“Enigma” they recover a mystery at the bottom of the Baltic Sea
The Enigma machine found comes from one of the German submarines sunk at night between May 4-5, 1945
Enigma, the electromechanical machine for encrypting messages, was invented in 1918 by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius. Modified and improved, on the eve of World War II it had become the encrypted communications machine of the German armed forces.
In 1941, the British Navy managed to seize an intact Enigma device and encryption codes by capturing a submarine attacking a convoy in the Atlantic.
Last month, the Submaris group of divers dove in Geltinger Bay in northern Germany.
“The discovery on this gray day in November – said Dr. Florian Huber, underwater researcher and archaeologist who leads the team – was as unexpected as it was spectacular. In fact, we were in the Baltic on behalf of WWF to detect and eliminate ghost networks. When we got out of the water, our colleague Michael Sswat said he found an old typewriter caught in a net. ”
“A few days later – Huber recalled – we returned to the site and recovered it. Once on board we realized what it was. An Enigma machine dating from World War II ”.
On the night between May 4 and 5, 1945, some 50 German submarines were sunk in the bay by their own sailors: the war was already lost and they did not want the submarines to end up in the hands of the enemy. The recovered machine had three coding rotors (a typical feature of surface versions) and not the four of the type commonly used by submarines.
After spending 75 years at the bottom of the sea, the rediscovered Enigma machine was brought to the laboratories of the Museum of Archeology at Gottorf Castle, Schleswig-Holstein, where it will be restored and then exhibited to the public.
Acknowledgments: Dr. Huber and the Submaris divers for the photographs of the Enigma find