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World War II Discussion Group

Event Type: Adults
Age Group(s): Adults
Date: 11/1/2018
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 8:30 PM
 Herbert Miller is a retired professional civil engineer, having spent his career about equally in both the private and public sectors. Since 2010 he has volunteered at the National World War II Museum. In that capacity he has served as a tour guide for the KRP Facility, PT305 deck tours, both the Road to Tokyo and Road to Berlin sections of the Campaigns of Courage, and the U. S. Freedom Pavilion. He most often works as an ambassador at the Customer Service Desk. His personal tour at the museum titled “Spies, Lies, Secrets and Deception” was well received by visitors to the Museum. In 2012, as part of their continuing education program, he gave a one-hour presentation at the National WWII Museum on Enigma and the breaking of the cipher.

In the summer of 2012 he visited Bletchley Park in England where the British broke the Enigma cipher. Because of his work at the WWII Museum and his demonstrated knowledge of Enigma and the breaking of the cipher, Bletchley Park personnel gave him back stage access to the Bombe designed by Alan Turning and Gordon Welshman, as well as the Enigma machine located at that museum.

His new two-part lecture on the Enigma machine and how first the Polish and then the British broke the cipher is being presented for the first time to the Jefferson Parish Library World War II Discussion Group at the September and November meetings. The September lecture covers the Enigma machine with a detailed description of its components, why the German’s felt the cipher was unbreakable, how the Germans programed it daily, and various advancements made to Enigma before and the during the war. The November lecture includes the breaking of the early Enigma cipher by the Polish followed by a detailed description of the breaking of the cipher by the British after the Germans improved the cipher capabilities of the machine by increasing the number of rotors they could select and the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) eventually going to a four-rotor Enigma.

The World War II Discussion Group, headed by local teacher and historian Brian Altobello, occurs the first Thursday of every month. Members discuss the events of the 1930s and 1940s.
Library: East Bank Regional Library    Map
Location: Jefferson Room
Contact: Chris Smith
Contact Number: 504-889-8143
Presenter: Brian Altobello