Enigma machine

Enigma machine

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/BLETCHLEY PARK TRUST/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Enigma machine. Hand using a German electromechanical encryption machine used in World War 2. Messages were typed into the keyboard and a series of letters on the display above would light up, providing the encrypted version. Here the letter D is enciphered as X. A system of rotors meant that each letter could be enciphered as any other letter, except itself. This is the four-rotor version, used by the Navy to communicate with U-boats (submarines). Photographed at Bletchley Park, England, where Enigma messages were deciphered.

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