During World War II, the German armed forces used the Enigma machine, a cipher device, to send encrypted messages. For anyone who did not have such a machine, messages from the German military were illegible. In the 1930s, Polish codebreakers discovered how the machine worked, prompting Germany to create an even more complex version. Mathematician Alan Turing and his team used the work of the Polish codebreakers and a huge machine - a precursor to the modern computer - to crack the Enigma code. This allowed the British to secretly 'listen in' on what the Germans were saying.