WWII Nazi Enigma Machine Found in Baltic Sea

Divers happened across this WWII Enigma cipher machine while searching for abandoned fishing nets. (World Wildlife Fund)

Enigma Machine Discovered in Bay of Gelting

Health Editor’s Note: While using sonar to scan for abandoned fishing nets that pollute the oceans, the WWF found a German Enigma cipher or machine that was apparently thrown overboard during WWII to keep the allies from finding it. Allies eventually were able to crack the Enigma code…..Carol 


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  1. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Cryptanalysis of the Enigma ciphering system enabled the western Allies in World War II to read substantial amounts of Morse-coded radio communications of the Axis powers that had been enciphered using Enigma machines. This yielded military intelligence which, along with that from other decrypted Axis radio and teleprinter transmissions, was given the codename Ultra. This was considered by western Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower to have been “decisive” to Allied victory.[1]
    The Enigma machines were a family of portable cipher machines with rotor scramblers.[2] Good operating procedures, properly enforced, would have made the plugboard Enigma machine unbreakable.[3][4][5] However, most of the German military forces, secret services, and civilian agencies that used Enigma employed poor operating procedures, and it was these poor procedures that allowed the Enigma machines to be reverse-engineered and the ciphers to be read.
    The German plugboard-equipped Enigma became Nazi Germany’s principal crypto-system. It was broken by the Polish General Staff’s Cipher Bureau in December 1932, with the aid of French-supplied intelligence material obtained from a German spy. A month before the outbreak of World War II, at a conference held near Warsaw, the Polish Cipher Bureau shared its Enigma-breaking techniques and technology with the French and British. During the German invasion of Poland, core Polish Cipher Bureau personnel were evacuated ..

  2. Carol, We can not change the history. Enigma machine code was broken by polish team and this is the place were it all started. England would never cracked enigma code . They tried but they gave up. Enigma code has (5x4x3) x (26^3) x [26! / (6! x 10! x 2^10)] = 158,962,555,217,826,360,000 combinations and if you grasp the magnitude of that statement you appreciate the following fact, only very experience bilingual mathematician could do it . Poland had extensive experience in braking codes since I Word War. I would not like to diminish English effort but they had no input in braking the original code and has o lot of difficulties in braking marine Enigma which was a very small alteration by Germans at the time when Marian Rejewski was unemployed walking London streets. They work was just a small task compering with work done by Poles. Poles deliver the work to England on silver plate together with a German original Enigma machine obtain by French intelligence.I appreciate the English effort “From this beginning(after receiving info from Poland in 1939)JS, the British Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park built up an extensive cryptonalysis capability. Initially the decryption was mainly of Luftwaffe (German air force) and a few Heer (German army) messages, as the Kriegsmarine (German navy) employed much more secure procedure…”

  3. Jarek Sadecki, Then we stand corrected on who cracked the Enigma code. Enigma code cracking history seems to begin with the work done in England. As is the case with any successful endeavor, the successors build on the work that has already been done. No matter who should or could get the credit, the fact that the code was broken helped the Allies in their war efforts. Finding this machine, while not actively searching for this piece of war history, was a stroke of luck.

  4. The claim that Allies cracked the Enigma code is not right because it was done by Polish Cipher Bureau in December 1932 before II World War.It was cracked by Polish Mathematicians and Cryptologists Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zygalski using theory of permutation.
    All work with 6 Enigma machines were transferred to England in 1939. Allies improve the reading of enigma messages by using computer and having existing machines cracked marine enigma code only. German improved Enigma machine for marine communication by adding 1 rotor.

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