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Scuba divers find Nazi encryption device in Baltic Sea

Nazi enigma encryption device (Wolfmann/WikiCommons)

A team of scuba divers made an incredible discovery when they found a Nazi encryption device, an Enigma machine, at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

The group, divers from the World Wildlife Fund searching for abandoned fishing nets to remove, thought they had found an old typewriter before realizing they had found something much more rare.

“I’ve made many exciting and strange discoveries in the past 20 years. But I never dreamt that we would one day find one of the legendary Enigma machines,” underwater archaeologist Florian Huber told Reuters.

The Enigma machines were used by the Nazi military to send secret messages but the code was cracked by British cryptographers led by Alan Turing, helping turn the tides of World War II.

In May 1945, about 50 Nazi submarines, called U-boats, were intentionally scuttled near where the device was found in an effort to avoid handing the vessels over to the Allies after the Nazis surrendered.

“We suspect our Enigma went overboard in the course of this event,” said Huber.

The Nazis ended up sinking more than 200 of their own submarines in the Baltic and North Seas before the end of the war.

The divers said that even though Enigma machines can sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auction, theirs will be donated to the Archaeological Museum Schloss Gottorf in Schleswig, Germany.


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