Polish mathematicians involved in the codebreaking of the Enigma during the Second World War have been celebrated at a ceremony in London.
At an event held at the Polish Embassy, the codebreakers were honoured for their work in the cracking the cipher at Bletchley Park. The ceremony was held, with speakers from the Embassy, relatives, and more, to raise awareness of the work of the Polish codebreakers.
"The story of Bletchley Park and the breaking of the enigma is pretty well known in Britain," Sir Dermot Turing, the nephew of Alan, said at the event
. "Lots of people have heard about it and know about Alan Turing."
"What people don't seem to know here is that Alan Turing and his colleagues at BP were given a huge boost by the work of the Poles, who handed over their precious secrets in July 1939 and they told them all sorts of things that the British didn't actually know."
"That really gave them a leg-up in their effort breaking Enigma," Sir Turing added. Alan Turing is credited with the cracking of the Enigma Code when he created the Bombe machine that helped to speed up and reduce the workload of those physically decrypting the code.
During the course of the war more than 200 bombe machines were created and more than 4,000 messages were being decoded per-day.
However, the work of Alan Turing wouldn't have been possible without the support and prior work of Polish mathematicians, it is said. "Polish mathematicians had worked out how to read Enigma messages and had shared this information with the British," the Imperial War Museum says on its website
The London event was the most recent in a project to celebrate the work of the Polish mathematicians. Researchers at the Jozef Pilsudski Institute of Research Ltd were given £10,000 to help document the work by the Heritage Lottery Fund in September 2015.
As a result, the Institute created the Enigma Relay exhibition in London.
When the exhibition was launched earlier this year Polish government officials said the codebreaking was one of the most important contributions by the country throughout the war.
"Our contribution to Enigma is something that we learned a lot about as children in Poland but we have a feeling that the knowledge is not so widespread," said Maciej Pisarski, deputy chief of mission at the Polish Embassy in Washington. "It was a crucial association which gave the allies the edge over the Germans."
"We were trapped on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain during the Cold War which meant we did not get the credit that we should have received and nobody wanted to admit that anyone in Eastern Europe had anything to do with Enigma."