I recently watched this great historical movie called Enigma (2001)

As I saw the movie, a British general claimed that the entire war was depended on breaking the Enigma cipher? Is this really a valid reason, yes or no and even more importantly, what are the arguments?

What would be some good sources on reading about this and the battle of the Atlantic during WWII?

  • 7
    A war on that scale had to depend on too many factors. The ENIGMA ciphers and Turing's contribution were important factors- but I doubt whether this question can be answered empirically. Short answer though- No. Valid arguments- the gamut was too big and one fulcrum cannot not be a logical/justifiable reason for the Allies winning the war.
    – Rajib
    Dec 9 '14 at 15:58
  • What other factors could be the reason to the germans loss the WWII?
    – Daniel
    Dec 9 '14 at 16:12
  • 2
    That is too big an answer- and that exactly is the point.
    – Rajib
    Dec 9 '14 at 16:20
  • @Daniel The entire war might not have depended on Blechley Park and cracking Enigma, meaning the allies may have won without being able to literally read all German intercepts dating from January 1940. It certainly shortened the war by years and played a role in every aspect of the war from convoys, air defense, bombing targets, both invasions of Europe, and the final march into Germany. It was a huge advantage who's value during WWII could not be overstated. A huge asset for the allies.
    – user27618
    Apr 10 '19 at 18:01

An almost categorical no, but I stick with a hardly. As Rajib pointed the war as a complex system, and one single variable not decide the entire destiny, and note the entire British contribution to defeat Germany was not that big.

The Red Army [...] defeated 75%–80% of the German land forces (Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS) deployed in the war. Wikipedia

So, the break of ENIGMA cipher could be crucial to reduce British losses, even impede the British defeat. Remember that defeat was a solid possibility, as the "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster testifies. I can't say what would be the outcome of a UK defeat, but the "the entire war" is a affirmation I cannot agree.

  • 2
    +1. Exactly. Mostly the imagination of the war is something like Berlin-Dunkirk-Normandy, completely ignoring Russia/Japan/Burma/Africa. The theatre and the cast of characters were just too vast to create a "thirty reasons why the allies won the war" list.
    – Rajib
    Dec 10 '14 at 8:20

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