Museum of Science & Industry Site Index
U-505 (pre-relocation) Gallery


Signs in the Enigma machine display.

The top one reads

The Enigma Machine

This is one of two radio message-encoding or "Enigma" machines captured from the U-505 on June 4th, 1944. It has four rotors and an experimental printing device in place of the normal illuminated letter board that eliminated the need to write down the coded letters. Since it was experimental, a second machine was present as a backup.

Two Enigma machines and nine mailbags of secret publications, weighing a combined 1,100 pounds, were taken from the U-505 by the U.S.S. Pillsbury boarding party.

The bottom one reads


The message is typed into the machine where it is encoded and printed onto the ticker tape. The resulting garbled message is then sent via radio message key over the radio.

For anyone to correctly decode the message the exact set-up steps must be repeated on a copy of the machine. All ships at sea had the same machines and codebooks.

This Enigma machine with its experimental printing device was taken from the U-505 on June 4, 1944. This machine allowed for over 10 quadrillion possible combination of "keys" to solve a message.

Enigma machine in U-505 (pre-relocation) exhibit at Museum of Science & Industry
Time picture taken Sat Aug 17 11:13:27 2002
Location picture taken "Old" location of U-505
Museum of Science & Industry
Chicago, IL
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