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Thread: Enigma machine found in Baltic Sea - photo

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    Jon
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    Enigma machine found in Baltic Sea - photo

    Divers in the Baltic Sea recently discovered an intact Enigma machine. Looks like the discovery was in November, but it made the news yesterday when they turned the device over to a museum. The divers were searching for discarded fishing nets, and they initially thought it was an old typewriter. Fortunately one of the divers was a maritime archaeologist, Dr. Florian Huber, who recognized the device.



    The Enigma machine may have been tossed overboard following a German order to scuttle about 50 U-boats prior to their surrender in WWII. The encryption devices were generally tossed overboard prior to scuttling, to separate them from the ships, along with codebooks bound with lead weights so that they would sink to the bottom of the sea.

    Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...e_fullsize.jpg



    More:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g...-idUSKBN28D25F
    Dr. Florian Huber | Die Enigma aus der Ostsee
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enigma_machine


    Previously: Raising WWII German submarine U534 - videos

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    There would be no need for an Enigma machine in today's code warfare. All you would have to do is enlist any teenager with a cell phone to text the messages. Teenagers have their own codes for texting that no one could possibly ever decipher
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    We still destroy equipment and dump code books in lead weighted bags when abandoning ship.

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    Question:- when you scuttle a U Boat, what happens to the crew? Did they have life rafts and if so where did they stow them?

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    Jon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby Duck View Post
    Question:- when you scuttle a U Boat, what happens to the crew? Did they have life rafts and if so where did they stow them?
    This one I don't know, although I assume that when large amounts of boats were preemptively scuttled, it was done with a skeleton crew, and not the 25-60 men that usually crewed a U-boat. Yes, U-boats had life boats. Small skiffs at the start of the war, and then one-man inflatables later. They had escape lungs too; we found one when U-550 was sunk. You can search this translated U-boat manual for "life" for more info.

    This codebook was intended to be used by U-boats and aircraft for communicating with each other. The cover is lined with a lead weight so the book would sink quickly in the ocean if it had to be thrown overboard or out of an airplane.
    Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...k_fullsize.jpg


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    The scuttling wasn't done under fire. There was probably a destroyer standing by to take on the skeleton crew(s) who opened the sea cocks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    The scuttling wasn't done under fire. There was probably a destroyer standing by to take on the skeleton crew(s) who opened the sea cocks.
    Once the sub starts flooding the destroyer backs off a bit and says "what's it worth to you for a ride?".

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    The old unix too 'crypt' was essentially a software implementation of an Enigma machine. It no longer uses that implementation since it is almost trivially simple to break now; the current version of the tool uses a 64 bit DES implementation. From the man page of the version shipped in OS X 10.15:

    HISTORY
    A rotor-based crypt() function appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX. The cur-
    rent style crypt() first appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.

    This library (FreeSec 1.0) was developed outside the United States of
    America as an unencumbered replacement for the U.S.-only libcrypt encryp-
    tion library. Programs linked against the crypt() interface may be
    exported from the U.S.A. only if they use crypt() solely for authentica-
    tion purposes and avoid use of the other programmer interfaces listed
    above. Special care has been taken in the library so that programs which
    only use the crypt() interface do not pull in the other components.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mklotz View Post
    The scuttling wasn't done under fire. There was probably a destroyer standing by to take on the skeleton crew(s) who opened the sea cocks.
    Scuttling 50 U Boats, presumably in deep water and not all in the same place, would take 50 Destroyers or similar to rescue the crews. The Destroyers of course should also be scuttling themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moby Duck View Post
    Scuttling 50 U Boats, presumably in deep water and not all in the same place, would take 50 Destroyers or similar to rescue the crews. The Destroyers of course should also be scuttling themselves.
    It need not be a destroyer. An old fishing boat or even a ferry would be adequate. Have it carry some small motor boats, each big enough to carry the skeleton crew. Bring in as many subs as you have motor boats, scuttle, and have the motor boats deliver the crews back to the fishing boat. Take the crews back to the sub pens and repeat as needed until all the subs are sunk.
    ---
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