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Old 1st Dec 2018, 4:00 pm   #21
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

The first electronic computer, albeit a specialised one, was Colossus. That was specifically designed to break the Lornenz ciphers before the end of the war.

Development of general purpose computers then proceeded on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK in Manchester (where Turing went, before his sad demise) and Cambridge - which collaborated with Lyons (as in tea room), who then had the first ever commercial computer (LEO - the Lyons Electronic Office). That came on stream in 1951 and was the first computer on the planet to run business application.
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Old 1st Dec 2018, 10:40 pm   #22
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

WW2 technology and curios from the Axis side,and particularly Germany, always seems more sought after!

Buyers perceive (and are correct in many cases) that Wehrmacht equipment will mostly have been bombed, buried, burnt, stolen, dropped in a lake, concealed or removed by the conquering allies either as booty, souvenirs or pillaging approved by the upper echelons in search of technical advantages in the years to come. It can seem a bit trivial compared to all the thieved gold that was smelted then stamped with fake pre-war dates. A typical shabby nazi trick, as Mainwaring would say. Off topic.

I wonder how many four-wheelers are out there.. (I mean Enigmas not Auto Unions)

Dave
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Old 1st Dec 2018, 11:47 pm   #23
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

There does seem to be a lot of interest from collectors for any Axis equipment. Old Leicas are expensive cameras, but ones bearing luftwaffe markings can start a frenzy. Swastikas sell, it would appear. Wars are fought until the losing side runs out of equipment, while the winning side is left with tons of work-in-progress in their factories and supply chains. Thus there are orders of magnitude difference in the availability of each side's tackle. Collectors are attracted by rarity, but in this case it seems to be notoriety which draws them.

There are some things I wouldn't touch with the proverbial barge pole.

David
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 12:18 am   #24
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

David,

well apparently we - the Allies that is - made a thorough job of destroying as much Axis equipment as we could after the war. I have reports from those there at the time that radio equipment was thoroughly examined - and then dumped in large holes in the ground after that. Whether we learnt anything useful from the very advanced technology that the Germans in the radio field is doubtful!

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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 3:09 am   #25
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Yes, see the thread started by JHGIBSON on Sept 20th 2014 Richard-"Radar Units Dumped Down Mine Shaft [with non mine shaft evidence from Ken Russell
at post 55*].

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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 5:48 am   #26
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

I heard some of it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. An old boy of the school I was at described destroying a lot of equipment while he was involved in the first stages of occupation. He was involved in a terrible discovery. They wanted to preserve enough of the equipment as evidence of what had been done, but they wanted to destroy as much as possible so that it could not be used again. Some technology was transferred, most famously Werner von Braun and the rocketry archive. It wasn't simply a case of us versus them, many families in Germany had been victims of the nazis. For them it was liberation. Some others had been enthusiastic nazis, some had just been caught up in it and not had the luxury of choice. The clean-up was complex.

Meanwhile back in Blighty, Churchill ordered the cover up of what Bletchley park had achieved, including the destruction of much of its equipment The British government wanted other countries happily using enigma/lorenz style cyphers, quite unaware that we could break them. The public heard about atomic bomb tests and new designs of jet fighters, but out of sight, GCHQ was at work.

There was some laboratory glassware at our school which had come out of Germany. It had superbly engineered ground-glass conical interconnections. Older pupils were told the name of the place it had come from.

We may think we're living in complicated times with feelings running high, but it must be quite mild compared to that period. I'm young enough to have missed it, old enough to have been brought up by the generation that didn't, and while it was still fresh in their minds. Current crops of politicians always seem, at the time, like gibbering loonies, but the generation before me had to deal with Mussolini, Hitler, Hiro Hito, and then Stalin.

I can understand how people in the clean-up phase of WWII wanted to leave little lying around that might be useful in WWIII.

David
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 7:08 am   #27
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

The Germans destroyed most of their cipher equipment. The standing order was that if you though you were going to be captured, destroy the equipment. That there are so many Enigma machines still around is because there were a huge number to start with.

The Lorenz SZ42 however was only used for communication between field commanders and Hitler's bunker. So there were not many made. Each link had two, because they were so unreliable that when one was down being fixed they could use the other. I have a paper written by a German telegraph operator who had responsibility for the SZ42's on one of the Russian fronts. Before capture he describes throwing the cipher boxes into the sea (Black, I think) and putting the rest of it in a shell hole with a bunch of dynamite - and then trying to stop his comrades from hiding in that particular shell hole!

There are only three known examples. The one at Bletchley, which is complete, which was used on the Western front by Kesselring. There is one at the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade, Maryland and is also complete (original use unknown). And there is a partial unit missing the motor and some of the power supply parts at the Military Museum in Norway (that is currently on loan in the UK at the National Museum of Computing).

There could still be the odd one still out there, lurking in the private collection of a Russian Oligarch or similar - but that is only speculation.

Because of the extreme rarity of this particular machine, they are essentially priceless.

Craig
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 9:37 am   #28
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

One enigma model D used in the Spanish civil war. It is a 4 rotors one.

You can see it in the Military Historic Museum in Valencia. My wife took this photo just 3 week ago for me.
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 11:39 am   #29
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

The four rotor caused a few problems with the Bombe design at Bletchley. They had to add a fourth rotor bank geared to drive ten times faster to break the four rotor in the same time as the break time for the three rotor.
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 11:40 am   #30
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

As you can see the enigma has number K207, and is the one of the enigma that were found in the Military Major State

https://elpais.com/elpais/2008/10/11...21_850215.html
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 2:03 pm   #31
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Colossus mk2
rebuilt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8WXNPn1QKo
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 5:55 pm   #32
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
They had to add a fourth rotor bank geared to drive ten times faster to break the four rotor in the same time as the break time for the three rotor.
Wouldn't that be 26 (or 25) times faster?
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Old 2nd Dec 2018, 9:03 pm   #33
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Not particularly relevant to to the thread but I’ll share anyway ... when I was in the RAF I did a crypto course at No1 Radio School, the lecturer passed around an Enigma machine which we had a play with. There was something wrong with it and I spent a while ‘fixing’ it, he jokingly said I could have a Q (qualification) for Enigma sadly I never received a certificate.

And unfortunately I can’t remember the history of the machine.

John
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 3:58 pm   #34
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Re the picture in post no. 28

Yes, indeed a 4 wheel (rotor) Enigma, but is it actually Spanish civil war era (1936-38)? Books on Enigma imply that the 4 wheel design was developed during the Second World War for German Naval use in the submarines.
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Old 5th Dec 2018, 4:28 pm   #35
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

M4 machines as used in U boats used a special thin non-revolving rotor fitted next to the reflector. It could only be turned manually when setting up the machine and then remained stationary. The remaining three rotor positions could each be fitted with one of eight rotors.

One position of the non-revolving rotor made it compatible with three rotor machines.

I don't know whether the fourth rotor in the Spanish machine revolved automatically or not. If it revolved automatically it would only have revolved infrequently when coding or decoding a message and in most cases not at all.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 5:39 pm   #36
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
Dunno, David. Don't you need someone else to have one in order to have endless fun swapping secret messages?
I recall seeing a computer program demonstrated at an IEE meeting that emulated Enigma. Perhaps there’s an app for smartphones nowadays
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 7:21 pm   #37
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Some years ago I did acquire an Enigma emulator program (imaginatively named "enigma.exe"), but it doesn't seem to be compatible with today's versions of Windows.
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 7:56 pm   #38
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

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Perhaps there’s an app for smartphones nowadays
It turns out that there are actually three Enigma apps currently available for Apple devices!
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Old 7th Dec 2018, 8:27 pm   #39
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
I heard some of it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. An old boy of the school I was at described destroying a lot of equipment while he was involved in the first stages of occupation. He was involved in a terrible discovery. They wanted to preserve enough of the equipment as evidence of what had been done, but they wanted to destroy as much as possible so that it could not be used again. Some technology was transferred, most famously Werner von Braun and the rocketry archive. It wasn't simply a case of us versus them, many families in Germany had been victims of the nazis. For them it was liberation. Some others had been enthusiastic nazis, some had just been caught up in it and not had the luxury of choice. The clean-up was complex.

Meanwhile back in Blighty, Churchill ordered the cover up of what Bletchley park had achieved, including the destruction of much of its equipment The British government wanted other countries happily using enigma/lorenz style cyphers, quite unaware that we could break them. The public heard about atomic bomb tests and new designs of jet fighters, but out of sight, GCHQ was at work.

There was some laboratory glassware at our school which had come out of Germany. It had superbly engineered ground-glass conical interconnections. Older pupils were told the name of the place it had come from.

We may think we're living in complicated times with feelings running high, but it must be quite mild compared to that period. I'm young enough to have missed it, old enough to have been brought up by the generation that didn't, and while it was still fresh in their minds. Current crops of politicians always seem, at the time, like gibbering loonies, but the generation before me had to deal with Mussolini, Hitler, Hiro Hito, and then Stalin.

I can understand how people in the clean-up phase of WWII wanted to leave little lying around that might be useful in WWIII.

David
My family friends father worked for the GPO and was at Bletchley breaking down what was there, he told me years ago, I never probed too much but wish I had now as he died last year. When he told me and we talked about it over the tea table it was in a time when some of the things were just starting to come out. But enough time had passed he was however still in breach of the official secrets act.
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Old 8th Dec 2018, 2:11 am   #40
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Default Re: ENIGMA machine being auctioned.

Original circuit for reader part of the tape electronics of Colossus.
Hope it displays ok for forum readers.
The valves are EF36.
Note the date, an amazingly early 1943, and reference to Dollis Hill.
I was looking for the historic initials of "T.F." but the original was trimmed on the LHS table of amendments.

Craig will have seen this, as it is on the wall behind the Colossus rebuild at Bletchley.
And by the way, congratulations on your great work with the rebuild of the Lorenz SZ42.

(Any chance of my dropping by and pick up one of those AR88s please? The one at top left will do).
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