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Author Topic: Enigma I: '100 typewriter' found to be German code machine  (Read 1688 times)

Fansome

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40583718

Enigma I: '100 typewriter' found to be German code machine

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The machine was being sold at a flea market as a typewriter

A 100 euros typewriter has sold for 45,000 euros (40,000; $51,500) at auction, after it was discovered it was actually a German Wehrmacht Enigma I.

The World War Two cipher machine was bought at a flea market by a cryptography professor, who apparently recognised its true worth.

It was sold to an online bidder in Bucharest, Romania, on Tuesday.

Enigma machines were used to carry coded military communications during the war.

First developed in Germany in the 1920s, the codes created by the electromechanical encryption devices were eventually cracked by mathematician Alan Turing and his team at Bletchley Park.

Bucharest auction house Artmark put this particular Enigma machine on sale with a starting price of 9,000.
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption It was sold at a Romanian auction house

Cristian Gavrila, the collectible consignment manager at Artmark, told Reuters: "The collector bought it from a flea market. He's a cryptography professor and... he knew very well what he was buying."

However, the eventual sale price fell far short of the record amount for an Enigma machine at auction, after one sold at Christie's in New York for $547,500 last month.
How does the Enigma machine work?

    Rotors at top left could be rotated to different settings, to generate different codes - more rotors made the code more difficult to crack
    The message was typed into the machine using typewriter keys at the front
    Each time a letter was typed a lamp lit up one of the letters in the middle of the machine - this illuminated letter then formed part of the cipher text
    Later models had a plugboard at the front (under the operator's hand), which added an additional level of complexity

Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Enigma I: '100 typewriter' found to be German code machine
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 2236 UTC »
Just look at the archaic knob technology on those rotors! No wonder the Germans lost the war.

Offline Looking-Glass

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Re: Enigma I: '100 typewriter' found to be German code machine
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 0212 UTC »
I often wonder how many Japanese code machines are still lying about unfound in the Pacific. 

The Japanese had various spy networks set up in Micronesia and parts of Melanesia during WW-II.

The local natives would not know what it was it if they found one nor realise the potential value...

Just like missing aircraft, every year an allied or Japanese aircraft is found deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea or Solomon Island etc.
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Offline Josh

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Re: Enigma I: '100 typewriter' found to be German code machine
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 1854 UTC »
A couple years ago I was looking for sx28 parts on QTH and came across an ad for some Japanese ww2 radios. They were in excellent condition, wich is amazing, but even more amazing was the prices, only like 50 to 100 dollas each. I emailed the seller and asked if any were left, and he said one guy bought them all as soon as he posted them, wich he thought was weird as stuff he lists sits for ages normally. I said you know those radios were worth thousands a piece right? He had no idea and was really torqued off about it, and no way top get them back, the guy paid instantly and they were already shipped. Japanese ww2 radios are rare not only because of the production numbers and humid environments most were operated in, but their construction methods were just barely able to make the grade for military service at the time. I don't know if the Japanese used any antifungal coating on their radio gear in ww2, but we used gobs, practically embalming the wires and parts. The allies had a study on anti humudity/fungal mechanisms for their electronics as they were literally being eaten away in the Pacific, wich resulted in the slathering of gear with MFP to prevent the same.
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Offline Pigmeat

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Re: Enigma I: '100 typewriter' found to be German code machine
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 2132 UTC »
Looking Glass, I live in a mountainous, heavily forested state. There are a couple of B-17's and a B-25 that went down during training in WWII that still haven't been found. There was a forest fire a few weeks back in the general area the B-25 went down in, perhaps it will finally turn up?

To this day there are private and small commercial planes that go down every few years that are never found. It always occurs in the same region, where the first front high ridge of the W. Appalachians rises. The way the thermals set up there is extreme, with the downdrafts being the killer.

Just to the north you get the double whammy of hitting the western front range combined with smacking into massive turbulence the caused by the Allegheny Front 30-50 miles further on. Add in near constant low ceilings and it's pilot's joy to have to travel either east or west across.

 


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