It is hard to overstate the importance of Alan Turing, the British mathematician who died in 1954. He was a hero in science, for one. Turing invented the concepts that underlie modern computers and artificial intelligence. And he was a hero in war: He was a vital part of the British cryptographic team at Bletchley Park that cracked the German Enigma code during World War II.
Front of a ‘bombe’ code-breaking machine at Bletchley Park, 1943. The electromagnetic machines were used to determine the plugboard settings of German Engima machines. This involved multiple ‘bombes', piles of perforated papers and production lines of analysts to interpret the results.