Image reproduced by kind permission, LA6NCA / FYKSE

Virtual Enigma

From WW2 to WWW

A 3D simulation of the Enigma cipher machine
Released today in celebration of Alan Turing's Birthday 23rd June 2021

Find Out More Run Virtual Enigma

What is an Enigma cipher machine?

Enigma is the brand name of a series of cipher machines developed in Germany between 1923 and 1945.

A number of these machines were used during World War 2 by the German Army, Navy and Air Force, this website has simulations for both the three rotor Enigma I used by the Heer (Army) and Luftwaffe (Air Force) and the four rotor Enigma M4 used by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy).

The Enigma code was cracked and read initially by the Poles in 1932 with Bletchley Park continuing and expanding on this work where they regularly read the German encrypted messages throughout the war.

Virtual Enigma is a 3d Enigma simulation which can run using just your browser. No install is necessary. It was released on Alan Turing's 109th Birthday 23rd June 2021

Requires recent internet browser, Google Chrome is highly recommended. For Mac, please use Chrome or Firefox (Safari does not have the required 3d webgl engine yet). For mobile/tablet, a fast processor is recommended for best use.

What was Enigma How did it work How do I use the simulation!
Image reproduced by kind permission, LA6NCA / FYKSE
What does it do?
Image reproduced by kind permission, LA6NCA / FYKSE
Credits and Links


A number of people I need to say thanks and tip my hat to... .. The National Museum of Computing where my obsession was sparked! Make sure you find time to see their rebuilt and fully working Bombe and Enigma demonstrations at the museum but also so much more including Colossus and the galleries on the breaking of Lorenz, the WITCH & EDSAC, Elliott 308 and all manner of home computers you can use. If you are interested in code breaking or WW2, this place has to be on your must visit list. An amazing experience! .. this site's amazing closeup images and breakdown of Enigma plus technical details were invaluable.

Helge Fykse (la6nca) .. for his assistance with an appropriate transceiver to simulate and an amazing collection of WW2 radios!

3D software

A couple of amazing (and free to use) tools which enabled me to write Virtual Enigma

three.js is a cross-browser JavaScript library for creating 3D computer graphics in a web browser and an amazing piece of work. A big thank you to Mr.Doob for creating this wonder! a free and open source 3D creation suite which was used to create the models.


Creative Commons Licence
Virtual Enigma by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Please feel free to use Virtual Enigma to learn or teach others about the Enigma machine and the work done at Bletchley Park. If you find it useful or if you have any feedback or ideas for making it easier to use or understand, please do let me know.

It takes a long time to research and build these simulations and I love to hear about them being used, whether for your own information or in a classroom for STEM. Do please drop me a line to let me know if you do!

Let me know what you think!

Have I got something wrong, it doesn't work quite correctly on your computer or maybe you just want to say hi - find me on Twitter or check my Facebook or Twitter pages

Martin Gillow