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Dayton Memories > World War II/ Dayton Code Breakers
World War II/ Dayton Code Breakers
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306 posts
Jan 07, 2015
5:35 PM
There have been a few articals recently on Dayton history on facebook.The waves stayed at sugar camp on Schantz while they worked on a machine called the BOMBE.i Believe they were working with the inventor in building 26 at NCR.His name was Dench and had just passed away a few years ago.
129 posts
Jan 07, 2015
6:58 PM
Get the book "Secret in Building 26" co-authored by Jim DeBrosse.
247 posts
Jan 08, 2015
1:40 AM
Carillon Historical Park has NCR's Sugar Camp WAVES Cabin # 22. In addition to having the furnished cabin on display (complete with mannequins), there are interpretive signs explaining the WAVES work on the "Bombe" decoding computer in NCR Bldg. 26, led by Joseph Desch.

I have the book suggested by rdebross somewhere in my library. I also have recently seen the movie "The Imitation Game" about the similar British effort at Bletchley Park - good movie, but it's more about the life of Alan Turing rather than just the intelligence effort to decode the German Enigma machine.

Regarding newsnot's question, the pre-war German economy was already spending greater than 10% of GNP on military spending. As World War II was being waged, the German economy was increasingly dedicated to the war effort, and military production was also supplemented by slave labor.
267 posts
Jan 08, 2015
3:53 AM
KE, I haven’t seen the movie, “The Imitation Game”, but I understand it says nothing about the U. S. effort in Dayton in solving the code problem. Is there anything around that details any connections between the efforts?
Also it’s interesting talking about the German Economy, that a lot of the major German industries were involved in the pre-WWII War effort,(including slave labor), but are still around now. Any comments or facts about that? I believe Carillon Park had an exhibit about the Bombe but it’s not operational at the moment……..
Riverdale Ghost
495 posts
Jan 08, 2015
5:54 AM
Did you check Curt's books?
Avatar 1 Honest Communications Is The Foundation of Civilizations.
268 posts
Jan 08, 2015
6:35 AM
A very interesting situation with the “Imitation Game”;(I don’t really understand the choice of title), maybe someone can decipher that for me.:-) I wikipedia’d lots of information about WWII codebreaking, and it’s a very complicated subject. I’ll have to get and read J. Debrosse’s book to get a further view. It seems that Alan Turing actually was the initial developer of the code breaking machine, but from my reading there were dozen’s of variations. My initial thoughts about the “enigma machine” was that it all happened in “Bldg. 26”. Obviusly not, as it turns out. Although the U.S. Navy version worked on by Joseph Desch aided the war effort by being a vastly improved machine, it was hardly the only one. I did not have time to continue looking at the extensive references to WWII code breaking efforts but maybe someone out there has a better view of the effectiveness of the British and U.S. efforts at ending the war. I would love to see a documentary that covered the whole effort……..

Last Edited by historybuff on Jan 08, 2015 6:37 AM
269 posts
Jan 09, 2015
3:51 AM
Tnx KE for the info. This just being one of the many historical threads that catch my interest, I’ll have to find the time to investigate further. I believe in one of the references I looked up it mentioned that either Alan Turing or someone from the British organization actually visited Bldg. 26 during that time. Do you know if that is true, KE? Seems like you know a lot about that project. TNX, again….
250 posts
Jan 10, 2015
1:51 AM
historybuff - It's not that I know a lot about the decoding project, but like you, this topic piques my interest, and I read a lot. I don't know where my copy of the Dayton Codebreakers book is, but the website does include an interview with one of the WAVES that mentions seeing Alan Turing in Dayton. The Wikipedia article on the Bombe decoding computer also mentions Alan Turing's visit in Dayton, with a footnoted reference. Considering both of these sources, the time frame was December 1942-January 1943.

As I noted in my previous post, the movie "The Imitation Game" didn't make any reference to the British collaboration with the American effort. It makes it seem like Alan Turing solved the Enigma machine problem alone, against the beliefs of his co-workers.

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