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Enigma machine


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The Enigma machine was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I.

 

Scherbius-1928-patent.png

 

Combining three rotors from a set of five, each of the 3 rotor setting with 26 positions, and the plug board with ten pairs of letters connected, the military Enigma has 158,962,555,217,826,360,000 (nearly 159 quintillion) different settings. If the German operators had not used the same plain language words as titles for their messages, it is unlikely that the Bletchley Park mob would ever have deciphered Enigma code.

 

By plain language I mean something like "Weather Report", which would be in messages transmitted at a set time each day. There are not many letters to play with, but with the knowledge that a letter in what is transmitted in code cannot  be itself in plain language also gives a bit of a leg up to the cipher-breakers.

 

The numerous documentaries on the work of Bletchley Park and cracking Enigma give the impression that there was only one of these "bombe" machines. The first Turing-Welchman Bombe based machine, known as Agnus Dei or simply Agnes, became operational in August 1940. The engineering and construction of the original Bombes was the work of the British Tabulating Machine Company – BTM. Throughout the war the operation built around 211 Bombe machines.

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I was really surprised to see a (formerly) reputable mob like Reuters coming out with utter BS in the article about the Enigma machine find.

 

The article writer states that "Although several hundred thousand machines were produced, only a few hundred are known to exist."

 

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-germany-war-enigma/divers-discover-nazi-ww2-enigma-machine-in-baltic-sea-idUKKBN28D257

 

What a crock of shXX! - even the smallest amount of research would reveal that the best calculations figure that only 37,000 Enigma machines were made - and only a bit over 300 machines have survived.

 

https://drenigma.org/2018/03/26/how-many-enigma-machines-are-there-left/#:~:text=Nevertheless%2C analysing the list produces some interesting results.&text=The most recently available version,in or before the war.

 

What surprises me is that with a production level of more than 30,000 machines, how it was, that so few actually fell into Allied hands. The Germans must have been told to treat them like gold bars, and never let them out of their sight.

Edited by onetrack
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