Welcome to the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation. The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community.

  • ...The nation’s brightest young minds to consider careers in STEM and cyber related fields

  • ...Robust dialog with the American public on cyber policy, technology, and privacy

  • ...Those who “served in silence” with valor and distinction, especially those who gave their lives in service

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Polish mathematicians & code breakers made the first breakthroughs against Nazi Germany's Enigma code.......

1928: ENIGMA Introduced into German Army

Monday, July 15, 2019
1928: ENIGMA Introduced into German Army

15 July 1928: The ENIGMA was introduced into the German Army and used for the transmission of coded messages. The Enigma was invented by Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I and the machine was used commercially beginning in the early 1920s. The military version of the Enigma was a modified form of the commercial model to make it more secure. The Enigma became the workhorse of the German military services, used to encrypt tens of thousands of tactical messages throughout World War II. German military messages enciphered on the Enigma machine were first broken by the Polish Cipher Bureau, beginning in December 1932.

The number of mathematical permutations for every keystroke is astronomical. Allied forces were able to read most of the Enigma encrypted messages throughout most of the war as a result of the tireless effort of many Allied cryptologists. It is an electromechanical machine that used a combination of wired rotors and plugs to change each letter as it is typed. Today, many historians believe that the Allies' ability to read the Enigma-enciphered messages and act on that information shortened the war by as many as two years, saving thousands of Allied and Axis lives."

The Enigma exhibit (see link below) is one of the most popular exhibits at the National Cryptologic Museum. Updated in 2016, the exhibit features the history and development of several versions of the once thought unbreakable Enigma machine.

What makes this exhibit most unique, however, is that it includes authentic World War II Enigma machines that visitors can use to encrypt and decrypt their own messages.

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  • Maj. Albert J. Myer, founder of the "wig-wag," or aerial telegraphy, flag signaling system, was appointed first chief of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Myer's flag "wig-wag" code was first used in the first Battle of Bull Run or Battle of First Manassas. The code was used extensively by both the Union and Confederate armies throughout the war.

About Us

The NCMF directly supports the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), the first public museum in the U.S. Intelligence Community. We think you will agree it is truly a "museum like no other."

Located adjacent to the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland, the NCM houses a priceless collection of artifacts that represent our Nation's history in code making and code breaking, as well as a world class library of cryptologic media. The NCMF acquires the best artifacts for the NCM and supports new educational and interactive exhibits.

The NCMF provides exceptional cryptologic programs throughout the year, encourages young minds to explore cryptology and innovation through valued awards, and hosts educational, cryptology-related exhibits at various community events.

As part of the Foundation's partnership with NSA to build the Cyber Center for Education and Innovation - Home of the National Cryptologic Museum (CCEI-NCM), the NCMF also serves as a leader in the field of cybersecurity - striving to provide the best in educational resources and programs.

The NCMF and NCM share a joint three-fold mission to Educate, Stimulate, and Commemorate. Learn more about our MISSION.