Enigma/Sample Messages

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This page includes various examples of real, contemporary Enigma messages (collected from several sources, acknowledged below). You can decrypt these with the Enigma Simulator app (see the User Guide).

The plain text of the messages is of course in the German language, and may include abbreviations and conventions such as "X" for a space, "J" for a quotation mark or "Q" for the two characters "CH", so further interpretation and translation will be needed to produce an understandable message in English. Also, being real messages and Enigma machines having no backspace key, there are occasional typos! The decrypts and translations are on another page if you would like to check your results.

Enigma Instruction Manual, 1930

Machine Settings for Enigma I/M3
Reflector: A
Wheel order: II I III
Ring positions:  24 13 22
Plug pairs: AM FI NV PS TU WZ

This message is taken from a German army instruction manual for the Enigma I (interoperable with the later navy machine, Enigma M3).

Message key: ABL

GCDSE AHUGW TQGRK VLFGX UCALX VYMIG MMNMF DXTGN VHVRM MEVOU YFZSL RHDRR XFJWC FHUHM UNZEF RDISI KBGPM YVXUZ

Turing's Treatise, 1940

Machine Settings for Enigma K Railway
Wheel order: III I II
Ring positions:  26 17 16 13

Message included in a document written by Alan Turing for new codebreaker recruits at Bletchley Park.

Message key: JEZA

QSZVI DVMPN EXACM RWWXU IYOTY NGVVX DZ---

Operation Barbarossa, 1941

Machine Settings for Enigma I/M3
Reflector: B
Wheel order: II IV V
Ring positions:  02 21 12
Plug pairs: AV BS CG DL FU HZ IN KM OW RX

Sent from the Russian front on 7th July 1941. The message is in two parts:

Message key: BLA

EDPUD NRGYS ZRCXN UYTPO MRMBO FKTBZ REZKM LXLVE FGUEY SIOZV EQMIK UBPMM YLKLT TDEIS MDICA GYKUA CTCDO MOHWX MUUIA UBSTS LRNBZ SZWNR FXWFY SSXJZ VIJHI DISHP RKLKA YUPAD TXQSP INQMA TLPIF SVKDA SCTAC DPBOP VHJK-

Message key: LSD

SFBWD NJUSE GQOBH KRTAR EEZMW KPPRB XOHDR OEQGB BGTQV PGVKB VVGBI MHUSZ YDAJQ IROAX SSSNR EHYGG RPISE ZBOVM QIEMM ZCYSG QDGRE RVBIL EKXYQ IRGIR QNRDN VRXCY YTNJR

U-264 (Kapitänleutnant Hartwig Looks), 1942

Machine Settings for Enigma M4
Reflector: Thin B
Wheel order: β II IV I
Ring positions:  01 01 01 22
Plug pairs: AT BL DF GJ HM NW OP QY RZ VX

Sent from a U-boat on 25th November 1942, this message was enciphered using their standard-equipment Enigma M4 machine.

Message key: VJNA

NCZW VUSX PNYM INHZ XMQX SFWX WLKJ AHSH NMCO CCAK UQPM KCSM HKSE INJU SBLK IOSX CKUB HMLL XCSJ USRR DVKO HULX WCCB GVLI YXEO AHXR HKKF VDRE WEZL XOBA FGYU JQUK GRTV UKAM EURB VEKS UHHV OYHA BCJW MAKL FKLM YFVN RIZR VVRT KOFD ANJM OLBG FFLE OPRG TFLV RHOW OPBE KVWM UQFM PWPA RMFH AGKX IIBG

Scharnhorst (Konteradmiral Erich Bey), 1943

Machine Settings for Enigma M3
Reflector: B
Wheel order: III VI VIII
Ring positions:  01 08 13
Plug pairs: AN EZ HK IJ LR MQ OT PV SW UX

This message was sent from the battleship Scharnhorst on 26th December 1943, the day on which it was sunk by torpedoes from British destroyers.

Message key: UZV

YKAE NZAP MSCH ZBFO CUVM RMDP YCOF HADZ IZME FXTH FLOL PZLF GGBO TGOX GRET DWTJ IQHL MXVJ WKZU ASTR

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Ralph Erskine for discovering the 1930 example message, published by Frode Weierud. Turing's Treatise on the Enigma was preserved in the US National Security Agency archives and released to the public in 1996; a version transcribed by Ralph Erskine, Philip Marks and Frode Weierud is available. The Operation Barbarossa message was published by Geoff Sullivan and Frode Weierud as part of their project to discover the keys for many unbroken Enigma messages. The machine settings for the U-264 message were discovered as part of Stefan Krah's M4 Message Breaking Project. The Scharnhorst message was also decrypted as part of the M4 Project.