Bringing Colossus back to life

Bringing Colossus back to life

Summary: Bletchley Park's rebuilt WWII Colossus codebreaker has recently been kicked back into action after a 14-year rebuild project

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TOPICS: Security
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  • The Colossus codecracking computer has recently been kicked into action for the first time in more than 60 years.

    Colossus is widely recognised as one of the world's first digital computers. It is kept in its original location at Bletchley Park, where it cracked Nazi codes during World War II and played a key role in the Allied victory.

    It was one of the first-ever programmable computers, featured more than 2,000 valves, and was the size of a small lorry.

    It has recently been used to crack new messages enciphered using the same system employed by the German high command during World War II.

    Pictured are Wrens using a Colossus Mark II computer in the 1940s.

    Credit: Bletchley Park Trust

  • The rebuilt Colossus was last week put to work on intercepted radio messages transmitted by radio amateurs in Paderborn, Germany, which had been scrambled by a machine used by the German high command in wartime.

    Pictured is the reconstructed machine, which took 6,000 volunteered man days to rebuild.

    Credit: Bletchley Park Trust

Topic: Security

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