• "Enigma Reloaded"
  • "Enigma Reloaded"



“Enigma Reloaded” started in the year 2014, as an idea jointly developed through the cooperation between the italian Technical Marine Museum (La Spezia), the cultural association Rover Joe (Fidenz
a, ITALY), some Radio Clubs affiliated to the Italian Radioamateur League (A.R.I) and the Association of the Italian Marine Radioamateurs (A.R.M.I.).

In its several editions over the years this event has involved the participation of a number of cultural associations and organizations both in Italy and abroad , and has gained wide recognition and much appreciation all over the world.

The main idea behind the Enigma event is to involve people all over the world, and specifically young people, in focusing their attention on the importance of the scientific research in general and specifically on cryptography, as main driver of most of the crucial events at the end of World War II, even considering their impact both on history and on the present world’s life.
The tool chosen to make this event happen is Radio, operated by international amateur radio stations.

As regards the historical context of the events relating to the ENIGMA machine,
this event must be understood as a commemoration of all those who succeeded in the feat of decoding the encrypted messages (in particular the team of mathematicians led by Alan Touring at Bletchley Park, England)
thus contributing to the end of the Second World War and all its atrocities.

Project and implementation

Coordination and governance  :
A.R.I. Fidenza Radio Club - Italian Amateur Radio League – Fidenza (Parma, Italy)


Cultural Association "Rover Joe" – Fidenza (Parma, Italy)
A.R.I. Fidenza Radio Club - Italian Amateur Radio League – Fidenza (Parma, Italy)

with the collaboration of
A.R.M.I. – Marine  Radio Amateur  Association



The organizers of the Enigma Event aim to promote the history of the Enigma cipher machine, its role in the Second World War and those who have contributed to its deciphering, through the participation of the maximum number of amateur radio activators around the world; the organization of dissemination activities related to the Enigma machine and to cryptography is also encouraged.

The Enigma Event will take place in two steps:

1 From September 27th to October 4th 2024 a “plain text” radio Award will take place, during which the “Activating Stations” will be On Air in order to allow the participants to gather their points for the final award’s score (see “ Award’s Rules).
“Activating Stations” are defined as :
- Radio stations located at the organizers’ seats;
- Radio stations paired with a real (phisically existing) ENIGMA machine, located in museums or privately owned;
In this first part of the event, the Activating Stations will be as much active On the Air as possible, operating from their own QTH or seat, using the callsign of their Radio Club or a special callsign.

2 On October 5th, 2024 , final event’s day, the Activating Station will exchange each other “codified”, messages in clarified code, encrypted by means of the ENIGMA chipher machine, using CW emission mode (Telegraphy).
Whenewer possible and technically feasible the Activating Stations are reccomended to operate from the museum or private owner where the ENIGMA machine paired to the Activating Station itself is located, to make the operations openly visible to the general publicum.
During this final event’s day the participation to the radio operations will be allowed also to Radioamateur stations paired with a “virtual”, or emulated ENIGMA machine
: they will be able to make radio contacts with the Activating Stations present On Air.

In compliance with the Code of electronic communications in amateur radio matters (Article 134 of Legislative Decree 259/2003 and subsequent amendments), the contents of the" encoded "message are published on the official website of the event (www.enigma-reloaded.it) in the section "General information for the participants in the Event ", as well as all the information necessary to decodify the message decoding.
The radio transmission is therefore only apparently encrypted (in "clarified code") and therefore fully intelligible to anyone listen to the broadcast.




The official website of the event is www.enigma-reloaded.it, on which all information useful for the participation to the event will be available.
A.R.I. Fidenza Radio Club will coordinate the activating stations, defining the amateur radio procedures and, in general, the methods and the operational protocols.
A.R.I. Fidenza Radio Club will also manage the official website of the event and the log software, acting as a general information collector.
All activating stations will contribute to the event’s promotion and success, in close contact with A.R.I. of Fidenza Radio Club.
On request by the participants the "Rover Joe" Association, according to its own core competence, will be able to provide any further technical details and infos regarding the Enigma machine.

The A.R.M.I. will take care of the graphic realization of the participation diplomas and the posters of the event.
During the event all Activating Stations are kindly invited to give public evidence of the event on their institutional websites, and also to organize demonstrations to the general publicum on the Enigma machine, its history and cryptography.




There are a number of different ENIGMA machine’s types. For the sake of simplicity and uniformity between the Activating Stations, we refer here to one of the most widely models : M3.

- Rotors positions (from left to right): I – II – III
- “Ringstellung” of each rotor : position 01 (or A)
- “Grundstellung” of rotor I : 08 (or H)
- “Grundstellung” of rotor II : 20 (or T)
- “Grundstellung” of rotor III : 24 (or X)
- Reflector wheel : B
- “Stecker” (plug board): not used


If the Activating station is paired to different ENIGMA machine’s mode, or if the machine is not functioning or accessible, the message codification is allowed by means of the ENIGMA emulating software referred to below.


Among the many ENIGMA emulating programs available on Internet, the following is recommended :


using the same setting previously described.

The following picture resumes the correct start setting to be used for the ENIGMA event this year :



In the context of the event, mesage’s transmission is performed for educational and didactic purposes only. For the sake of simplicity and uniformity between the Activating Stations, only procedures and conventions commonly used by the Radioamateurs during their standard operativity will be adopted, avoiding any specific militatary protocol.

The body of the message to be exchanged will contain, in the following sequence :

- Official website event’s address;
- The acronym of used rotors (HTX) and reflector (B);
- The word “START”, in plain text;
- The characters’ sequence obtaned by encoding through the ENIGMA machine the following
standard sentence :


- The word “END”, in plain text;

Example :

www.enigma-reloaded.it – rotors HTX – refl B – start
< characters’ sequence obtaned by encoding through the ENIGMA machine the
standard sentence>

The only pseudo – encrypted part of the message will be the bold face sentence in the example given above.