...I hope someone got shot for that.
I'll be in the comms room giggling to myself if you want me.
A fully-functioning four-rotor M4 Enigma WW2 cipher machine has sold at auction for $365,000. The M4 Enigma which sold at auction yesterday. Pic: Bonhams Rare and pricey. Pic: Bonhams The German encryption device, as used by the U-Boat fleet and described as "one of the rarest of all the Enigma machines", went under the …
I've come across a project on the Interweb to decode Enigma messages. Lots of them were never broken, either because of a lack of time or a lack of likely useful information from that source. It takes longer than you'd think -- the encryption works quite well, as with most successful decryptions, success wasn't so much from breaking the code as from procedural errors by the users that gave leads to the likely settings of the machine.
(I was under the impression that the four rotor machine was compromised almost before being put in service because some Eboat user used it as a four rotor machine, realized his screwup and immediately sent the same message using the three rotor setup for this machine. Its this sort of procedural screwup that was gold for the code breakers.)
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But it has a lot more people to drive it. And some of the more complicated equipment would have to be replaced anyway, with stuff people had been trained on. Spare parts might be the biggest problem.
During the later wooden ship period there was some agreement that French ships were often the best constructed but British guns and crews were far away the best, so capturing French ships with as little damage as possible was the smart thing to do.
It can't have been that difficult. I'd have relabelled everything for convenience though. But a diesel engine is a diesel engine, a valve is a valve and so on. You get training to work on a specific type of boat/plane/tank whatever, you get re-trained to work on another model the basics don't change.
Beside, every single one of us uses technical equipment every day that has been designed by people from another country - I'm writing this on a laptop designed in Japan, built in China, running an OS fom the USA with the GUI set to a non-english language running a webbrowser from scandinavia right now and I'm doing just fine. Oh, and the electricity it runs on is probably imported from France.
"Beside, every single one of us uses technical equipment every day that has been designed by people from another country [...]"
A Japanese colleague had a problem with his Windows laptop - which he had brought with him from Japan. Trying to read the "familiar" menus required him to give me a literal translation - which I then had to interpret. Even worse was trying to help a friend over ICQ with a Hebrew PC.
the Chinese probably built some years ago......if my memory is correct I read years ago that China was one of the countries to which we sold UK-reengineered Enigma gear post-war. It would seem quite likely that they in turn ripped it apart with a view to making their own versions.
As to Argentina, as they signed up to declare war on Germany just before WWII ended it wouldn't surprise me if we also gave them Enigma gear as well
It is really weird that they never realized their codes were broken, so many things went wrong because of this, like over 70% mortality rates among their U-boat crews. It is like they thought their codes were unbreakable. Actually this Enigma machine was the machine of death for the Germans.
My understanding is that the Allies went to a lot of effort to ensure that the Germans didn't know that it had been cracked. They ensured that they always had a legitimate way to ensure that they had obtained the data through another method. I seem to remember reading that they invented a spy who had access to high level German data as a plausible source of data.
Also, they sometimes did send men to their death despite having information as they had to maintain the facade that they hadn't cracked enigma.
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