Photograph of two Enigma machines in use
Photograph of two Enigma machines in use
Production date
c. 1939-1945
Additional Title information
A photograph of a two Enigma machines in use by Luftwaffe personnel in a communications room.
Photographic paper.
Photographic print
66 x 100 mm
Serial number(s)
Category / Subcategory (if applicable)
Main collection (Warwickshire, UK).
In storage
Purchased from a German dealer.
Acquisition Date
Dec 2020
Associated object(S)
Record Last Updated
Sep 24, 2023
A photograph of two Enigma I machines operated by Luftwaffe personnel in a communications room. Both the location of the photograph and the year it was taken are unfortunately unknown. One Enigma operator (of the rank of Gefreiter) is keying in a message and another (of the rank of Flieger) is writing down the enciphered or deciphered text. Another Enigma operator (also of the rank of Flieger) is shown listening to a radio receiver via a headset. The photograph has scalloped edges, typical of photographs of the period.
Photographs of Enigma machines in use are very rare. During the War, it was strictly forbidden to take photographs of the Enigma machine and other cipher equipment. The Allgemeine Schlüsselregeln für die Wehrmacht (1944 edition) states: "IV. Geheimhaltung. 9. Das Photographieren von Schlüsseln, Schlüsselmitteln und Aufzeichnungen aller Art hierüber ist verboten. Beim Photographiern von Nachrichtenstellen oder Nachrichtentrupps ist Vorsorge zu treffen, daß rechtzeitig alle Gegenstände entfernt werden, die der Geheimhaltung unterliegen" (IV. Secrecy keeping. 9. Photographing keys, key tools and any kind of records related to this is prohibited. When photographing communications stations or communications troops, precautions must be taken to remove all objects that are subject to confidentiality in a timely manner). However, there were some people who did take some photographs, such as this example. Valuable information can be gained from these images, such as the number of personnel that operated the machine and how the machine and associated equipment were set up.
No items found.
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