    • Zbigniew Brzezinski, "The Unknown Victors." pp.15-18.
He wrote an essay in this edited collection. —thames 18:18, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't suppose any kind Polish speaker could oblige the request here: Image talk:Rejewski-postcard.jpg? I was also interested in the caption said. — Matt Crypto 09:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've provided a translation. Please let me know if anything is unclear. logologist|Talk 15:39, 10 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This has just been promoted as a featured article. Funky! I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who I've worked with on this; I've very much enjoyed the collaboration. Cheers :) — Matt Crypto 23:23, 19 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Copied from Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Marian Rejewski

This is very good. I have a slight problem with the references sections. You have a notes section, a footnotes section, then references, then external links, which is confusing. What is the references section exactly, as opposed to footnotes? And in the footnotes citations section, you don't give full citations, so I'm just wondering what is what. That's my only objection though. It's a great article, and very well written. SlimVirgin (talk) 09:41, 26 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for your kind comments. Originally, we had Harvard style inline citations, as well as informative footnotes -- that is, minor points to clarify the main text. We switched to footnote style citations, but wanted to keep a distinction between "Note" footnotes and "cite" footnotes, because a reader would likely not bother reading a "Note" footnote if they were all mixed together. We could move the "References" into the "Footnote citations" section (and a few into "Further Reading") if the current set-up is flawed. — Matt Crypto 08:34, 27 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pronunciation of his name[edit]

Why was the pronunciation of his name (['marjan re'jefski] ) removed? T J McKenzie 09:52, 2 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I screwed up (long story). I've restored it, many apologies. — Matt Crypto 10:38, 2 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No worries. Thanks. T J McKenzie 04:57, 3 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Are the pronunciations of his first name, given by IPA code and given by acoustic example, identical? For me, there seems to be a difference, in the acoustic version the i is a vowel, an the main accent is on the last syllable.--2003:6:31F8:8334:CC5:CBED:B3D0:2109 (talk) 02:09, 31 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If so (I haven't listened to it), the recording is incorrect.
Nihil novi (talk) 04:37, 31 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How did he die?[edit]

Is it known what he died of? Just curious... --Khazar 04:48, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Heart attack, after returning home from shopping. He had been suffering for some time from heart disease. logologist|Talk 07:18, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Might be worth adding in. --Khazar 07:34, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you think it would be of interest, please feel free. logologist|Talk 07:53, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1932 ?[edit]

"was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who, in 1932, solved the Enigma machine, the main cipher device then in use by Germany. The success of Rejewski and his colleagues jump-started the British reading of Enigma-encrypted messages in World War II, "

I'm not english speaker (so I probably have a misunderstanding), but 1932 is not in the WWII. I don't understand what is le link between 1932 and the WWII german Enigma. 09:13, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The German armed forces (Army, Navy and later Airforce) started using Enigma in the 1920's, well before WWII started.

Rejewski reconstructed the German military Enigma machine in December 1932, just as Adolf Hitler was about to take power in Germany, and Rejewski and his two mathematician colleagues continued reading Enigma messages for the next six years and eight months till the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. A few months later, they resumed reading Enigma in France. logologist|Talk 09:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ultra link[edit]

I am reluctant to change this because I suspect it might be intentional, but why does Ultra in the intro link to ULTRA, a redirect to the disambig page Ultra when there is Ultra (WWII intelligence)? Algae 10:03, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because someone just moved the ULTRA page. — Matt Crypto 10:08, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I've found that this article was vandalised. In the 3th paragraph it finish with "... , remaining silent about his cryptologic work until 1967. This guy is gay. ". It's out of context if he was or wasn't gay. I don't care about it, I'm reading because the historic and mathematic importance of him.

Second, in the bottom of the page, at the "External Link" there is another text: "Aaron Doyle is cool.".

I guess Wikipedia should take more care about who can edit or alter important articles like this.

I guess that is possible to someone edit links to point to malicious sites and files.

Sorry for my bad english, — The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 15:51, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about it. Today, Marian Rejewski is on the front page, hence is highly visible. Accordingly, it gets a lot of vandalism. As a general rule, it is undone (reverted) within minutes, usually seconds: have a look at the history to see this going on behind the scenes. (You'll see me make some mistakes too, reverting people reverting vandalism by accident! Oh well.) See also Wikipedia:Researching with Wikipedia. — Matt Crypto 14:59, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This page was totally replaced for about 30 seconds with pornographic pictures. That's why I was so concerned. Chickenofbristol 19:18, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"unforeseen effect"[edit]

"but it had the unforeseen effect of greatly weakening the cipher" -- this has the inaccurate implication that the designers of Enigma did not understand this; any mathematics undergrad would see this as obvious. We should at the very least remove the word "unforseen" because I think it is insulting. --yiliu60 22:59, 10 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it really was unforeseen. If they realized that the cipher would be seriously weakened, they wouldn't have done it that way. Phr 04:18, 11 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As Phr said. It would have cost them nothing to drop the doubling of the indicator (as they eventually did in May 1940). If the Germans indeed did understand the weakness caused previous to that, you can be sure they would have changed procedure in an instant. — Matt Crypto 11:01, 11 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Notes" and "Footnote citations"[edit]

I suggest that the footnote "Notes" be converted to inline citations and merged with the inline-citation "Footnote citations," and the whole thing then be called "Notes." Nihil novi 02:22, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The reasoning behind the split is that the "Notes" serve a different purpose to the citations. The citations are citing sources for the facts, whereas the notes are clarifying details that are perhaps better off not being in the main text. — Matt Crypto 05:27, 25 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would still advocate combining the whole lot as a single series of "Notes," as is done in other Wikipedia articles. Nihil novi 02:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Russian section[edit]

When in 1937 the Polish Cipher Bureau's German section moved to Pyry, did the Russian section do so also? When Kozaczuk was publishing on Enigma between 1967 and the fall of communism, he had to approach Russian-section matters gingerly, and so may have intentionally neglected to address the question; it is possible that the Russian section moved to Pyry too. Does anyone know? Nihil novi 02:33, 13 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article is a Featured article, and yet it doesn't use {{cite}} templates and there are multiple references that could use the <ref name="Name">. Would someone like to sort these out? Gaia Octavia Agrippa Talk | Sign 16:23, 7 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Enigma article[edit]

This article contains crucial information about the Enigma machine that is missing from the relative main article. Would someone put in the reference or move the relevant paragraphs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:34, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please be more specific. What "crucial information"? Nihil novi (talk) 14:10, 2 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

File:Pol-Fra-radioint Cadix 40-42.jpg Nominated for speedy Deletion[edit]


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This is Bot placed notification, another user has nominated/tagged the image --CommonsNotificationBot (talk) 01:24, 14 February 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Vague and possibly POV[edit]

" Their authors were at a disadvantage: they did not know that the founder of Enigma decryption, Marian Rejewski, was still alive and alert and that historical confabulation was therefore hazardous."

The works I read on Enigma, though somewhat later than that discussed was always perfectly clear about the extent of the Polish work details I clearly remember include the entry ring and the bomb. Rich Farmbrough, 19:26, 10 January 2013 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Thanks. I've added a reference. Nihil novi (talk) 07:07, 11 January 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FAR needed[edit]

This article is in need of citations and a Featured article review to see if it still meets FA standards. Is anyone maintaining the article? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:48, 20 December 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clearly, nobody is doing so. I'll ping User:Halibutt, User:Nihil novi and User:Poeticbent. And no, I don't have time or will to work on this, I am afraid (I don't have any biography of the subject or any modern book on Enigma, even). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 12:32, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I'm too busy right now... //Halibutt 14:05, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please specify where citations are needed. Nihil novi (talk) 09:26, 18 January 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template citations?[edit]

Any objection to templating citations in bibliography, putting author's last name first (so sorting of biblio will be more obvious -- i.e., split authors with first= last= ), and using harv templates in footnote citations to link to bib entries? Glrx (talk) 19:14, 6 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Glrx: I don't mind, and would actually appreciate the assistance. I've been in the process of cleaning up this article and cleaning up the bibliography and footnotes has been on the to-do list. --Laser brain (talk) 19:38, 6 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've finally removed all of the triple indirect refs. Glrx (talk) 18:21, 3 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1939 meeting[edit]

Google search turns up refs I don't have time to chase now.

Glrx (talk) 17:00, 26 July 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, but I believe we already have all the information we need on this meeting. Nihil novi (talk) 10:48, 1 August 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

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Translation to English[edit]

Where is translation of this article into English? It is the most important to have it translated into English. Is it because the British historians try to diminish the work of the Polish mathematicians who first broke the Enigma code and built the replicas of Enigma machine? Those replicas and all documentation were given to the British and French authorities when they came to Poland in 1939. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:17, 29 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]