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Enigma Machine

Breaking the secret Nazi code, Enigma Machine and Bletchley Park.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: V-2 Rockets: Nazi Scientists, A-Bombs, WWII Espionage, Female Spies & Secret Agents, Bletchley Park.

Try Hitler`s `unbreakable` cipher: Germany`s WWII Lorenz crypto machine is now online
An online version of Hitler`s "unbreakable" messaging encryption machine is now available for anyone to try. The UK`s National Museum of Computing (TNMC) has unveiled the Virtual Lorenz machine to commemorate the centenary of Bill Tutte, the Bletchley Park mathematician who reverse-engineered the German High Command`s Lorenz SZ42 cipher system, allowing the Allies to unscramble top-secret messages. "Tutte`s work, often regarded as the greatest intellectual feat of the war, shortened the conflict by enabling the decryption of the enemy`s strategic messages on a regular basis - and very rapidly with the help of Colossus computers," The National Museum of Computing says.
(zdnet.com)

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Rare World War Two Enigma machine sells for world record price 367,000
A rare WWII Enigma machine fetched a world record price of £367,000 at auction. One of the rarest of all Enigma Machines, the M4, designed for use by the German Navy, was for £367,000 at Bonhams History of Science and Technology Sale in New York. This is a world record price at auction for an M4 Enigma surpassing the previous highest price of $350,000 also set by Bonhams in 2015. The fully operational machine dating from 1943 had been estimated at US$280,000-350,000. The M4 Naval Enigma was ordered in 1941 when the head of the German Navy Admiral Karl Doenitz believed, correctly, that the security of the Naval M3 Engima had been compromised.
(mirror.co.uk)

Oldest Enigma machine discovered in Denmark
The Post og Tele Museum in Copenhagen has discovered that a rough-looking machine that it has been in possession of since the turn of the century is the world`s oldest existing marine Enigma machine. Of the 611 M1 Enigma electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines produced for the Germany navy in 1934, only three remain. The one at the Post og Tele Museum has the serial number ‘M522′, which is the lowest of the three and thus makes it the oldest. `We got it x-rayed and experts from around the world looked at it. We found the serial number, which was well hidden due to the machine`s poor condition, and we could then observe it had a lower number than the other two machines,` told Andreas Marklund a researcher at the museum.
(cphpost.dk)

Enigma Machine Sells for $269,000 at Recent Auction
Just recently at a Bonhams auction, one of the last few Enigma machines known to be still in existence has been sold. Alongside the Enigma machine was a handwritten manuscript by Alan Turing, which alone went for over one million dollars. The Enigma machine sold for $269,000. The machine, used in World War II, has a three rotors. It was manufactured by the German military in Berlin in July 1944. Although it saw extensive use in the war, it is in excellent condition and still works as well as it did during the battle.
(warhistoryonline.com)

Rare and fully operational Nazi M4 Enigma breaks auction record for code machines
A rare and fully operational Nazi Enigma machine from World War II has sold for $365,000 in New York, setting a new record at auction, Bonhams said. The M4 machine, which was built between 1943 and 1945, is one of around 150 to have survived from an estimated 1,500 that were built as Nazi Germany fought to fend off the Allies. A spokeswoman for Bonhams said the $365,000 sale price set a new world record for an Enigma machine sold at auction. The purchaser was identified only as a private collector. The M4, with four rotors, is the scarcest of all Enigma encryption machines and was used on naval submarines.
(japantimes.co.jp)

Rare German Enigma Code Machine Sells at Auction for $232,000
An Enigma machine, used by the German military to send secret codes during World War II, beat expectations at auction by selling for more than $232,000. The codes sent by these machines were broken by Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park, as dramatized in "The Imitation Game." This particular machine, built in 1943, was expected to sell for between £50,000 and £70,000 at Sotheby`s in London. It was instead purchased by an unnamed buyer for £149,000 ($232,015).
(nbcnews.com)

Rare Alan Turing manuscript, Enigma machine up for auction
"The Imitation Game" helped make WWII code breaker Alan Turing a household name. But for all the attention he has gotten for breaking Nazi Germany`s Enigma code, the British mathematician still remains a bit of mystery. He left behind no diaries after he committed suicide in 1954 and few documents offering insight into his scientific thinking. That is why a recently discovered manuscript from the man known as the father of computer science is garnering so much attention. Filled with formulas and scientific musings jotted down between 1942 and 1944, it is believed to be only one in existence and will be auctioned by Bonhams in New York. Never before seen by the public, it could fetch a price in the seven figures.
(cbsnews.com)

Site: Enigma World Code Group - Send and receive Enigma messages
Enigma World Code Group website was created for those who would like to learn about the German World War II Enigma code machine and use a virtual simulator of this machine to pass coded messages to other members and friends in our group.
(enigmaworldcodegroup.com)

German Enigma machine sold for £85,000
A German Enigma coding machine has sold for more than £85,000. Estimates had expected it to sell for £40,000 to £60,000. However, a lively bidding session at Bonhams in Knightsbridge saw it fetch an impressive £85,250. Auction officials said there was a lot of interest with a large number of online and phone buyers joining those bidding in the auction room. A keen buyer from the US made the final bid and secured the historic machine. Built by Heimsoeth and Rinke in 1941, the oak-encased machine, which encrypted German codes during the Second World War, is the 3-rotor version, used 1938-1944.
(dailymail.co.uk)

Poles launch campaign for Enigma code-breaking recognition
It is hailed as an masterstroke of British code breaking that helped defeat Hitler and save the lives of thousands of Allied soldiers. However, decades after Nazi Germany`s Enigma code was first cracked, Poland has gone on the offensive to reclaim the glory of a cryptological success it feels has been unjustly claimed by Britain. Frustrated at watching the achievements of the British wartime code breakers at Bletchley Park lauded while those of Poles go overlooked, Poland`s parliament has launched a campaign to "restore justice" to the Polish men and women who first broke the Enigma codes.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Enigma of the missing cogs solved: Second World War rotors discovered at Royal Navy base
This set of lettered cogs doesn`t appear to be the most exciting of discoveries. It turns out, however, that they belong to a WWII Enigma coding machine and have only just been discovered after languishing in a cupboard at a Royal Navy base for 30 years. The cogs were found in a cupboard used to store flags at the Royal Navy training base HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire. It is believed the items were spares for an Enigma machine which used to be kept at the centre and which was donated to the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) at Portsmouth in 1983.
(dailymail.co.uk)

The Spanish link in cracking the Enigma code
A pair of rare Enigma machines used in the Spanish Civil War has been given to the head of GCHQ, Britain`s communications intelligence agency. The machines - recently discovered in Spain - fill in a missing chapter in the history of British code-breaking, paving the way for crucial successes in the Second World War. The story of how these machines on the table in Spain helped pave the way for Britain`s historic wartime achievement is largely unknown.
(bbc.co.uk)

Nazi Enigma machine sells for world record price ($208,137)
An Enigma machine has smashed auction estimates and sold for a world record price. The encoding device sparked a three-way bidding war when it went under the hammer at Christie`s in London, selling for $208,137. The previous record for an Enigma machine was £67,250, at the same auction house, in November 2010. Vitally important to the Nazi war machine, the Enigma machine was used by the German military to encrypt messages into a form they believed was unbreakable. However, the code was cracked by a team of cryptologists at Bletchley Park in England - a breakthrough which shortened the war by at least two years.
(cnn.com)

Enigma coding machine used by Nazis in WWII to be sold at auction
An encoding device used by Nazis in the second world war to encrypt messages is up for sale. The three rotor Enigma machine was used by the German military to send hidden messages before the code it used was cracked at Bletchley Park Complex. Although thousands of these machines were made, it is rare to find one for sale, and it could fetch thousands of pounds when auctioned at Christie`s on September 29.
(dailymail.co.uk)

U-boat 110: How the British Royal Navy captured the secret Enigma code
The battle between U-110 and the British destroyers began on May 9, 1941, when Fritz-Julius Lemp, the U-boat`s commander, ordered his men to fire four of her torpedoes at the convoy. Two found their target. But far from being able to savour victory, Lemp discovered he had troubles of his own. One of the torpedoes had not left its tube and the water, which had been pumped into the U-boat, unbalanced the German vessel. By the time the sub was balanced again and he saw a warship was racing towards him. All he could do was shout: "dive!" The first depth charges fell well clear of the U-boat. But the second pattern went off so close to the U-boat that the rudder stopped functioning, the batteries were damaged and the wheel had been broken off its stem.
(express.co.uk)

German cipher machine SGZ41 - replacement for the Enigma machine - showed at Bletchley Park
A collection of World War II cipher machines went on display at Bletchley Park recently. The collection included a rare Nazi encryption machine - SGZ41 - created to counter Britain`s Enigma code breakers. The SGZ41 cipher machine was developed under the direction of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris - the head of Abwehr (the German military intelligence service). He suspected the Enigma machines were being deciphered by the Allies and commissioned a man called Menzer to create an "unbreakable" machine. The rare cipher machine SGZ41 was the result.
(telegraph.co.uk)

History of cryptography machines in pictures -- The National Cryptologic Museum
The United States National Cryptologic Museum holds a amazing history of code and code-breaking machines -- including the Enigma, the German device used by the Nazis in the Second World War to encrypt their messages. A Dutchman, Hugo A. Koch, thought up the idea of the Enigma in 1919. The first model was made in 1923. Impressed by Enigma`s security the German Government obtained all rights to the machine.
(zdnet.com.au)

Rare Enigma Cipher Machine for sale at Rau Antiques
This highly important 3-rotor Enigma deciphering machine was used by the Nazis during the Second World War. It is thought that acquisition of an Enigma, and the deciphering of the German codes by the Allies, shortened the war in Europe by at least 2 years. Examples of Enigma machines are very rare and almost all known Enigma models are in museums. An incredibly significant piece of military history, this machine is in almost mint condition. The case is stamped "Enigma," and "Klappe schliessen." The interior lid of the Enigma machine features two metal plaques, one with the serial number "A/19993/jla/44".
(rauantiques.com)

After the war the contributions of Polish cipher experts to the Allied victory went unrecognised
British code-breaker Dillwyn "Dilly" Knox was greatly pleased with the Polish copy of an Enigma - a top secret Nazi military cipher machine. But his meeting with code breakers in Poland in July 1939 - just weeks before Adolf Hitler attacked - had put him in a sour mood. He had been struggling to work out the machine`s wiring. Polish mathematician Marian Rejewski had guessed, correctly, that the wiring between the machine`s keyboard and encoding mechanism were simply in alphabetical order. Of course, there were numerous other problems to solve, but Rejewski had made a major breakthrough, by formulating equations to match permutations in the machine`s settings.
(bbc.co.uk)

Nazis lost all the battles because Bletchley Park turned Hitler`s secret orders into plain text
Every year a wreath appears in the bicycle shed in Bletchley Park where Alan Turing liked to sit and think the enormity of the task he faced. This gesture of personal remembrance reveals the hold Britain`s code-breakers still have. The truth about the campaign to break the German war codes only began to emerge in the 1970s, and even today large chunks of it remain classified. When Simon Greenish took over the site in 2006 he found a national treasure on the brink of collapse because of the repair bills and government indifference. Visitor numbers have soared from 44,000 a year to an expected 100,000 in 2009 - and the centre`s classes for schools is oversubscribed.
(telegraph.co.uk)

For sale: The 10-Rotor Enigma Cipher Machine of World War II, c. 1938
The 10-Rotor Enigma Cipher Machine of the Second World War is to be auctioned off with the pre-auction price estimate at 40,000-70,000 euros. Only known 6 worldwide - 4 in public museums. The most equipped and advanced model seen anywhere, and in great condition.
(artfact.com)

Enigma: the Battle for the Code by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore [book review]
"Enigma: the Battle for the Code" describes how Jack Good annoyed mathematician Alan Turing, the guiding intelligence of Britain`s attack on Nazi ciphers, by taking a nap during his first night shift. Turing refused to speak to him - until Good used his statistical expertise to show how a trial-and-error method of attacking Enigma traffic could be quickened. By the time Good arrived at Hut Eight, Bletchley Park, HQs of the codes campaign, the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht Enigma codes had been broken, but Kriegsmarine Enigma code had not. This was when supply lines from North America were being threatened by U-boats.
(smh.com.au)

Merseyside: Enigma machine in U-boat display
An Enigma machine used by the Nazis during the Second World War is to become one of the main features of a new Merseyside attraction. The U-534 visitor centre, at Woodside Ferry Terminal, is due to open in Feb 2009 with the famed top-secret code machine taking pride of place on display. This particular Enigma machine was discovered on board the U-534 after she was sunk at the end of the war. Neil Scales, chief executive of Merseytravel which owns the new attraction, said: "The machine is in remarkably good condition. We`ve even got the codes, written in pencil, which have also been preserved. U-534 is going to be a tremendous boost to our tourism industry."
(liverpooldailypost.co.uk)

Bletchley Park and Enigma machines
Bletchley Park is best known for the work done on breaking the Nazi codes and helping to end World War II far earlier than might have happened without those code breakers. But many feel Bletchley should also be celebrated for what it started: the computer age. The Enigma machines were used by the field units of the German Army, Navy and Luftwaffe. But the communications between Adolf Hitler and German generals were protected by different machines: The Lorenz SZ40 and SZ42. The German High Command used the Lorenz machine because it was so much faster. "For about 500 words Enigma was reasonable but for a whole report it was hopeless," said Jack Copeland.
(bbc.co.uk)

26 Nazi Enigma machines discovered - Helped General Franco in Spanish Civil War
16 boxes locked in a dark store room in Madrid for 70 years hold the secret to how General Franco might have won the Spanish Civil War. Inside the boxes are Enigma code-making machines that Franco had purchased from Nazi Germany and used to co-ordinate his troops. The 26 machines, in perfect condition, were discovered by the newspaper El País, hidden in army headquarters since the Civil War ended in 1939. The Enigma machines gave Franco`s Nationalists an advantage because their code was never cracked by their Republican foes. Hitler used the machine to crushing effect to command Wehrmacht until the code was decoded by cryptologists at Bletchley Park.
(timesonline.co.uk)

May 9, 1941: German U-boat U-110 captured with Enigma machine
May 9, 1941: British destroyers capture German U-Boat U-110. The British take a naval version of the secret cipher machine known as Enigma, and let the boat sink to keep the fact of their boarding secret. The Enigma machine, used by the Kriegsmarine to encode and decode messages, was taken to Bletchley Park, where cryptographers succeeded in breaking the naval code. Several versions of the Enigma machine existed, but the working principle - a rotor system activated using a keyboard - was the same. The Enigma used by the German army was decrypted in 1932 by Polish cryptographers.
(wired)

The Real Enigma Heroes - Colin Grazier got the crucial codebooks from a German U-boat
The Real Enigma Heroes, by Phil Shanahan, tolds the story of Colin Grazier and the Tamworth Herald`s 10-year campaign to bring him public recognition. Grazier drowned while retrieving 2 codebooks from a German U-boat. They were examined at Winston Churchill`s secret codebreaking centre at Bletchley Park. This led to the breaking of the German Enigma code, smoothing the way for the end of the Second World War. The heroic story could not be told for decades because of national security. Phil spearheaded a campaign to bring Grazier and two other soldiers proper acknowledgement.
(holdthefrontpage)

Modern computing power to challenge WWII codebreaker Colossus
Colossus, the cipher-breaking World War II computer, is to be pitted against modern computing power in a competition by the National Museum of Computing. In the "Cipher Challenge" - event the Colossus has to intercept and decode encrypted radio communications broadcast from Germany. Competing against it will be radio enthusiasts who will intercept the messages and race against the rebuilt Colossus to decrypt them. Colossus computers were built during WWII at British codebreaking center Bletchley Park. Anthony Sale and his team have spent 14 years rebuilding a Mark II Colossus, now installed at Bletchley Park.
(news-com)

The cryptographer: Hervie Haufler - 6811th Signal Security Detachment
Most men and women who served in World War II never took part in combat: 8 soldiers worked behind the lines for every front-line soldier. Rejected by the Army and Navy because of poor eyesight, Hervie Haufler enlisted in the U.S. Signal Corps, trained as a cryptographer and was dispatched to England in 1943. He spent the war at Hall Place: where operators in his radio intercept group listened in on Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe communications. Then came the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, when Germans pushed back Allied troops. Germans were able to achieve surprise because Adolf Hitler had banned the use of radios. After his retirement he wrote "Codebreakers’ Victory."
(burlingtonfreepress)

Replica of Enigma code-breaker put on display
A code-cracking machine used by Britain to decipher Third Reich`s military secrets in World War II is being put on public display for the first time after being recreated by a group of 60 enthusiasts. The replica Bombe machine, based on the wartime wizardry that cracked the Nazi Enigma codes, is a tribute to the cryptographers whose work is said to have helped shorten WWII by up to 2 years. The working model is being put on display at Bletchley Park, the country house that once ranked as the most secret place in Britain. The centrepiece of a new display commemorates the cryptographers who worked round the clock to decode over 3 000 messages a day.
(iol)

Ralph Cheesman died at 83 - Recovery of an Enigma codebook
Sailor, submariner and scientist Ralph Cheesman who fought in World War II and was on hand for a crucial recovery of an Enigma codebook has died at 83. In 1942, Cheesman was stationed on destroyer HMS Petard that played a significant role in WW2. It disabled a U-boat in the Mediterranean Sea and when sailors went aboard, they found codebooks for the Germans` Enigma machine. "I saw everything that was going on. We were told not to talk about it too much." The sailors got the codebooks, but the sub sank, taking two of Cheesman`s crewmates with it.
(cbc)

Men who changed World War II by capturing Enigma naval codes
Militaria from a Tyne-built ship, which helped change the course of World War II and made a hero of youngster, are to be sold at auction. The destroyer HMS Petard attacked the submarine U-559 in 1942 and forced the German crew to abandon ship. Petard crew members Lt Anthony Fasson, Colin Grazier and 16-year-old Thomas Brown went aboard the sinking sub and recovered German Enigma naval codes which were to save millions of tons of allied shipping and thousands of lives. On May 16, at Christies maritime sale in London, two tread plates from HMS Petard, bearing the ship`s name, will be offered at £2,500-£3,500.
(icnewcastle)

See how Brits unraveled Nazis` secrets   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It is 1939, and Britain is at war. Hitler`s armed forces are on the move, conquering Poland and making plans to build a new German Empire. 50 miles northwest of London, Alan Turing is wearing his gas mask while bicycling to Station X. He isn`t wearing his mask because of a gas attack; he`s trying to keep aggravating his hay fever. His colleagues ignore his eccentricities; they know he is one of the most brilliant minds in England and they need his talents to help break the codes on the Nazis` Enigma machines. The Germans believed the codes unbreakable, blaming security breaches on espionage or double agents, never figuring out that the British had cracked the codes.
(ajc)

An Enigma Machine For Every Budget
Cryptology and history buffs who missed a chance to buy a World War II-era Enigma machine on eBay have the option of building their own codemaking machine at home, from a kit. The Enigma-E Kit sells for about $210, and is available through the Bletchley Park Web site. Bletchley Park is the British National Codes Centre, where allied forces broke the German Enigma code during the Second World War. The machine auctioned on eBay sold for more than $30,000, substantially higher price than other recorded sales dating to the mid-1990s.
(informationweek)

Documentary Enigma Secret - Fascinating account of Nazi code   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Nazis seemed to have it made with their Enigma Machine. It was a highly complex communication device that made it impossible to decipher communications of the Third Reich. At least that`s what the Nazis thought. In fact, 3 Polish mathematicians (Tadeusz Borowski, Piotr Fronczewski, Piotr Garlicki) figured out the encoding device in 1933 and managed to keep their secret under wraps even after the invasion of Poland. The Poles gave a duplicate of the Enigma to the British and French, and continued to decode vital information while moving around Poland and France to avoid detection.
(mlive)

Enigma project cracks second nazi code
Online codebreaking enthusiasts working to solve a series of German WWII ciphers have cracked the second of 3 codes. They were sent in 1942, during a period when the Allies were unable to crack German codes because of the introduction of a new code book and a more complex version of the Enigma machine. The first code was cracked on 20 Feb, and was confirmed as a message from the commander of a German U-boat, Kapitanleutenant Hartwig Looks. The second resolved code was less dramatic than the first, which detailed the aftermath of a clash with an Allied vessel.
(bbc)

The first man to break open a signal encoded by the Enigma
Peter Twinn was the first mathematician recruited by British intelligence before the WW2 to attack German ciphers. He was also the first person to break open a signal encoded by an Enigma machine. -- The problem was not the workings of the machine so much as the manner in which the operator randomly set his wheels before encipherment. Twinn experimentally assumed that the first circuit board did not substitute another letter for the letter that had been typed, though the wheels and the final circuit-board both did so. This educated guess helped him to decipher a two-month-old Wehrmacht message at the end of 1939.
(guardian)

History of German Enigma Machine
The Enigma machine was invented by the Germans in 1918. It was first patented in 1919, and was adopted by the German Navy in 1926, German Army in 1928 and German Air Force in 1935. From then until 1939 successive refinements were made to the Enigma machine. On 9th May 1941, the Royal Naval ship HMS Bulldog forced an enemy submarine, U110, to surrender south of Greenland. The U-boat`s captain, Lieutenant-Commander Lemp, tried to destroy U110 - which had already been depth-charged by HMS Aubretia – but a naval party was able to board the submarine and seize the submarine`s Enigma cipher machine and code-books.
(royalnavalmuseum)

US spy told Nazis that British had broken Enigma cipher
A spy inside the US Navy betrayed the fact that British codebreakers were reading the Nazis` Enigma cipher, a book reveals. But the Germans were so convinced that Enigma was unbreakable that they ignored the warning, according to Action This Day, the most complete account of the work of Bletchley Park to have been published so far. The disclosure follows the controversy over the American film U-571, which inaccurately suggested that the Enigma cipher was broken only because the US Navy captured an Enigma machine.
(telegraph.co.uk)


See also:
V-2 Rockets: Nazi Scientists
A-Bombs
WWII Espionage
Female Spies & Secret Agents
Bletchley Park.