In a week marking the 79th anniversary of the bombing at Pearl Harbor, which brought the United States into World War II, one of the war’s most significant items was found at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. One of the legendary code machines called Enigma, used by Nazis in World War II to code messages, was found in its 75-year-old watery grave recently by a group of environmentalists. Divers were searching for abandoned fishing nets in the Bay of Gelting in northeast Germany. The machine is going to be restored at the state’s archaeology museum in what is expected to be a yearlong process. After that, the Enigma will go on display at the museum. 
 
Naval historian Jann Witt from the German Naval Association said he believes the machine was thrown from a German warship in the final days of the war. The breakthrough helped the Allies decipher crucial radio messages about German military movements. The Allied forces worked hard to decrypt the codes produced by Enigma, which were changed every 24 hours. British mathematician Alan Turing cracked the code in 1941. Historians believe it shortened the war by about two years. The story was turned into a 2014 movie called “The Imitation Game.”

enigma machine

Left: Divers looking for abandoned fishing nets found a Nazi coding machine that had spent 70 years beneath the waters of the Baltic Sea. Photo: The Guardian. Right: The Enigma machine which coded Nazi messages. Photo: ArtDaily

 

 

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