Friday, March 04, 2005

On this day in military 1941

On this day in military history….in 1941. The British navy launches Operation Claymore. Operation Claymore was an operation to try and capture a working Enigma coding machine. German U-Boats were running rampant in the north Atlantic and German High Command communicated with its U-Boat fleet by means of encoded messages decrypted by the Enigma decoding machine. In order to be able to read the German messages, the British were working hard to decrypt the messages, but due to the complexity of the task, were not having much luck. It was thought that capturing a working Enigma decoding machine would enable the British to learn exactly how the machine worked and then allow them to break the German codes. The operation was named Operation Claymore and took place off the coast of Norway inside the Artic Circle. An armed German trawler was found in the Lofoten Islands and attacked by British commandos. The trawler was heavily damaged and the crew either killed or taken prisoner, but the Germans were able to toss the Enigma machine overboard before the trawler was captured. However, enough documents were recovered from the trawler that British intelligence was able to piece together how the Enigma worked and use that to break the German coding system and track German naval activity for about a month.


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