On April 1, 2000 Abwehr Enigma G-312 was stolen from an exhibit at the Bletchley Park Museum. Information concerning this Enigma which might lead to its recovery should be communicated directly to Christine Large at The Bletchley Park Trust – or to the nearest police station. The following material is presented on behalf of and with the permission of the Bletchley Park Trust.

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The following text, prepared by Frode Weierud and David Hamer, will be updated as developments occur.

The stolen machine is one of the Enigmas used by the German military intelligence service – Abwehr. There probably are more than three of these machine left but they are extremely rare and I would not be astonished to find that only a handful remain in existence. The only other machine of this type we know about in a museum with public access is in the National Cryptologic Museum, at Fort Meade, MD, USA.

The Abwehr Enigma stolen from BP carries the serial number G-312 and is equipped with rotors I, II and III also marked G-312. The official designation of this Enigma model is G, or the G-machine. It was also called the counter machine or “Zahlwerk-Enigma”, because it is equipped with a letter counter. The machine is quite different from the normal Service machine as it does not have a plugboard (Stecker), and it has a most unusual keyboard, which carries extra numbers or symbols on every key. Another distinctive feature is the rotor engage/disengage lever, located on the upper-rear panel just behind the rotor windows. The letter counter is on the right hand side of the same upper panel.

You can download a copy of David Hamer's paper on the Abwehr machine,
“G-312 An Abwehr Enigma”, David H. Hamer, Cryptologia XXIV(1), January 2000 - from David’s web site.

This is a ZIP archive which contains an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. The article contains a number of photographs and other information about the stolen BP machine.

If you have any information which might lead to the recovery of G-312 please contact Christine Large of the BP trust at:

Phone +44 (0)20 7737 7220:   Mobile +44 (0)7971 193546

Or contact the Bletchley Park Trust main office at:

Phone +44 (0)1908 640404:  Fax     +44 (0)1908 274381

The Bletchley Park Official web site is: http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk

Here is a partial copy of the letter received by Christine Large on
Wednesday 6 September 2000:

Part of the text of the letter, with some sentences blanked out by police

I have been asked by the current owner the above Enigma machine, who purchased it in good faith to say and tell you now today, the unwitting person has no ultimate desire of depraving (sic) your august self or anyone the pleasure to see it again. It is though also not his position to freely give the possession for nothing either as the large sum is not to be lost that has been paid (here the police have blanked out the sum) but only on your full acceptance which are to be published nationally, with no conditions of escape on your part or any other person or official body involved in this matter.

[Here police have blanked out a paragraph]

A guarantee as said before in this letter that no pursuit of the unwitting now owner shall be made, this to get had by published notice in television and newspaper. This condition is of utmost desire to him and must be done for any further word can be exchanged to you on this matter. It is also of utmost importance also in this matter the person who will be as the negotiating medium will be afforded the same freedom of entanglement in this matter as they are not involved only on my insistence that they contact you to make this offer and for no other reason.

If no notice is to be seen by the day of Monday as the 18th day in September then nothing else is to be said again.

Please read the full story here: Blackmail letter over Enigma machine (The Guardian)

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Photographs © David Hamer 1998

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