In Short

A Bombe is an electro-mechanical machine invented by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. It consisted of several Enigma machines, and was used during the second world war, in the allied attempt at figuring out the daily enigma settings in use by the Germans. This system was installed at bletchley park.

To be able to work, the bombe would have to have a Crib. This is a guessed plain-text message, for example "Uber".

The german weather stations, in particular, would use specific words in the begin of their messages (such as "hello, this is the weather station in Narvik"). This was then put into the Bombe, and the machine would continue trying combinations until that phrase (or part of it) was found.

What it did

The goal of the original bombe was to figure out what sockets in the Enigma were connected to what other sockets, and also what the wheel order of any particular day was (i.e which of the five wheels went in which of the three slots)

The bombe couldn't do this. Instead, it tried to figure out which connections it couldn't possibly be, leaving as few as possible to try out by hand.

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