Divers uncover the WWII puzzle machine within the Baltic Sea
BERLIN (Reuters) – German divers looking for discarded fishing nets in the Baltic Sea have come across a rare Enigma cipher machine used by the Nazi military during World War II, which they believe was thrown overboard by a sunk submarine has been.
The underwater archaeologist Florian Huber believed he had discovered a typewriter entangled in a net on the seabed of Gelting Bay and quickly recognized the historical significance of the find.
“I have made many exciting and strange discoveries in the last 20 years. But I never thought that one day we would find one of the legendary Enigma machines,” said Huber.
The Nazi military used the machines to send and receive secret messages during World War II, but British cryptographers cracked the code and helped the Allies gain an advantage in the naval battle for control of the Atlantic.
At the Codebreaking Center in Bletchley Park, a British team led by Alan Turing is credited with deciphering the code, shortening the war and saving many thousands of lives.
Shortly before Germany’s surrender in May 1945, the crews of about 50 submarines or submarines followed orders to sink their ships in Gelting Bay near the Danish border so as not to hand them over to the Allies. The destruction of encryption devices was part of the order.
“We suspect that our Enigma went overboard in the course of this event,” said Huber of the Kiel-based company Submaris, which leads underwater research missions.
Overall, the Germans sank more than 200 of their submarines in the North and Baltic Seas at the end of the war.
The Enigma device, which looked like a typewriter, consisted of a keyboard and wheels that encrypted messages. Although several hundred thousand machines have been made, only a few hundred are known. They are being auctioned for tens of thousands of euros.
The find that divers made on behalf of the WWF to find abandoned fishing nets that endanger marine life will be given to the Archaeological Museum in Schleswig.
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