I am doing a marathon of data visualizations with real world datasets. I am interested in historical war datasets.

Does anybody know about the historical data on The Bombe Machine cracking the codes of enigma and how did the "minimization actions" of the machine were used to avoid Nazi to realize what was happening and why they were losing the battles?

  • $\begingroup$ Is this really a history of science and mathematics question? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ What sort of "historical data" exactly? Gladwin gives some examples of messages they decrypted and you can probably track more through his references. I've never heard of "minimization actions", but there are books written about breaking Enigma where you can perhaps find information you are looking for, e.g. Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma or Kahn, Seizing the Enigma. $\endgroup$
    – Conifold
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the lack of real historian references. I am a enthusiast here. I am talking about This Quote: "Some historians estimate that Bletchley Park's massive codebreaking operation, especially the breaking of U-boat Enigma, shortened the war in Europe by as many as two to four years." So my thought is for estimate you need to know how many messages decipher enigma and how this code breakers was decisive for win WW2. I mean "minimize actions" because this is a method in research operations is likely they used that, a lot of data... $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 6:29
  • $\begingroup$ well maybe the final of that bbc article could help and the website of Jake Copeland I will write a ans if i found something. i will check your archives also. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 6:36

1 Answer 1


One of the best authoritative sources regarding the use of the Bombe and methods to determine most efficient settings for the Bombe for decoding, is given in the following source:

HUGH SEBAG-MONTEFIORE Enigma: The Battle for the Code John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated April 2001 448 Pages ISBN: 0471407380 ISBN13: 9780471407386

Several editions of this book are available electronically here. Because the Bombe was ultimately arrayed, the source will provide insight into the processes used. The whole of activity at Bletchley Park was a mathematical and statistical-probabilistic tour de force. This book may not answer all of your questions, but the appendices give excellent insights into the methods used. Be advised: The book is directed toward an audience of general interests, not specifically toward persons with a mathematics background. You may have already reviewed this book.


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