One overlooked important contribution to Allied success in cracking Enigma was that the Allies had knowledge of the structure of Enigma machines; had the Germans kept Scherbius’s invention as classified as possible—including exactly how many scramblers were used and the plugboard—efforts on the Allied side would have been much more stymied by pure bafflement of how the text could have even been conceived. Without knowing that there were scramblers, how many of them were employed, and how they worked, their progress would have been much more set back. They wouldn’t even know where to start, since all previous methods of decrypting messages would render to be useless. To guess out of the blue that there are 3 scramblers in effect in addition to a plugboard would have required some great intellectual leaps itself. 

Another flaw lies in the inherent structure-oriented nature of militaries.They always fall to regimented schedules, customs, and chain of command. In a way, they are sort of formulaic. In ROTC, we often write up memorandums, which is the main way formal messages are communicated through the detachment, and they always follow a certain template: the date is always in a specific location and distance away from the edge of the paper, the first line is always “MEMORANDUM FOR…”, the line after that is always “FROM”, and the line after that is always “SUBJECT.” Knowing this, the intense structured military environment allows no room for subjectivity, which reduces individual creativity and expression. It will always follow an objective that has been laid out for someone to fill in the blanks. Its repercussions can be seen in two areas: the location and repetition of the scrambler settings for the next message and the weather report that usually came at 6am every day. 

Had the weather report not contained the German word “weather” as the second word of each message and rather been incorporated into differently structured sentences (today’s weather is…the weather for today…it appears that it will rain at 1600 today…etc.) this would have drastically reduced the amount of cribs available for the code breakers. Unfortunately, under normal circumstances, it is unfavorable to deviate from the norm. Because that’s not how militaries work. In the military, they rely on unison and synchronicity. If a soldier decided to put a potentially life saving device in a pocket that was not designated for that device and ended up in a life threatening situation, he might not make it because other soldiers count on the fact that that device will always be in a specific pocket, which in this case is not. This wastes time and reduces efficiency. These are some other important factors that led to Allied success in cracking Enigma.


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