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Rare Enigma machine expected to fetch thousands at auction

The machine on display ahead of the auction Credit: Sotheby's

A rare and exceptionally well-preserved example of the World War II cipher machine, The Enigma, is due to be auctioned later. The machine had a huge impact on the course of 20th-century history, playing a critical role in the codebreaking story that unfolded at Bletchley Park.

Used by Nazi forces during World War II to transmit coded messages - and with around 159 million million million possible settings - the German command was convinced that the Enigma machine produced an unbreakable code.

Famously, Alan Turing and the team at Bletchley Park proved otherwise and their ground-breaking work is said to have shortened the war by two years and saved up to 22 million lives.

Many Enigma machines were destroyed by the Germans as they retreated at the end of the war and the example going under the hammer today could fetch between £50,000 and £70,000.


Some golden rules to help become a tech millionaire

Boris Johnson went back to school to take a coding class today and programme a Lego robot. He was marking the launch of London Technology Week.

Credit: PA

I am probably the last generation that really had absolutely no understanding of computers at all. It was pitiful - my computer education."

It is very clever. They can detect colours and you can programme it.

– Boris Johnson

If you've got a big idea - and think you could be the next tech millionaire - there are some golden rules to follow. According to investment banking firm GP Bullhound and budding entrepreneurs should:

  • Start a business in your late 30s

Around a third of new entrepreneurs who have started up big tech firms have started at between 35 and 40 - and have had previous experience.

  • Take good care of the founding team

Around 50 per cent of Europe's big tech firms still have all their founding members. Another 35 per cent have at least one around.

  • Start your business in London

London has been home to eight new multi-million pound tech companies in the last year - so there's no better place to be right now.

  • Be patient

It can take the average startup nine years and five to eight rounds of funding to be a multi-millionaire tech firm. So be patient.

Source: GP Bullhound

Mayor to launch London Technology Week

Boris Johnson at last year's London Technology Week Credit: Geoff Caddick/PA Archive

London's Mayor Boris Johnson will mark the start of London Technology Week today by meeting some of the capital's future tech entrepreneurs.

He is due to launch a new dedicated online hub for the city's digital industry as part of the second London Technology Week. The first event was held in 2014.

The aim to is for London to exhibit its technology credentials to a global audience, in an attempt to attract companies from around the world to do business.

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