Pocket Enigma Machine in a CD jewel case

Bletchley Park, the "home of the codebreakers" -- where Alan Turing and co cracked the Nazi Enigma machine -- sells "Pocket Enigma Machines" made from a clever cardboard disc inserted into a CD jewel case. It comes with a very good booklet explaining the basics of ciphering and deciphering with Enigma, and with a bunch of fun Enigma-related activities. Proceeds go to the nonprofit that runs the excellent Bletchley Park museum.

The instructions supplied explain how Pocket Enigma works and take the user step-by-step through the process of coding and decoding. Worked examples and carefully annotated figures illustrate how the Key and Message Setting are used, and there is a trouble-shooting table to help with common errors. For young readers there is also a simplified way of using it called Junior Pocket Enigma making it suitable for all ages who can read and write their own messages.


  1. You are such a geek for buying this, but I cannot point fingers as I purchased one myself when I was there a few years ago. After playing with it awhile I decided I liked this flash version since the computer turns the wheels for you.

  2. I read a book about Enigma back in the 80s. I forget which one, but I do remember (as an example of how that rotting sponge I have for a brain works) a ditty the Bletchley Park ”girls” reportedly sang, to the tune of the ‘Colonel Bogey March’:

    ”Hitler’s got only one left ball,
    Goering has two, though very small,
    Himmler has two that are similar,
    And Dr. Goebbels has no balls at all.”

    Those ”girls” won the war.

  3. many variants
    Hitler, he only had one ball,
    Goering, he had two but very small,
    Himmler had something simmler,
    But poor old Goebbels had no balls at all.
    Whistle Chorus:

    Frankfurt has only one beer hall,
    Stuttgart, die München all on call,
    Munich, vee lift our tunich,
    To show vee ‘Cherman’ have no balls at all.
    Whistle Chorus:

    Hans Otto is very short, not tall,
    And blotto, for drinking Singhai and Skol.
    A ‘Cherman’, unlike Bruce Erwin,
    Because Hans Otto has no balls at all.
    Whistle Chorus:

    Hitler has only got one ball,
    The other is in the Albert Hall.
    His mother, the dirty bugger,
    Cut it off when he was small.
    Whistle Chorus:

  4. The jewel-case Enigma would sell very well on thinkgeek, i’reckons. Suggest it to them perhaps?

  5. Neato! Glad to see that Bletchley is getting their merchandising ducks in a row.

    When I visited the Park in 2000, all the gift shop seemed to carry were postcards, books, and….tea-towels. And definitely no t-shirts, though presumably the industrious tourist could buy a bunch of tea-towels and sew them together.

  6. Is this little thing working?????? How does ti simulate Enigma??

    Where are the 5 rotors? Where is the place for the 3 selected rotors???

    I can’t undestand!!

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