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The Enigma machine was created for Germany by Arthur Scherbius in World War I. It is a form of changing the letters of a message so that it appears to be scrambled letters (or, random letters). Think of the machine as a typewriter combined with a fancy odometer. The theory behind the machine is that each letter typed should be shifted by a random number. This is accomplished by three rotors which rotate once per letter, when a rotor shifts it defines a new electrical pathway (i.e. a new shift amount). So as the message is typed the rotors move along to define new shifts each letter. A video explains this simplified version of the Enigma - Watch Simplified Enigma(Dead Link).
On 15th July 2011, Queen Elizabeth (UK), visited Bletchley Park, where the machine is kept in the Museum, paid tribute to those who created this amazing code-breaker, since the use of it cut short World War by successfully breaking the complex codes by Nazi Germany.
- "Queen salutes heroes of Bletchley Park 70 years after they cracked code that helped win World War Two | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2011-07-15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2015254/Queen-salutes-heroes-Bletchley-Park-70-years-cracked-code-helped-win-World-War-Two.html. Retrieved 2011-10-28.