The Museum: German Enigma Cipher Machines

u_06060 The GERMAN NAVY 4-ROTOR ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE:(40KB) This 4 wheel Enigma cipher machine was manufactured in 1944. By this point in the war, the German Navy suspected that the Enigma coded messages were being intercepted and they added a fourth rotor to the 3 rotor Enigmas used by the Army and Air Force. Since the Enigma code had to be readable by all of the armed services, they designed the Navy 4 rotor enigma so that fixing the leftmost rotor in the ‘A’ position made the machine work exactly as though it was a 3 rotor machine. In addition, the leftmost rotor was never rotated by the mechanism. (Figures 60n, 60o, and 60p show that there is no rotational drive mechanism for this rotor.) This simplified the work of the Allies as they learned to decode the messages from the new 4 rotor machine.

This is one of the few surviving examples of the 4 rotor Marine Enigma Machine. It is in reasonably good condition considering its age. The following photographs show many views of the machine and its inner workings.
Over 1000 additional Enigma photographs and diagrams are contained in the CD mentioned above.

 

 

Another GERMAN NAVY 4-ROTOR ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE:(38KB) This 4 wheel Enigma cipher machine was found without its rotors, reflector, and without some of the label tags.

 

PRE-WW-2 * GERMAN ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE:(25KB) This three code wheel cipher machine called the “Enigma” was manufactured from the early 1930’s throughout World War II. The code was broken by the Poles whose work helped the Allied forces develop strategies and machines which allowed them to read many important German messages during the war. Note: the word cipher is also spelled cypher which is a primarily British variant.

A team of codebreakers working at Bletchley Park in England was able to decode most of the enigma-coded messages used by the German army even though the Germans changed the settings of the machine. The code name for the deciphering operation was “Ultra”.

Each letter typed into the enigma machine’s keyboard was converted to some other letter of the alphabet and displayed in a lighted window. Since the entire mechanism rotated each time a letter was entered, pressing the same letter three times could produce three different encodings. The encodings were produced by hard-wired code wheels and patch panels. The three code wheels could be mounted in a variety of positions and each one could be set to any letter of the alphabet. In addition, a patch panel on the front of the machine could be set up in many ways, making a vast number of combinations of cipher keys possible.

RARE ‘K’ – MODEL ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE ( U. S. CODENAME ‘INDIGO’ ) WITH CODE WHEELS AND ADJUSTABLE REFLECTOR : (78KB) This rare model of the enigma cipher machine has four adjustable wheels. The right three code wheels (German ‘walze’) are similar to the standard enigma machine wheels and the left wheel is actually a completely adjustable reflector (German ‘umkehrwalze’) which can be set to any one of the 26 possible letters. The machine was also supplied with an external and internal display as well as a multiple-voltage power converter transformer in a separate box which converted voltages ranging from 110 – 250 Volts, AC to the required 3.5-volts to operate the lamps. The remote display made it possible for the officer-in-charge to read the decoded text without the cipher machine operator being able to see it. This was useful for top-secret messages.

GERMAN ARMY WW-II ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE WITH CODE WHEELS:(20KB)This three code wheel cipher machine called the “enigma” was manufactured from the early 1930’s throughout World War II. The code was broken by the Poles whose work helped the Allied forces develop strategies and machines which allowed them to read many important German messages during the war.

A team of codebreakers working at Bletchley Park in England was able to decode most of the enigma-coded messages used by the German army even though the Germans changed the settings of the machine. The code name for the deciphering operation was “Ultra”.

Each letter typed into the enigma machine’s keyboard was converted to some other letter of the alphabet and displayed in a lighted window. Since the entire mechanism rotated each time a letter was entered, pressing the same letter three times could produce three different encodings. The encodings were produced by hard-wired code wheels and patch panels. The three code wheels could be mounted in a variety of positions and each one could be set to any letter of the alphabet. In addition, a patch panel on the front of the machine could be set up in many ways, making a vast number of combinations of cipher keys possible. (sold, 02/14/1999)

92 GERMAN ARMY WW-II ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE WITH ALL FIVE MATCHING ROTORS:(16KB)This German Army model Enigma machine is in excellent condition as you can see from these pictures. It is shown with a complete set of rotors I, II, and III as well as the two additional rotors, IV and V which were interchanged with the three standard rotors to add complexity to the code settings.

95 GERMAN AIR FORCE (LUFTWAFFE) 3-ROTOR WW-II ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE IN METAL CASE: This three rotor German Air Force Enigma cipher machine was used during WW-II. Many of the Air Force Enigmas were enclosed in these rugged metal cases. The following pictures show various views of the machine.

100 GERMAN ARMY WWII ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE:(16KB) This three code wheel cipher machine called the “enigma” was manufactured from the early 1930’s throughout World War II. The code was broken by the Poles whose work helped the Allied forces develop strategies and machines which allowed them to read many important German messages during the war.

A team of codebreakers working at Bletchley Park in England was able to decode most of the enigma-coded messages used by the German army even though the Germans changed the settings of the machine. In addition, a patch panel on the front of the machine could be set up in many ways, making a vast number of combinations of cipher keys possible. (sold, 02/14/1999)

Here are some views of ANOTHER GERMAN ARMY WW-II ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE. This is a slightly earlier model with the pastic cover for the rotors which are also not present.

Here are some views of ANOTHER GERMAN ARMY WW-II ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE. This is a slightly earlier model contained in a green-painted case. It also has the pastic cover for the rotors which are not present.

BOXED SET OF ORIGINAL WW-II MARINE ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE CODE WHEELS:(21KB)
Here is a boxed partial set of the original code wheels (German ‘walze’)for a marine enigma machine in the original carrying box. The box is marked as the property of the German Marine High Command in Norway.

CLASSIC HORIZONTALLY BOXED BOXED SET OF WW-II ARMY ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE CODE WHEELS (ROTORS):(28KB) The German Army Enigma machines had places for three rotors I, II, and III. The machines were also supplied with two additional rotors, numbers IV and V which were stored in a special box to allow them to be carried around with the machine without damaging them. This is the box that was classically supplied to protect and transport the additional wheels.

VERY RARE VERTICALLY BOXED SETS OF ORIGINAL WW-II ARMY ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE CODE WHEELS (ROTORS):(15KB) The Army Enigma machines had places for three rotors I, II, and III. The machines were also supplied with two additional rotors, numbers IV and V which were stored in a special box to allow them to be carried around with the machine without damaging them. The usual box stores the rotors in a horizontal position but these very unusual boxes store the rotors in a vertical position.

AN EXCEPTIONALLY RARE PROGRAMMABLE D-REFLECTOR WHEEL (GERMAN ‘UMKEHRWALZE-D’) FOR WW-II GERMAN ARMY ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINES:(27KB)This is the first fully programmable reflector wheel that I have seen. It is called the D-reflector. It was used in the German Army (Heer) Enigma machine and it was first observed on January 2, 1944 in Norwegian traffic. It has 25 wires and tiny plugs and each wire can be plugged into each of the 25 positions.

THE STANDARD GERMAN ENIGMA ‘B’ REFLECTOR WITH AN UNUSUAL INSPECTOR’S STAMP:(28KB) This is the standard version of the reflector used in the German Enigmas. Each inspector was issued an unique inspection stamp and this one shows a bird with its wings angling downwards while the most common stamps have the wings in an horizontal orientation.

HARD-TO-FIND LIGHT BULBS FOR GERMAN ENIGMA MACHINES:(40KB)Here are pictures of two boxes of the original light bulbs for the German enigma machines. These bulbs are flattened so that they do not come into contact with the plastic numerals in the display. Using round light bulbs usually results in cracking the plastic numerals in the display.

A SET OF RARE ENIGMA ROTORS WITH BLACK BAKELITE THUMBWHEELS:(15KB)These rotors are unusual because they have a black bakelite thumbwheel instead of the metal thumbwheel found on most rotors.

AN UNUSUAL ENIGMA ROTOR WITH A BROWN BAKELITE THUMBWHEEL AND BROWN BAKELITE NUMBER WHEEL:(37KB)David Hamer has told me that the Germans began using more and more Bakelite in the construction of their Enigma Rotors as the war progressed because of a shortage of metal in Germany. This rotor has both the thumbwheel and the numbers made from moulded Bakelite.

A SET OF RARE ENIGMA ROTORS WITH METAL COGS UNUSUAL NUMBERING, AND AN UNUSUAL GERMAN EAGLE INSPECTOR’S EMBLEM:(19KB)This unusual set of Enigma rotors came from Italy. The rotors have metal cog wheels, an unusual looking dot over the roman numbers indicating the rotor number, and an unusual inspector’s emblem. Each inspector was issued an unique inspection stamp and this one shows a bird with its wings angling downwards while the most common stamps have the wings in an horizontal orientation.

ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE ENHANCED ENIGMA-INSPIRED CIPHER MACHINE MADE BY TATJA VAN VARK, EDE, THE NETHERLANDS:(35KB)Tatja has always been interested in all kinds of mechanical and electronic devices. She was particularly fascinated by the Enigma machine and wanted to own one but an original was out of reach and she decided to build her own. After studying a short description of the principles of the Enigma, she decided to design and build an improved cipher machine and a printer similar to the German Schreibmax printer which worked with the Enigma.
Tatja has no formal education in electronics or mechanics. As she puts it: “I wanted to own a coding machine and now I do.” Building it took about 8 months. No wonder when you see how many parts are inside, and everything had to be home made. For example, each of the rotors has 509 individual parts. She is particularly proud of the helical gearing in both the cipher machine and the printer. Tatja makes everything herself including the varnish which is made from all natural ingredients.

A nearby museum has asked her to restore their Enigma machine and to give a lecture and demonstration of both machines. She is now working to restore the museum’s automatic telephone exchanges and carrier wave equipment.
The machine now has the looks and uses many of the priciples of the original Enigma but it has much stronger coding capabilities. She says: “I will bet that nobody in the next hundred years will be able to decipher the short message I created with my machine: GUK59 XBOFJ

-AFF1 SGU65 0-KME YKCL7 76PRO LIKNY /WVSZ X-JYI OS6GN 9GLYL CTOSE -UBO6 OFD7P I+M3J
Here is a collection of photographs of Tatja’s fascinating cipher machine and of some of the other amazing instruments that she has built as well as a photograph of this extraordinary woman. Please visit Tatja’s website:
http://www.tatjavanvark.nl

for much more detailed descriptions of her work and more photographs of her various projects.

SWISS ‘NEMA’ VERSION OF THE GERMAN ENIGMA MACHINE:(15KB) The NEMA was made in 1948 in Switzerland for use in the Swiss Army and for sale to other countries. Since it was not until 1970 that it became known that the Enigma code had been broken, the Swiss thought that this machine was immune to deciphering. The name NEMA comes from: ‘Neu Enigma’ or ‘New Enigma’. 640 NEMAs were built and, since their serial numbers started with 100, the highest serial number was 740. NEMAs with serial numbers below 421 were used for training and those above that number were stored in preparation for possible war and labeled to be used ONLY in time of war.

The NEMA worked on the same principles as the Enigma. The 4 active rotors each had an easily adjustable ring-setting wheel that could be changed as though it was one of the rotor thumbwheels. All these thumbwheels gave the erroneous impression that the NEMA had 10 rotors. The military or war version was supplied with two additional rotors, ‘E’ and ‘F’ that were stored inside the top cover. The NEMA was made by Zellweger A. G. in Uster.
An interesting feature of this machine is a remote light panel which can be positioned in such a way that the person typing in the coded letters can’t see the message as it is decoded. This machine is apparently also capable of feeding its output into a printer.

ANOTHER NEMA CIPHER MACHINE:(21KB)
Here are some views of a second Swiss NEMA cipher machine often called the Swiss Enigma:

BETTER PHOTOGRAPHS OF ANOTHER NEMA CIPHER MACHINE:(37KB) This is another Swiss NEMA cipher machine which I have photographed with a better digital camera. Please see item # 120 for a complete description of the NEMA cipher machine.

UNITED STATES M-209 WW-II CIPHER MACHINE:(12KB) The American M-209 Cipher Machine was widely used throughout WW-2. It is shown with its carrying case, manual, and accessories. You can see a roll of paper tape inside the cover and a spare roll in the carrying case. The M-209 has 6 rotors with 26 individually adjustable rotation advance pins. It also has a complex set of internal settings that control the ultimate rotation of a print wheel that prints the ciphertext onto paper tape. It is an entirely mechanical mechanism and includes an Encode / Decode lever.
Here is an excellent simulator for the M209 written by Dirk Rijmenants:

The following photographs display the M209’s operation.

More detailed photographs of the M-209, the entire M-209 field operation and maintenance manual and an original 30-minute WW-2 M-209 training film complete with big band musical background are included in The Story of the ENIGMA CD described at the top of this museum page.