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Modern Mysteries

German Enigma machine found in the Baltic Sea

December 6, 2020 | Comment icon 2 comments

A fully restored Enigma machine. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 CMoAGeorgia
Divers searching for fishing nets have uncovered one of the infamous code machines used during World War II.
Known as the Enigma machine, this typewriter-like encryption device was used to great effect by all branches of the German military during the war until a team of codebreakers - including Alan Turing - cracked the code at Bletchley Park, England and gave the Allies a significant advantage.

These days there are only around 250 surviving Enigma machines left, which makes this latest discovery in the Baltic Sea so significant.

It was found by divers on the seabed in the Bay of Gelting off the north-east coast of Germany.

According to Dr Jann Witt - a historian from the German Naval Association - the machine was most likely thrown overboard from a German warship near the end of World War II.
It was not, as some had suspected, from a scuttled submarine because German U-boats used Enigma machines with four rotors, while this one only has three.

Dr Ulf Ickerodt - head of the state archaeological office in Schleswig-Holstein - indicated that the recovered machine would be restored through a long and delicate process that will take over a year.

If the restoration goes well, the device will likely end up on display at the state's archaeology museum.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (2)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Peterk505 12 months ago
Wow! It looks like it'll need a lot of restoration though...
Comment icon #2 Posted by Tom1200 12 months ago
Hollywood has this covered.  It's the next epic starring Will Smith as Ian Fleming, leading a crack team of American exiles deep into Nazi Europe to fight in the war1.  They single-handedly break into "Nazi Headquarters, Berlin" to steal this Enigma and disrupt German communications.  It turns out "Bletchley Park, England"2 is just a smokescreen - the real action takes place at "Secret FBI base, London" where Johnny Depp and Kevin Spacey China Anne McClain and Zendaya have built their own Colossus, actually called Collosus, out of scraps and old transistor radios. Meanwhile our US ex-pat Comma... [More]

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