Lot 162 - Enigma Machine Rotor
An Enigma machine rotor
A rotor for an Enigma machine from the collection of Ronald J. Renton who was a member of the Royal Corps of Signals for the duration of World War II. Renton later worked for the Ministry of Supply in a position which involved some code breaking work.
Enigma machines were used by the German military during World War II to code messages they wished to keep secret. The machines used a series of revolving wheels known as ‘rotors’ to turn messages into incomprehensible ciphertext. The machines’ elements could be worked into billions of combinations with each combination generating completely different ciphertext. Only those who knew exactly how the machine’s elements had been set up could then reinsert the ciphertext and unscramble the message.
Though the German authorities believed the Enigma to be completely secure, British code breakers were eventually able to exploit weaknesses in the machine to crack the Enigma code. Some historians believe that the breaking of the code shortened the war by two years.
In very good condition.
End Date: 2012-05-24 19:30:00