Recently I wrote about an Enigma encryption machine that showed up in a pigsty. The argument back then surely was nobody would find it.
Now we can add a new twist to the list of places thought safe for disposal: an Enigma was found in the Baltic sea.
“A colleague swam up and said: there’s a net there with an old typewriter in it,” Florian Huber, the lead diver, told the DPA news agency.
The team quickly realised they had stumbled across an historic artefact and alerted the authorities.
Dr Ulf Ickerodt, the head of the state archaeological office in Schleswig-Holstein, said the machine would be restored by experts at the state’s archaeology museum.
The delicate process, including a thorough desalination process after seven decades in the Baltic seabed, “will take about a year”, he said.
After that, the machine will go on display at the museum.
Dr Jann Witt, a historian from the German Naval Association, told DPA he believed the machine, which has three rotors, was thrown overboard from a German warship in the final days of the war.
And as a general reminder, it was Polish mathematicians who intercepted and systematically cracked the Nazi encryption machines.
Their work was disbelieved by the British until Germany invaded Poland. Details of cracking the machines had to be necessarily dumped by the fleeing Polish (via France) onto the ungrateful and arrogant British intelligence operations.