Gwido Langer

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Lt. Col. Karol Gwido Langer (2 September 1894 in Zsolna, Austria-Hungary - 30 March 1948 in Kinross, Scotland) was chief of the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau from at least mid-1931.


Langer was born in Zsolna, Upper Hungary (today Žilina in Slovakia) but spent his childhood in Cieszyn, where his family came from.

By then, according to Polish military historian Władysław Kozaczuk, the Bureau had been formed by merger of the Radio Intelligence Office and the Polish-Cryptography Office. Langer remained at the head of the Cipher Bureau and its successor field agency until the latter was effectively disbanded in November 1942 upon the German occupation of southern France's Vichy "Free Zone."

Major Langer had on January 15, 1929, after a tour of duty as chief of staff of the First Infantry Division, become chief of the General Staff's Radio Intelligence Office, and subsequently of the Cipher Bureau.

As the Cipher Bureau's chief, Langer was ultimately responsible for Polish cryptography; Polish military-intelligence radio communication; radio intelligence and tracking down of clandestine enemy intelligence radio transmitters operating in Poland; Russian-cryptogram interception and decryption; and German-cryptogram interception and decryption.

Langer's Cipher Bureau has become famous for having in December 1932 broken the German Enigma cipher and read it until the German invasion of France in May–June 1940, and perhaps after that.

In March 1943, as Lt. Col....
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