Enigma

Mike Toogood presented on Bletchley Park code breaking and an enigmatic member of the team

Mike presenting to club members
The photo shows Mike Toogood presenting. The second photo shows the medals awarded to Dita Balmer (nee Herman) Mike Toogood was guest speaker at Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary talking about a remarkable lady who worked at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and the Enigma , the German code machine. Dita Balmer was a Chez who spoke 4 languages and during her service at Bletchley Park was dropped behind enemy lines four times to support local resistance. She was awarded the War Medal, Star, Defence Medal and Mentioned in Despatches. When she died in Newcastle at the age of 91 her family were unaware of the detail of her service and the reasons for the award of the medals. Mike researched her record which helped her family understand her heroic past. The talk also covered the German Enigma machine and how the scientists at Bletchley Park broke the codes using the first computer built by Alan Turing and his team. The breaking of the Enigma machine generated codes had a significant impact by shortening the war particularly the Battle of the Atlantic with German submarine locations becoming known which helped in their destruction.

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