Public Figure Profiles

Etienne Bazeries

Étienne Bazeries (21 August 1846, in Port Vendres – 7 November 1931, in Noyon) was a French military cryptanalyst active between 1890 and the First World War. He is best known for developing the "Bazeries Cylinder", an improved version of Thomas Jefferson's cipher cylinder. It was later refined into the US Army M-94 cipher device. Historian David Kahn describes him as "the great pragmatist of cryptology. His theoretical contributions are negligible, but he was one of the greatest natural cryptanalysts the science has seen." (Kahn 1996, p244)

Bazeries was born in Port-Vendres, France, the son of a mounted policeman. In 1863 he enlisted in the army, and fought in the Franco-Prussian War, where he was taken prisoner, although he later managed to escape disguised as a bricklayer. In 1874 he was promoted to lieutenant, and sent to Algeria in 1875. He returned to France the following year and married Marie-Louise-Elodie Berthon, with whom he would father three daughters: Césarine, Fernande and Paule.

He apparently became interested in cryptography through solving cryptograms in newspapers' personal columns, and soon applied his cryptanalytic skills in a military context when, in 1890, he solved messages enciphered with the official French military transposition system, causing the War Ministry to change to a new scheme. In an effort to prompt reform within the government and enhance national security, Bazeries further exposed weaknesses in French cipher systems. In 1891, news of his talent had spread, and he began work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Bureau du Chiffre. Bazeries continued his cryptanalytic work there even after he retired from the Army in 1899, assisting in solving German military ciphers during World War I. However, many of Bazeries recommendations to the government for improvements in official cipher systems met severe bureaucracy and rebuffs, which became a constant source of frustration for him in an otherwise illustrious career. He retired in 1924, aged 78.

In the 1890s he broke a famous nomenclator system called the "Great Cipher", created by the Rossignols in the 17th century. One of the messages referred to the famous Man in the Iron Mask and provided a possible solution to the mystery. His influential 1901 text Les Chiffres secrets dévoilés ("Secret ciphers unveiled") is considered a landmark in cryptographic literature.

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Some of their strengths

Etienne Bazeries has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Energetic, Intuitive, Ambitious, Bold, Confident, Extroverted, and Passionate.

Bold and Confident

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, Etienne Bazeries is someone who is a bold, confident, energetic, and optimistic person, who is able to combine personal warmth and charisma with intelligence. A person who looks for jobs that tend to reflect their identity.

Adaptable and Versatile

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know Etienne Bazeries well know them as someone who can be adaptable, flexible, and polite, like a flower or a sapling.

Inventive and Clever

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe Etienne Bazeries as someone who is flexible, intelligent, and quick-witted.

A person who likes to be creative, and to be recognized for their artistic talents. Who possesses intelligence, mental discipline, and ambition, and who does well in relationships and partnerships.

Social and Intuitive

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, Etienne Bazeries is someone who values forming deep friendships and relationships, and who has strong intuition and reasoning skills .

They are also someone who is altruistic, tolerant, and sophisticated, and who tends to be a perfectionist who is always working to try and make everything and everyone better.

Creative and Leadership-oriented

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, Etienne Bazeries tends to be someone who is a natural leader, with determination, motivational powers, and who takes obligations seriously. Who has charisma, a sense of humor, and who tends to attract attention.

Some of Etienne Bazeries's challenges

While Etienne Bazeries has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, Etienne Bazeries can be Arrogant, Status-seeking, Emotional, Standoffish, Unfocused, Indecisive, and Temperamental.

Arrogant and Status-seeking

One of Etienne Bazeries's key challenges is that they are someone who can come across as arrogant and status-seeking.

Etienne Bazeries must also exercise caution as they can be short-tempered and aggressive, and can have difficulty dealing with responsibility, authority, or criticism.

Unfocused and Indecisive

Etienne Bazeries is someone who can be scattered, restless, and insensitive, be distracted by fluctuating professional interests, be a workaholic, and who can be arrogant and have difficulty accepting advice.

Domineering and Stubborn

Finally, Etienne Bazeries also can be too rebellious, not respond to criticism well, and be too emotional and extreme about things.

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