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  • Kriegsmarine Telegraph Key (RARE)


    Kriegsmarine Telegraph Key (RARE) Overall good condition, functionality is unknow.

    The Enigma machines were a series of electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed and used in the early- to mid-twentieth century to protect commercial, diplomatic and military communication. Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I.[1] Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries, most notablyNazi Germany before and during World War II.[2] Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models are the most commonly recognised. However, Japanese and Italian models have been used.

    German military messages enciphered on the Enigma machine were first broken by the Polish Cipher Bureau, beginning in December 1932. This success was a result of efforts by three Polish cryptanalystsMarian RejewskiJerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, working for Polish military intelligence. Rejewski reverse-engineered the device, using theoretical mathematics and material supplied by French military intelligence. Subsequently, the three mathematicians designed mechanical devices for breaking Enigma ciphers, including the cryptologic bomb. From 1938 onwards, additional complexity was repeatedly added to the Enigma machines, making decryption more difficult and requiring further equipment and personnel—more than the Poles could readily produce.

    On 26 and 27 July 1939,[3] in Pyry near Warsaw, the Poles initiated French and British military intelligence representatives into their Enigma-decryption techniques and equipment, including Zygalski sheets and the cryptologic bomb, and promised each delegation a Polish-reconstructed Enigma. The demonstration represented a vital basis for the later British continuation and effort.[4] During the war, British cryptologists decrypted a vast number of messages enciphered on Enigma. The intelligence gleaned from this source, codenamed "Ultra" by the British, was a substantial aid to the Allied war effort.[5]

    Though Enigma had some cryptographic weaknesses, in practice it was German procedural flaws, operator mistakes, failure to systematically introduce changes in encipherment procedures, and Allied capture of key tables and hardware that, during the war, enabled Allied cryptologists to succeed and "turned the tide" in the Allies' favor.[6][7]