Nazi Germany cipher machine – level 3

16-11-2022 07:00

In Munich, Germany, the Deutches Museum has put a Cipher Machine 41 or SG-41 on display. It was the successor of the Enigma Machine, and Nazi Germany’s military used it in 1941 to encrypt strategic messages during World War II.

Fritz Menzer designed the machine to replace the Enigma machine after Alan Turing and his team cracked Enigma. Thanks to an improved irregular encryption algorithm, SG-41 had significantly more encryption combinations compared to the Enigma. Menzer developed other machines, too, and he also worked on cryptanalysis machines to crack the codes of other countries.

In 2017, an amateur treasure hunter discovered SG-41 in the forest near Ayin. It was badly corroded because the Nazis stored it underground to probably hide.

The Deutches Museum is using 3D visualizations to make the exhibit more accessible and engaging for visitors. Modern technologies make it possible to explore the encryption technologies hidden inside without opening the machine, which would cause irreparable damage.

Difficult words: encrypt (to convert information or data into a code), cryptanalysis (the study of codes of encrypted text to understand how they work), encryption algorithm (a method to transform data into a coded message).

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